Brandon Thirlby Wins Michigan Dirt Cup Late Models Tour / UMP Super Late Models Feature
Younger Brother Collin Thirlby brings home UMP Modifieds Feature Win
Lake Odessa, Michigan (Saturday, June 30th, 2012): The second and final appearance by the Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Late Models Tour Presented by Lane Automotive highlighted a hot and steamy Saturday night, June 30th at I-96 Speedway as the touring cars and stars went head to head with the tracks’ premier division within the United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) DIRTcar Racing Series; the Miller Lite UMP Super Late Models just a few days after the UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour event, giving the great fans of Western Michigan two GREAT UMP Super Late Models shows in just under a week in Lake Odessa, Michigan!
The first Feature of the night would be the 20-Lap A Main for the Rudd’s Septic Service UMP Street Stocks as Defending Track Champion Bill Brandt Jr., and Max Ake led the field to Chief Starter Brett Farmer’s green flag. However, Dan Dykman, the reigning UMP DIRTcar Racing Series Northeastern States Champion and current points leader in the same region this season would dart underneath the front row to take the early lead as the field settled into a rhythm.
Dykman, who came into the night second in the UMP DIRTcar Racing Series National points would lose the lead to Current Track Points Leader Josh Frye on lap five but Dykman would never let Frye stray too far out in front of him and with two laps to go, the Twin Lakes, Michigan veteran seized the opportunity to slip back past Frye using lapped traffic and from there, he would steer his #35 ASAP Auto Parts / Chevrolet into victory lane for his first I-96 Speedway Feature Win of the 2012 racing season.
Frye settled for second while Brandt Jr., Jim Beltz, and Kendall Marlink were the top five. Ron Harper was sixth with Amber Eberspeaker, Bob Wolf, Randy Wellman, and Bill Brandt Sr., would finish off the top 10. Dykman, Frye, and Wolf were the Heat Race victors.
Next up would be the Smyrna Bar & Restaurant UMP Sport Compacts 20-Lap Feature with the front row consisting of Randy Whitten and 18-year-old Rookie Caleb Klotz leading the field to the green. Whitten led the first two laps before Chad Tomczak would get by on lap three to take the lead. He would bring Defending Track Champion and Current Points Leader Rick Peck and Current 18 & Over Rookie Points Leader Nick Jenema with him and the trio would pull away to battle.
On the last restart, Tomczak was cited for jumping the start and was to be penalized at the next caution. Unfortunately that caution never came and although he did cross the start/finish line first, he would be docked three spots giving the win, his fourth of the season to Peck as the Hastings, Michigan driver in his #14 Frisbee & Sons Plastering / Saturn would extend his already massive points lead in the process.
Jenema inherited second as Tomczak was placed in third in the final rundown. 2010 Track Champion Dan Reimersma was fourth while Scott Rumsey completed the top five. 16-year-old Jordan King, the 2011 17 & Under Rookie of the Year was sixth with 11-year-old Christopher Joyce, Terry Henderson Sr., 18-year-old Joe Pironello, and the second 11-year-old in the field, Current 17 & Under Rookie Points Leader Tony Taylor was the final top 10. 18-year-old Terry Henderson Jr., and Pironello won the Heat Races.
A stellar 23-car field took the green flag to begin the 40-Lap Main Event of the evening for the Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Late Models Tour Presented by Lane Automotive as they took on the weekly cars and stars of the premier division in UMP DIRTcar Racing Series weekly competition, the Miller Lite UMP Super Late Models. Brandon Thirlby, the Current MDC Late Models Tour & I-96 Speedway Track Co-Points Leader Brandon Thirlby and Former Two-Time Track Champion Eric Spangler brought the field to the green.
Spangler led the first four laps before Thirlby regrouped and took the lead on lap five and he brought fellow Co-Track Points Leader Rich Neiser and Zack Olger with him. Curtis Roberts joined the battle as well as second through fifth traded spots with each other while Thirlby continued to show the way as he tried to lose his challengers by placing lapped cars between him and the next four drivers.
Throughout the entire race, Thirlby would maintain his lead and when all was said and done, the Traverse City, Michigan driver in his #m14 Thirlby Automotive / Mastersbilt Racecars entry would hang on to win his second MDC Late Models Tour Win and third I-96 Speedway Feature victory of the season and extend his MDC points lead while taking the track points lead for himself.
Olger would finish second over Neiser while Ryan VanderVeen and Roberts were the final top five. Brad Harden finished an impressive sixth while 2011 Mt. Pleasant Speedway Track Champion Mark Andersen was seventh. Buckeye State invader Dusty Moore was eighth as Spangler and Adam Thrush would wrap up the top 10. Spangler, Thrush, and Thirlby would win the Qualifier Heat Races.
The final Feature of the evening would be the 25-lap Feature for the Accurate Engines UMP Modifieds as Collin Thirlby started on the pole after just watching his older brother win the UMP Super Late Models Feature and he was flanked by 2010 Track Champion Rich Robinson Jr. Thirlby would beat Robinson Jr., who won the Feature the previous night at Mt. Pleasant Speedway in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan to the first corner to grab the early lead while the rest of the field jockeyed for position behind him,
Thirlby would survive a caution plagued event and series challenges from Robinson Jr., as well as Current Points Leader Zack Olger, and finally a late charge from a strong Trevor Sloan to lead all 25 laps as the Traverse City, Michigan driver in his #47 Thirlby Automotive / Diamond Racecars entry would score his first career I-96 Speedway Feature win after winning the Michigan Dirt Cup Modifieds Tour race at Butler Motor Speedway in Quincy, Michigan back on June 16th.
Sloan would finish a career high second with Olger, Robinson Jr., and Former Two-Time Track Champion Todd Feutz completed the top five. 2007 Track Champion Shannon Fisk was sixth over Jared Guinn, Jason Hoogerhyde, 18-year-old Nick Kurtz, and Ken Beutler finished off the top 10. Robinson Jr., and Olger won the Heat Races.
The Fourth of July Weekend will see I-96 Speedway sit idle over the holiday weekend in an effort to give the drivers, families, fan, and teams a chance to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Action returns to the track over the weekend of July 13-15th as it’s a full three-day weekend of American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) District 14 Flat Track Motorcycles Series racing action.
I-96 Speedway is located at 3823 Portland Road in Lake Odessa, Michigan. For more information about the on-going 2012 racing season, please call: 1 (616) 642-0555 or visit the website at: www.i96speedway.com You can also follow along all season long by becoming a fan on the tracks Facebook Fan Page. Just go to: www.facebook.com/i96speedway and click on “Like” button. You can even follow us on Twitter as well, just go to: www.twitter.com/i96speedway and “Follow” us today.