By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
Vermontville’s Leroy Ellis took home all the marbles in the Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modified division, leading 99 of 100 laps, to win the Brian Heeney “Wild Child” Memorial 100-lap race at the Spartan Speedway. The highly anticipated 100-lapper was finally run, having been postponed for three weeks in a row due to inclement weather. Harry Parish, of Okemos, led lap number one, but as soon as Ellis made the pass on Parish, it was obvious that Ellis was going to be “strong to the finish.” Caution waved six times, and on each restart, Ellis was able to pull away from the field. H. Parish, Eaton Rapid’s Jason Parish (yes, there was some sibling rivalry), Lansing’s Chris Ozanich, and Charlotte’s Perry Davenport ran nose to tail, each one trying to find a way around the other to advance their position. A competition yellow flew at the halfway point to allow drivers to re-fuel, with some drivers opting to take their cars into the pit for adjustments. Those drivers tacked on to the rear of the field to complete the remaining fifty laps. Caution at lap eighty saw second place, H. Parish, coast to a stop on the frontstretch, ending his bid for the win. On the restart, J. Parish, Ozanich, Davenport, and Okemos’ John Mamula tried to chase down Ellis, but at the checker, it was Ellis, J. Parish, Ozanich, Davenport, and Mamula.
The mods hit the track again at the end of the racing program to run their regular 35-lap feature. Yet another Parish, Ron, the father of the racing family, and everyone’s favorite senior citizen, led from green to checker. Mamula held down the second spot, first having to contend with Davenport, who reeled in Mamula, with Davenport, Ozanich, and Corunna’s Larry Wallace breathing down his neck. Ozanich and Davenport tangled, sending both to the rear with 10 laps to go. Wallace tried to find a way around Mamula, to take a shot at Parish, but ran out of laps. At the line, it was R. Parish, Mamula, Wallace, Charlotte’s Bill Butler, and Ellis.
The Andrew’s Chevrolet Super Late Models were kind of hard on their equipment, as caution waved several times during the 40-lap feature. At the drop of the green, three cars got together, going into turn one, prompting a complete restart, and setting the tone for the 40-lap event. With Muskegon’s Dave Stehouwer in the lead, Jackson’s Evan Barrett and Lansing’s Chad Finley duked it out, with Finley taking away the spot, but getting into Stehouwer. Barrett got around Stehouwer after the restart, while Leslie’s Jeff Hackworth had Dewitt’s Jon McNett to contend with on the high side. Caution waved, with McNett slipping under Hackworth for third. McNett got around Stehouwer just before caution waved again. McNett and Barrett got together just fourteen laps in, with Lansing’s Doug Finley taking over, as the duo was sent to the rear. Finley, Hackworth, and Dimondale’s Jimmy Gallagher broke away from the field, and with 10 laps to go, Finley made the left turn into the infield with mechanical problems, relinquishing the lead to Hackworth. With three laps to go, Gallagher stuck a nose under Hackworth, going into turn one, broke loose, and slid up to the turn one wall. Barrett found himself back in contention but couldn’t catch Hackworth for the win. At the stripe, it was Hackworth, Barrett, Lansing’s Gary Sherman, C. Finley, and Jackson’s Dale Lewis.
The MCR Dwarfs made another stop at the Spartan Speedway, with Eric Hoffman and Craig Curtis making it a battle right down to the wire. Kevin Ayers jumped out to the early lead, with Hoffman and Curtis quickly making their way up through the field. Hoffman opened up some real estate between himself and Curtis, but Curtis quickly closed the gap. Junior Gould began reeling in the duo, with Jon Wylie, and Mike McManman Jr. trying to keep them in their sights. Hoffman and Curtis broke away from the pack, and were running side by side with two laps to go. Coming down to the checker, going into turn four, Curtis shoved Hoffman up behind a lapped car, made the pass and took the win. At the finish, it was Curtis, Hoffman, Gould, Wylie, and McManman Jr.. K. Ayers and Hoffman took the heat wins.
It was father and son, one and two, in the Super Mini-Cup division, as Kalamazoo’s Tim Phillips took the “cup” win, with son Scott coming home second. Scott was just returning to the driver’s seat after a nasty crash at the Spartan Speedway. Jackson’s Morgan Baird came home third, followed by Charlotte’s Maurice Randall and Dave Harrison of Munith. Vermontville’s Trent Jenson and S. Phillips took heat wins.
Please join us each and every Friday night, at the Spartan Speedway, for exciting racing action. Friday, June 27th, will be Mid-Season Championship Night for all divisions and a Burn-Out Contest, sponsored by Northside Towing & Service. Wednesday, July 2nd, will feature the Lipari Foods Superpro 75, along with Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds and the Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks. Friday, July 4th, will be the Spectator Drags, plus Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models, Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds, Performance Automotive NW Sportsmans, Pure Stocks, and Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks. Check out www.spartanspeedway.com for gate times and prices. As always, we’ll see you at the races!