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Kokomo Klash Preview: Michigan Drivers to Watch

Kokomo, IN (Friday, October 17, 2020) - The 2020 Kokomo Clash will take place this weekend, running over the course of Friday, October 16th and Saturday, October 17th. There will be a number of top competitors from the state Michigan looking to cap their season off with a win at one biggest events on the racing calendar.

UMP DIRTcar Late Models

Travis Stemler piloted the AP Smille Contracting Great Lakes Directional Drilling #4 to great success in the 2020 season. The 29-year old driver scored nine feature wins throughout the year, two of which were marquee $10,000 to win specials. Stemler clinched the first-ever championship for the Allstar Performance Late Model Challenge Series supported by American Ethanol. The Ionia, Michigan standout will undoubtedly be in the running for the Kokomo Clash Title.

Cody Bauer scored just two wins for the 2020 campaign, however, his #19x has finished with an impressive 12 top fives and 26 top 10 finishes between several different tracks. Bauer, 27 of Farwell, Michigan is always one of the top contenders in the field wherever he goes; he’ll look for the same out of his Domination Chassis this weekend.

The Michigan Motorsports Hall of Famer David Hillliker embarks on the Kokomo Clash after winning one feature event at the Crystal Motor Speedway on August 15th. However, what the veteran driver from Midland, Michigan has missed in the win column, he has made up for inconsistency. Driving his Hilliker Glass #21d to 21 top 10 finishes throughout 2020.

Other Michigan region drivers on the entry list include Ryan Lanphierd, Chad White and his son Justin White.

UMP DIRTcar Modifieds

Jeff Erickson Jr. has had one of the most successful seasons in the state of Michigan driving his Salon One Hair & Nail Care #1E UMP DIRTcar Modified. The 31-year old from Muskegon, Michigan compiled a list 12 feature wins during the summer. Along with those victories, Erickson notched a close runner up finish with the Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals with some of the top Modified competitors in the country.

Curt Spalding embarks on the 2020 Kokomo clash for redemption after coming up short in 2019 where he finished second. The 49-year old from Watervliet, Michigan heads to the clash after starting the 2020 season with a win back in February at the DIRTcar Nationals in Volusia, Florida. Spalding continued his 2020 campaign making 16 starts which led to 8 top 10 finishes. Spalding was just in victory lane last Saturday after winning the feature event at the I-96 Speedway.

Plenty of other Michigan region drivers will also be in attendance, including Mike Vandermark, Jr, Logan Beckwith IV, Brad DeYoung, Corey Bevard, Beau DeYoung, Logan Beckwith III, Mark Hotovy and JR Hotovy.


18-year old Austin Harnick was a standout in the state of Michigan in the Pro Stock / Sportsman division. The native of Clare, Michigan driving the Outlaw Suspension Technologies #15h enters the Kokomo Clash with 13 feature wins between five different racetracks. The talented young driver will have a great opportunity to go out on top this weekend.

Nate Murphy captured his first Merritt Speedway Pro Stock track championship this summer in his American Sewer Cleaners #69. Murphy scored 23 top-five finishes in 30 starts. The 31-year old from Coleman, Michigan will go to Kokomo with 9 wins under his belt, the latest being last Saturday during I-96 Speedway’s Roll the Dice Invitational.

For more stories from around the region, be sure to log onto Listen to the Horsepower Happenings Podcast, with new episodes every Monday night at 9:00 pm.

Story - Brian Osborne, Horsepower Happenings

Photo - Jim DenHamer

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