Labor Day weekend at Crystal Motor Speedway saw two big nights of racing despite two unexpected bouts of rain. There were 156 cars in the pits on Saturday and 136 made it to the Sunday event.
The Saturday portion of the holiday included the Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP for their final appearance at the speedway. Ryan Ruhl of Coldwater took the win over Brett Mann from Goshen, Indiana. Steve Irwin, Fenton took the third spot, followed by Jay Steinbach, Hudsonville and Thomas Schinderle of Berkley. Ruhl, Schinderle, and Dain Naida of Tecumseh grabbed heat wins.
The Greenville Daily News Mini Wedge beginners division saw Lilyann Montgomery of Crystal take the six to nine-year-old feature. Teegan Williams from Stanton was second, followed by Landyn Neitling, Saginaw, Mikah Kurkowski, Sidney and Zayden Buskirk of Crystal with Jazzlyn Hale of Crystal taking the heat. Brent Wonch, Stanton took the ten to fourteen-year-old feature, followed by Hunter Lange, Muskegon, Jake Rush, Riley Bowen, Sheridan, and Dillon Kohn from Sheridan with Lange taking the heat win.
The Lane Automotive IMCA Modifieds were on track for their event when the second rain storm hit. The night was called, and that feature will be completed during the next event scheduled for September 16th and 17th.
The first order of business on Sunday was to finish the features from the rain off the night before. In the Next Level Graphics and Design Street Stocks, Ryan Alexander of Stanton tool the feature over Marty French, Charlotte, Mike Vandecar, Caro, Will Stanley, Weidman, and Dustin Weber of Riverdale. Kevin Dard and Doug McKeown Sr. of Sidney advanced by winning their B main features. Heats were taken by French, Mike VanderMark Jr., Cedar Springs, and Vandecar.
The Sunday night Street Stock event fell to Vandecar of Caro, followed by Andrew Fidler, Elwell, Jason Begeman, Caro, Doug Patterson, Weidman, and Eric Watz of North Branch. The B mains fell to Rob Brillhart of Crystal and Dale Kaake III from Cass City. Paul Tenbrink, Justin Gilmore, Begeman, and Damain Sternberg of Muskegon.
Saturday’s Races On The Web Flinn Stock feature was taken by Collin Schafer of Muir, followed by Rusty Sowles, Howard City, Austin Wiley, Belding, Mike Currier, Fenwick, and Draven Grosvenor from Crystal. On Sunday, it was all Collin Schafer of Muir to score the feature event. Devon Wiley of Belding came in second, followed by Mike Currier, Rusty Sowles, and Russ Ferens of Fenwick. Sowles and Schafer also took the heat wins.
Mike VanderMark Jr. took the Saturday night Port City Racing Pro Stock event, followed by Josh Loomis, Weidman, Chad Raby, Riverdale, Jake Headley, Belding, and Rob Brillhart of Crystal. VanderMark Jr. and TJ Gilbert of Elkton grabbed victories in the heats. Jeremy Spencer of Deford took the Sunday night Pro Stock event, followed by Josh Loomis, Weidman, Don Rohn, Sheridan, Gilbert, and VanderMark Jr. Loomis and Raby picked up the heat wins.
Curtis Rice from Muskegon picked up the Saturday night Engine Pro Pro Truck win over Jim Beltz, Kent City, Ashlee Scott, Vestaburg, Dave Peters, Alma, and Rob Putt of Fenwick with Matt Pickard of Grant snagging the heat win. On Sunday, it was Beltz’s turn to take the win over Scott, Peters, Alex Richards of Hubbardston, and Chad May of Rockford. Scott also took the heat win.
Sunday saw the annual Open Modified event that allows modified drivers that are not necessarily IMCA Modified qualified to make the journey to the Crystal clay and Clayton Smith of Taylor, beat out Garrett Wiles from Hubbardston for the win. Austin Wonch of Stanton, grabbed third, followed by Brady Hollenbeck, Greenville, and Kevin Miller. Heats fell to Rick Gokee Jr. of Owosso and Wiles.
The big attraction of the weekend has always been the big side board Outlaw Late Models, and they put on quite a show. In a feature that went green to checkers without a caution, David Hilliker of Midland was flying low the entire feature winning over JC Witherspoon of Kinde, followed by Derrick Hilliker, Midland, Wade Witherspoon, Owendale, and Carl Ries of Blanchard. David Hilliker picked up fast qualifying time, the fast car dash and a heat win.
Sammy Epling of Perry made his first 2017 appearance at the speedway Sunday night and made it a profitable one as he picked up the win in the KFC Late Model event over Steven Hilliker, Midland, Amanda Wing, Middleton, Drew Wilkerson, Ravenna, and Scott Baker of Ionia. Andy Sprague of Muskegon advanced to the main feature with his B feature win. Wilkerson, Baker, and Hilliker took heat wins.
The track takes next weekend off to ready for the season finale on September 16th and 17th with it’s Great Lakes Nationals event. On Saturday, all the heat semi-features will be run in all divisions. Grandstand gates open at 1 PM with racing starting at 6 PM. The gates open at the same time as Saturday with racing starting at 3 PM.
Grandstand prices for adults are $25 for both days or $15 on Saturday and $20 on Sunday. Kids 5-11 are $12 for both days or $6 for Saturday and $10 on Sunday. Pit passes can be bought in advance by contacting the track for a savings if purchased before September 11th for $40 for both days or $25 for one day. Pit pass prices the day of the event are $50 for both days and $35 for one day. Further information can be obtained by calling the track office at 989.235.5200 or visiting crystalmotorspeedway.com