By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
The memory of Chargin’ Charlie Ryan Jr. lives on, as the 4th Annual Chargin’ Charlie Ryan Memorial race for Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models, sponsored by B & L Truck Caps of Potterville, was run at the Spartan Speedway. Sixteen SLM’s lined up to run the 75 lap feature, Chargin’ Charlie Ryan style, with a total invert of the field.
Eaton Rapids’, Bob Bauer took the lead at the drop of the green, with Jackson’s Evan Barrett and Dimondale’s Jimmy Gallagher giving chase during the early laps of the caution marred race. Gallagher took the high road, found his way around Barrett and Bauer and into the lead. Leslie’s Jeff Hackworth made his way to the front, catching the lead pack in the early laps. Lansing’s Doug Finley and Dewitt’s Jon McNett tried to reel in Gallagher for the lead. The duo ran side by side for a number of laps, with McNett slipping around Finley on the outside for second. Vicksburg’s Harry Foote, always a threat, caught the trio, making it a four-car battle for the lead. Columbus’ George Rangle tried to keep the lead pack in his sights, with Dewitt’s Chad Finley working his way back towards the front after a trip to the pit for service. McNett looked to the high groove for a way around Gallagher, while D. Finley stuck a nose under McNett for a run at Gallagher. Finley got around McNett, who began to fade back through the field, while C. Finley began his march to catch the lead pack, sitting just outside the top five, behind Hackworth. Foote tacked himself on to D. Finley’s bumper, with C. Finley gaining on the lead pack. Gallagher put some daylight between himself and D. Finley, as C. Finley caught Foote, who was trying to find a way around D.Finley. With two laps to go, Foote ducked under D. Finley for second but had nothing for Gallagher. At the checker, it was Gallagher to the Corrigan Oil Winner’s Circle, followed by Foote, D. Finley, C. Finley, and Hackworth. C. Finley took the Northside Dash for Cash win, while Bauer won the heat.
The Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modified division saw Lansing’s Chris Ozanich take the win, wire to wire, in the 35-lap feature. Ozanich had company for those 35 laps, as Charlotte’s Perry Davenport, Midland’s Travis Eddy, Corunna’s Larry Wallace and Vermontville’s Leroy Ellis were running nose to tail behind him. Ozanich and Davenport broke away from the pack, but that was short-lived as Eddy, Wallace, and Ellis caught the duo at the halfway point. The win marked Ozanich’s second trip to the Corrigan Oil Winner’s Circle of 2008. Okemos’ Ron Parish took the four car dash win, while Mason’s Rob Newman took the heat win for the night.
The Auto Value Bumper to Bumper MI Legend Series, with a huge field of cars finding their way around the tight ¼-mile oval of Spartan Speedway. Bryan Nuckles was shown as the early leader, with Levi Rouster quickly moving in to challenge for first. Rouster and Nuckles tangled, handing the lead to Matt Todd, with Brandon Mahoney knocking on the door. Todd fell back, giving the lead to Mahoney, while Chance Rice moved in for the kill, picking off Todd, then going after Mahoney. Rice tried to find a way around Mahoney, finally making it stick with three laps to go. At the stripe, it was Charlotte’s Rice, Mahoney, Todd, Chris Perry, and Tyler Rycenga. Perry, Rice and Mahoney tallied wins in their heats.
The VROA series made a stop at the Spartan Speedway, with many of the cars sporting a Stealth Technologies decal. Stealth, along with Orchid, sponsored a portion of the evening’s events, showing their support of local short track racing. Fred Otterbien led the first lap after the green flag waved, with Rick Nelson taking the spot away two laps later. Dan Fraser and Samantha Jansen were going at it tooth and nail, with Jansen getting into Fraser, sending both to the rear. Steve Fuller moved into the second position on the restart, with Don Deyman and Bob Martin poised to strike. Nelson continued to lead, while Fraser and Jansen made their way back to the front, sitting third and fourth on with three laps to go. On the last lap, Jansen made a run on the outside, trapping both Nelson and Fuller behind a slower car at the bottom of the track to take the win, making her trip from Cambridge, Ontario especially sweet. At the line, it was Jansen, Nelson, Fuller, Fraser, Martin. Max Wirebaugh and Fraser took heat wins.
Please join us each and every Friday night for exciting racing action at “the Track the Stars Call Home”, Spartan Speedway. Friday, July 18th is Topless Night. Anyone driving a convertible to the races that evening will get ½-off general admission. Featured will be a 75-lap SUPERPRO race, sponsored by Lipari Foods, along with the Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds, Performance Automotive NW Sportsmen, Pure Stocks, and the Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks. July 25th is CARQUEST Night, along with an Autograph session, featuring our Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models, Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds, Performance Automotive NW Sportsmen, Pure Stocks and Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks. As always, we’ll see you at the races!