Brandon Thirlby Wins Inaugural Michigan Dirt Cup Late Models Tour Race
Lake Odessa, Michigan (Saturday, May 19th, 2012): It was a historic night at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan on Saturday, May 19th as the Inaugural race for the Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Late Models Tour Presented by Lane Automotive occurred at the fast and newly revamped 3/8s (0.375) mile high-banked dirt oval. The MDC Late Models went head-to-head with the tracks Miller Lite UMP Super Late Models in a thrilling showdown.
The first feature to roll out onto the speedway would be the Rudd’s Septic Service UMP Street Stocks 20-lap A Main as Josh Frye and Landon Hidy brought the field down to the green flag and it would be Frye leading the field into the first corner. Frye held on until lap nine when the Gary Vandermark would take the top spot from him. However, just three laps later it was Frye reclaiming the lead, and from there, the Coopersville, Michigan driver in his #44 Rhino Roofing & Construction Chevrolet went on to win the first feature of the 2012 season.
Jim Beltz put up a nice fight to take Second while Hidy, Ron Harper, and Vandermark completed the top five. Defending Track Champion, Bill Brandt Jr., was sixth over 16-year-old Carlind Forsythe, Sadie Klein, Randy Wellman, and Bill Brandt Sr., rounded out the top 10. Frye, Derek Poland, and Vandermark won the Heat Races.
The 40-lap Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Late Models Tour Presented by Lane Automotive / Miller Lite UMP Super Late Models Feature was brought down to Chief Starter, Brett Farmer’s green flag by the front row of the Defending Track Champion, Tom Sprague Jr., and Brandon Thirlby. It would be Thirlby who would lead early on as the race saw several cautions in the first 10 laps.
After which, Thirlby would go unchallenged as the Traverse City, Michigan standout was able to lead the entire feature and take his Thirlby Automotive / Mastersbilt Racecars machine to victory lane. This was the second Feature win in two nights for Thirlby as he also picked up the Feature win at Cherry Raceway in Fife Lake, Michigan the previous night.
Zack Olger put up a strong fight to finish second while Sammy Epling finished third ahead of Rich Neiser and Curt Spalding rounded out the top five. Kris Patterson Jr., who earlier in the night won the B Main to transfer into the Feature finished sixth ahead of Billy Bray, Mark Andersen, Former Two-Time Track Champion Eric Spangler, and Keith Gentz who completed the top 10. Sprague Jr., Olger, and Thirlby picked up the wins in the Qualifier Heat Races while Patterson Jr. won the B-Main over Alvie Haynes, Bruce Vance, and Gentz as all four transferred into the feature.
The final race of the night would be the 20-lap Smyrna Bar & Restaurant UMP Sport Compacts Feature. Dan Reimersma and Rookie Nick Jenema made up the front row. Reimersma shot out in front of the pack like a cannon ball and the Ada, Michigan driver, a former Track Champion back in 2010, would steer his Enterprise Iron & Metal Honda into victory lane for his second consecutive Feature Win.
Jenema picked up the runner up spot while Defending Track Champion Rick Peck would finish third over Scott Rumsey and 18-year-old Terry Henderson Jr., who wrapped up the top five. Tim Horvath II finished sixth ahead of Kyle Brigance, Bob Wolf, 18-year-old Joe Pironello, and 11-year-old Christopher Joyce rounded out the top 10. Reimersma and Jenema would pick up the Heat Race Wins.