Cadillac, MI (Friday, May 14, 2021) - After being postponed two weeks due to weather, the All-Star Performance Late Model Challenge Series Supported by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is back in action this weekend. Embarking on their Sophomore season, the Late Model Challenge Series will put some of the best DIRTcar UMP Late Model Drivers in the region against one another for a shot at $13,000 at the end of the year.
Tri City Motor Speedway will host the first race of the new season Friday night. A $5,000 payday is on the line for the driver who wins the race. Last season, Tri City was home to a number of different winners throughout the season. McClure, Ohio’s, Rusty Schlenk captured the first Challenge Series win of the season followed by the Ionia Outlaw Travis Stemler and Dona Marcoullier. The later two may be ones to keep a close eye on this season during the Series.
Stemler is already in the win column multiple times since starting his 2021 campaign at the Bristol Dirt Nationals in March. Since then, Stemler has won at Attica Raceway Park and Winston Speedway. Stemler would have had three wins heading into the season if it wasn’t for Houghton Lake’s Dona Marcoullier.
Marcoullier now has a pair of wins of his own after beating Stemler in dramatic fashion at Winston Speedway during the Player Hater Wild West Shootout. Marcoullier made a last-lap pass around Stemler for the win. Then, last week Marcoullier came from 10th place to pick up the win at Thunderbird Raceway.
The Friday night show will also serve as the season opener for Tri City Motor Speedway, which means no one has had a chance to turn competitive laps on the Auburn, Michigan facility in 2021. As for Merritt Speedway, the second part of the weekend Challenge Series equation, they have hosted one race already this season.
Buckley, Michigan’s Brandon Thirlby has a pair of wins so far this season to go along with Stemler and Marcoullier. The difference is, one of his wins came at Merritt two weeks ago. Thirlby, who is looking to bounce back this season after a 2020 that was plagued with injuries, grabbed the opening night win from his outside row one starting spot. The driver he held off for the accomplishment - also has two wins this season.
Eric Spangler, the driver out of Lake City, Michigan is back to his winning ways following a couple seasons of disappointment. Spangler racked up a pair wins this season at Winston Speedway, his most recent coming last weekend. The Late Model Veteran is looking forward to the Late Model Challenge Series and hopes to find Victory Lane again this weekend.
Fans can enjoy all the action of the Allstar Performance Late Model Challenge Series starting Friday night at Tri City Motor Speedway. Gates open at 4:30 PM with racing at 7:30 PM. On Saturday, gates again open at 4:30 PM with racing at 6:30 PM. Tickets are available at the gate.
Enjoy behind-the-scenes coverage of the Late Model Challenge Series all season long on the Horsepower Happenings Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages; presented all season long by Auto Value.
Story - Zach Hiser, Horsepower Happenings
Photo - Just Shoot Me: Photography by Katie File Photo