Birch Run Speedway
Hahn First for First Ever Feature!
The countdown to the end of the season at the Birch Run Speedway and Event Center officially began with the second installment of Laps and Legends night as the track paid homage to Ed Howe, Eddie Hayden, Mike Eddy, and Tony Brabbs. The Speedway was delighted to have “Fast” Eddie Hayden come into the tower and talk about his history in racing. It was also Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club (www.marfc.org) night with all current members allowed in free to catch all of the racing action. Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame inductee in 2020, Danny Kellermeyer, had his road race-winning Corvette on display and signed autographs for the fans.
Mt Morris Auto Repair Modifed qualifying was led by David McManus (16.051). Bob Farley set quick time for the Pure Stocks with a 17.342. Jason Jones was the fastest in the Front Wheel Drive class, turning a 17.282. A 17.038 was good enough to net Josh Hahn quick time for the Limited Late Models. And Nick Lechota topped the charts with a 17.089 for the Street Stocks.
Pierson Road Muffler Man Mini Wedge heat race wins went to Blake Childers Jr and Jordan Jaronlewski in the Junior Division. Bowen Jaynes grabbed the win in the Senior Division. The Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club and President John Jackson were brought out onto the track to talk about the club and present Pure Stock driver Andrew Burton with their uniform/helmet bag.
Nick Lechota took the victory in the Street Stock class. Pure Stock heats were won by Andrew Burton and Brent Voris. Brian Bero and Cal Swartz took heat race checkers for the Limited Late Model class. Jeff Asmus garnered the win in Front Wheel Drive heat one and Daegan Clayton picked up her first victory at Birch Run Speedway in heat two.
Donnie Matteson Jr started on the pole and took the lead at the drop of the green for the Mt Morris Auto Repair Modifieds. Evan Foster settled into second with Matt Maki behind. The action was slowed for a chain reaction crash in turn four that eliminated Nick Lechota, Kyle Maki, and Michael Luberda. Matteson powered to the lead on the restart over Foster, who was being challenged by Dave Christensen. 10 laps in, Matteson, Foster, and David McManus had pulled away from fifth place Matt Maki. Foster peeked to the inside of Matteson entering turn two a few laps later, but bobbled after contact with the #12. Christensen moved to the high side out of turn two and took over the second spot. Christensen looked high and low for a way around Matteson as McManus worked over Foster. McManus got to the inside of Fister entering turn three and took over the third spot. McManus got to the inside of Christensen in turn three and took over second on the front stretch with five laps to go. The trio stayed nose-to-tail until coming to get the white flag. Matteson got loose off four, allowing McManus to look to the inside entering turn one. McManus won the race out of turn two and came across the line first for his first victory of the 2023 season at Birch Run. Following McManus’ Wheeler Trucking/Rock Solid Insulation #7 across the line were Christensen,Matteson Jr, Evan Foster, and Matt Maki.
Blake Childers Jr took the lead early, but Jordan Jaronlewski moved to the inside of Childers to take the lead and win in the Pierson Road Muffler Man Mini Wedge Junior Division. Jaronlewski bounced back after two early cautions on the initial start to park his B&D Towing/Betty’s Priceless Designs #41 in victory lane ahead of Bleighton DeLong, Brentley Evans, Madlyn Matteson, and Cohen Childers. The Senior Division win went to Layden DeLong over Aaden McCaslin, Bowen Jaynes, and Laylah Bowman. It was DeLong’s second feature victory of the season in his No Limit Karts&Parts/Pierson Road Muffler Man #L27.
Anthony Williams started on the pole for the Pure Stock feature, but Mike Mosier got a great start at the green to take the lead. Andrew Burton on the outside and Williams on the inside would put on a clinic of racing side-by-side for second place. As they battled, Zach Burton, Hunter Doutre, Brent Voris, Andrew Shelters, and Bob Farley all jockeyed for position. Mosier’s lead expanded as the rest of the field raced hard for position until lap 11 when contact sent Farley off turn one and Brent Voris into the pits with a flat tire. Andrew Burton who had second place, pulled his #05 into the pits and did not return to the event. Mosier took command on the restart as Zach Burton moved into second. He held that spot until Farley was able to get to his inside off turn four a lap later. With five laps to go, Doutre managed to get to the inside of Farley and take over second. Mosier never waivered at the front and took his Bus Stop Bar&Grill/Rigda Dumpsters #22 to the winners' circle for the third time this season. Doutre held off Farley for second while Zach Burton and Andrew Shelters completed the top five.
Nick Lechota was looking to keep his win streak alive in feature action for the Street Stocks, but Larry Plamandon set the pace early. Plamandon led while Fred Cummings Jr and Jim Miller Sr battled with Lechota. Lechota made his way by Miller on lap two and then Cummings a lap later. Plamandon could not hold Lechota at bay, as Lechota would get by and take his Richfield Rentals/Manley&Manley #12 to victory lane to stay unbeaten in 2023 at Birch Run Speedway.
The 30-lap Limited Late Model feature was the highest car count of the season for the class with 13 drivers tackling the four-tenths mile. Brian Bero and Alex Fullerton led the field to green with Bero taking advantage. After a lap one caution, Bero had Ed Muckenthaler to his outside and Muckenthaler would use the outside to take over the lead into turn three. Another caution two laps later bunched the field back up. Muckenthaler again got the lead, but had Bero, Joe Hodgeson Jr., Tony Brabbs, and fast qualifier Josh Hahn behind. Hodgeson would get by Bero, but that pass was negated by another yellow flag. Muckenthaler maintained the lead on the restart but the caution flew when contact between Cal Swartz and Tony Brabbs sent Brabbs spinning in front of the rest of the field, with everyone missing the #95. Swartz tapped and Brabbs got his spot back. Muckenthaler put his #7 into the lead on the restart, but only for a lap as he washed up the track in turn three, allowing Hodgeson to get to the inside. The two raced like that for another lap before Hodgeson was able to clear Muckenthaler. Josh Hahn got by Bero and then Muckenthaler and set his sights on chasing down Hodgeson. Hahn made his move on the high side entering turn one on lap 17, pulling even with Hodgeson entering turn three and coming out of turn four as the new leader. A caution with nine laps to go did not deter Hahn as would continue as the leader and lay claim to his first-ever feature win in his unsponsored #97! Hodgeson settled for second ahead of Ed Doutre, Brian Bero, and Cal Swartz.
Silas McCaslin and Daegan Clayton led the field to green in the Front Wheel Drives, but Kamille Fitzpatrick made it three-wide entering turn one from her third starting spot to take the lead out of turn two. Clayton fell in line to second while Andrew Durga, Charlie Boone, Keith Grainger, and Jeff Asmus battled for second. Charlie Boone got by Durga a lap later for second and then the caution waved when the #52 of Grainger and Asmus got together in turn four. On the restart, Fitzpatrick led the field to green but Charlie Boone moved to her inside entering turn one to take over the lead. Jeff Asmus followed suit and was on the back bumper of the #70 until another caution reverted Fitzpatrick back to the lead. The field took the green for the restart and Asmus moved to the inside of Fitzpatrick and Boone in turn one to take the lead entering turn three. Asmus survived two more cautions to pick up his first feature win at Birch Run in his #14! Charlie Boone held off Troy Deuscher for second and Andrew Durga and Daegan Clayton completed the top five.
The night’s action closed out with the Motor City Core Figure 8 feature. Anthony Williams grabbed the win in the 10-lap feature ahead of Andrew Burton, Cam DeLong, Tim Crabb, and Dustin Hitsman.
This Friday is the Back to the Bricks Tune-Up Party, is free to the public, and will feature a plethora of classic cars showcased on the track at the speedway as well as:
DJ Kool plays music from 4 to 7
The Back to the Bricks merchandise tent
Huntington Bank shirt giveaways
Live music from Big Medicine starting at 7
On Saturday, the Dixie Classic 75-lap $ 5,000-to-win feature for the Reveal the Hammer Outlaw Super Late Model Series will highlight the racing action. The Limited Late Models, a Street Stock invite, and Legends will also be in action, with the Legends cars running twin 25-lap features. For advance tickets go to www.birchrunevents.com
Article Credit: Chuck Darling
Submitted By: Charles Darling