Birch Run Speedway
Hamilton Jr Wins Wings/Hayden Masters Mods
The final stop for the Must See Racing Sprints and the National Compact Touring Series, along with the third of four Wheeler Trucking Friday Night Thunder Modified races and the next to last night for the Pierson Rd Muffler Man Mini Wedges entertained fans on a cool but comfortable night.
Charlie Schultz set quick time for Must See Sprints (13.602). Mike Luberda Jr. was quickest in qualifying for the Friday Night Thunder Modifieds (16.416). Ray Powell held the track record for the National Compact Touring Series (18.140) until Clayton Oliver turned an 18.053. Then Paul Bittle, making his first start at Birch Run Speedway, laid down a 17.802 lap! Hunter Doutre led the way for the Pure Stocks with a 17.460.
The Pierson Rd. Muffler Man Mini Wedges ran their heats and features as a prelude to the night’s big track action, In Junior division heat race action it was all in the family as Cohen Childers made a last corner pass of Brentley Evans to win heat one and Blake Childers Jr scored the win in the second heat ahead of Bleighton Delong. Layden DeLong extended his point lead when he picked up the heat race win in the Senior Division.
The Junior Division feature was all Blake Childers Jr. The Swartz Creek, MI driver started on the pole and never looked back. He piloted his #10 Wheeler Trucking Wedge across the line first ahead of Evan Lechota, Brentley Evans, Greyson Marcinkowski, and Madlyn Matteson. Coming into the night, Aaden McCaslin sat third in points with no wins. That changed as he held off point leader Layden Delong to take his T&C Custom Concrete/Backroad Beaute Salon #13 to victory lane for the first time ahead of DeLong, Emmie Abraham, Bowen Jaynes, and Elliott Abraham.
The Pure Stock heat race was won by Anthony Williams. Two heat races were run for the Sprints and it was Rick Holley and Davey Hamilton Jr. winning. Paul Bittle, Christopher Bennett, and Jeff Asmus were victors in the National Compact Touring Series heats.
The first feature of the night was the third of four Wheeler Trucking Friday Night Thunder Modified races. As announced earlier in the night, due to the first event being rained out, the championship will be decided on October 7th as part of the track’s inaugural Laps & Legends Invitational weekend. Matt Maki and Dave Christensen started on the front row, but Christensen got the advantage on the high side in turn four to take the lead. Kyle Hayden moved past Maki to take over second as the field jumbled up behind Autin Kryta. A caution six laps in put Hayden to the outside of Christensen. The two would battle hard for the top spot for a lap until Christensen pulled ahead and Nick Lechota and David McManus joined the fight. Christensen maintained the lead ahead of Hayden for several laps until Hayden closed in turn four and when Christensen got loose, made his bid for the lead. The two gave no room and Hayden completed the pass out of turn four completing the next lap. The point leader coming into the night, Hayden opened up a nearly five-second advantage over the rest of the field in taking his Rick Wiecorek Racing #22 to victory lane for the first time in 2023. Christensen hung on for second ahead of Lechota, McManus, and Luberda Jr.
While a five inversion placed incoming point leader Blonde on the pole for the Must See Racing Sprints presented by Engine Pro feature, his time out front was short-lived as Davey Hamilton roared around the outside to lead the race when the green flag waved to begin the 30-lapper. Santos followed into second by the lap-five benchmark but had little to be able to match Hamilton’s pace in the early going until Hamilton reached some slower traffic just before lap 10. The only slowdown of the main event came one lap prior to halfway when Anthony McCune slowed to a stop at the top of turns one and two with a mechanical issue. That led to the double-file restart where Hamilton elected the outside groove for the restart, a decision that ultimately propelled him into the winner’s circle. Litt snuck past Santos for second on the restart but could do nothing in the second half but watch Hamilton drive into the distance with what the Canadian termed as “a better car” than what he had. Santos closed out the podium finishers ahead of Jimmy McCune, who drove from the back of the field to fourth after a damaged tire necessitated a tire change prior to the main event. Blonde finished fifth after starting on the pole.
The National Compact Touring Series presented by RevX ran a B Main and Jeff Asmus backed up his heat win by taking the checkered flag ahead of Abby Kolb and Deagan Clayton. Christopher Bennett bested Cliff Bennett to take the early lead in the 25-lap A feature. The caution flew out of turn four before the completion of lap one when Paul Bittle and Ray Powell made contact that sent Powel into the infield tractor tire. The two Bennetts led the field fr the restart, staying side-by-side for two laps before Christopher Bennett got the lead with Bittle following and Will Slaughter, Clayton Oliver, Dan Rigoni, and Allen Hite battling two and three wide behind. Bittle made a move to the outside of Bennet down the backstretch and completed the pass a lap later. The race was slowed two more times, but each time Bittle would pull away. On his first visit to Birch Run, Bittle put his South Bend Clutch/Spooltek Tuned #7 in the winner’s circle ahead of Clayton Oliver, Christopher Bennett, Allen Hite, and Will Slaughter.
Tim Kirby got the early lead in the Pure Stock feature as the field jockeyed for position behind him. Anthony Williams, driving the Josh Connell #7 moved into second and capitalized on a mistake by Kirby two laps later to get to the inside and take the lead. Hunter Doutre was also able to get by Kirby. Caution flew a lap later and Williams would lead on the restart with Doutre, Kirby, and Mosier behind. Doutre tried to stay on the outside of Williams at the green and did so for a lap and then had to duck in line to keep Mosier behind. Doutre and Williams stayed nose-to-tail until halfway through when Doutre got into the backend of Willaims a little too hard entering turn three and sending him around. Williams led for two laps after the restart but pushed high out of four and allowed Mosier to get by. Mosier slid high in turn four and the yellow was thrown after it was discovered there was fluid on the track. Mosier resumed the lead on the restart and Doutre would move into second. The duo raced hard around the third mile with Doutre getting into Mosier in turn three with three laps to go. Doutre backed out of the throttle and let Mosier get control of his car. On the white flag lap, Mosier led entering turn one and exiting turn two, but Doutre finessed the bumper move midway through three and four. The bump was enough to move Mosier up enough for Doutre to get to the inside off turn four. The duo came across the line and MyRacePass timing showed Mosier picking up the win. But after reviewing the Birch Run Speedway YouTube camera footage (https://www.youtube.com/@BirchRunSpeedway) it was determined that Doutre’s Don Bero Motors/Don’s Septic Service #73 crossed the line ahead of Mosier by less than a bumper! Williams, Kirby, and Brent Jezewski completed the top five.
This week will be the Drivers Homecoming 75th Anniversary Celebration. The night’s racing action will feature the Mt Morris Auto Repair Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, Mason Burgess Title Agency Trucks, Front Wheel Drives, Motor City Core Figure 8s, and the championship for the Pierson Rd Muffler Man Mini Wedges. There will be an autograph session featuring and celebrating all retired drivers who have competed at Dixie/Birch Run Speedway and helped make it into what it is today!
Submitted By: Charles Darling