A full show was what awaited fans as they packed the facilities of the fast 3/8ths (0.375) of a mile high banked dirt oval Friday at Cherry Raceway in Fife Lake.
The Pro Streets were the first main event of the evening, going 15-laps. Bob Green — the champion in 1999 — and Kevin Newberry started on the front row. Newberry jumped out front early as the race leader. However on the very next time around Green would manage to get to the lead and would stay there for the duration of the feature.
This was the third victory of the year for the Fife Lake driver in his Olson’s Auto Body/Chevrolet. Newberry finished second, defending track champion Allen Oyer, and John Hittle made up the rest of the top five. Green also won the heat.
Next it was the Factory Stocks taking to their 15-lap feature event. Kevin Stricker and 2011 track champion Emery Smith brought the field to the green flag. Smith would jump out to the early lead, and would hang on until lap 10. That would be when Stricker would fight his way up front and take the top spot away and go on to victory lane.
This was the third win of the year in as many nights for the Traverse City native, in his Stricker Racing / Chevrolet. Karl McClellan finished second, Smith was third, Nick Crim, and Jeremiah Woebbeking rounded out the top five. Smith was the winner of the heat race.
The Weller Truck Parts UMP Modifieds were out next in a 15-lap feature. Dennis Taghon and Davin Reckow made up the front row. After the start it would be Taghon that would pull away as the leader. He would lead for a majority of the race, until on lap 13 2011 track champion Joe Rokos found his way to the lead and would go on to victory.
This was Roko’s second win at Cherry Raceway this season in his Gilboe’s Lock & Safe/Rocket by Ruhlman based in Interlochen. Taghon would have to settle for second, Paul Buckler was third, Reckow, and Wayne Taghon capped off the top five. Reckow won the heat, Taghon won the four car dash, and Rokos set fast time in qualifying with a time of 15.360
The Hirams Lightning Sprints were next for their first visit of the year in a 20-lap A-main. When the checkered flag dropped it was Rusty Reyelts who went home the winner. He finished ahead of Mack Erickson, Bill Dunham, Ron Ramoy, and Ricky Droke who completed the top five finishers. The heats were taken by Dunham and Droke.
The Crossroads Chevrolet Four-Cylinder Compacts hit the track for their 15-lap feature. A pair of rookies, 11-year-old Andrea Taghon and 16-year-old Calvin Ingleston were on the front row at the drop of the green. Taghon would lead the opening circuit, then on then on lap 2 Ingleston would take the lead. Then, on lap 13 Rhenna Doberstien fought here way up front and would take the checkered flag and be crowned the winner.
This was the first win of the year for 15-year-old Interlochen driver her Cliff’s Auto Repair/Saturn SC2. She got the win over; 2012 Rookie of the year Dalton Bouscher who was the runner up, defending track champion Chris Casey, Taghon, and Ingleston who finished off the top five. The heats were won by Bouscher and Casey.
The Four-Cylinder Warriors made their way out for a 15-lap main event. The front row consisted of Russ Carrier and Darren Bowers. Carrier would hold the early lead until lap 4 when Andrew Austin battled his way to the front of the field for the lead. He would never look back from there as he would pick up the win.
The Manton driver earned his second win of the year in his Joe’s Garage/Chevrolet The runner up spot went to Jeremy Tullick, Bob Craycraft, Jeremy Wood, and Bill Luhtanen completed the top five. Tullick and Austin won the heats.
The final event of the night was courtesy of the Auto Value UMP Super Late Models. Steve Nieuwenhuis and Phil Lalonde brought the field out to chief starter Steve Sherwood’s green flag. Nieuwenhuis took the advantage early, but Lalonde would take the lead on the very next lap. He would continue to lead and after a hard fought battle he would go to the winners circle as the winner.
This was the first career feature win for Lalonde in his Xtreme Graphix / Mastersbilt based in Lake City. Adam Erickson was second, Nieuwenhuis was third, Butch Straight, and Andy Nickerson III were the top five. Erickson and Lalonde were the heat winners. J.T. Anderson won the four-car dash, and Erickson had fast time in qualifying with a time of 14.130.