Champions Are Crowned and a Championship Personality Is Remembered
Doug Helsel of Belding started on the outside of the front row and didn’t look back taking the lead right from the drop of the green flag and held on to lead all 25 laps, picking up the season championship trophy, and all of the lap sponsorship money. The feature however was not without its fair share of intrigue. Going into the night’s action three drivers had a realistic chance at picking up a championship in the division. Mike VanderMark Jr, JR Schmid, and Will Stanley were all separate by only a handful of points and one incident could prove fatal to the hopes of any one of them. We all thought we saw that incident when an accident on the front straightaway ended up with Stanley and VanderMark in the wall. Both men took their severely damaged machines to the pits where their crews worked furiously on both cars to get them back on the track and more importantly back on the track and still on the lead lap. As attrition continued to take its toll on the 22 car field, Stanley and VanderMark Jr kept their noses clean and slowly worked their way back towards the front while never being more than two or three positions apart on the track. Meanwhile JR Schmid did exactly what he needed to do running right up front all night and eventually finished second to Helsel. In the end though Schmid’s deficit in points was just too much for him to overcome and Will Stanley was able to hold on to the points lead and win the 2011 Smokers Club Street Stocks points championship by one point over Mike VanderMark Jr and only three points over JR Schmid. Helsel also was victorious in his heat race as well as Kurt Eberspeaker. Special thanks goes out to all those who chipped in to make the Inaugural Smoke Shop Dave memorial race as successful as it was and here’s to hoping for just as much success for years to come.
The Kentucky Fried Chicken Late Models were next to take the track. All eyes were on Michigan Motorsports Hall of Famer Roger Wing as he tried to lock up yet another track championship to add to his storied career. The feature started with Josh Knoll and Scott Baker on the front row. Baker was able to jump out to an early lead but mechanical problems forced the Ionia native to the pits early, handing the lead over to the 87k machine. That’s all Knoll needed to drive away to a very convincing win over the 18 car field. Wing started 9th on the field and it was very obvious that the game plan for the 55w was to stay out of trouble and lock up the championship. Matt Pickard did all he could do to try and make up points on Wing but fell short and finished second in points while Kyle Borgman rounded out the top three. Heat race wins went to Kurt Messmen and Scott Baker.
In Races on the web.com Flinn Stock action it was Taylor Wiles who led green to checker to pick up another feature win. And it was Zach Rummer who won the season points championship on Saturday racing with still a very heavy heart. On the night that would have been Zach’s younger brother Brandon’s birthday Zach was able to hold on to the sizeable points lead he had and get that championship in memory of his younger brother. Garrett Wiles was able to grab second in the feature on the night with Taylor Daniels rounding out the top three. The only heat race of the night went to Taylor Daniels as well.
In the Engine Pro IMCA Modified action, it was Myron DeYoung continuing his hot streak over the last couple of months. Myron won in convincing fashion Saturday night holding off Mike Shanteau and Bob Hutson. Between Crystal and Tri City, Saturday nights feature win at crystal was his 7th checkered flag since the beginning of July, making Myron a strong favorite to pick up a win in the upcoming Great Lake Nationals show. A big wreck on lap 11 really mixed the field up a lot as a blown tire on the 76 of Greg Wiles put him in the wall and collected about 6 others. Almost everybody was able to continue but nearly everybody had to go to the pits for work, putting them at the rear of the field and making it very interesting as they began their march toward the front. In the end though it was DeYoung who held on despite a caution with 5 to go that bunched up the field and gave them one last chance to take the lead. Even though it was season championship night, the Modifieds continue on for a couple of more weeks racing next Saturday and finishing their season with the Great Lakes National show coming up on September 17th. Heat races went to Cliff Denman, DeYoung, and Armond Holley. B feature winners were Brody Bowser and Jimmy Hale Jr.
In Port City Racing Pro Stock action, defending champion Cheney Newland basically only had to start and finish the feature in order to repeat as the Port City Pro Stock Champion. Mike Husted is really the only person that had a realistic chance at tracking down Chaney and dethroning the champion. As far as the feature went on Saturday it was Larry Kosloski who picked up the checkered flag. Gordie Snyder led the first half of the event, but as the handling started to go away on the 17 Kosloski who started 4th made his move and took over the top spot. With his top five finish, Newland was able to secure the championship over Husted, Ryan Kent, and Vern Buskirk. Heat race action went to Gary Buskirk, Jeramie Raby, and Chad Raby.
In the Engine Pro Pro Truck division Scott Neiman claimed the 2011 points championship while Bob Griffin picked up another checkered flag. Griffin took over the lead on lap six and would not relinquish it on route to another feature win in 2011. Like Chaney Newland in the Pro Stocks all Neiman had to do was have a solid finish and he would lock up the 2011 championship. With a top 5 finish Neiman was able to do just that holding off former truck champion Tim Wood, Dave Peters, and Ashlee Scott.
The Labor Day weekend brings our annual two day show with the SOD Sprints there on Saturday, giving the Late Models the night off. Saturday will also have fireworks. The Sunday portion will see the return of the open modified show, outlaw Late Models and the rest of the regular divisions. (NO IMCA MODS!) The entire weekend will be sponsored by Anderson Contracting and Renovations. Admissions for each night will be $12 for adults and kids are $4. Pit passes are $25 per night. Racers running the Sunday Open Mod show will have to follow IMCA, MMA, or UMP rules and use only tires sanctioned by one of those organizations. Further information can be obtained by calling the track if you have questions! 989.235.5200. or visiting the website at crystalmotorspeedway.com