Birch Run Speedway
Lamp Wins While McManus Claims Title In Round Four of Wheeler Trucking Friday Night Thunder
Excitement filled the air for the fourth and final round of the Wheeler Trucking Friday Night Thunder Series as David McManus held a one point advantage over Blake Rowe, while Donnie Matteson Jr was only three points back in third! In qualifying Dave Christensen set the mark for the 22 Modifieds on hand with a lap of 16.228. The Engine Pro VROA Modifieds saw Todd Cowan set fast time with a 17.526 lap and Matt Kemp set quick time for the MCR Dwarf Cars with a 16.673. The Applebee's Sport Compacts had Mike Schmidt take fast time again when he turned a 18.005.
Prior to the start of the night's action, the folks from the Michigan Automobile Racing Fan Club (www.marfc.org) were on hand and President John Jackson and board members presented veteran driver Mike Luberda Sr with their helmet/uniform bag for his dedication to the track and racing! Racing got kicked off with Heat Race action, and first up was the VROA Series with Don Smith holding off Brian Beukema to grab the checkered flag. In the second heat, Gene First held off Dave Sensiba and Todd Cowan to win. In MCR Dwarf Car action, Vaugh Chambless won heat race one over Matt Biessel while Matt Kemp took the win in heat two over Troy Hoffman. One heat race was held for the Applebee's Sport Compacts and Mike Schmidt grabbed the win over David Smith. The Mini Wedge division made their return and Bowen Jaynes picked up the first win over Evan Lechota and Jordan Jaronlewski. The Mini Wedge SR division saw Kyler Jaroniewski make the long haul down from Elmira,MI to take the checkers over Aubrey Bowman and Talen Diehl.
Fifty laps and $2,500 was on the line for the Wheeler Trucking Friday Night Thunder Modifieds as well as the overall Championship and Nick Clemens and Scott Lamp II led the field to green. Clemens grabbed the early advantage over Lamp. The caution waved on lap four when Luke Warhurst spun, sending Trevor Berry to the back. Clemens took the inside on the restart, but Lamp used the momentum on the high side to take the lead. On lap 16, Dave Christensen got into the backstretch wall racing on the high side of Robbie Johnson and slid down the track into the path of Kyle Hayden forcing the #39 and #22 to the pits and done for the night. On the restart, Lamp powered ahead while David McManus moved up to third. The top three in points were all nose to tail and McManus would get by Clemens for second and Berry would crack the top 10 from the back. At halfway, Blake Rowe would get to the inside of Nick Clemens to set up a side by side battle that would last until sixth place Nick Lechota's motor expired coming to complete lap 43. Lamp took the inside once again with McManus to his outside. Lamp grabbed the lead on the restart and held on to collect the biggest win of his career! McManus finished second and claimed the title of Wheeler Trucking Friday Night Thunder Champion as he held off Donnie Matteson Jr, Blake Rowe and Nick Clemens.
In the Engine Pro VROA Modified feature, Don Smith took the early lead until two laps in when Todd Cowan moved to the outside of both him and Duane Debonte entering turn three and coming out of turn four to take the lead. Dave Sensiba moved up to challenge for the second spot and took it over on lap seven. Cowan had set sail, opening up a seven second advantage while the rest of the field battled for position. Gene First got to Sensiba 13 laps in and then made the pass with eight laps to go. Cowan opened up a 10 second advantage and claimed his second straight feature win at Birch Run Speedway! Gene First took home second ahead of Sensiba, Duane Debionte and Michael Ouendag.
Brandon Collins and Todd Johnson set the pace for the MCR Dwarf Car Series, and after the first start was waved off, action got underway with Vaugh Chambless moving to the point as Collins had trouble and the rest of the field sliced their way around. Chambless held the lead until Jody Johnson got to his inside in turn three on lap three. Triston Francis showed good speed holding down the third spot. Meanwhile Matt Kemp had made his way into the top five from his 11th spot and raced with Troy Hoffman, Matt Biessell, Zack Nichols and Cei Bowen for fourth on lap five. The caution waved on lap six for a spin in turns one and two involving Biessel. Johnson took the outside on the restart and took the lead until Kemp powered his way to the inside down in turn one and came out of turn four with the lead. Johnson would try to hold off Cei Bowen and Zack Nichols as they all battled for second. Bowen and Nichols both made their way by Johnson and took off after Kemp. The caution flew on lap 11 and Kemp took the inside on the restart. Bowen got the lead for a brief moment heading in to turn one, but a wiggle on the high side allowed Kemp to get back by. One more caution on lap 12 bunched the field and despite a challenge from Bowen, Kemp kept his momentum and held on to pick up his second win of the season at Birch Run! Trailing Kemp and Bowen were Zack Nichols, Jody Johnson and Troy Hoffman.
The Applebee's Sport Compacts completed the feature action for the night and Lexy Motsinger took the lead on lap one. Current point leader Mike Schmidt wasted no time getting to the front from his sixth starting spot to take the lead on lap two. David Smith moved his way into second on lap three after getting by Motsinger while Anthony Duvernois tried to hold off Abby Kolb. Kolb would get by Duvernois and Motsinger to get to third with Dominick Salander moving through the field. Salander got inside of Kolb in turn three to take over third and gave chase to Smith on lap eight. The positions never changed from there as Mike Schmidt would go on to claim his seventh victory of the season! Smith finished second ahead of Salander, Kolb and Kurt Schmidt.
This Friday night is round #4 for the Monster X Metal and Gold Eve of Destruction! The night will be highlighted by the Push and Pull races, Flagpole races, The Back To School Race, a Double O race, School Bus Figure 8's and the Trailer Figure 8 race! The participants in the Trailer Figure 8 race will also be trying for an extra $100 in prize money as there will be a contest for the best decorated trailer! The fans will vote by applause and choose the winner prior to the start of the race! As a bonus there will be a stunt done at intermission and there will be a cash grab as well! Residents of Essexville and Indiantown will be able to get in free as part of our Good Neighbor Night program! Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.birchrunevents.com
Article Credit: Chuck Darling
Submitted By: Charles Darling