Andersen finds victory lane

Mt. Pleasant, Mich. — Rosebush-based Galgoci Oil Company put on the big race of the night on Friday, July 15 at the Mt. Pleasant Speedway with a $500 to win UMP Modified special.

Newcomers mixed with regulars in the UMP Modified class as drivers made their way to the three-eighths mile dirt oval in an attempt to bring home the night’s big prize. Also on the schedule last week was a full show of racing in the Wilson Steel Fab & Burnite Stoves UMP Late Models, Smokers Club UMP Stock Cars, NAPA UMP Modified Mini Stocks, and Mt. Pleasant and Clare Automotive Stock Minis.

In the night’s first feature event, the Stock Minis came out and early on No. 7 Fred Parisian looked stout. However, using lapped traffic to his advantage, No. 62 Steve Keeler Jr. would find his way to victory lane at the finish, followed by Parisian, No. 15 Jeff McKenzie, No. D7 Tasha Decker and No. 52 Bob Baltierrez in the unofficial top five.

Continuing their season-long battle for the championship, No. 68 Trever Fedewa and No. 16 Joey Burch were once again the class of the field in the Modified Mini Stock feature. This week Burch came out with the win, with Fedewa second, No. 88 Mike Schnettler fourth, and No. 91 Nathan Carlon rounding out the order.

The UMP Stock Cars were next on the docket for their main event and the race would turn out to be quite the finish. Early in the race a four-car breakaway pack included No. 11s Jeff Loomis, No. 49 Greg Tragis, No. 77B Rob Brillhart, and No. 11j Josh Loomis. As the race progressed, the father and son team of Jeff and Josh Loomis made their way to the front swapping back and forth the top spot for a few laps. At the checkered flag, the younger Loomis got the win over his dad, Jeff Loomis, Brillhart, No. 58 Mike Turner, in his career-best feature finish, and No. 28 Paula Ebel in the unofficial top five.

UMP Modifieds were next on the track for the evening’s highlighted event, the Galgoci Oil $500 to Win Feature. On the front row were No. 43 Kevin Miller and No. 75 Roy Harvey. Harvey and No. 15 Rich Robinson Jr. would make their presence felt early as the two pulled away from the field and would race side-by-side for several laps, even exchanging leads many times. While the two Mt. Pleasant residents went back and forth, another Mt. Pleasant local, No. 13 Andy Galgoci was coming through the field as well. Finally, Robinson Jr. would pull away from Harvey and go on to earn the $500 payday over Harvey, Galgoci, No. 19 Cody Bauer, and No. 2 Travis Stemler to round out the unofficial top five.

Concluding the racing action were the UMP Late Models where the front row consisted of veteran No. 85 Mark Andersen and youngster, No. M14 Brandon Thirlby. Andersen got a good start and would take the lead as the green flag waved, but Thirlby would stay on his bumper. Driving a borrowed car of Rusty Seaver, No. 0X Zack Olger would also be on his usual march from deep in the field. A late race caution for rookie driver No. 50 Scott Phillips set up a great finish as the 10-year veteran Andersen looked to hold off hard-charging Thirlby. Using his veteran savvy, the 51-year-old Andersen was able to keep Thirlby behind him and go to victory lane. Thirlby was able to keep second, and Olger squeaked into third over No. 23v Ryan VanderVeen and No. 15 Justin McNeil in the unofficial top five.

On Friday, July 22, there is more racing action at the Mt. Pleasant Speedway with a Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort UMP Modified Mini Stock and Stock Mini Specials, plus the return of the MORA Mini Mods, as well as a regular show in the Wilson Steel Fab & Burnrite Stoves UMP Late Models, and Smokers Club UMP Stock Cars. It will also be Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club Night. Gates open at 5 and racing begins at 7:45 p.m.