By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
Spartan Speedway was plagued all day with the threat of clouds and rain, but Mother Nature proved herself to be a tried and true race fan as opening night went off without a hitch. Under partly cloudy skies and warm temperatures, fans were treated to a preview of what is in store for the 2008 season.
The Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models paid tribute to Stan Perry, with the inaugural running of the Stan Perry Memorial 75-lap feature. As the green waved, Jeff Brunt, of LaGrange, Indiana, jumped out to the lead, with Dansville’s John Dunivon taking command by lap five. Evan Barrett, of Jackson, drove under Dunivon to take away the top spot on lap 15. Dunivon regained the lead, with Jimmy Gallagher, of Dimondale, slipping under him for the lead on lap 25. Muskegon’s Dave Stehouwer jumped to the high side to work his way into contention before tangling with Dunivon and the front stretch wall on lap 41. Gallagher opened up a lead over Stehouwer and Dewitt’s Jon McNett, while Lansing’s Doug Finley made his way into the top five and was working his way to the front. McNett made his way under Stehouwer for second on lap 46, as Finley moved into third ahead of Leslie’s Jeff Hackworth and John Ledwidge, of Ann Arbor. McNett reeled in Gallagher, and Finley joined the duo to run nose to tail on lap 58. Finley ducked under McNett on lap 68 and took the lead away from Gallagher on lap 72, while Hackworth and Ledwidge got around McNett for third and fourth, respectively. At the checker, it was Finley, Gallagher, Hackworth, Ledwidge and McNett as the top five finishers. Heat wins went to Barrett and Matt Puskarich, of Belmont.
The Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds saw a familiar car in the lead after the drop of the green, as Larry Wallace, of Corunna, looked as if he picked up right where he left off in the fall. Trei Deubel, of Holt, and Dick LaPratt, of Mason, gave chase, while Ron Parish, of Okemos, made his charge to the front. Edgerton, Ohio’s Bud Perry began his move up through the field using his signature high-line, bringing Charlotte’s Perry Davenport with him. By lap 13, it was Wallace, LaPratt, Perry, Parish, and Chris Ozanich, of Lansing, while Davenport worked the second groove. Perry took the lead on lap 17, and began to pull away from LaPratt and Ozanich. Ozanich moved to the inside of LaPratt, bringing Davenport with him on lap 23. Perry put some real estate between himself and Ozanich, in second, while Davenport got around LaPratt for third. At the line, it was Perry, Ozanich, Davenport, LaPratt, and Battle Creek’s Dusty Carl. Wallace captured the heat win for the evening.
The Performance Automotive NW Sportsman division saw Leslie’s Damon Place capture both the heat and feature win for the evening. Nate Moon, of Leslie, took the early lead before handing the lead over to Place on lap four. Place had plenty of company, as Jack Koone Jr., of East Lansing, and Dane Long, of Charlotte, battled it out for second. Scott Sigman, of Mason, jumped into the fray to make it a four-car battle on a lap 6 restart. Place pulled away, as Koone, Long, and Sigman battled for position. Long took away the second spot, bringing Sigman along around Koone on lap 8. Place continued to lead, while Koone went to work on Sigman for third on lap 18, as Moon worked his way back into the top five. Place held off Long for the win, as Koone, Sigman and Moon rounded out the top five.
The Pure Stock division saw rookie, Zack MacIntosh, of Dimondale, take a heat win, while Ian Schafer, of Lansing, led the Pure Stock 15-lap feature from start to finish. MacIntosh ran second until lap 12, when Wayne Parkhurst II, of Holt, made it three-wide with MacIntosh and Rob Patrick, of Stockbridge, to take away second. At the finish, it was Schafer, Parkhurst II, Dimondale’s Spencer Drake, Charlotte’s Marc Childers, and MacIntosh.
The Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stock division saw Edson Rowley III, of Jackson, dominate the 20-lap feature, taking the win by a 7.8 second margin of victory. Brad Harbenski, of Portland, jumped out to the early lead when the green fell, but Rowley charged to the front in the second groove, and never looked back. Dan Gokee, of Dimondale, held down the second spot, until Wayne Beckner Jr., of Lansing, took the spot away. Laingsburg’s Joe Bates worked his way into the fourth spot, with Rich Roberts, of Lansing, holding down fifth. After 20 laps, it was Rowley III, W. Beckner Jr., B. Beckner, Bates, and Roberts. Gokee and Scott Rogers took heat wins.
Please join us each and every Friday night for exciting racing action. May 2nd features a full racing program, while May 9th is M.A.R.F.C. and Kid’s Night, with a bike give away, along with a full racing program. As always, we’ll see you at the races!