Trackside Tidbits, the season ending edition

Champions, I'm collecting comments from you and anyone else that wants to send me something on their 2016 season. Don't forget your sponsors. I'll publish it after the banquet. The banquet is Nov. 4, at Crystal Gardens in Southgate, MIch., follow this link for the online story: www.flatrockspeedway.com/articles/2003236-flat-rock-toledo-notes-banquet-beer-mile-flea-market

Sad news before we start off. Street Stock driver Chris Fleck passed away on Oct. 8 at age 50. He has raced at Flat Rock off and on over the last several years.

Glass City, Toledo.

Tyler Roahrig joins his father as a Glass City winner. They are the only father/son combination to win it (although we did have family members win it too… Bob and Terry Senneker uncle/nephew). "I couldn't ask for a better year. This is my ninth, eighth in this car. I have to thank Senneker Race Cars, looks like most of the top five are Senneker cars, writing's on the wall there. Those last few laps dad caught up to me. The 72 car (Scott Hantz, last car on the lead lap) was racing me like it was for the lead and he's been racing forever. I don't race that way and will remember that."

From Facebook… "Pretty awesome night. I won the Glass City 200 and dad was second, we are the first father/son combo to both have wins in the prestigious race, so I'm pretty proud to join him and other big names on the winners list. Huge thanks to my crew, sponsors, fans and Toledo Speedway for making the race happen last night. I'd like to thank First Choice Auto Parts, Landrum, Bran Roofing, Mobile Tech, Schneider Auto Sales, Senneker Race Cars, Penske Racing Shocks, Shocks by JR, Rocket Fabrication and Suspension. And my family and crew, my dad, Dave, Brian, Jim, Tom, Brandon, Jeff, Matt and my grandfather."

The 2014 Glass City winner, JR Roahrig finished second. "Tyler got held up by some lapped cars. I thought I had a better car the first 100 laps, Tyler was definitely better than me the second 100. It's good … first and second … that was the goal when we got here. I'm proud of him. I don't think anyone works harder. He went to college to get his mechanical engineering to make himself a better racer … that's the truth why he did it. He was going to beat Terry (Senneker) at the Clash (Kalamazoo Speedway's big race), that's the only one that got away this year. He had a hell of a year." His sponsors are First Choice Auto Parts, Landrum, Bran Roofing, Mobile Tech, Schneider Auto Sales, Senneker Race Cars, Penske Racing Shocks, Shocks by JR, Rocket Fabrication and Suspension."

  1. Tyler Roahrig was the eighth different winner in the last eight Glass City races and ninth out of the last 10 races (Harold Fair won twice in the time period)

  2. He's the 22nd different winner of the race.

  3. Tyler Roahrig and dad JR are the only Father/Son combination to win a Glass City race. (Terry Senneker and his uncle Bob Senneker are the only other family members to win). JR won in 2014 in a rain shortened race.

  4. Tyler led 190 of the 200 laps. That's only good for second on the race winners' list… Steve Sauve holds the honor for most Glass City laps led in 2002.

  5. The race was restated in 1999. Here's the full list of what the race winners led (Note some of these may be my numbers that I scored from the grandstands and be off a lap or two). Steve Sauve led 200 (2002); Tyler Roahrig, 190 (2016); Harold Fair Jr. (2010) and Jr. Hanley (2001) both led 159 in their wins; Sauve, 104 (2003); Sixth through 18th: Harold Fair Jr. led 87 (2008); Brian Campbell, 77 (2007); Steve Sauve, 68 (2004); Augie Grill, 64 (2011); Tim Felver, 37 (1999); Dave Kuhlman, 34 (2009); Jack Landis, 32 (2006); John Doering Jr., 27 (2005); Dennis Strickland, 23 (2013); Brad Riethmeyer, 15 (2015); Tim Ice, 8 (2000); Terry Senneker, 4 (2012); Jr. Roahrig, 3 (2014)

  6. It was the first time the late models ran in group qualifying (to save time after the rain delay).

  7. Scott Hantz was the fast qualifier for the 4th time in the last 8 years.

  8. Tyler beat his dad by 1.010 seconds, third place Harold Fair Jr. was back 3.150 sec., Scott Hantz was back 16.323, the last one on the lead lap and just ahead of the leader. Chad Finley (fifth) and Dakota Carlson (sixth) had 199 laps in; Dennis Strickland (seventh), 197 laps; Michael Simko (eighth), 196 laps; Jake Francis (ninth), 195 laps; Nick Grodi (10th), 183 laps; Tommy O'Leary (11th), 182 laps and the last one running was Tom Cronenwett (12th), 181 laps (it was his first race at Toledo).

  9. Four cars didn't make it through Friday's practice. Steve Needles broke something and crashed heavily; Brandon Lyons and Kevin Stahl Jr. had engine problems and Dave Stehouwer had transmission problems. Bill March was supposed to race but never came out for qualifying or the feature.

Two-time Glass City winner (2008, 2010) Harold Fair Jr. finished third. "That first 100, that hit (spun in RJ White's oil and crashed with Frank Jiovani on the backstretch) didn't do us any good … knocked something lose in the front end … kept driving it, figured whatever it would do it would go. It's the end of the year, so it's all good. Not a lot of cautions, but it was pretty cool where I was sitting. I want to thank Royal Truck and Trailer, PC Fabrications and ARCA for putting this race on each year." He is sponsored by Royal Truck and Trailer, Senneker Performance, Classic 2 Current, Churchill Transport.

Chad Finley finished fifth, from his Facebook page. "We had a very trying weekend for the Glass City 200. We didn't get much practice due to engine issues all day Friday and with the practices being cut short we never got to make but one or two changes on the chassis. We started 13th and drove to 6th in the first 100 laps. The next 100 laps would go green the rest of the way after a few initial cautions and we finished 5th. Wish we could of got to work on the car a little bit more but that's how it goes sometime. Thank you to the Great Lakes Helicopter team and the Lojko family for giving me another opportunity. Had fun and hopefully we can make some more improvements for next weekend at Sandusky for the Main Event."

Kevin Stahl Jr. was supposed to make his first LM start, but problems at Friday's practice curtailed his racing… From his Facebook page: "We sent our entry in today for the 2016 Glass City 200! Although it's the biggest race of the year we will be setting small goals for ourselves. This will be my first time in a Super Late Model, and the cars first time out as well. Can't thank Bill Novinsky, the owner of this beautiful racecar enough for giving me the opportunity to do this. My dad, Kevin Stahl for helping so much, in so many ways that I can't even list it all here to get and keep me racing. His fiancé Rachele for putting up with the craziness. Jim Rafels for coming through on such short notice. Frank Riddle at Flint Hills Graphics, he stepped up on short notice and helped our Sportsman program through the year as well. Last but not least my wife and kids. Jamie Renee Stahl takes care of business on our daily life and household while I chase a dream. She gets frustrated at times but is very understanding of this lifestyle that can get tough at times. I love you honey. This is a great opportunity and we aren't taking it lightly but we are just hoping for a fun weekend and to get some quality seat time in a Super.........it just happens to be the Glass City 200!"

Veteran driver Nick Bailey retired after the Glass City 200 according to an article in the Toledo Blade by Matt Thompson. http://www.bcsn.tv/news_article/show/698694It wasn't the final race the driver of the PB Fabrication #01 was hoping for … dropping out at the halfway point and finishing 15th.

Tyler beat his day by 1.010 seconds, Harold Fair Jr., third was back 3.150, Scott Hantz, fourth was 16.323 (he was right in front of the leader). Strangely, the 2015 edition also only had four cars left on the lead lap. Twelve cars were running at the end, Tom Cronenwett (in his first race at Toledo) finished in 12th.

Also we lost four cars on Friday's practice: 201 Gold Cup Champion,, Steve Needles broke something and crashed heavily. Brandon Lyons and Kevin Stahl Jr. had engine problems, Dave Stehouwer had transmission problems. Bill March ran practice but never came out for qualifying or the feature.

Leftover from season championship. Billy Earley who won the Figure 8 championship would like to thank: Sponsors are my dad "Gary", Steve Bunge at B&H Race Parts, Kevin Lapp Motors & Downriver Diesel. And would like to say thanks to Victory Lane Oil Change for sponsoring the Fig8 division!

Street Stockers late season visits:

Kalamazoo Super Shoe Six of our Flat Rock Street Stocks ventured across state for the Kalamazoo Super Shoe the weekend of Oct. 1-2. Dennis Whisman Jr. in his Figure 8 was the fastest qualifier of the gang (73rd out of 128 qualifiers). This put him in the C main bracket along with Clyde McKee (75th), 2016 Street Stock A division champion Greg Studt (76th), James Pankow (89th), Jimmy Little (92nd) and Craig Lange (95th) … they all qualified within 0.241 of each other. Anthony Camilli was there too and qualified 121st. Dennis, Clyde and Greg qualified for the C main. James, Jimmy and Craig had to run the last chance race. Craig finished second to transfer to the feature ... James ninth and Jimmy 10th were unable to transfer. Anthony Camilli finished second in his heat but didn't start the D main last chance race.

Clyde finished fifth in the C main, Dennis got seventh, Craig 17th and Greg 18th.

Late Model driver Tom Cronenwett was also there in the Street Stock that Clarity Newhouse drove but had problems after hot laps and wasn't able to compete. Former Flat Rock Street Stock drivers Brian Kirksey and Shonda Harbin also raced. Shondra finished 20th in the D main after getting involved in an opening race incident and Brian was 15th in the B main.

Springport Mid-Michigan: Several of our Street Stocks and Enduro drivers ventured to the Michigan Cup at Springport Mid-Michigan Speedway.

B main cars:

  1. Jimmy Little finished seventh. "I started fifth in the feature and got as far up as third, while avoiding the crashfest. Had to settle for seventh. I'd like to thank everyone that lent a nut, bolt, air tank, beer … My sponsors are PSA Transport, Tony Tires, Lil Billy's Chassis, DDRE, Suburban Calcium Chloride Sales. It was a tough season to get through, I'm grateful for everyone that helped out … couldn't do it without you."

  2. Ian Jezylo finished 12th in the B main.

C Main cars:

  1. Jacob Thomas was scored fifth, "Had a great weekend ... car was hooked up and fast in the feature ... managed to hold off the limited late models and pro trucks for a solid 5th in feature..gotta thank Adam Jezylo, Ian Jezlo, Paul Martell, Dillon Zalenski and my pops for a good time. Car is in one piece and ready for 2017."

  2. Paul Martel finished ninth in the C main, "Honestly I had a great time out there racing at a different track and with different people. After seeing some of the incidents and wicked hits taken in the other features, I'm just happy to load it up in one piece...Lol. My night almost came to a short end when I got turned sideways going into turn 3. Luckily I was able to pull it out without losing too many spots. I gotta thank my sponsors My Mechanics Place, Larry's Auto Parts and Bishop Auto Wrecking for their support and assistance this year. I've had a banner year with my best points finishes ever and picking up my first feature win at Onaway Speedway (Bomber division) this past July. I'm already looking forward to next year!"JIm

  3. Mike Miller finished 11th "Started on the front row in both the heat race and the feature. Got 8th in the heat, 11th in the feature. My sponsors are Affordable Transmission, Big 4 Auto Parts, Budget Tire Co., and Tony's Tires."

  4. Dillon Zalenski "I had an awesome time running at Springport and wanted to thank Donny for putting on a wonderful awesome show and we will be back next year for sure."

Miss any racing action in 2016 at Flat Rock or Toledo? Visit Mike Miller's YouTube page, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNwNd75EigY&feature=share

Late Models' late season

The late models that raced at Flat Rock and the Gold Cup raced at Sandusky for the Main Event. Flat Rock's 2015 Late Model Champion, Justin Schroeder led the first 47 laps (of 100 laps) and finished 15th; former Gold Cup Champion (2002, 2007, 2008) Harold Fair Jr. finished sixth; Dave Stewhouwer, 12th; Tom Cronenwett, 14th; 2015 Gold Cup and 2015 Main Event Champion, Jeff Ganus, 18th; Nick Grodi 21st. Another note from this race, the finish for first and second was the same as the Glass City, Tyler Roahrig first and dad JR second.

Only one of our drivers showed up at Springport. Former Street Stock driver Brian Kirksey got 11th.

Then the late models raced at Baer Field. Multiple Flat Rock Late Model Champion (2008, 2009, 2011) Eric Lee finished third; Harold Fair Jr., sixth; Jeff Ganus, seventh; 2013 Gold Cup Champion, Scott Hantz, eighth; Brent Jack, 11th; and Will Sahutske, 13th. And for the record Tyler Roahrig won his third race in a month.

Did any of the other champions miss getting their sponsors mentioned… Please send me a couple sentences on your championship and I'll do one final article. I can be reached on Facebook or icechips@hotmail.com.

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