Birkin Beats Can-Am Sprint Drivers to Win at Tri-City Motor Speedway
06/21/2013 (Auburn MI) Friday night greeted fans with hot temperatures and hotter racing this past weekend. Saganing Eagles Landing Casino sponsored the night of entertainment which included one hundred and thirteen competitors and cars! Higher than expected winds for June proved to be tricky for those not used to slick racing conditions. This was also the first of three Michigan appearances of the Canadian-American series combining the Michigan Traditional Sprint Car Series and the Ontario Topless Sprints.
As per the Michigan Tradition Sprint press release and website, 21 starters took the green for the feature event. #48 Mike Burkin of Clyde Ohio started in 8th position but took little time making his way to the front. Using the inside and outside grooves to make passes. By the halfway point, he had caught the early leader of #14m Brett Mann in lapped traffic. The two drivers battled for a couple laps but Brett had nothing for the Ohio native who made his car work on the very slick track. A late caution would bunch up the field and this would allow #26 John Watson to make a last lap pass to take over the 2nd spot. Brett Mann would finish 3rd with #00 Joey Irwin and #19 Joe Bares rounding out the top five. Strpko Engineering Heat race one would go to Mann. Hoosier Race Tire heat two would be won by Joe Bares. The Tri County Equipment Heat race three would see #31 Chuck Wilson take the win. Mike Burkin set quick time picking up bonus money along with the other top three qualifiers, #35 Mark Strpko and #81 John Gall. During heat race two, #77 Keith Love and Bares made contact sending Keith over onto his roll cage and onto the old paved track off of turn one. He was transported from the track to nearby hospital and is recovering from head injuries.
The Auburn Hotel Bar and Grill Street Stock Division feature showed fans that three and four-wide racing can be done on a wide, but slick, racing surface. Seventh place starter, heat race winner, and last week’s winner, #7r Dave Newcomb, who started in the seventh place, once again mastered the bottom groove. He spent very little time getting to and passing leader #3 Mitch Clements. The bottom started to become slick and the rest of the field was able to catch back to Newcomb, but no one was unable to make the move giving Newcomb his second win of the season. He was followed by #2a Chance Allen, points leader, #3 Loren Short, #7d Brenten Deyoung, and #75 Kenny Keller. The other heats were won by #75 Kevin Strong and Deyoung. #18d David Lester transferred to the feature by winning the B-Main Feature.
After having to wait until Wednesday for the official win of last week’s Greased Pig 3.0 Main Street Seed and Supply IMCA modified Point leader #20w AJ Ward, had a lot of eyes on him to perform as he had seven nights prior. Although he won his heat, he would have to start at the rear of the field because being pushed out onto the track with the assistance of a vehicle. #36 Rich Young led the field to the green and led the opening lap before #26 Tom Sova took over to lead laps three and four. #14 Chris Barton took over on lap five and was cruising his way to his first ever IMCA feature. #19 Joe Fowler, the other heat race winner, had another ending to the script as he made a move for the lead with two laps to go and picked up his second feature of 2013. #42 Craig Vance overtook Barton for second. Ward would climb to fourth with #70m Johnny Deyoung fifth
#45 Kevin Reeve started the evening just how he has for the past number of weeks. He won his preliminary event in the Comp Cams Late Model division. He took the lead away from #86 Scott Clifford on lap three of the twenty-five lap feature. Again he would lead the majority of the event. Once again, however, ninth place starter, #0x Zach Olger tracked him down and made the pass on lap sixteen to pick up his fourth feature of the season and third in a row. Reeve had to settle for second once again and was followed by, #75 Rod Laney, #0jr Kris Patterson Jr, and #21h David Hilliker. Australian Pursuit races, in lieu of heat races, were won be Reeve and #23 Ryan Vanderveen.
The Elgin Pro Stocks also ran Australian Pursuits as preliminary events. Those were won by #93 John Robbins, and #21 Steven Hilliker. Hilliker, who has won on the famous trick track along with fourteen Michigan track championships in his arsenal, had yet to master the TCMS clay oval. With a tenth place starting position, he had his some work to do if he wanted one on Friday night. #99 Rick Beauchamp led the first half of the event before Hilliker methodically tracked him down on lap eleven to lead the final nine laps to his first victory of 2013. 2012 point champion and runner-up, #M65 Rick Spencer and #01 Randy Radabaugh came across the final strip close behind. #91 Gary Shank Jr. and #77D Darren Mularz completed the top five.
Next week is Car Load and Group Appreciation night. Bring a friend; bring the church group, softball team or your favorite co-workers because it’s Carload Night. For groups of 8 or more, wear your matching gear and check-in at the shirt shack to be recognized throughout the night. The biggest carload will be brought on the track for a prize. General Admission car or SUV $35, Truck or Van $45 (NO Buses/Motor homes). If you don’t have a carful you can still purchase individual tickets at the main gate. Also, back by popular demand, will be the Pro Trucks! Pro Trucks will race 23 laps for $523 to win and $123 to start the A-Main. This full show will also include Comp Cams Late Models, Main Street Seed and Supply IMCA Modified, Elgin Pro Stocks, and Auburn Hotel Street Stocks. General Admission for adults $14, 55 and better $13, 7-13 year olds $8, 6 years and under FREE! Race time on Friday is at 7:55. Entertainment is brought to you by: Michigan Air Compressor on State Park Rd. in Bay City, MI. For more information regarding next week’s shows and any show in 2013, visit our website www.tricityracetrack.com ! Come see what everyone is talking about at the New Tri City Motor Speedway!!!