Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 2, 2013

Auto Racing: Erickson, Rokos take wins at Mid-Season championships


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — FIFE LAKE — Friday night was Mid-Season championship night at the Cherry Raceway in Fife Lake.

The race program was headlined by The Auto Value UMP DIRTcar Late Models. They were joined by the Weller Truck Parts UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, Pro Streets, Factory Stocks, Four-Cylinder Warriors, and Crossroads Chevrolet Four-Cylinder Compacts.

The Crossroads Chevrolet Four-Cylinder Compacts were the first feature to hit the racing surface for a 15-lap A-Main. They were led out by the front row of defending track champion 14-year-old Chris Casey and 16-year-old Rheanna Doberstein. Casey jumped out to the early race lead, and remain there until lap 8. That would be when he would suffer some mechanical problems and give the lead to Doberstein who would go on to be crowned the winner.

This was the second win of the season for the Interlochen driver, in her Cliff’s Auto Repair & Exhaust/Saturn. Hunter Carrier was the runner up in his very first time in a racecar. Sixteen-year old Ricky Wilson, 11-year-old Andrea Taghon and 13-year-old Dalton Bouscher made up the top five. Wilson was the winner of the lone heat race.

The Weller Truck Parts UMP DIRTcar Modifieds were out next for their 20-lap feature. Brothers Dennis Taghon and Wayne Taghon made up row number 1. After the opening lap it was 2011 track champion Joe Rokos finding his way to the front of the field. He would be able to go on from there unchallenged to lead every lap and get the win.

This was the 31-year-old from Interlochen’s third win of the year, behind the wheel of his Gilboe’s Lock & Safe/Rocket by Ruhlman. Greg Gokey finished behind in second. Scott Payton, John Goodrich, and Jeremy Metepenagen rounded out the top five. Payton, and Dennis Taghon were the heat winners and Rokos also won the four-car dash.

The 20-lap Factory Stock main event was next. Emery Smith, the 2011 track champion, and Kevin Stricker led the field out. Smith was able to take the early race lead. He would lead much of the event. However on lap 15 his machine would falter which took him out of the race and give the lead to Stricker, who went on from there to take the Checkers.

Stricker, the 49-year-old from Traverse City picked up his fourth win of the year in his Stricker Racing/Chevrolet. Jeremiah Woebbeking finished second, Dan Wierman, Karl McClellan, and Brandon Weber finished off the top five. Richard Cebula III and Smith picked up the heat victories.

Four-Cylinder Warriors made their way out for 20-lap main event. The front row consisted of Jeremy Tulick, and Andrew Austin. Once the green flag was dropped Austin pulled away with the lead. He would manage to stay ahead of the battles behind him and would lead every lap and score the win.

The 28-year old from Manton went to victory lane in his Joe’s Garage/Chevrolet for his third win of the season. He finished ahead of Tulick who was second. Arlie Cooper, 17-year-old Jackson White, and Jim Luhtanen capped off the top five. The heat races were won by Cooper and Tulick.

The Pro Streets were led out by J.J. Arbour and 1999 track champion Bob Green for their 20-lap Feature race. Green pulled out to the lead and there is where he would remain, as he was able to pull out to healthy lead and cruise to the win leading all twenty laps.

This was the fourth win of the year for the 50-year old Fife Lake driver in his Olson’s Auto body/Chevrolet. Kevin Newberry finished second. Joe Fisher, Jimmy Hiller, and John Hittle were the top five. Newberry and Fisher took the heats.

Finally, the Auto Value UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models were out for the final event of the night which was 20-laps in length. Adam Erickson and Steve Zakrajsek led the field down to chief starter Steve Sherwood’s green flag. Erickson wasted no time taking the lead as he would hold the top spot after the opening circuit. After putting up with a fierce battle through most of the race he would manage to hold on and sail to victory.

This was Erickson’s first win of the season behind the wheel of his Erickson racing/Rocket. Five time track champion Eric Spangler had to settle for second. Zakrajsek, J.T. Anderson, and defending co-track champion Alex Beeman completed the top five. Erickson and Spangler won the heats. Steve Nieuwenhuis won the four-car dash.

This Friday, Cherry Raceway will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday by bringing in the traveling cars and stars of the Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour. The best drivers in and around the state of Michigan will make the trek up to Fife Lake for the third round in their 2013 campaign. They will be joined by the Pro Streets, Factory Stocks, Four-Cylinder Warriors and Cross Roads Chevrolet Four-Cylinder Compacts.

Ticket Prices for Friday are: Adults (13-59): $17 – Seniors (60 and Over): $14 – Children (6-12): $10 – Kids (5 and Under): Free – Pit Passes: $30.The pit gates open at 5 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 6 p.m. Practice also starts at 6 p.m. Then after pre-race ceremonies, racing begins at approximately 7:30 p.m.