Miles Claims Modifieds Season Opener at Springport
By: Chris Fobbe – Springport Motor Speedway
Springport, Michigan (5/31) – After local Boy Scout troops gave the command to start engines, Scout Night at the Springport Motor Speedway began in front of a packed crowd. The first race of the evening was the travelling stars of the Midwest Classic Racers Dwarf Car Series running a 25-lap main event. Erick Harvey started things off up front, and would amazingly hold the point for the opening pair of laps as the field sliced and diced around him. Troy Hoffman would overtake Harvey and held steady at the point until a caution flag allowed fast qualifier Stephen Bobek to start to his outside. Bobek would take the point with ten laps to go and went on to take the win. John Furnas came home in second with T. Hoffman, Junior Gould and Morgen Baird completing the top five. Heat race wins were claimed by Jeff Slayton and T. Hoffman. Stephen Bobek claimed fast qualifier honors with a 15.824, quick enough to be third quick in the Drive Train Specialists Modifieds division qualifying!
The second feature of the evening would be the AP Motors A-Division feature. The race came down to an epic battle between Don Bergau and Defending Track Champion Joe Barnhart. Bergau would just barely hold Barnhart back for the better part of the race, but it would be Barnhart sneaking his nose to the bottom of the track off of turn four to claim the lead and go on to take his third win of the season. Bergau was second with JD Hancock, Jeff Lonsberry and John Trudell completing the top five.
The Ducks Point C-Store B-Division was the next event on the docket. Bob Littlejohn would be the man to beat in this event. He was able to wrest the lead away from Mark Langs Jr. just shy of the halfway point in an event that was halted at one point when the truck of Todd DeWaters lost an engine, engulfing the car in a sudden ball of fire. The fire was quickly extinguished and the driver walked away unscathed. Langs Jr. was the second place driver, while Steve Billingsley, Mike Havens and Bryan Noble completed the top five.
ABC Stock Car heat races were won by Gary Martin, Shonda Harbin, and JD Hancock, while Joe Barnhart was the quickest qualifier with a 16.410.
The Drive Train Specialists Modifieds started their 30-lap feature 18 cars strong, with Six-time and Defending Track Champion Earl Miles starting things up front. Miles would not be able to escape the field, however with a surprisingly large amount of lapped traffic playing the role of block car, second place runner Walt Obrinske Jr. was not able to mount a serious challenge and was forced to settle for second. Mike Occhipinti was the third place finisher with Leroy Ellis and Greg Fullerton completing the top five. Mat Vainner, Gord Alblas and Brian Roes were the heat race winners. Occhipinti was the fastest qualifier, completing the 3/8s (.375) mile oval in 15.675 seconds.
The final event of the evening was the Sport Stocks running their feature event. It looked like Defending Track Champion Aaron Taylor had the feature on lock, but on the last lap his grandfather would push the envelope and catch his grandson off guard, seeing Dutch Taylor take his second feature win of the season. Aaron Taylor was second with Brad Robison, Darrell Harmon and Wayne Parkhurst closing out the top five. Dutch Taylor also won the heat race, while Aaron was fast qualifier with a 19.012.
This Saturday Night the Kitsmiller RV Outlaw Super Late Models make their return to the speedway along with the ABC Stock Cars presented by AP Motors and Ducks Point C-Store and the Sport Stocks. It is also autograph night, giving race fans the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the cars and stars of the Springport Motor Speedway. If that was not enough, it is also Lansing Good Neighbor Night, so anyone with a Lansing ID gets in for absolutely free! Adults are only $10, Seniors are $8 and anyone 21 and under is free! For more information, visit us online at www.springportmotorspeedway.com.