Berlin Speedway report 2001-08-18

MARNE, MI -- Tom Thomas and Mike Root won the Late Model and Sportsman features, respectively, for the second straight race Saturday night at Berlin Raceway. The difference? This one counted in the season points. Thomas and Root won Wednesday's...

MARNE, MI -- Tom Thomas and Mike Root won the Late Model and Sportsman features, respectively, for the second straight race Saturday night at Berlin Raceway. The difference? This one counted in the season points.

Thomas and Root won Wednesday's special non-points events on Chester Mysliwiec Memorial Night - Thomas beating NASCAR drivers Johnny Benson and Kenny Schrader in the process - but Saturday's win helped propel each towards the points lead in their respective divisions.

In the Late Model feature, Thomas, of Grandville, held off a crowded field and passed his brother, Scott, for his fifth feature win of the season (fourth in points races). At the halfway mark, Scott Thomas held the lead, but eventually he faded back to fifth and yielded the way to Tom. Tim DeVos finished second, followed by Lee Anderson and Tim Yonker.

Thomas moved up one position to second place in the season point standings, just 15 points behind Battle Creek's Fred Campbell. Anderson moved back one spot to third in the points.

In the Sportsman division, Mike Root also won for the second time in four days. A four-car accident involving point leaders Cort Corwin, Billy Shotko and Nick Shotko enabled Root to sneak through to the checkered flag for his second win of the season. Root remains in fourth place in points, behind leader Billy Shotko, Corwin and Dave Lake.

In the Super Stock category, Matt Keltner scored his fifth win of the season, overtaking Bob Bliss in a race marred by caution flags. Keltner passed Bliss with nine laps remaining in the race and eventually held off Jeff Hennip and Rick Eding at the checkered flag. Ross Meeuwsen finished fourth and Bliss faded to fifth.

A nasty spill involving John Smith Sr. early in the race saw Smith go airborne in turn one, brush against a pair of sponsor banners and go off the track edge. Smith sustained a sore neck and a bruise below his right eye but is expected to be fine.

Keltner shaved 14 points off Eding's lead, trailing by just 70 points in the season standings. Ray Clay remains in third, followed by Smith and Meeuwsen.

Qualifying for Super Stocks and Late Models were rained out, and the drivers lined up on the starting grid in order of season points. All heat races were also cancelled due to weather. Kirk Meissner won the Sportsman Consolation race.

Berlin's season continues on Saturday, August 25. The three regular racing divisions - Sportsman, Super Stock and Late Model - will take the track. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $20 for pit passes. Children 5-12 are $5 and children 4 and under are free.

-BS

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Series Stock car
Drivers Johnny Benson