Friday, October 20, 2017

Final Michigan Points for 2017

I know that I probably said this last year when I posted these, but the state of Michigan is probably one of the top three states when it comes to weekly Late Model racing with several tracks running under UMP Super Late Model rules. They have not fragmented the class with Crates or other types of Limiteds and car counts are often over twenty each week at several of the tracks. Following are the final points for the state of Michigan AIP-style with all races counting on a 5-point scale.

The top five drivers in the Late Model standings are the same as 2016 with only the top two switching spots as this year Eric Spangler edges out Ryan Vanderveen by just five points. Vanderveen had three more top-five finishes with thirty-three, but with fourteen feature wins Spangler scored more points.

Michigan is also unique in that the Sport Mods have not invaded the state as of yet. They have both UMP and IMCA sanctioned Modifieds with a couple of tracks running both on the same night where the IMCA-rules class are called Limited Modifieds. To be consistent with the rest of the Midwest I lump both together for the state points with David Mielke scorning the most points for the second year in a row. Mielke had eleven feature wins as part of his thirty-one top five finishes edging out Cody Bauer by just two points. A.J. Ward, who made an unexpected appearance at the Quad City Speedway in August, finished in the third spot.

Sprint Cars race weekly at the Butler Speedway and there are two regional touring series as well that takes the class to nearly every track in the state at least once during the season. After ranking fifth in 2016, Doug Zimmerman climbs to the top of this year's standings on the strength of seven wins and fourteen top five finishes.

The "Best of the Midwest" will once again combine drivers from all of the states that are tracked here on the Back Stretch and will be released after the 2017 season ends in the Dome in St. Louis in December.

Michigan Points
Late Model Final 2017
Pos. Driver Hometown Points
1 . Eric Spangler Lake City 124
2 . Ryan Vanderveen Six Lakes 119
3 . Dona Marcoullier Houghton Lake 95
4 . Rich Neiser Fruitport 89
5 . Brandon Thirlby Traverse City 74
6 . Zack Olger St. Johns 66
7 . Scott Baker Ionia 61
8 . Travis Stemler Ionia 60
9 . Andrew Terrill Sanford 52
10 . David Hilliker Midland 49
11 . Steve Fairbanks Twin Lake 45
12 . Nick Kurtz Greenville 43
13 . Greg Gokey Buckley 42
14 . Kyle Borgman Muskegon 40
15 . Drew Wilkerson Revenna 37
16 . Eddie Reyes 34
17 . Ryan Lanphierd Midland 34
18 . Curtis Roberts Coleman 32
19 . Derrick Hilliker Midland 29
20 . Steven Hilliker Midland 29
21 . Scott Fisk Lowell 28
22 . Bill Bray Spring Lake 23
23 . Kenny Playter Saranac 23
24 . Alex Hupert Augres 22
25 . Steve McClees Muskegon 22
26 . Brian Ruhlman Clark Lake 14
27 . Carl Ries Blanchard 14
28 . Kyle Roberts Beaverton 14
29 . Chad Finley Lansing 13
30 . Chad White Steveville 13
31 . Josh Knoll Barryton 13
32 . Garrett Wiles Hubbardson 12
33 . Josh Borton Crystal 12
34 . Taylor Wiles Hubbardson 12
35 . Tom Dusen Muskegon 12
36 . Billy Moyer Jr. Batesville AR 10
37 . Kevin Reeve Hanover 10
38 . Rusty Schlenk McClure OH 10
39 . Shawn Reed 10
40 . Isaac Wolfgang Breckenridge 9
41 . Joe Pomeroy Cass City 9
42 . Michael Archer Jackson 9
43 . Michael Luberda Jr. Augres 9
44 . Sammy Epling Perry 9
45 . Shane Clanton Locust Grove GA 9
46 . Chris Madden Grays Court SC 9
47 . Bry Johnson Lowell 8
48 . Dan Wilson Muskegon 8
49 . Frank Seder Alger 8
50 . Jesse Playter Greenville 8
51 . Logan Love Vestaburg 8
52 . Brennan Bowen Sheridan 7
53 . Rachel Carpenter Laingsburg 7
54 . Wade Witherspoon Owendale 7
55 . Brad Mann 6
56 . Rob Taylor Muskegon 6
57 . Brad Buskirk Alma 5
58 . Chad Foster McBain 5
59 . Dave Hartman Saranac 5
60 . J.C. Witherspoon Kinde 5
61 . Justin Pauley Dowagiac 5
62 . Justin Robinson Shepard 5
63 . Megan Carpenter Laingsburg 5
64 . Rich Bell Sheffield IL 5
65 . Rick Swartout 5
66 . Ryan Kent Greenville 5
67 . Tyler Norton Midland 5
68 . Brandon Sheppard New Berlin IL 5
69 . Chad Anklam Freeland 4
70 . Curt Spalding 4
71 . Herb Reich Ann Arbor 4
72 . Jason Feger Bloomington IL 4
73 . Jeramy Lange Muskegon 4
74 . Matthew Chapman Tecumseh 4
75 . Milt Montgomery Sheridan 4
76 . Phil Ausra Dowagiac 4
77 . Zeke McKenzie 4
78 . Devin Moran Dresden OH 4
79 . Dean Huizenga Belmont 3
80 . Kevin Nelson Jr. 3
81 . Logan Arntz Vestaburg 3
82 . Amanda Wing Middleton 3
83 . Troy Marciniak 3
84 . Tom Sprague Jr. Muskegon 3
85 . Ben Mott 2
86 . Bobby Pierce Oakwood IL 2
87 . Brad Wade Dundee 2
88 . Chris Brindley West Branch 2
89 . Craig Foster Lake City 2
90 . Devin Shiels Britton 2
91 . Jarrett Rendel Clayton 2
92 . Kris Patterson Jr. St. Johns 2
93 . Mark Anderson 2
94 . Ryan Unzicker El Paso IL 2
95 . Scott Phillips Marlette 2
96 . Torrey Ahrens Harbor Beach 2
97 . Jake Rendel Adrian 2
98 . Rick Eckert York PA 2
99 . Bob Timmer McBain 1
100 . Bret Darling 1
101 . C.J. Heskett Muskegon 1
102 . Chris Rinard Ithaca 1
103 . Dave Bowen Sterling 1
104 . Hillard Miller Defiance OH 1
105 . Ken O'Connor Elkton 1
106 . Matt Shipley 1
107 . Andy Sprague 1
108 . Jared Guinn 1
109 . Scott Church Ithaca 1
110 . Morgan Bagley Longview TX 1

Michigan Points
Modified Final 2017
Pos. Driver Hometown Points
1 . David Mielke Gladwin 118
2 . Cody Bauer Farwell 116
3 . A.J. Ward Ionia 107
4 . Greg Smith Montague 92
5 . Chad Bauer Farwell 91
6 . Myron DeYoung Stanton 86
7 . Tim Wilber 74
8 . Gary Vandermark Lowell 73
9 . Jacob Poel Spring Lake 70
10 . John Taylor Shepherd 65
11 . Austin Wonch Stanton 58
12 . Mike Epplett Muskegon 58
13 . Ted Cooper Whitehall 57
14 . Timmy Near Clio 57
15 . Joe Rokos Interlochen 56
16 . Evan Shotko Coopersville 54
17 . Steve Shellenberger 54
18 . Josh Lolmaugh 44
19 . Mitchell Hunt Greenville 44
20 . Garrett Rons 38
21 . Kody Johnson Vestaburg 37
22 . Scott Smith West Branch 35
23 . Chad Spencer Kingston 31
24 . Chad Wernette Sheridan 31
25 . David VanGuilder 31
26 . John DeYoung Jr. Stanton 31
27 . Brenten DeYoung Crystal 29
28 . Chris Barton 28
29 . Collin Thirlby Traverse City 28
30 . Matt Sprague 27
31 . Dave Baker Grand Rapids 24
32 . Reid Sanders Sears 24
33 . Nick Stormzand Lowell 22
34 . Roy Harvey Mt. Pleasant 22
35 . Steve Fairbanks Twin Lake 22
36 . Corey Bevard 21
37 . Charlie Mihacsi 19
38 . Jacob Flickinger Gaylord 19
39 . Chaz Pray Clio 18
40 . Gavin Hunyday Fenton 18
41 . Shannon Fisk 18
42 . Zeke McKenzie 18
43 . Mike Shanteau Weidman 17
44 . Bobby Stremme South Bend IN 16
45 . Brady Hollenbeck 16
46 . Joe Fowler St. Charles 16
47 . Russ Franks Oconto WI 16
48 . Brian Baumgarten Onaway 15
49 . Kory Maurice Grand Rapids 15
50 . Matt Szecsodi Clio 15
51 . Matt Valiquette Menominee 15
52 . Mike Patrick 15
53 . Bill Workman Jr. Muskegon 14
54 . Chance Allen Alma 14
55 . Curt Spalding 14
56 . Jerid Bissen Muskegon 14
57 . John McClure Clarksville 14
58 . Darryl Banks 13
59 . Brian Ruhlman Clark Lake 12
60 . Chad Maurer 12
61 . Andy Galgoci Rosebrush 11
62 . Mark Pifer 11
63 . Mike Petersen Muskegon 11
64 . Pat Richer Bark River 11
65 . Archie Miles Lake City 10
66 . Jeff Reay 10
67 . Kyle Borgman 10
68 . Milton Montgomery Jr. 10
69 . Paul Johnson Arcadia 10
70 . Rick Conquergood 10
71 . Craig Vance Midland 9
72 . Howard Payton 9
73 . Mike Roe Twin Lake 9
74 . Stan Dodds Rothbury 9
75 . Troy Marciniak Muskegon 9
76 . Casey Tasker Fenwick 8
77 . Don Campbell 8
78 . Fran Berube Cornell 8
79 . Jerry Hunt Greenville 8
80 . Kody Weisner Lima OH 8
81 . Larry Passenier Muskegon 8
82 . Scott Payton Gaylord 8
83 . Brent Banning West Branch 7
84 . Chuck Carmin 7
85 . Kenny Wallace Concord NC 7
86 . Toby Steele Beaverton 7
87 . Derek Saur 6
88 . Doug McLaughlin 6
89 . Jeff Erickson Jr. Muskegon 6
90 . Lonnie Dalgord Escanaba 6
91 . Mike Richer Escanaba 6
92 . Steve Langdon 6
93 . Anthony Deming Pigeon 5
94 . Bill Workman Sr. Muskegon 5
95 . Clayton Smith Taylor 5
96 . Calvin Stemler Ionia 5
97 . Chad May Rockford 5
98 . Chris Cohoon Auburn 5
99 . Dennis Taghon Empire 5
100 . Derek Poland Muskegon 5
101 . Jason Jones 5
102 . George Truscott Greenland 5
103 . Kyle Galgoci Shepherd 5
104 . Mike Langdon 5
105 . Nick Hoffman Mooresville NC 5
106 . Jake Reuter 4
107 . Jimmy Gallager St. Johns 4
108 . John Raney 4
109 . Justn Kuhl Gagetown 4
110 . Robby Henderson 4
111 . Ryan Ordway 4
112 . Shaun Patrick 4
113 . Garrett Wiles Hubbardson 4
114 . Trent Musk Muskegon 4
115 . Mark Beard Mt. Pleasant 4
116 . Brad Bates Twin Lake 3
117 . Aaron Wolf 3
118 . Brad Roberts Stockbridge 3
119 . Brent Drobny 3
120 . Derrick Neitling Saginaw 3
121 . Don Sautter Bay City 3
122 . Donnie Roberts Gladwin 3
123 . Dylan Woodling 3
124 . Garrett Bennett 3
125 . Larry Cade Buckley 3
126 . Preston DeShano Kawkawlin 3
127 . Rich Robinson Sr. Mt. Pleasant 3
128 . Ritchie Sutherland Merritt 3
129 . Rusty Ziegler Ovid 3
130 . Terry Wilber 3
131 . Todd Sherman Churobusco IN 3
132 . Michael Beard 3
133 . Andy Sprague Muskegon 2
134 . Bill Eversole 2
135 . Blake Rausch 2
136 . Brian Brindley West Branch 2
137 . C. Keyosky 2
138 . Cody Wernette 2
139 . Cory Ruesink Lowell 2
140 . Dan Borgman 2
141 . Hillard Miller Defiance OH 2
142 . J. Harris 2
143 . Joel Sherman 2
144 . John McCaul Montague 2
145 . Kyle Novak Traverse City 2
146 . Mike McKinney 2
147 . Steven Brooks Moline IL 2
148 . Todd Matheson Clio 2
149 . Kevin Miller Mt. Pleasant 2
150 . Troy Ziegler 2
151 . Tyler Moorehouse 2
152 . Vern Buskirk Elwell 2
153 . William Endert 2
154 . Wyatt Baker 2
155 . Allen Oyer Mancelona 1
156 . Dillon Nusbaum 1
157 . Jared Guinn Hudsonville 1
158 . Jeff Ream 1
159 . Josh Scott Grand Rapids OH 1
160 . T. Jubenville 1
161 . Steve Pena 1
162 . Troy Donn Gladwin 1
163 . Duane Morley 1
164 . John Wozniak 1
165 . Caleb Kill Falmouth 1

Michigan Points
Winged Sprints Final 2017
Pos. Driver Hometown Points
1 . Doug Zimmerman Montgomery 53
2 . Ken Mackey Brooklyn 49
3 . Ryan Ruhl Coldwater 47
4 . Jared Horstman Colverdale OH 46
5 . Joe Swanson Etna Green IN 38
6 . Chase Ridenour Perry 34
7 . Chad Blonde Litchfield 33
8 . Boston Mead Onsted 32
9 . Steve Irwin Fenton 29
10 . Gregg Dalman Bellevue 20
11 . Tom Schinderle Warren 20
12 . Shelby Bilton Reading 17
13 . Dustin Daggett Grand Ledge 16
14 . Kyle Sauder Archbold OH 15
15 . Matt Foos Fremont OH 14
16 . Devon Dobie Wapakoneta OH 10
17 . Brett Mann Goshen IN 9
18 . Jay Steinbach Hudsonville 9
19 . Jordan Ryan Castalia OH 8
20 . Quinton Blonde 8
21 . Shawn Dancer Delphos OH 7
22 . Mike Schumacher 6
23 . Adam Cruea Troy OH 5
24 . Brad Lamberson Parma 5
25 . Cap Henry 5
26 . Dan McCarron Dundee 5
27 . David Gravel Waterford CT 5
28 . Josh Turner Hanover 5
29 . Max Stambaugh Lima OH 5
30 . Michael Burkin Clyde OH 5
31 . Phil Gressman Helena OH 5
32 . Randy Hannagan Pittsboro IN 5
33 . Brad Sweet Grass Valley CA 4
34 . Chris Gurley Crown Point IN 4
35 . Dain Naida Tecumseh 4
36 . Kyle Poortenga Woodland 3
37 . John Schulz West Burlington IA 3
38 . Logan Schuchart Hanover PA 3
39 . Ryan Kirkendall Pioneer OH 3
40 . Shawn Valenti Risingsun OH 3
41 . Stuart Brubaker Fremont OH 3
42 . Andrew Scheid Sparta 2
43 . Brent Marks 2
44 . Brent Stapp Duncan OK 2
45 . Dylan Westbrook 2
46 . Joe Shoemacher 2
47 . Mike Astrauskas Pierson 2
48 . Mike Baker Vicksburg 2
49 . Robert Bullock Pittsford 2
50 . Shawn Murray Jacksonville FL 2
51 . Robert Huisken Marne 2
52 . Craig Karazin Eaton Rapids 1
53 . Brian Smith Fremont OH 1
54 . Kelsey Ivy Fremont OH 1
55 . Kraig Kinser Bloomington IN 1
56 . Linden Jones 1
57 . Mike Dunlap Wapakoneta OH 1
58 . Ryan Grubaugh St. Johns 1
59 . Robert Huisken Marne 1
60 . Troy Chehowski Coldwater 1
61 . Zach Hampton 1

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday Notebook: October 18, 2017

For the first time in years I was all excited about the NBA and I even had my Tivo set up to record the season opener between the Celtics and the Cavaliers. Then, just a few minutes into the game, one of the new Celtics stars Gordon Heyward went for an alley-oop in traffic. Let's just say that when Gordon came down I suddenly lost my interest in the NBA again. If you haven't seen his ankle injury, don't go looking for it, I just hope that this fine young man who previously played for coach Brad Stevens at Butler can recover and once again play basketball at a high level in the future.

Last week was an interesting one as the weather played a big role and decisions had to be made. Up in Minnesota the Granite City Speedway made an early call and cancelled its two-day show bringing about all kinds of Facebook fury with people even accusing the track of canceling in order to help sponsor Don Shaw win a points battle. The comments were relentless and I hope that each and every one of the idiots who made them realize how foolish they looked when IT ACTUALLY RAINED! That is the great thing about Facebook over what we used to have when only the AWP's (Anonymous Weasel Posters) were roaming the forums is that at least now you can identify who is stupid and who is not. So just remember that the next time that you want to get nasty on Facebook. :)

The Darkside boys had a rough weekend up in Tipton with the Fall Bash and obviously they wished that they had made a different call on the Thursday night show where more than 200 drivers had signed in before it was determined that the track would not be able to be rolled into a safe condition for racing. Then on Friday night they were clipped by a fast moving storm that eventually caused them to stop the show short of a finish as well. Perhaps the folks around here are now wising up because I did not see much for negativity on either Facebook or the Iowastockcars forum where in the past any promoter who had this happen would have been mercilessly skewered. So do you want to see the difference?

If Timmy and Ryan had been beaten up on social media they likely would not continue to consider a possible one week tour for Modifieds and Sport Mods in 2018 that would run seven nights straight at six different tracks both starting and ending at the same track. They would try to keep the shows within a two hour driving distance and they are looking at running in the early spring or during the Fall when track points would not be an issue. Given the popularity of the North Dakota Tour that runs in July I am not so sure that they need to worry about that as something in June might work better than racing weeknights during the school year. Anyway, the point is that if you don't drive a promoter in the ground when things don't go well, they will remain motivated and excited about putting on events in the future. Good job eastern Iowa race fans!

Hopefully the weather will not be as challenging this weekend when the Darkside goes Topless for two nights at the Farley Speedway.

I had much earlier made plans to be in northwest Missouri on Thursday for the opening night of the Summit Racing Equipment USRA Nationals and it was great to see several drivers in action that I usually only read about.We took a walk through the pits just before hot laps and I was disappointed that I could not find Steve Holthaus and his gang from northeast Iowa. Steve was a champion on my NKF Tour for Hobby Stocks several years ago and is truly one of the good guys in the sport. It has been a long time since I have seen the "Old Dirty Rat" #70 in action and it would have been good to talk with him face to face. Any chance of doing that after the racing went out the window when the show ran up to the one o'clock hour leading me to think about how a promoter can sometimes be blamed for a late running show when it was really no fault of his own.

The drivers have to take the blame on this one as there was no "down time" between each race and, after a short delay to get the moisture rolled in, the track was in good racing condition. Perhaps too good as it may have been the speeds or the simple fact that many of the drivers were unfamiliar with the I-35 Speedway that has long fast straights and then sharp hairpin turns as several spinouts and even a couple of rollovers made it a long and frustrating night. The delays did give us a chance to talk racing with Trenton Berry, Stick and Jeff Nun though and that was a treat. Now if only somebody who can actually make a difference will listen to us! All kidding aside the one thing that I can say with confidence after that night is that you MUST have the tenderloin sandwich at I-35. I never thought that anybody could compete with the tenderloins that SPI used to serve up, but this one just might have taken the lead!

On Friday I pulled into the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa around 6:30 p.m. and it was an eerie sight with the sun setting behind an overcast sky and the lights not yet up to full song for the Musco Lighting Fall Challenge. It reminded me of going to Speedweek events in Florida when it would be dark when you would arrive at the race track, but yet hot laps had not even started. Of course the lack of sunshine leads to another thing that I like about Fall racing around here and that is you seldom, if ever see a dry slick race track. Extra laps were needed after each race on Friday night to keep it rolled in and wide and the drivers did a nice job putting on an excellent show.

Of course the big question now is what will 2018 look like in Oskaloosa? Will the track continue to provide us lucky race fans with something that only a few in the nation get to experience with a weekly Wednesday night program? Or will it be another more "traditional" race night for the weekly program or perhaps even specials only for 2018? A few people that I consider to be experts have told me that this is going to be an interesting offseason with several tracks making changes for next year and this just might be one of them. I hope not though as Wednesdays in Osky are much more than just another race night for several of us who gather near the top of the grandstands just to the east of the flagstand, it is a weekly reunion of friends.

The future of the Longdale Speedway in Oklahoma is up in the air right now as Jessie Hoskins posted on the track's Facebook page this week that he is considering his options after a tough 2017 season. This is one of those interesting scenarios where Longdale was built after the track in Enid shut down a few years ago, however with Enid coming back to life for special events this past season it has obviously put the hurt on Longdale. Regular readers of the Back Stretch know that it often seems like when one track closes another opens and this is just an example of when the track that closes opens back up it makes the new track that opened up because of the closing have to close. Try reading that sentence fast three times in a row.

Longdale looks like a great new facility and it would be a shame to see it shut down completely so perhaps both tracks can succeed by running partial schedules. I know that it was odd to drive past the Outlaw Speedway just south of Muskogee when we drove down to Dallas on Labor Day weekend and think of what a waste of a nice facility it is to not have races, so hopefully Longdale won't come by the same fate.

One of the other things that I love about Fall racing is the fact that you just never know who might show up at a Special event. There were a couple of names that caught my eye in the results from the I-80 Speedway this past weekend as Sam Halstead made the six hour pull from New London, Iowa, to southeast Nebraska to finish second on Friday night and sixth on Sunday while the Modified feature winner on Sunday was Jeff Taylor from Arkansas.

Who will make the long tow this weekend? I have other commitments on Friday and Saturday but I am hoping to go racing somewhere on Sunday, perhaps at the Quincy Raceways, another road trip to the Dells or an event that might get delayed by weather. Check the Calendar at Positively Racing and map out your destination to see some great Fall racing down the Back Stretch!