By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
Muskegon’s Dave Stehouwer, “The Gentleman”, found his way to the Corrigan Oil Winner’s Circle at the Spartan Speedway on Friday, June 26th. Fifteen Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models timed in on “Mid-Season Championship Night” with Jon McNett setting fast time. By virtue of a nine car invert, McNett was buried mid-pack. Stehouwer took the lead as the green flag dropped, with Chris Hettinger and Logan Beckwith running second and third. As Stehouwer pulled away from the field, Hettinger slowed on the track moving Beckwith up into second. Sensiba took the low side of Beckwith and the duo ran side by side for a number of laps with Sensiba getting the advantage on lap 11. Sensiba had to reel in Stehouwer and tacked onto his bumper by lap 15, while Andy Bozell got around Beckwith for third. A. Bozell, Beckwith, Doug Finley, McNett and Phil Bozell all ran in a pack until A. Bozell broke away and zeroed in on the top two cars. Caution waved on lap 22 and on the restart, it was Sensiba, A. Bozell and McNett and P. Bozell. Sensiba took looks both high and low for a way around Stehouwer for the lead, but Stehouwer was able to shut the door each time. Sensiba made turns two and four work for him but ran out of laps and at the stripe, it was Stehouwer, Sensiba, A. Bozell, McNett, and P. Bozell. This was Stehouwer’s first feature win in 2009. Sonny Coito and Stehouwer took heat wins for the evening.
The Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modified division was 21 cars strong and it didn’t take long until mayhem erupted. On the start, Earl Miles and Ron Parish brought the field down to take the green. Coming down for the completion of lap one, Parish was high going through turn four on the outside of Miles when the pair got together with Parish coming to rest at the wall in turn four. Six cars behind the leaders tried to take evasive action and got involved, with Parish retiring to the pit and Miles relinquishing his front row spot by making a trip to the pit before the complete restart. On the restart, the front row was Perry Davenport and Bill Butler followed by Leroy Ellis and Chris Ozanich. Caution waved again for Butler with a flat. On the restart, it was Davenport and Ozanich one and two, and on lap four, Ozanich dove under Davenport for the lead but Davenport was spun coming out of turn four and Ozanich had to do it all again on the restart. Rob Newman, John Mamula, and Sonny Coito (doing double-duty) made up the top five behind Davenport and Ozanich. By lap eight, it was Davenport on the high side of Ozanich as the pair ran side by side, with Ozanich taking the lead by a nose on lap 11. Caution waved again on lap 12 and on the restart, Ozanich opened up some daylight between Davenport and himself, while Newman, Mamula, and Coito ran nose to tail. At the stripe, it was Lansing’s Ozanich with the win over Davenport, Newman, Mamula, and Coito. Jim Heeney, Bubba Brooks, and Parish won their heats for the division.
Matt Kirchen used a slower car to his advantage when the green flag dropped on the Performance Automotive NW Sportsman division 25-lap feature. Kirchen jumped out to the early lead with Jimmy Scavarda wasting no time in making his way to the front. Kirchen was able to maintain his lead as Scavarda jumped to the outside of Bubber Patrick, in second, going into turn four on lap two. Scavarda was dirt-tracking through the turn, tried to regain control of the car and slammed the front stretch wall ending his evening, while Long ducked under Koone for fourth. On the restart, it was Koone to the outside of Long and into third behind Kirchen and Patrick. Patrick took the low line, while Koone ran the high line, trying to find a way around Patrick. Long got around Koone again on lap seven, then went to work on Patrick for second. On lap 10, Kirchen was forced high on the backstretch with Patrick down low as Long shot into the lead up the middle. Patrick was able to hold off Koone for second but Koone ducked to the inside taking the spot away. At the line, it was Long, Koone, Patrick, Damon Place and Kirchen. Scavarda took the heat win.
The Spartan Speedway Pure Stocks saw Chad Lamson of Flint dominate, taking both the heat and 20-lap feature win, with Jordan Lechota, Mark Carson, Jake Pearson, and Tyler Hawkins rounding out the top five.
The exciting Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stock division didn’t dissappoint as the ponies were running four- and five-wide after the green flag waved. Brad Harbenski took the early lead with Patrick Denison taking the spot away from the outside on lap three. Misty Allen moved into second behind Denison on lap four, as Wane Beckner Jr. began his march to the front. Beckner made the pass on Allen on lap six, while George Wyers, Jeremy LaFontaine and Todd Metz Jr. shook things up a bit making a LaFontaine sandwich on lap eight. Metz took the spot fourth spot on lap 10 then tried to reel in Allen for third. With Denison and Beckner running one and two, Beckner looked to the inside and took the spot away on lap 16. Metz whittled away at Allen’s lead over him with Metz catching Allen on lap 18, but Allen was able to hold him off, as Edson Rowley III jumped into the mix. After 20-laps, it was Beckner Jr., Denison, Allen, Metz Jr. and Rowley. Darren Wright and Beckner took heat wins for the division.
Friday, July 10th, the Spartan Speedway will feature the Super Pro 75 sponsored by Lipari Foods, along with Mods, Sportsmans, Pures and Pony Stocks. July 17th features the ShortTrackTrucks.com Series and it is Topless Night. General admission for a convertible is half-price with a parade lap at intermission. Other featured divisions are the Mods, Pure, and Pony Stocks. Sunday, July 19th is the Late Model 75 along with the third Sunday Slugfest for Sportsmans, Pure Stocks and Ponies, with Double Figure 8’s for Pure and Pony Stocks. Special pricing will apply for this Sunday special. For more info, check out the website at www.spartanspeedway.com. As always, we’ll see you at the races!