It may have been one week later than anticipated, but the wait was worth it as the Kinross Speedpark kicked off their 2015 racing season and the “Super 7 Racing Series”.
After morning drizzle and cloud dampened the track, officials spent the time to get track conditions ready for the days events which pushed back the start time of the day’s activities.
When qualifying was over #100 Brian Baumgarten (Modifieds), #7 Randy Dash (ABC A-Division), #25 Larry Young Sr. (ABC B-Division) and #88 Dean Eggart (Four Cylinders) garnered honours as the afternoons top qualifiers.
Track officials and drivers then took part in a pre-race ceremony paying tribute to fallen competitor Chris Jones, whom our racing family lost just over one week prior.
Four Car Dash’s and Heat Races would begin the racing action, and an afternoon that displayed exceptional racing with just a single caution flag throughout the afternoon.
After another brief rain delay and track-drying required for the second time on the afternoon, eleven (11) Precision Forestry Modifieds would roll out of the staging area for their 25-lap A-Main.
Defending Track Champion Rick Ellis (#5) led the pack to the green flag and would lead nearly the entire race.
In the meantime the top six cars separated themselves from the pack vying for the top spot.
With 5 laps to go, 3rd generation pilot and 2015 Rookie of the Year contender Buddy Gray IV moved around Ellis and into the lead.
The Petoskey, MI native would wind down the laps before capturing his 1st-career Modified feature win followed by Ellis, Tim Aho, his father Bud Gray III and fast-qualifier Brian Baumgarten rounding out the top five.
PRECISION FORESTRY MODIFIEDS
1. Buddy Gray IV 2. Rick Ellis 3. Tim Aho 4. Bud Gray III 5. Brian Baumgarten 6. Kyle Jarrett 7. Taylor Babcock 8. Dennis Aho 9. RJ White 10. Don Etcher 11. Ron Etcher
Did not start - BJ Marcoux
HEAT RACE 1
1. Rick Ellis 2. Kyle Jarrett 3. Dennis Aho 4. Taylor Babcock 5. RJ White
HEAT RACE 2
1. Bud Gray III 2. Brian Baugarten 3. Buddy Gray IV 4. Tim Aho 5. Don Etcher
Seven (7) Ken Graham Trucking ABC Stock Car A-Division cars would begin their 20-lap feature event with Echo Bay, ON product Jerry Ross leading the field to the start.
Ross, making his 1st-career start on the Kinross 1/4 mile led the first eight laps of the race before the top two qualifiers in Nash and Young Jr. were in hot pursuit on his back bumper.
Nash took the lead on Lap 9 before distancing himself from the field and capturing the #1 victory followed by Young Jr. Ross, Dave King and 2nd-year pilot JP Delpaggio.
KEN GRAHAM TRUCKING ABC STOCK CAR A-DIVISION
1. Randy Nash 2. Larry Young Jr. 3. Jerry Ross 4. Dave King 5. JP Delpaggio 6. Mike Fox 7. Tony Rankin
HEAT RACE 1
1. Randy Dash 2. Larry Young Jr. 3. Tony Rankin 4. Dave King 5. JP Delpaggio 6. Jerry Ross 7. Mike Fox
Attrition worked it’s way through the ABC Stock Cars Little Caesar’s B Division setting the field a couple cars short heading into their final race of the night.
Defending Track Champion Tyler Rye took the lead on the opening lap and would pace the field through the first three laps before dropping back to second.
That is where 2014 Randy Dewitt/Ted Brooks Memorial Invitational winner Zack Knight powered his Knight Racing machine into the lead.
The Indian River, MI competitor held off the challenges of longtime Speedpark competitor Larry Young Sr. and Rye to take the win.
LITTLE CAESAR’S PIZZA ABC STOCK CAR B-DIVISION
1. Zack Knight 2. Larry Young Sr. 3. Tyler Rye 4. Curtis Bawks 5. Brian Dubois
Did not start - Brad Bawks, Anthony Jones, Joey Harper
HEAT RACE 1
1. Brian Dubois 2. Larry Young Sr. 3. Zack Knight 4. Tyler Rye 5. Anthony Jones 6. Curtis Bawks 7. Joey Harper
The final race of the night would bring the Autozone Four Cylinders onto the 1/4 mile for 20 laps around the Speedpark.
And in similar fashion to their heat race earlier in the day, John Carter took the lead and this time led flag-to-flag to start off the defense of his 2014 Track Championship with the feature followed closely by the battle between Jacob Heimonen and fast qualifier Dean Eggart.
AUTOZONE FOUR CYLINDER DIVISION
1. John Carter 2. Jacob Heimonen 3. Dean Eggart 4. Terran Dubois 5. Buddy Palahnuk 6. Michael Carbone Jr.
HEAT RACE 1
1. John Carter 2. Jacob Heimonen 3. Terran Dubois 4. Buddy Palahnuk 5. Patti Clement
Action returns to the Speedpark this coming Sunday, June 21st with their special event - the “Founding Father 75.
The day will feature a tribute to longtime competitor, and one of the originators of the Kinross Speedpark, Dennis Aho.
On the card is a special appearance by the Template Late Models along with the Precision Forestry Modifieds, Ken Graham Trucking A-Division, Little Caesars Pizza B-Division and Autozone Four Cylinders.
Expected entrants in the Template Late Models include 2014 Tundra Series champion Dalton Zehr (#119) and 2014 Tundra Rookie of the Year Reagan May (#33) along with 2014 Sands Speedway Track Champion Darryl Britton (#33) among others.
Qualifying is set for 1:30 p.m. with the first green flag to drop at 3 p.m.
Grandstand admission is $10 for Adults, $6 for Seniors & Students while Kids 11 & Under are ALWAYS FREE.