Steve Cronenwett Jr. pulled away from the rest of the pack in the final 75 laps and held on as his car ran out of fuel on the final lap as he coasted through turns 3 and 4 and to the stripe to win the Monroe News 250 lap Enduro race Saturday evening at Flat Rock Speedway. Jon Parish took the win in the 15 lap Bandolero feature on the final night of racing at "The Rock" for the 2017 season.
A total of 23 cars took the green flag to start the 5th and final 250 lap Enduro of the season. 15 year old Ethan Stadniczuk led the first 6 laps until Jeff Braun motored by to take the lead. Braun set a fast pace in the early stages of the event, which featured great door to door racing in packs of 6-8 cars for much of the night. With 60 laps in, Braun was in heavy traffic, along with his challengers. Kyle Metdepenningen decided to make it 3 wide, going up against the wall and clearing traffic to take the number 1 spot on lap 68. Braun, however, came right back and took the point 5 laps later. At lap 75, the lead lap cars were Braun, Ed Case, Metdepenningen, Stadniczuk, Cronenwett, Troy Brehmer, Robb Remick and Derrick Sheppard.
Kyle went pit-side on lap 82 with a flat tire, ending his bid for the win. Cronenwett began to move into contention by lap 90 as again, pack racing made things exciting. Steve, in a car just acquired a couple of weeks ago, (which will be driven by his 14 year old nephew next season), took the lead around the lap 100 mark, despite sheet metal damage from an incident earlier in the contest. He began to build his lead, but Stadniczuk charged to within a few car lengths by lap 160. On lap 171, Ethan got tapped and spun in turn 4, as Dillon Zalenski had no place to go and made contact, ending Ethan's night. After the red flag, the race resumed and Cronenwett stretched his lead. Derrick Sheppard, in the hunt for the championship, began to make a charge to the front. In the final 10 laps, Sheppard got to second spot, which would have tied him with Remick for the title if the running order remained the same at that point. However, on the final lap, Braun, running third, spun in turn 3, allowing Remick to move up a spot and clinch the title, his 3rd Enduro crown.
Cronenwett coasted through turns 3 and 4 and just barely crossed the stripe to take the win over Sheppard, Case, Brehmer, Remick, Braun, Justin Chamberlin, Metdepenningen, Matt Ringger and Jimmy Gullett. David Rumble, Tony Rumble, Nathan Sprotberry, Cody Remick, Stadniczuk, Zalenski, Mike Miller, Frank Trupiano, Jacob Thomas, Rick Bennett, Tom LaFollette, Mike Busby and Kenny Roberts completed the finishing order. Braun set fast time at 14:332.
In a preview for the fans for 2018, a visit by the Bandos from Spartan, MI Speedway put on a great battle in their 15 lap main. Jon Parish took the lead at lap 9 from Mason Surgener and held back Logan Haughton and Surgener for the win. Evan Varney, Max Price and Bella Chan completed the running order. Flat Rock Speedway will add a total of 8 Bandolero races to its 2018 schedule
The speedway has a pair of non-racing events left on the 2017 schedule. Saturday, September 23 is the 2nd annual Monroe County Brewfest from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine. Over 100 craft beers will be available for sampling, with music, food and fun on tap! Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Go to www.monroebrewfest.eventbrite.com to purchase tickets on-line. You must be 21 to attend this event.
Sunday, October 1 is the Flat Rock Historical Society Flea Market from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the grounds and parking are free. Vendor space for a 20' x 20' is $40, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Vendor setup begins at midnight. The flea market is rain or shine. No pets are permitted.