By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
Chris “Tater” Stearns of Davison scored a big win on Sunday, May 16th, at the Spartan Speedway, by leading all but 18 laps of the Brian Heeney Memorial “Wild Child 100” for the Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modified division. Sonny Coito and Justin Kazmar brought the field down to the green, with Coito taking the early lead. Stearns worked his way into second behind Coito, as Larry Wallace and Travis Eddy began their march to the front. Stearns took the lead on lap 19, opening up a large lead over second place, Wallace. Eddy moved into the third spot ahead of Coito just 10 laps before the halfway caution for fuel. Tom Hernly and Andy Bozell got around Coito just before the mandatory stop at lap 50. On the restart, Stearns chose the outside lane and held a slight advantage over Wallace until Stearns took sole possession of the lead again. Hernly jumped to the high side of Eddy to take away third and Kazmar jumped back into the mix, as Bozell had to make an unscheduled pit stop for a flat tire. Late cautions put Stearns to the test, as time after time, he chose the outside lane and was able to outrun Wallace for the lead. Back in the pack, Wayne Haughton dove under Coito for sixth, while John Mamula and Leroy Ellis battled for position behind Coito. Andy Bozell was moving toward the front again, sitting in sixth by lap 80, and moved into fourth four laps later. Wallace tried both the high- and low-side looking for a way around Stearns, but the leader was too much for the wily veteran. With five laps to go, a great battle was shaping up between Eddy and Bozell and after 100 laps it was Stearns, Wallace, Eddy, Bozell and Kazmar as the top five. Coito, Earl Miles, Wayne Haughton, Dan Loughan and Mamula rounded out the top ten finishers.
The Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stock division nearly saw a repeat of Friday night’s racing, as the A-Main win came down to a side-by-side sprint to the finish between Todd Metz Jr. and Patrick Denison. Joe Bates took the lead after the green but Denison made short work of him, taking the top spot by lap six. Wayne Beckner Jr. was a factor but Metz Jr. drove around the outside of the pack to take the lead with 8 laps to go. Denison fought back on the inside but it wasn’t enough to take the win. At the line, it was Metz Jr. of Charlotte, Denison, Beckner Jr., Jake Thompson and Todd Metz Sr. In the B-Main, Brad Harbenski of Portland won his first ever feature. Harbenski took the early lead over Brandon Moody. George Garza and Scott Sparagowski were able to get around Moody, bringing Amanda Blanchard with them. Caution came out, and on the restart, Sparagowski got around Garza on the outside and went after Harbenski. Sparagowski caught Harbenski and briefly took the lead, as Aaron Taylor worked his way up to third. Harbenski and Sparagowski came to the line with Harbenski nipping Sparagowski for the win. Taylor, Garza and Moody finished third through fifth, respectively.
Ricky Plamondon and Tony Williams brought the 18-car field of Pure Stocks down to the green, with Plamondon taking the lead. Chad Lamson wasted no time making his move to the front and was shown as the leader five laps into the race. Lonnie Saumier put on a driving exhibition, working his way up through the pack to take the lead just before the halfway mark. Lamson, in second, had his hands full with Nick Johnston, as Saumier pulled away. Kyle Drake tried to reel in Johnston and Lamson, when caution waved with six laps to go. Landon Hidy gained three spots on the restart finding himself in fourth behind Johnston. Saumier took the win over Lamson, Johnston, Hidy and Drake.
Robbie Johnston and Ron Heeney brought the field down to the green for the start of the Sportsman Slugfest, with Johnston going into the lead. Heeney took over the lead on lap three, with Phil Bozell in tow. Mike Ammerman jumped into the fray, along with Todd Foote. After several attempts at making a pass on the outside, Bozell grabbed the top spot. Heeney, Ammerman and Foote all tried to run three-wide into turn four, with Heeney and Ammerman getting together. Ammerman retired to the pit and Heeney was able to continue from the rear of the field. On the restart, it was Bozell, Foote and Chris Shannon pulling away from Jimmy Scavarda and Heeney. Foote and Bozell got together on lap 34 and on the restart, it was Bozell out front. At the checker, it was Bozell, Shannon, Scavarda, Heeney and Aaron Spearling.
Many of the Spartan Speedway drivers pulled double duty, running either the Pony or Pure Stock division and later running on the Figure 8 in their respective division. Chad Lamson of Flint did triple-duty, running both the Pure and Pony Figure 8 along with the regular Pure Stock feature. Lamson won the Pure Stock Figure 8, finished third in the Pony Stock Figure 8 and second in the Pure Stock feature. Edson Rowley III took the win in the Pony Stock Figure 8.