While Paul Pelletier, Kyle Worley and Danny Gaddis visited the Sun Drop Winner's Circle for the first time this season at Flat Rock Speedway, Dennis Strickland, Grant Hedges, Greg Studt and Rich Abel locked up their respective 2013 track championships on Heritage Newspapers Season Championship Night. The exciting night was capped off with a fireworks display.
The 50 lap ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Model championship event saw the first 29 laps run without a yellow flag. Paul Pelletier nosed out in front of pole sitter Derek Wiley to take control of the race on the start. Paul, running with the #6 on his car to honor car owner Bob Ward, who passed away recently, stayed in control the entire distance to grab the win. Dennis Strickland got by Wiley in the final 12 laps to take second, cementing his second Flat Rock Late Model title in the process. Ron Allen made a slick move on a restart and was able to grab third, rookie Frank Jiovani was fourth and Steve Cronenwett Jr. fifth. Wiley was sixth, followed by Stan Yee Jr., Eric Lee, Scott Pemberton and Chris Benson. Wiley set fast time at 11:825 for the 21 car field, with heat wins to Allen, Joe Hawes and Brad Turner. Strickland topped Cronenwett Jr., Pelletier, Pemberton and Jiovani in the final points.
A very competitive 30 lap ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A Main championship race saw Danny Bennett zoom out front at the start. Scot Bunge nosed under Danny on lap 8, but Bennett came right back to take the top spot on lap 11. On lap 14 the fireworks started early. Clyde McKee looped his machine in turn 2, and while the rest of the field checked up, Gary Calhoun got sideways and was t-boned by Rich Abel, bringing out the red flag. Both drivers were ok, but done for the evening. On the restart, a mad scramble for the top spot saw 3 wide racing as Kyle Worley eased under Bennett and Bunge to take the point on lap 15. Kyle stayed in command to grab his first-ever feature win at Flat Rock. Bunge came home second, Scott Selmi was third, Guy Fire fourth and Steve Searles fifth, followed by Craig Lange, Corey Duane, Rob Moore, Darrell Krause and Grant Hegdes.
Chelsea, MI resident Grant Hedges, who sustained front end damage in the lap 14 incident, stayed on the track and nursed his car to the finish as he clinched his first-ever track championship. Grant began racing at Flat Rock just 3 seasons ago. Rob Moore, Selmi, Bunge and Duane trailed Grant in the final point standings. Rich Abel will be crowned the Street Stock B Main champion for the 2013 season. With a short field, there was no B Main event.
Rookie Corey Duane posted the Fastime Racing Engines and Parts quick time for the 25 car field at 13:595. Heat race winners were Searles, Chris Fitzpatrick and Rick Bennett.
Well, as far as excitement and point racing drama goes, they saved the best for last! Greg Studt, down 25 markers going into the night to Jeremy Vanderhoof, was able to make up that gap during the preliminary races, putting the duo into a tie heading into the 25 lap ARCA Parts Galore Figure 8 championship race. Studt, setting the Fastime Racing Engines and Parts fast time (20:922), rolled a 7 for the inversion, putting him 7th and Jeremy 6th for the feature race.
Dan Apperson snared the lead on the green and on lap 7, some of the most wild and exciting action was about to take place! Apperson closed in on the lapped car of Mark Lavoie, and while Apperson chose the low side, several of the challengers went to the other side of Lavoie, and with contact between several cars, the ping pong ball effect took place. With cars bouncing off each other, back and forth across the Figure 8 track as they crossed the stripe and into turn 1, Apperson, Vanderhoof and Studt became tangled up together in the infield grass. Studt broke loose, got back on the track and stayed on the lead lap, while Apperson and Vanderhoof ended their nights with damage to their machines. Danny Gaddis somehow avoided most of the action while running second, took the lead and never looked back as he sailed to his first win of the year. Billy Earley was also able to avoid most of the mayhem to notch second, Robbie Loving was third, Dennis Whisman fourth and Studt's fifth place run gave him the 2013 Figure 8 crown. Randy Roberts, Ian Jezylo, Stephanie Bradley, John Lambert, and Jeremy Fragazzi competed the top ten. Gaddis and Jezylo took the heat race wins. The top 5 in the final point tally were Studt, Vanderhoof, Whisman, Loving and Earley.
Saturday, September 7 Flat Rock Speedway will have plenty of racing action and family entertainment on tap! The remainder of the races on the 2013 schedule will now begin at 6 p.m. A 250 lap Enduro race, the ARCA 4 Cylinder championship, the MCR Dwarf Cars and a Figure 8 train race are on the race card. Practice begins at 4, time trials are at 5 and racing at 6 p.m.