Shuryan Snaps Back at Springport

by Cary Cole

SPRINGPORT, Mich. -- Springport Motor Speedway hosted Round #6 of the Challenge Series and the return of Joey Shuryan to victory lane for the fifth time this season. Justin Claucherty put in another great drive to finish second over a strong Paul Schaffer in third. Kyle Trinklein again captured the Zander Radio Systems Rookie of the Race award as the top finishing rookie.

Qualifying action was intense as Paul Schaffer and Doug Vander Vliet both turned in great laps only to have Shuryan eclipse their time late in the session earning him the Turbo Blue Pole Award. Heat race action saw Justin Claucherty pick up his second heat race victory over Keith Wioncek in the first heat. Kyle Trinklein picked up the win in the second heat race over Rod Morrison.

Under nearly perfect sunny skies, the Springport Motor Speedway fans stood and cheered as the trucks roared to the green flag. Justin Claucherty jumped to the green flag as Wioncek booted Trinklein high and drove through into the second spot. Rod Morrison was next to take advantage of Trinklein's misfortune in the extreme high groove. Trinklein finally got back in the racing groove but was back in eight after the freight train of trucks roared past.

As Claucherty showed the way in the first half of the 50 lap main event, it was action packed in the pack with Wioncek and Morrison battling side by side for second. Morrison, sliding sideways, slipped past Wioncek exiting turn four leaving a door open for the fast moving Shuryan to try his hand at Wioncek. Shuryan made short work of the Dodge and settled into third spot.

Rookie challenger Ross Focht lost his engine near the halfway mark bringing out the first of only two cautions for the evening. Two laps into the restart, Shuryan moved to the outside running the outside groove for the first time tonight on Morrison. Shuryan worked the outside for a few laps before making the pass stick and then set his sights on the leader, Claucherty. The outside was definitely starting to come as Shuryan looked again to the high groove for a way around Claucherty. The two fought hard, trading paint and rubbing fenders, before Shuryan prevailed.

Once in the lead Shuryan has been untouchable this season. Claucherty and now Paul Schaffer, having dispatched Morrison to fourth, sought to change that. It was to no avail, however, as Shuryan kept his head down and truck in control, rolling to a one second lead at the finish. Claucherty maintained second over Schaffer and Morrison. Doug Vander Vliet slotted in fifth over Kyle Trinklein, Natascha Thompson, Jim Idema, Dan Lenters and Gerard Ramos. The St. Clair Engine Hard Luck Award went to Ross Focht. Joey Shuryan earned the MPH Promotions Hard Charger award while Dan Lenters won the Engine Pro Lucky Dog.

The Challenge Series races specially prepared racing trucks at the finest short tracks across the Great Lakes area. The fastest growing truck racing class in the region, the Challenge Series offers professional oval track racing in an exciting, fast-paced, fender banging formula. Information on the Challenge Series events, schedule, and drivers can be found at

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