Bergakker Wins Joy Fair Memorial at Flat Rock Speedway
Special from Flat Rock Speedway - Flat Rock, MI (Friday, May 28, 2021) - Brian Bergakker was victorious in Saturday night’s DTS Drive Train Specialists Joy Fair Memorial 100 at Flat Rock Speedway for the ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Models. Debbie DeLong, Joy’s daughter, represented the Fair family in pre and post-race festivities. Fair, who passed away in 2011, was a 10-time Flat Rock champion and is the all-time winningest driver at the ¼ mile paved oval with 159 victories. The Fair family also presented Brian with a $100 bonus in memory of Annetta Fair, Joy’s wife, who passed away last fall.
Rob Moore Jr. returned to action and promptly scored the win in the 25 lap ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A Main, while Taylor Papineau grabbed win number 2 of the season in the 15 lap Street Stock B Main.
The 100-lap contest was filled with yellow flags, and most of them for single car spins. The 10-car inversion put Kyle Crump and Paul Pelletier on the front row. Crump took the lead on the start as the pack diced back and forth for position. The action was race-long, as the strong 25-car field ran in tight formation. Crump was able to hold the point despite early challenges from Eric Lee and Justin Schroeder. A rash of early yellow flags slowed the race, including one on the first lap as Bergakker and Steve Needles got together in the front straight, scrambling the field. Frank Jiovani got the worst of it, pitted, and would retire several laps later.
Laps 21 through 70 ran straight through. At lap 50, Crump led Lee, Schroeder, Hayden Sprague, Justin Claucherty, Craig Everage, Conner Zbozien, Bergakker, Steve Cronenewett Jr. and Brandon Short. Everage was moving up from 16th starting spot, and Bergakker, coming from the back of the pack, was up to 6th by lap 60. Everage dropped out with an oil leak, ending his run to the front.
The yellow slowed things again at that lap 70 mark and misfortune struck Crump, as he ducked into the infield pit road and parked his car with mechanical issues. Bergakker had moved up and started alongside Sprague as the field went back to racing. On the restart, Brian took the lead and again was able to hold on through the final 30 laps and a few more restarts, including one with 3 laps to go. Sprague took second with a solid run, Lee was third, Claucherty fourth and Zbozien continued his strong runs with fifth spot. Needles, Short, Jack Varney Jr., Schroeder, and Scott Pemberton completed the top 10.
Bergakker set fast time at 11:600. The top 18 cars were in the 11-second bracket. Brian will also take home the $200 Penske Shocks certificate, while Zbozien will collect the $100 Penske certificate. Bergakker also took the $50 Moran Chevrolet Hard Charger Most Improved bonus.
Rob Moore Jr. had a great side-by-side battle with Greg Studt and notched the win in the 25 lap ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A-Main event. Moore jumped into the lead at the start as Studt moved up to apply the pressure to the leader. Greg nosed into the number 1 spot for several laps, but Moore charged up to the door of Studt, taking the lead back on lap 11 and scoring the win over Nick Shanks, Gary Cronenwett, Studt, Paul Pelletier, Johnny Rangel, Landon Schuster, Brian Graybill, Trevor Farmer and James Pankow.
Taylor Papineau picked up his 2nd win of 2021, holding back a fast-closing Caleb Barron to win the 15 lap B Main. Rob Liedel, Robert Stewart, Mike Miller and Aaron Greathouse were next in line at the finish. “Retro Night” for the class saw dash events and pursuits, the mainstay of the 1980’s and 1990’s for the division. Shanks won the 4-car A-Main dash, with Papineau taking the 5 car B Main dash race. The pursuit races went to Wilburn Parks and Paul Hahn, who returns to racing after several years.
Moore ($100 bonus) and Papineau ($25 bonus) were the recipients of the Innovative Fluids Winner’s Bonus money, added to the payout of each “weekly” event, courtesy of Steve Peters of Innovative Fluids, LLC.
The State of Michigan will lift the attendance restrictions June 1, which means the Saturday, June 5 race will be the first event under the new order. “The Rock” will be at full capacity for the show featuring the ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Models, the ARCA Figure 8’s and the ARCA R & M Recycling Late Model Sportsman.
The pit area opens at 3, the front gates and ticket office open at 5, practice begin at 5 and show time is 7 p.m. There is no advance sale for this event.
Sunday, June 6 is the rescheduled Flat Rock Historical Society Flea Market at the track from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendor setup begins at Midnight on a first-come, first-serve basis. Admission to the flea market is free.
For flea market information, please call 734-782-5220 or go to www.flatrockhistory.org.
Story - Flat Rock Speedway Press Release
Photo - Rand Thompson