By JEREMY DICKMAN
Mt. Pleasant Speedway
Mt. Pleasant, Mich. — Warm temperatures and sunny skies greeted Mt. Pleasant Speedway fans and drivers on Friday, May 20 for a full night of racing and a Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort UMP Modified $500 to Win Special.
Seventy-two cars made their way through the gates including a season-high 25 in the Chuck’s Discount Foods UMP Modifieds class.
The first feature to roll out for the night was the Smokers Club UMP Stock Cars where the 15-car field was taking aim at No. 10 Gary Vandermark, who through May 13 was a perfect 4-for-4 in wins on the young season. And after another week of racing Vandermark would remain perfect in 2011 by first getting the heat victory and ending his night with his third feature win in three weeks. Rounding out the unofficial top five were No. 7 Mike Sparks, No. 11 Sr. Jeff Loomis, No. D1 Ray Devericks, and No. 32 Tom Hodges.
In the NAPA UMP Modified Mini Stock main event No. 16 Joe Burch won his second feature in a row besting No. 68 Trever Fedewa, No. 91 Nathan Carlon, No. 003 Dennis Schramm, and No. 88 Mike Schnettler.
A 20 car field made their way out next for the 25-lap Soaring Eagle $500 to win UMP Modified Special. Sitting on the front row for the race were No. 13 Andy Galgoci and No. 0X Zack Olger. Getting the jump on the field, Olger quickly took to the lead and in the end would go to victory lane over No. 19F Joey Fowler, No. 1M John McClure, No. 15 Rich Robinson Jr., and No. 87 David Mielke in the unofficial top five.
The Mt. Pleasant and Clare Automotive Stock Minis were next and the season long th
ree-car battle of No. 12 Marq Eaton, No. 15 Jeff McKenzie, and No. 7 Fred Parisian continued. Parisian grabbed the top spot and would face a tough challenge from McKenzie, but in the end Parisian took home his second straight feature win. McKenzie came home second; Eaton was third, No. 62 Steve Keeler Jr, and No. 52 Bob Baltierrez was unofficially fifth.
Closing out the night was the UMP Late Models who would go for 25-laps. Jumping out to the early lead was No. 13 Scott Baker but as the halfway point came, No. 0X Zack Olger would use the high side to get up to second and then quickly reeled in Baker to take the lead. Coming from midpack, No. M14 Brandon Thirlby would use the low side to make the run up to third. As the checkered flag waved, Olger would pull away from the field en route to the Mt. Pleasant Speedway “Double Down,” getting feature wins in the two premier classes of UMP Late Models and UMP Modifieds on the same night. Olger also pulled off this feat last season on Sept. 24 and May 14. Following Olger across the line unofficially were No. 85 Mark Andersen, Thirlby, Baker, and No. 0K Mike Kresnak.
This Friday, May 27 the Mt. Pleasant Speedway is hosting the first of two Sunoco American Late Model Series specials as the best of the best Late Models invade central Michigan including the likes of No. 91 Rusty Schlenk, No. 55 Jeep Van Wormer, No. 9R Curtis Roberts, and No. 49 Brian Ruhlman.
The idea for a Cancer Awareness night came in the offseason from Stock Mini driver Jeff McKenzie.
“My friend Haley (Stevens) and I were discussing what color the car should be and we come up with black and pink, then decided to add cancer awareness to it,” McKenzie said. “Then we just came up with the idea to ask (Mt. Pleasant Speedway owner) Betty (Crook) if we could do the cancer awareness night at Mt. Pleasant Speedway. In the past year we have had some family/friends that have or had cancer. So I thought if we could do this we could help support and raise money for a good cause.”
During the event there will also be a silent auction that will include driver donated items, a group from the local Cancer society with a booth and brochures and available to answer any questions people may have.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with races at 7:45 p.m. For more information go to www.mtpleasantspeedway.com or on Facebook.