Kalamazoo, MI (Friday, April 30, 2021) - For the first time since 2019, Kalamazoo Speedway welcomed back fans and teams alike to resume one of the countries biggest pastimes - auto racing. The last time Kalamazoo Speedway saw cars on track was at the end of the 2019 season; when the curtain fell on the year, Adam Terry was the champion and the defending Intimidator 100 Champion.
Terry’s 12th place qualifying effort played right into the invert which placed him on the outside of the front row alongside Matt Frazier. Tyler Roahrig, who set fast time on the night with a 12.889 started inside row number seven. An impressive field of 24 Outlaw Super Late Models rolled to the speedway for the 100 lap contest.
As the race got underway, Terry again seemed to be the driver to beat jumping out to an impressive and comfortable lead through the first 40 laps. Terry never faced a challenge at the front of the field until on lap 45 when the caution flew for the first time. 12-time Champion, Andy Bozell cut down a right-front tire following contact on the track. Bozell managed to keep his iconic number 83 machine out of the wall and would continue.
On the ensuing restart, Terry elected to take the outside of the front row, putting Doug True to his inside. True became just the second driver to lead the race, getting the best of Terry to take over the top spot. True’s reign at the front of the field was short-lived when the caution flew again for a spinning Shawn Amore in turn four.
Terry seemed to take notes from the previous restart, still lining up to True’s outside but dominating the race track to retake the lead with just over 50 laps to go. Terry couldn’t find the same gap he had created on the field in the first fifty laps, having constant pressure even as True began to fall through the field. With just 25 laps to go, Terry’s mirror was full of Plymouth, Indiana’s Tyler Roahrig.
Roahrig, who came from 13th, stayed patient as he and Terry worked through lapped traffic in the closing laps of the race. Roahrig on several occasions got a nose to the inside of Terry but was unable to capitalize on his positioning. That changed when Terry caught lapped traffic going into turn three allowing Roahrig to drive to the inside off turn four and complete the pass going into turn one.
Roahrig officially took the lead with just 12 laps to go and never looked back en route to the first race win of 2021 for his number 24 machine. Roahrig explained how the win may be the start to good things to come for him and his team.
“I’ve worked really really hard these last few weeks,” Roahrig said. “The start of my year has not been stellar, we’ve had a lot of missed opportunities. But, glad we could finally get it done tonight and maybe just get some momentum moving forward these next few weeks.”
Terry would hold off a hard charge from Phil Bozell late in the race to finish second while Bozell would wrap up third. Todd Harrington and Steve Needles rounded out the top five.
The next event for Kalamazoo Speedway is a regular weekly racing program featuring Template Late Models, Street Stocks, Front Wheel Drives, and Zoo Stocks on Friday, May 7th. For more information on Kalamazoo Speedway, log onto www.KalamazooSpeedway.com or find them on Facebook at Kalamazoo Speedway.
Story - Zach Hiser, Horsepower Happenings
Photo - Horsepower Happenings, Michael Wood