Thirlby and Jenema Win Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway - Tri-City Motor Speedway - Auburn, MI | Friday Night Dirt Track Racing
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Thirlby and Jenema Win Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway

Thirlby and Jenema Win Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Thirlby and Jenema Win Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Thirlby and Jenema Win Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Thirlby and Jenema Win Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Thirlby and Jenema Win Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway
Thirlby and Jenema Win Big at Tri-City Motor Speedway

08/27/2021 (Auburn MI) The previous week’s weather forecast never looked like racing was going to be possible for last Friday night’s show at Tri-City Motor Speedway. However, after some early morning storms, the clouds moved out and the chance of rain decreased greatly. By the time racing was set to begin, the weather and the track surface was perfect for a night of high horsepower action from the 96 drivers checked in throughout the five car divisions. Lap times throughout the night in all divisions would have broken long standing track qualifying records. The spotlight this week was on the Troll Smoke House IMCA Modifieds and the XLT Engineering 4-6 Cylinder/Midwest Compact Tour divisions as both competed for larger purses in their feature events.

The Midwest Compact Tour visited TCMS to compete against the track regulars for a $1500 top prize. Owner Mike Blackmer decided to run all 27 of the drivers in the 20-lap main event. Pole-sitter Herb Freeman wasted no time shooting away from front row starter Troy Miller at the drop of the green flag. Freeman. Nick Bullock, who is chasing Chad Freeman for the 2021 point championship took the lead from Freeman on lap seven. The lead wouldn’t last very long as Grand Rapids talent Nick Jenema grabbed control of the race lead near the midway point of the race. With the lack of cautions, Jenema’s skills were tested as he needed to work his way through a lot of lapped traffic. South Milwaukee Wisconsin driver Jay Orr had his hands full trying to follow Jenema through traffic that, at times, were running two and three wide. The final three laps of the race had the fans on their feet as Orr made multiple attempts to surpass Jenema. However, Orr would come up just short as Jenema was the first to the checkered flag and collected the $1500 top prize. Orr would have to settle for second place and was followed by Bullock, Anthony Wood, and Jonny Staszak. Orr, Freeman, and Bullock were the victors in the preliminary heat races.

The Troll Smoke House IMCA drivers had had a week off due to the Hell Tour Visit by the UMP Modifieds the previous week and they were ready to race hard for the $1000 top prize. Collin Thirlby and former track Champion Myron DeYoung dominated their heat race wins earlier in the evening solidifying their intentions of being the ones to beat in the 25-lap main event. The starting position advantage went to Thirlby as he drew the pole position next to Chad Spencer. Thirlby snatched the lead from Spencer immediately and was able to secure a sizeable lead on the field. Multiple restarts for on track incidents bunched the field behind Thirlby. However, he was strong enough to pull from the field every time. IN the closing laps, DeYoung was able to reel in Thirlby and get a few looks at the top spot. But, it was Thirlby leading all 25 laps to capture another victory and the large check. DeYoung settled for second and finished ahead of Aaron Raby, Craig Vance, and Spencer.

The Auto Value Pro Stock class was quite competitive on Friday night as, once again, it came down to the two top drivers in the class. The crowd saw another epic battle between the two drivers that have shut out the majority of the field for feature wins. Nate Murphy took advantage of the tacky track to take the heat race checkered flag. In the feature, Tim Murphy tried to break through to become only the fourth driver to win a Pro Stock feature. He led the first 11 laps fending off Danielle Robinson before Nate Murphy snuck through and made the pass for the lead. Andrew Steele, who broke in last week’s feature, did everything he could to take the lead from Murphy but came up just short at the finish as Murphy took his third feature of 2021. Steele was second with Tim Murphy, Robert Hankinson, and Teri Lynn Murphy close behind.

The Auto House Factory Stocks Are always exciting to watch at TCMS on a slick surface. But with the heavy and tacky track, the field of 20 really put on a thrilling show for the fans. Last week’s winner drew a front row starting position and was able to overtake Cameron Gordon at the initial green flag of the 20-lap feature. Gordon put up a good fight in the early stages of the race before the season point challengers Nick Putman, Kyle Andrzejewski, Jim Miller Jr. and Ryan Nethers took their turns pressuring Lake for the lead. Miller Jr, the season points leader ended up making an unexpected stop in the pits with seven laps remaining, which took him from a chance to compete for the win. Despite smoke appearing from the back of Lake’s car in the closing laps, he won his second feature in a row crossing the line ahead of Nethers, Putman, Andrzejewski, and Blake Meylan. Miller Jr. came back to finish seventh. Nethers, Brian Cook, and Katie Robinson were the fastest in their respective heat races.

The Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort late Models really set the tone for how the nights’ racing was going to be. In qualifying, four-time track Champion Andrew Terrill blistered the former track record by 3/10ths of a second as he circumnavigated the oval in a time of 12.037. In all, four drivers bested that original record and the majority of the field qualified in the twelve second bracket. Terrill would back up his lap time by winning his heat race. Joey Burch won the other heat race. The luck of the draw, however, put Terrill deep in the feature field but had point leader Eric Spangler on the front row. Spangler rarely gives up the lead when he starts up front and he did so again this night. He blew away from the field on the start and led all 30 circuits to collect his fifth win of 2021. Derrick Hilliker did gave all he had on final corner of the final lap, but chose to not wreck the leader and settled for another second place finish. Burch, David Hilliker, and Terrill wrapped up top five finishes.

Help us kick off the Labor Day weekend as we crown the 2021 Champions. All of our house divisions will be in action as the 2021 point season winds down. For updated and instant results, season and Challenge Series point standings and the 2021 race schedule, visit the TCMS website at or download the MyRacePass app.

Photo Credit: Randy Ellen

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