Berlin Raceway race notes 2004-09-11
Underwood sets track speed record; Blonde, DeVos, Melinn victorious MARNE, MI -- The Auto Value Super Sprints are known as the fastest cars in the land, and they proved it Saturday night with lightning quick speed at Berlin Raceway. Three cars ...
Underwood sets track speed record; Blonde, DeVos, Melinn victorious
MARNE, MI -- The Auto Value Super Sprints are known as the fastest cars in the land, and they proved it Saturday night with lightning quick speed at Berlin Raceway. Three cars broke the 3-year-old track speed record, and #4 Troy Underwood was the fastest of all with a 12.947 second qualifying lap, an amazing 121.789 mph. In the night's feature races, Jason Blonde won the AVSS feature, Tim DeVos won the Coors Light Late Model feature and Ray Melinn won the Standale Lumber Sportsman feature.
In the 25-lap Standale Lumber Sportsman feature, #86 Ray Melinn started on the front row and jumped to an early lead after a lap 2 caution as the cars #22 Adam Hudson and #121 Steve Greene went off the backstretch. A tight battle for second ensued among #49 Dave D'Avignon, #20 Dave Hull, #52 Bruce Chase, #24 Lee VanDyk and #55 Dave Lake. The second and final caution came on lap 10 as #21 Tim Greene spun in turn 3. On the restart, Melinn again stretched out the lead but this time Chase broke away from the pack for sole possession of second place. By lap 18 VanDyk had caught Chase and the two cars raced side by side for several laps until VanDyk cleared Chase on lap 22 and set his sights on Melinn. VanDyk closed in on Melinn but ran out of laps, and Melinn claimed his second Powerflex Trophy presented by Hastings Manufacturing Co. sponsored by Engine Pro trophy of the 2004 season and second of his nine-year career. VanDyk came home second, followed by Chase, Lake and #21 Terry Van Haitsma. VanDyk won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing four positions to finish second. Van Haitsma holds on to a 104-point lead in the season points standings over Lake with just two races to go.
The Coors Light Late Model feature began with a lap 2 spin by #33 Dave Stehouwer on the backstretch, then a lap 15 spin by #11 Leroy Magoon. The night belonged to #12 Tim DeVos, who started eighth and worked his way to the front, passing leader #101 Joe Bush on lap 26. A final caution flag was flown on lap 36 for a brush of the wall by #18 Keith Herp. The top three cars of DeVos, Bush and #47 Fred Campbell spread out with 20 car lengths separating each of the cars back to fourth place #28 Scott Thomas, who was racing with #32 Ross Meeuwsen for position. On lap 46 Meeuwsen made his way around Thomas for the position. At the 50-lap finish line, DeVos took the checkers for his third Fel-Pro Trophy presented by The Federal Mogul Group sponsored by Engine Pro of the 2004 season, followed by Bush, Campbell, Meeuwsen and Thomas. DeVos won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing seven positions to win the race. Bush maintains a 79-point lead over #18 Lee Anderson in the season standings with just two races to go, and with a 130-point differential between first and last place each race, the points race is still up for grabs.
In the Auto Value Super Sprints 30-lap feature, a dramatic points battle was played out in the season finale race for the series. #24 Bill Tyler came into the night with a 1-point advantage over #61 Jason Blonde, and stretched the lead to two points after qualifying and heats. After the first lap of the feature, Blonde took a three point lead, then on lap two, Tyler cut the lead back to two points. Blonde increased the lead back to four points on lap seven, then on lap 11, increased the lead to 6 points after taking the race lead from Curt Shumaker. Tyler then began a charge to the front. On lap 15, he moved into fourth to cut the lead back to four points and on lap 16, cut the lead to 2 points by moving into third. Tyler moved into second on lap 25 and began closing on Blonde for the lead. At the finish, Tyler came up 0.833 seconds short of catching Jason Blonde, the race winner. The two drivers ended the season tied for the points lead and are series co-champions.
Racing action resumes Saturday night, September 18, for a weekly points show presented by Kowalski, with the Coors Light Late Model (twin 40-lap features), Engine Pro Super Stock (30 laps) and Standale Lumber Sportsman (25 laps) divisions competing. Tickets are $11 in advance and $12 at the gate for general admission and $25 for pit passes. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race begins at 7 p.m.