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5-24-14 Fr Race Story
Posted by: newsla on May 25, 2014 - 01:15 PM
5-24-14 Fr Race Story

Canton, MI driver Justin Schroeder topped a tough field of competition to win Saturday night's Diamond Racing Products Joy Fair Memorial 100 at Flat Rock Speedway. A total of 34 ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Models were on hand for the prestigious event, held in memory of Flat Rock's 10-time champion and all-time career win leader. Joy's family presented Justin with the 5 foot trophy and the Discount Tire Gold Cup in the 7-Up Winner's Circle.


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The race was the first in the 5-race Discount Tire Late Model Gold Cup Series, with 2 races at Flat Rock and 3 at Toledo Speedway. The stellar field made qualifying interesting, as 19 cars got into the 11 second bracket, led by 2013 track champ Dennis Strickland's lap of 11:701. Dennis picked up the $100 DTS Drive Train Specialists Fast Qualifier Award. 18 cars were locked in, 2 Flat Rock point provisionals and 4 cars from the last-chance races made up the 24 car field. Ron Allen and Jeff Plumb advanced from the first last-chance contest, while Jim Bailey and Joe Hawes moved to the 100 lap main from their 15 lap event.

For the first time at Flat Rock, a 25 lap B Main feature race was contested for the 10 cars that did not make the 100. Lori Hall thrilled the crowd as she sailed to the win over Michael Simko, Jim Alvis, Dan Trosen Jr., Bryan Richards, first-time visitor Nick Katterhenry, Brian Clay, Derrick Sheppard, Brad Turner and Steve Hawes.

The 8-car inversion for the 100 put Frankie Jiovani and Dakota Carlson on the front row. The duo ran side by side for the first 8 laps, trading the lead back and forth. Carlson nosed out front on lap 9, using the high side to take control The first 36 laps went straight green flag. Harold Fair Jr. was the man on the move, coming from 9th to 2nd by lap 25. Schroeder zipped into 3rd at lap 32 and settled in as Fair grabbed the point after the restart and zoomed into the lead at the lap 38 mark. A flurry of yellows for minor incidents slowed things, but the battles were intense throughout the pack. By lap 42, Paul Pelletier was sailing to the front, moving from 13th to 6th spot. At the half-way mark, Schroeder had moved into second as Fair set the quick pace. Brad Riethmeyer ran steady in the top 5 and remained there for the first part of the 100.

How intense was it? At lap 56, Scott Hantz, Stan Yee Jr. and Phil Bozell went 3 wide into turn 1 battling for 10th spot! The great field put on a show for the crowd throughout the race. At lap 69, Scott Hantz, who started 18th, was now in 7th spot. His teammate, Jeff Ganus, was also on the fly after a skirmish sent Jeff through the infield grass and back on the track, dropping him back in the pack while still under the green. Pelletier was now on the charge, rolling into 4th and closing in on Fair, Schroeder and Riethmeyer. Only 1 strange incident caused serious damage to the cars, and that occurred on lap 75 when Strickland slowed, moved down the track and caught Nick Bailey in the process, sending Nick into the infield and out of the way while the race continued. Strickland and Joe Hawes both dropped out on that lap 75 mark.

The yellow appeared for the final time on lap 77 for a piece of debris in turn 3, and the race took another wild turn. Fair, looking for the win and in great shape, had his car quit just as the field got ready for the restart. He was pushed to the infield with mechanical woes and at the same time, Jiovani also ended a fine night with an engine problem. Schroeder, who had closed in just a bit on Fair before the yellow, was now the leader and Justin was not to be denied as he took off on the restart and grabbed the victory. Pelletier zipped around Carlson after the race resumed and got to 2nd at the finish with a great run. Riethmeyer was also solid with a third, Ganus picked off 2 cars in the final 10 laps to grab fourth and Carlson was fifth. Hantz, Scott Pemberton, Steve Cronenwett Jr., Bozell and Jeff Plumb completed the top ten. Eric Lee, who pitted several times after a mid-race altercation, finished 11th. Chris Benson, Craig Everage, Mike Root, Derek Wiley, Fair Jr., Jiovani, Nick Bailey, Strickland, Hawes, Stan Yee Jr., Jim Bailey, FrAllen and Jeff Vrsek were next in line at the finish. Race number 2 of the Discount Tire Gold Cup Series is at Toledo Friday, June 6.

Kyle Worley cruised to victory in the 25 lap ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A Main feature. Kyle took the lead early in the event and stayed out front to the checkered flag over Corey Duane, Arnold Kirsch, Rich Frantz, Scott Selmi, Rob Moore, Tadek Stadniczuk, Josh Bunting, Bob Swanson and Rob Randa. Rich Abel won the 15 lap B Main, topping Mel Worley, Troy Brehmer, Chris Diovardi, Gary Calhoun and Jeffrey Kurzyniec. Guy Fire led the 29 car field to set the Fastime Racing Engine and Parts quick time at 13:621, while Diovardi led the B Main cars at 14:240. Heat race winners were Kirsch, Nick Shanks, Swanson and Diovardi.

Flat Rock Speedway will honor its former racers at the annual Racer's Reunion gathering Saturday, May 31. Kevin Butzin Recycling will sponsor the night of racing, featuring the ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Models, DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stocks and the Praxair Figure 8's. Race time is 7 p.m.

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