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Loomis Wins Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway

Loomis Wins Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Loomis Wins Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Loomis Wins Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Loomis Wins Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Loomis Wins Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Loomis Wins Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Loomis Wins Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway

06/04/2021 (Auburn MI) It was a beautiful night for stock car racing at the Tri-City Motor Speedway this past Friday night. Over 100 racers in six different racing divisions were on hand to play on the newly resurfaced 3/8ths mile clay oval. The Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club members were among those in attendance to watch some of the fiercest racing action in Michigan. The Soaring Eagle Late Models, Tri-City Cheese and Meats IMCA Modifieds, XLT Engineering Bomber Stocks, and Walker’s Ideal Trophies Mini Wedge classes were part of the night’s racing program. The top draw of the night was the $2000 to win the Auto House Factory Stock main event which brought some stout competition.

The 2021 season has seen the average car count for the Auto House Factory Stocks has consistently been more than 30 cars per race night. With a top pay day nearly five times higher than a regular night, 34 top drivers from around Michigan took up residence in the pits hoping for the big check at the end of the night. Four qualifying heats and a last chance qualifying race were needed to determine which 22 drivers would get their shot to win the main event. Josh Knoll (Lake, MI), former Champion Eric Lake (Montrose), Kyle Andrzejewski (Bay City), Jim Miller Jr. (Clio), and Rylee Knoll (Lake) took wins in those races. It was Nick Putman (Kawkawlin) and Ryan Nethers (Mount Pleasant) leading the field of 22 to the green flag of the 25-lap feature race. Nethers jumped out to the lead on the high side and paced the field for the initial five laps. Ninth place starter Josh Loomis (Weidman) patiently painted the bottom groove and grabbed the lead from Nethers on lap six. Once Loomis stepped out front, he was able to pull away from the three and four-wide racing taking place behind him. He led the final 20-laps to claim his first TCMS checkered flag of the year and the $2000 prize. Nethers was able to hold on for a hard fought runner-up finish. Scott Smith (West Branch), Lake, and Miller Jr. survived to finish with the top five.

Due to rain-outs, it had been a few weeks since the Tri City Cheese and Meats IMCA modified have been on-track. With only one race night in the books for the division, hopes to jump out as a season Champion favorite were on the minds of the twenty-drivers that strapped into their machines to compete in the 20-lap feature. Third-row starter Chad Bennett (Caro) shot out to the early lead and held a comfortable lead through the first half of the event. Somehow, Collin Thirlby (Traverse City) weaved his way from his sixteenth starting position to take the lead away from Bennett on lap twelve. From there, he was never challenged and picked up his first win of 2021. Craig Vance (Midland), from twelfth, crossed the finish line in second. Rookie Kendall Morrison (Bay City) came from 17th for third with 18th place starter Matt Szecsodi taking home fourth place. 40+ years racing veteran Toby Steele (Beaverton) completed the top five. Bennett, who won his heat race, ended up finishing in sixth. Thirlby and Michael Luberda Jr. (Au Gres) also won their respective heat races.

Sixteen Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort Late Model drivers, led by the front row of Travis Stemler (Ionia) and Eric Spangler (Lake City), took the green flag in their 30-lap main event. Both drivers, already with TCMS feature wins in 2021 would be the two that fought each other for the lead the entire race. Stemler, however, led all but lap 12 which was led by Spangler. The lone caution flew with two laps remaining giving the field one last shot to overtake Stemler. However, Stemler would not be beaten as he claimed his second win of 2021. Spangler held on for second and was followed by Derrick Hilliker (Midland), Alex Hupert (Au Gres), and David Hilliker (Midland). Stemler picked up the win in his heat race as did Dona Marcoullier (Houghton Lake) and David Mielke (Gladwin).

The XLT Engineering Bomber Stocks started a field of 24 for their fifteen lap feature. Outside front row starter Ethan Robarts (Whittemore) took the early advantage before Brian Bullock (Midland) snuck by on the bottom groove on lap six. Robarts, though, fought back to retake the lead on lap ten. He was leading the field on the final lap and was well on his way to a feature win until a mechanical issue caused Robarts car to spin in turn four coming to the checkered flag. Herb Freeman (Prescott) managed to slip by the spun car of Robarts to steal the checkered flag for his first feature win at TCMS. Bullock rebounded to finish second ahead of fifteenth place starter Johnny Staszak (Kawkawlin), 23rd place starter and two-time winner Chad Freeman (Alger), and William Withrow (West Branch). Heat race wins were claimed by Bullock, Dylan Miller, and Shane Wiggins (Palo).

The special track for the Walker’s Ideal Trophies Mini Wedge track was widened and smoother for the heats and features for the young drivers. This change provided some great racing in both the restricted and unrestricted motor classes. Cason Murphy (Coleman) won the heat race in the restricted class but was bested by and Bowen Jaynes (Bay City) in the feature. Kyron DeShano (Kawkawlin) was the heat race victor in the unrestricted class. Addy Wade would overtake the field and win the feature.

The Auto Value Pro Stock are back on the schedule next Friday night with a $2000 to win special. All the house divisions including the Walker’s Ideal Trophies Mini-Wedges, Auto House Factory Stocks, and the XLT Engineering Bomber Stocks are all a part of the race card. The first green flag waves at 7:30. Be sure to come early to claim your seat for another show you won’t want to miss! For updated and instant results, season point standings and the entire 2021 race schedule, visit the TCMS website at tricityracetrack.com or download the MyRacePass app.

Photo Credit: Randy Ellen

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