Lake City, MI (Monday, May 24, 2021) - Merritt Speedway held another full racing program this past Saturday night in Lake City, Michigan. The high-powered UMP DIRTcar Late Models headlined the program running for the weekly standard $3000 to win prize. The Thirlby Automotive Factory Stocks were also on hand for a $1500 to win special. Plus the XLT Engineering Four & Six Cylinders competed in a $600 to win event. The Troll Smokehouse B-Modifieds, Auto Value Pro Stocks, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges completed the rest of the show.
The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges began the night with the running for both the restrictor plate and non-restrictor plate divisions. The restricted division feature was won by Tucker Warner from Harbor Springs, Michigan in his #88. Caiden Lechota, and Chasen Loomis rounded out the top three. The Un-Restricted division would see Troy Yetter score the big win in the #16y. Finishing ahead of Addy Wade, and Keaton Cade. The preliminary heat races were won by Warner (restricted) and 2020-track champion Hunter Evans (un-restricted).
The Auto Value Pro Stocks rolled to the speedway for a 20-lap feature event. Danielle Robinson and Cody Wing brought the field to the green flag. Robinson pulled away with the lead after the opening lap. However, on lap 2 Anthony Schweifler would take the lead for himself. He would stay there until lap 7, when a pass would be made by Tim Murphy who charged on from there to pick up the win. Murphy, the native of Holland, Ohio won behind the wheel of his #J3. Schweifler took second. Andrew Steele, Teri Lynn Murphy, and Brendan Powell rounded out the top five. Adam Erickson and Tim Murphy won the heat races.
The $600 to win special for the XLT Engineering Four & Six Cylinders was out to the track next led by Mike Dexter and 2019-Track Champion Cheyanne Emery for a 20-lap feature event. The first lap would be led by Emery. The lead would change hands on lap 5 when 2020-track champion Travis Skaggs would power past. He would stay there until lap 17, that was when Chad Freeman who had worked his way up from a sixteenth starting position charged by for the lead and went on to score the win. The was the first win of the year for 21-year old Freeman, the native of Alger, Michigan in the #88. Herb Freeman was the runner up finisher. Robert Hankinson, Clay Lachcik, and Megan Wiggins capped off the top five. Chris Wassman, Cody Steinly, Skaggs, and Emery picked up the heat race victories. Dylan Vermilyea won the last chance qualifier.
Ryan Lanphierd and Andrew Terrill brought out the Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models for their 30-lap A-Main. Lanphierd jumped out in front with the lead in the early stages trying to pull away from the rest of the field. Joey Burch stormed by to take over the lead on lap 5. Things wouldn’t change until lap 12, when the two-time track champion David Mielke was able to grab the lead and go on from there to get the win. This was the first win of the year for the 29-year old from Gladwin, Michigan in the Krompetz Elevators #87. Six-time track champion Eric Spangler would finish second. Mike Vandermark Jr., Burch, and Lanphierd completed the top five. Terrill and Burch won the heats. Vandermark was the overall fast qualifier with a lap time of 14.175.
The Troll Smokehouse B-Modifeds squared off in a 20-lap feature event with Drew Wilkerson and Michael Luberda on the front row. Wilkerson took off with the lead after the opening circuit. It wasn’t until lap 9 when a hard-charging Collin Thirlby would be able to take over the top position. Thirlby went on from there to get the win. This was the first win of the season for the 31-year old Thirlby from Traverse City, Michigan behind the wheel of the Thirlby Automotive #47. Chad Spencer finished second. Austin Harnick, Mike Shanteau, and Chase Rosebrugh rounded out the top five. Rosebrugh and Thirlby won the heats.
The final main event of the night belonged to the Thirlby Automotive Factory Stocks who went 25-laps for $1500 to win. 2016-track champion Jim Miller Jr. and 3-time and defending track champion Rick Spencer brought the field down to the green flag. Miller jumped out in front with the rest of the field battling for position behind him. Despite what the rest of the competitors tried, there was no stopping Miller as he would hold the lead for the entire event going on to make the trip to victory lane. Miller, the Clio, Michigan native won his first race of the year in his #9. Finishing ahead of Nick Putman who was second. Spencer, Loren Short, and Nate Jones finished off the top five. The heat races were won by Jones, Putman, and Eric Watz.
The Merritt Speedway will return to action this Saturday, May 29th, and Sunday, May 30th. The weekend will be headlined by the Allstar Performance Late Model Challenge Series running for $10,000 to win. All other divisions will be in action throughout the weekend as well. Stay tuned to the Merritt Speedway social media pages for all of the latest news and updates.
Story - Brian Osborne, Merritt Speedway/Horsepower Happenings
Photo - Randy Ellen