Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins - Tri-City Motor Speedway - Auburn, MI | Friday Night Dirt Track Racing
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Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins

Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins
Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins
Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins
Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins
Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins
Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins
Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins
Spangler and Freeman Thrill Fans With Big Wins

07/23/2021 (Auburn MI) Management at Tri-City Motor Speedway was not intimidated by the cloudy and potentially rainy weather that had been forecast to be close last Friday night. Just a few sprinkles fell as teams prepared to battle another Friday night at the Auburn speed plant. It was another leg of the season-long Allstar Performance TCMS and Merritt Late Model Challenge Series for both the Late Models and the 4-6 cylinder teams. The late model feature was paying $6000 to win the main event and a hefty $1500 for the 4-6 cylinders. Along with the big shows for those two divisions, all of the other TCMS support divisions were also in action competing for money and points towards the TCMS track championship.

The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedge drivers kicked off the night’s activities with the preliminary heat races after the opening ceremonies. Lincoln Hughey managed to avoid mechanical gremlins to win the unrestricted motor heat race. However, it was last week’s winner, Bowen Jaynes, who would master the track surface to pick up his second feature win in a row. Hughey had to settle for third behind point leader Cason Murphy. The unrestricted division saw eight kids take the green flag in the main event. Addy Wade was able to hold off the field for all of those laps to capture another TCMS feature victory. Ella Gradowski held on to second ahead of Brennan DeShano, Chase Urmanic, and Mason Vanderveen. 2021 Champion Kyron DeShano took the win in the heat race.

The Troll Smoke House IMCA Modified main event had fifteen drivers take the green flag. Earlier heat race winner, Dale Kaake III captured the early lead of the 25-lap race. His lead would be short-lived as West Branch’s Brian Brindley took over before the half way point. After he made the pass, he was untouched in a race that went caution-free. Brindley picked up his first TCMS win of the year. Collin Thirlby finished a close second ahead of Jaycob Truemner, Craig Vance, and Kaake III. Last week’s winner, Kendall Morrison, won the other heat race.

Twenty-seven of Michigan’s best Late Model Drivers checked in on Friday night for their shot at the $6000 payday courtesy of the All Star Performance Late Model Challenge Series presented by the Soaring Eagle Casino. Defending Champion Travis Stemler had the quickest overall time in qualifying. He backed up that fast time by winning his qualifying heat race as did Eric Spangler and Chad Finley. 2015 track Champion David Hilliker had to win the Last Chance Qualifier in order to gain a starting spot in the 40-lap feature. Those three winners started in the first three spots for the big money main event. Spangler jumped out to the early lead. Despite another strong effort by 2019 Champion Derrick Hilliker, Spangler managed to use the entire track to keep the field behind him and capture win number two for 2021. Hilliker wound up second ahead of Dona Marcoullier, Finley, and Stemler.

The top four drivers in the 2021 TCMS Point Championship chase has been tight in the Auto House Factory Stock division with Ryan Nethers, Nick Putman, Eric Lake, and Jim Miller Jr. all within a dozen points from the top of the standings. Lake was the point leader heading into the night. He and Nethers both won their respective heat races with Jayden Boyd stealing the other heat race win. In the feature event, it was Putman and Blake Meylan who brought the field of twenty-two to the green flag. Meylan took the opening laps as the leader, but it wasn’t long before the usual players made their way to the front. Numerous laps had four and even five-wide racing with the point chasers all swapping spots within the top four. Within five laps, Kyle Andrzejewski was also part of the tight racing tacking place for the lead. Miller Jr. had held the lead for the majority of the race using the lowest groove on the track. Meanwhile, Lake used his typical high line to keep his machine at full throttle. With three to go, Lake was able to clear Miller to take another win and extend his point lead. Miller finished .200 seconds behind Lake but ahead of Putman, Nethers, and Andrzejewski.

The XLT Engineering 4-6 Cylinder division also had an AllStar Performance Challenge Series event and also had 33 drivers try to race off with the $1500 prize money. Muskegon’s Ryan Hamm, point leader Chad Freeman, Ethan Robarts, and William Withrow all won their qualifying heat races to gain entry in to the main event. Freeman and Nick Bullock started on the front row of the main event. However, the race director made the decision to race the cars in a clock-wise rotation. With this change, allowed by the rule book, changed the complexion of the race for many. It did not slow down the #23 of Herb Freeman. Within six laps, Herb Freeman took over the lead and was never touched for the remainder of the event. He crossed the finish line ahead of Chris Wassmann, Bullock, Robarts, and Chad Freeman to collect the big check in victory lane. The B-Main, for those that did not race their way into the main event, was captured by John Miller.

Weather may have been the reason for a lighter field of Auto Value Pro Stocks on Friday night. But, those that came to race put on a spectacular show for the fans. The start of the 25-lap race saw all six drivers mixing it up in the opening laps. However, Andrew Steele was not going to be denied his fourth win of the season. It took three laps for him to take the lead. From there, he took the win by a straightaway over Nate Murphy, Tim Murphy, Richard Yaroch, and Danielle Robinson. Rob Westergard took home heat race gold.

Next week, all the house divisions including the Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges, Auto House Factory Stocks, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Soaring Eagle Late models, Troll Smoke House IMCA Modifieds, and the XLT Engineering 4-6cyls are all a part of the race card. This week will be another All Star Performance Challenge Series event for the Auto Value Pro Stock paying $1000 to win. In addition, the Troll Smoke House IMCA Modifieds will have another opportunity to get onto the Fast Shafts IMCA Modified All Star Ballot with a $1500 main event. The first green flag waves at 7:00. Be sure to come early to claim your seat for another exciting show you won’t want to miss! For updated and instant results, season and Challenge Series point standings and the 2021 race schedule, visit the TCMS website at tricityracetrack.com or download the MyRacePass app.

Photo Credit: Randy Ellen

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