Birch Run Speedway
Winners and Champions Crowned at Birch Run!
Championship night for all but two divisions (Wheeler Trucking Friday Night Thunder Modifieds and Pierson Rd Muffler Man Mini Wedge Jr & Sr) was held this past Friday as the first season under the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series wraps up. It was qualifying and features only, and with double points on the line, every position mattered!
Qualifying for the night had David McManus fastest for the Mt Morris Auto Repair Modifieds with a 15.995. Hunter Doutre set quick time for the Pure Stocks with a 17.150. First-time visitor Damian Watters led the way for the Sport Compact class when he turned a 16.871. Josh Hahn’s 16.841 set fast time for the Limited Late Models. A 16.909 earned Nick Lechota quick time for the Street Stocks. And Joe Shamel’s 17.929 bested brother Dan and the rest of the Mason Burgess Title Agency Trucks.
The Sport Compact 20-lap feature was first with Cody Luark and Mark Cadarette leading the field to green. Luark got loose on the inside in turn one allowing Cadarette to scoot away and points leader Charlie Boone to get to his outside. The race was red-flagged at the completion of one lap when Dan Hassard lost control entering turn one caught the grass and ended up on his roof in the grass between the third and four-tenths mile. He was okay, and when racing resumed, Cadarette and Boone would battle for the lead with Boone taking over at the line.
The caution flew when Nicholas Murdock clipped the tire in turn one and came to a stop. Boone again commanded the restart and brought Troy Deuscher with him. Deuscher challenged to the inside of Boone down the backstretch and took over the lead exiting turn four. Meanwhile, the faster qualifiers had made their way up as Watters and Corbin Kelley had come up from the back to sixth and seventh, Watters made the outside groove work to his advantage getting up to third before the caution flew for a spinning Chad Congdon.
Deuscher held the lead on the lap five restart until Watters got by on the high side on lap six. Kelley would move into second one lap later and give chase to Watters. Murdock was making his way back up through the field at the halfway point running in the fourth spot. Watters opened up a nearly four-second advantage with five laps to go. The caution flew for contact between second place in points Keith Grainger and Daegan Clayton in turn three. Watters got the lead on the restart, but a caution with three laps to go set up a single file restart. Watters took command while Kelley and Murdock battled for second. Watters would take his Haas Welding #1 to victory lane in his first-ever visit to Birch Run! Corbin Kelley held off Murdock for second with Troy Deuscher and Jeff Asmus completing the top five. With his sixth-place finish, Charlie Boone claimed the 2023 Championship for the Sport Compacts in his Mid-Michigan Transmission/Pierson Rd Muffler Man #70!
Brian Bero and Alex Fullerton led the Limited Late Models to the start of their 25-lap feature. Third-place starting Ed Doutre Jr. moved to the outside of Bero and took command of the lead out of turn four. Josh Hahn moved into third behind Bero with Joe Hodgeson Jr. right behind. Doutre opened up a two-second advantage over Bero, Hahn, and Hodgeson with Tony Brabbs and Adam Rowe battling for position farther back. Hahn made his way past Bero as did Hodgeson but Doutre stayed consistent and picked up his second win of the 2023 season in his Bero Racing #X11. Hahn settled for second over Hodgeson, Brabbs, and Bero. Hodgeson’s third-place finish put a bow on his 2023 Championship! The Davison, MI driver of the Conquest Scents/Turn One #84 finished with three wins, six top fives, and six top tens!
The Pure Stock 25-lap feature was highlighted by a ten-point difference coming into the night between first-place in points Mike Mosier and second-place Hunter Doutre. Anthony Williams and Vinnie Lello brought the field to the start with Williams getting the advantage and Andrew Burton moving into second. Zach Burton went to the inside of Lello the next lap for third while Doutre made it three-wide between himself, Brent Voris, and Andy Shelters for sixth. The first caution waved for a spin by Josh Connell on the backstretch a lap later.
Burton restarted outside of Williams and got the lead as the field entered turn three. But the caution flew the next lap for a spinning Vinnie Lello. The lap four restart had Burton alongside Williams and Burton maintained the lead off two while Williams got passed by Mosier. A spin involving Jeremy Johnson and Lello on the front stretch slowed the action again on lap five. Burton got the advantage on the restart with Mosier tucking into second. Andy Shelters and Williams would battle for third with Shelters getting by to start battling with Mosier.
Burton washed up the track two laps later, allowing Mosier to get to the inside and take the lead. Back farther Williams was trying to fend off Voris, Doutre, Zach Burton, and Zach Ahrns when the caution flew for a hard hit into the front stretch wall by John Hitsman Jr. with ten laps in the books. Mosier took command on the restart and Burton lost second to Shelters. Hunter Doutre made his way into fourth after battling with Voris at the halfway point. With nine to go Doutre battled with Burton for the third spot, but contact sent Burton around and Doutre to the tail for the ensuing restart. Mosier got the lead and made no errors to put his Beyer Development/Bus Stop Bar&Grill #22 into victory lane and also claim the 2023 Pure Stock Track Championship! Shelters, Burton, Voris, and Zach Burton finished out the top five.
The Mt Morris Auto Repair Modifieds had Terry Trost and Scott Quall on the front row, Trost got the advantage on the start to lead lap one with the field battling behind. Evan Foster and Kyle Hayden battled side-by-side for third with Nick Lechota behind. Quall made his move to the outside of Trost entering turn three on lap five and completed the pass exiting turn two. Hayden moved around Foster, as did Lechota and Donnie Matteson as they all battled inside the top five.
Lechota got by Hayden a lap later to take over the third spot. Point leader McManus was battling with Tim Lahar when he got loose and lost the eighth spot to Robbie Johnson. At the halfway mark, Quall led over Trost, Lechota, Hayden, and Matteson Jr. Johnson developed problems, allowing McManus to gain back a spot with Lechota and him tied for the point lead as they were running. Trost started to pressure Quall while the handling started to go away on Lechota’s machine as he fell back into the clutches of Hayden and Matteson as McManus battled with Lahar for seventh.
With ten laps to go, Hayden got to the inside of Lechota in turn one and the duo made contact. The call was made that Lechota was the caution car and had to restart at the tail while Hayden got his spot back. Quall got the lead at the restart and ended the 35-lap feature in victory lane in his Bigfoot Metalworks/Precision Fleet Image #1Q. Trost, Hayden, Matteson, and McManus were the rest of the top five. McManus’ fifth-place finish was good enough to give him and his Wheeler Trucking/Rat-Tech Engine Service #7 team their third championship in a row at Birch Run!
Second place in points coming into the night, Anthony Duvernois, got the lead at the start of the Mason Burgess Title Agency Trucks 25-lap feature. Anthony Richardson moved into second with Cam DeLong battling Ricky Gillett. A quick caution reset the field and Duvernois got the advantage over Gillett and Richardson. Cam DeLong moved to the outside, but second quick qualifier Dan Shamel moved up. Shamel got inside Gillett to take over second as DeLong and then Greg Long Jr. moved around Gillettt. Shamel raced alongside Duvernois for two laps before taking the lead. Duvernois tried fending off DeLong and Long Jr. off at the halfway point. Shamel stretched his advantage with ten laps to go with Duvernois, DeLong, Long Jr., and Richardson all nose-to-tail farther back.
With nine laps to go, Delong got by Duvernois in turn one and Long looked to the inside. The two entered turn three and there was contact made with Duvernois spinning in turn four. After reviewing the footage, Duvernois was called the caution vehicle and had to restart at the tail of the field. Shamel mastered the restart, took the lead, and went on to win his second feature of the season in his Auto City Used Cars and Barns #47! DeLong, Richardson, Long Jr., and Ricky Gillett crossed the line as the top five.
The oval track portion of the night was capped off by the Street Stocks 25-lap feature. Andrea Baxter brought the field to green with Leonard getting the lead into turn one. Kevin Dobis moved into the second with Chirs Munson, Ron Hart, and Johnny Hayden in the top five. Point leader made his way around Harger and then Cummings as farther ahead Hart challenged Munson until the caution flew for a spin off turn four on lap seven. Leonard got the lead off turn four as Dobis got loose and Munson moved into second ahead of Hayden. Munson would lose second after getting all crossed up in turn one as Hayden, Cummings, and Lechota got by. Leonard continued to lead as Lechota used the high side to get by Cummings and then Hayden and set off for Leonard. Two laps later Lechota got around Leonard and never looked back in putting his Showcase Auto Sales/Fastlane Auto Exchange #12 in victory lane and putting an exclamation point on his 2023 Championship season!
The Motor City Core Figure 8 concluded the night’s racing with their 12-lap feature. A close call at the start when the steering wheel popped off in outside front-row starter Eric Gilbert’s hand stacked the field up and allowed Anthony Richardson to get the early lead for one lap before Anthony Williams got to his inside and took the lead, John Hitsman moved into second and Andrew Burton came along. Hitsman would hold second until it was discovered his window net was down and he had to pull off track until he gout get it reclipped in place. Williams was never challenged and put his Custom Drywall/Performance Auto #97 in victory lane! Burton finished second and claimed the 2023 Championship for himself and the Top Speed Motorsports #05 crew! Anthony Richardson. Cam DeLong, and Darby Christensen completed the top five.
This Friday and Saturday is the inaugural Laps and Legends Invitational at Birch Run Speedway and Event Center! Friday will feature practice for all classes from 1 to 7 p.m. A party in Gas Alley afterward will feature Keegan Jacko performing. Saturday will feature the crowning of our Wheeler Trucking Friday Night Thunder Modified Champion as well as the Pierson Rd Muffler Man Mini Wedge Junior and Senior Division Champs! The rescheduled Amber Lucynski Memorial Presented by Racing for Suicide Awareness is also on tap with trophies for all divisions courtesy of Goin’ Green Trophies and Signature Truck Systems. There will be a silent auction raffle to benefit the Walk For Hope and five lucky winners will get a ride with Mike Findlay around the track! Along with the Wheeler Trucking Friday Night Thunder Modifieds and Pierson Rd Muffler Man Mini Wedges, the Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Mason Burgess Title Agency Trucks, Pure Stocks, Sport Compacts, and Motor City Core Figure 8s will all be in action with hot laps at 1, gates opening at 4 and racing set to kick off at 6!
Submitted By: Charles Darling