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Race Report Upper Peninsula International Raceway June 28, 2014

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Race Report Upper Peninsula International Raceway June 28, 2014

For Immediate Release

By:  Todd Rose, UPIR Co-Announcer and Race Reporter

Contact:  upinternationalraceway@gmail.com  


Engines Roar Back to Life at UPIR

Racers and Fans Pay Tribute to Local Legends


After being plagued by rain for several weeks, UPIR finally was granted a clear blue sky and warm, sunny weather. The Engineered Machine Product race night was very special, as it marked the second annual Art Richer Memorial Race. Along with the normal divisions of UPIR racing, the Milwaukee Vintage Modifieds were also in attendance to put on a show of their own. Local Racing Legends who raced in Escanaba during the 1960’s and 1970’s were hosted in a hospitality area where they could bench race with each other.  For each division, the Richer Family donated trophies given out to the winner of each feature race and a cash payout.


The night began with the Street Stock Heat Races, both of which ran without any major incidents. The first Heat was won by Corey DeGrave, followed by Ron Jenshak in second and Ron Borchert in third. The second Heat was taken by Eric Mathieson, with Paul Wagner and Rob Willis behind him.

On to the track next were the 500 Micro Sprints for their Heat Race. Gabriel Zellner, Green Bay, WI.  won the 10 lap race, with second and third going to Dave Hosking and Kyle Getchell in that order.


After the 500 Sprint Heat, the more powerful 600 Micro Sprints came out for two Heat Races. The first Heat was won by Josh Bartel, followed by Gregg Brayak and Steven Miller. The second Heat was won by Scott Degnan, who finished ahead of Jeff Ives and Denver Larsen (Shiocton, WI.).


The kids came out onto the track next in the Junior Micro Sprint Division for their Heat race.. Dylan Larsen (Shiocton, WI.) took the checkered flag with rookie Avry Corrigan in second and Ty Springer (Eagle River, WI.) third.


Next up were the Modifieds for their usual two Heats. Heat 1 was won by defending track champion Dale Peterson, with Fran Berube second and Karl Lamoreaux (Niagara, WI.) third. The second Heat was won by Matt Valiquette (De Pere, WI.), followed by Lonnie Dalgord and Ben Godlewski (Sussex, WI.).  Godlewski’s father, Wally of Cornell, was a longtime friend and on the pit crew for Art Richer.  


The last normal UPIR division to run heats was the Sport Fours, who ran three Heats. Bryon Stemick, Erik Marenger and Hattie Bourdeau took the top three spots for the first Heat. Heat 2 was won by Ron LeJeune, with Kirk Millette second and Tyler Corwin third. The final Sport Fours Heat was won by Randy DeGrave, followed in second by Justin Lauscher, and in third Gerald Lanaville.


The Milwaukee Vintage Modifieds came roaring out onto the track next to run a quick Heat Race before intermission. Several of the drivers and cars that made their way out to the track were the same ones that raced years ago in Escanaba. The Vintage Mods then pulled off the track, leading to the night’s special intermission. As it was Legends’ Night at the track, as part of the Art Richer Memorial Race Night, a special introduction of all Racing Legends in attendance was held. After the Legends were introduced, the Milwaukee Mods went back out for one last Feature Race, which concluded with a close three wide finish.


After Intermission, each division ran their Feature Races, the first of which was the 500 Micro Sprint Feature. When all was said and done, Kristy Peterson continued her early season dominance, winning once again. Second place was the young gun Jesse Liss, with Dave Hosking third.


The Street Stocks came out next for their Feature. In the closing stages, leaders Ron Jenshak and Rob Willis were battling head to head, when a sideways lapped car blocked the way for Willis. Jenshak went on to win for the second straight week. Willis ended up in second, with Matt Adams third.


The thrilling finishes continued with the next race, which was the Junior Micro Sprint Feature. Ty Springer (Eagle River, WI.) and Dylan Larsen (Shiocton, WI.) dominated the race and entered the final ;lap battling side by side. Entering turn three, the two cars came together, spinning wildly taking Springer and Larsen out of the race for the lead. Avry Corrigan avoided the spinning cars, and went on to win his first race ever at UPIR. Logan Getzloff, also avoided the crash in turn four and finished second. Larsen was able to cross the line third, while Springer’s car had to be taken off the track.


The 600 Micro Sprint Feature was next on the agenda. Scott Degnan crossed the finish line in first place for the second time in the night; he also won his heat earlier in the evening. Second place went to Jeff Ives, and third was taken by Todd Belanger.


In yet another great nail biting finish, Dale Peterson took home the top spot in the Modified Feature race. As Peterson led the field, however, Ben Godlewski spun out of second place on the final lap, sending cars scrambling every which way to avoid him in the dust. This manic scramble allowed Pat Richer, son of Art Richer, to finish in second, coming all the way from the rear of the field. Also avoiding Godlewski was Lonnie Dalgord who wheeled his car to a third place finish.


The final race of the night was the Sport Four Feature. Justin Lauscher ran away with the race, weaving his way through lap traffic as his competitors struggled through the slower cars. This was Justin’s second feature win in a row at UPIR. Second place went to Tyler Corwin, with Kirk Millette rounding out the top three.


Yet another great night of action at UPIR, which is truly the only way to honor Art Richer and all of the Legends that made racing in Escanaba possible throughout the years, and once again today. July will be a quiet month for the track due to other scheduled events at the fairgrounds, but the racing will be back in top gear on August 2.  Check out the remaining 2014 Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau race season events coming up at www.upirtrack.com



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