Mt. Pleasant, Mich. — Back after a one-week absence due to a rainout, the action was hot and heavy on Friday, June 17 at the Mt. Pleasant Speedway.
Several new faces were on hand for the “Smoke Shop Dave” $600 to win Memorial Street Stock Invitational to honor the late Smokers Club owner Dave Sprunger, who was a longtime dirt racing supporter of many.
The night also included a special appearance from the MORA Mini Mods, plus regular night of NAPA UMP Modified Minis, and Mt. Pleasant and Clare Automotive Stock Minis as the Chuck’s Discount Foods UMP Modifieds had the night off.
In the first main event of the evening, the Stock Minis rolled out onto the three-eighths mile track for a 10-lap race. Early on co-point leader No. 7 Fred Parisian of Auburn dropped out of the race. From there No. 15 Jeff McKenzie of Clare made his way through the field from sixth and got the win over No. 52 ‘Taco’ Bob Baltierrez of Alma, No. 63 Steve Keeler Sr. of Vestaburg, and No. D7 Tasha Decker of Coleman in unofficial top four.
The Modified Mini Stocks were next and with No. 91 Nathan Carlon closing in on his first career feature win, the Farwell rookie slowed, giving the lead over to No. 88 Mike Schnettler of Sanford. At the finish, Schnettler put his early season bad luck behind and got his first main event win of the year over No. 16 Joe Burch of Rosebush, No. 68 Trever Fedewa of Mt. Pleasant, No. 79 Rich Robinson Sr. of Shepherd, and Carlon. Robinson Sr. was making his first appearance in the class as his usual Late Model car was banged up and his UMP Modified car’s class had the night off.
In the MORA Mini Mods, nine cars made it out for the 15-lap feature and the driver of the No. 22 took the victory over the No. 4-Sale car.
A strong 16-car field made their way out for the “Smoke Shop Dave” Memorial 25-lap feature, which was presented by Racer’s Speed Shop and also included a contribution from J.R. Schmid and an added bonus to the second place finisher. Early on the race belonged to Mt. Pleasant Speedway newcomer No. 97 Spike Grega of Muskegon. All alone in the lead, Grega, who had been driving the high line all night long, got too high and went off turn two bringing out a lap 12 caution and giving the lead to No. 10 Gary Vandermark of Lowell over No. 11 Sr Jeff Loomis and No. 11 Jr Josh Loomis, both of Weidman. Making a strong run from 20th-place, No. 7 Mike Sparks of Otter Lake drove to fifth before a flat tire sent him to the pits. With several cautions, including a lap 21 caution from a wild crash involving Josh Loomis and No. 49 Greg Tragis of Harrison, Sparks returned to the track on the lead lap. Late in the race with Vandermark out front, No. 77B Rob Brillhart of Crystal made it a two-car battle and at the stripe, Brillhart would slip around Vandermark and get the win. Following Vandermark, who was second, were Sparks, No. 55 Joe Pomeroy of Cass City, and No. 83 Josh Sternberg of Muskegon in top five unofficially.
The final race of the night was the UMP Late Models for a 25-lap feature. Attrition would take the toll on this field, but the end of the race proved as exciting as any with No. 0X Zack Olger of St. Johns rolling through the field from a sixth-place starting spot and giving it all he had using the high and low side to try and get around leader No. 6M Dona Marcoullier of Houghton Lake. At the checkered flag, Marcoullier would hold off Olger for the win, with No. 6XM Donnie Marcoullier of Houghton Lake, No. 13 Scott Baker of Ionia, and No. 0K Mike Kresnak of Elwell in unofficial top five.
This Friday, June 24, is a full show of racing with a Jim’s Body Shop UMP Modified Mini Stock Special and the Gift of Life Michigan on hand with information on organ and tissue donation and ability to sign up people on the spot.
(Jeremy Dickman is the Mt. Pleasant Speedway Public Relations & Marketing Director)