Auburn, MI (Friday, September 3, 2021) - As the season winds down for the Allstar Performance Late Model Challenge Series, Dona Marcoullier has set himself up to claim the 2021 championship. On Friday at Tri City Motor Speedway, Marcoullier took a big step towards that goal, by taking the checkers in the 40 lap, $6,000 to win feature event.
The Houghton Lake driver would start on the outside pole, next to 2020 champion Travis Stemler. At the green flag, Marcoullier would stake his claim to the top spot as Stemler fell back through the top 5. Three cautions would fly in the first 12 laps to keep the field close. On the lap 12 restart, Chad Finley would look to make a move to the inside of Stemler heading into turn one. In the tight quarters, Finley would spin his 42 to the bottom, bringing out another caution. Finley would retire from the event. On the restart, Marcoullier would maintain the race lead, but it was Dave Baker running a solid second, while Brandon Thirlby would begin to make his way to the front from his 10th starting position. Thirlby would finally make his way around Baker during the long green-flag run, with Marcoullier well out front. With 3 laps remaining the caution flag would fly for a flat LF tire on Steven Hilliker’s 21S machine. This would be the opportunity that Thirlby was waiting for.
On the restart, Marcoullier surprisingly drove his 6M machine to the top, leaving the bottom open for Thirlby. With 2 laps to go, Thirlby drove to the inside of Marcoullier down the backstretch, and actually leading lap 38. But going into turn 3 on lap 39, Marcoullier would make a power move to the bottom, hold off the M14, and capture another big payday. Thirlby, Baker, Cody Bauer, and Travis Stemler would complete the top five. Heat race wins were captured by Finley, Marcoullier, and Stemler. Next up for the Challenge Series is the season finale in the Battle by the Bay at Tri City, Sept 17th and 18th.
Story - Rich Frantz, Horsepower Happenings
Photo - Randy Ellen