Flat Rock, MI—June 30, 2018: The Lakeshore Utility Trailer Sales School Bus Figure 8 race, which was postponed twice by rain, finally hit the track Saturday night at Flat Rock Speedway. A large crowd saw a record 5 buses go over on their sides, including race winner Dennis Whisman as he took the checkered flag! It was another night of firsts as third-generation driver Travis Earley captured his first-ever Figure 8 feature win and Mike Occhipinti did the same in the MCR Dwarf Car race. Kyle Metdepenningen took the Monroe News 250 lap Enduro race and Joseph Vanderhoof sailed to the win in the Figure 8 Boat event. JAC LED Lighting also assisted with sponsorship for the very warm night.
The wild School Bus Figure 8 contest saw Terry Smith start with a roll on the second lap, and they just kept on rolling! Pete Schrake, Smith again, AJ Padgett and finally Whisman also took the roll as the crowd roared again and again. Whisman, battling with Billy Earley on the final lap, got some help from Billy as his bus slammed on its side at the checkered flag. Dave Arnold and Jack Franzil were also involved in several incidents. Hop Culture, Mobile Legal Services, Budget Tire, Tom’s Collision, Lakeshore Utility Trailer Sales, Parts Galore and Central Avenue Truck Body Shop sponsored the buses.
A sensational run by youngster Travis Earley put him in the Monroe Asphalt Winner’s Circle with the victory in the 20 lap ARCA Victory Lane Quick Oil Change Figure 8 feature. The win was the first-ever for Travis, and notched 3 generations of wins by this family in Figure 8 competition at the track—his grandfather, Gary, his father, Billy and now Travis. A huge celebration ensued with every fellow competitor congratulating the youngest Earley. His win was not easy as old pro Danny Gaddis came out of retirement and drove one of Jeremy Vanderhoof’s cars. Gaddis, who has not raced for several years, stayed glued to Travis’ bumper, looked high, looked low, tried to use lapped cars and intersection traffic to get by Earley, but to no avail. Travis steered his way to the win over Gaddis, Dennis Whisman Jr., Billy Earley, Greg Studt, Eugene Worden, Dennis Whisman Sr., Ethen Lambert, David Katafiasz and Dave Lambert. Joseph Vanderhoof, John Lambert, Art Vince and Dan Apperson were next in the finishing order. Whisman Jr. set the Fastime Racing Engines and Parts quick time at 21:179.
A great battle for the win came down to the wire as Kyle Metdepenningen edged out Robb Remick for the win in the Monroe News Enduro 250 lap contest. 22 cars took the green flag as Rick Bennett led in the early stages. Remick led for much of the event as he swapped the lead back and forth with Kyle. On lap 233, Kyle took control of the number 1 spot, but Remick came right back and began his challenge to take back the lead. The duo ran door to door as Kyle was able to take charge on his way to victory over Remick, Derrick Sheppard, Troy Brehmer and Bennett. Nathan Sprotberry, David Rumble, Dillon Zalenski, Cody Remick and Dale Buttrey completed the top 10. Ethan Stadniczuk set the fast time at 14:201 but retired early from the event.
Joseph Vanderhoof outlasted his competitors to win the Figure 8 Boat Race over Dave Lambert, Cody Remick, Nolan Padgett and AJ Padgett. A pair of boats slammed into the concrete walls while one boat/trailer got stuck under the exit gate!
Mike Occhipinti notched his first win in the 25 lap MCR Dwarf Car feature over Troy Hoffman, Kim Hughes, Jon Wylie, Logan Mears, Josh Brand, Bill Pennington, Triston Francis and Matt Kemp.
12 year-old Mason Surgeoner was on hand to show the fans the Bandolero car and ran laps as the track will continue to try to grow the class for kids 8-14 years of age.
It’s the Monroe Superstore Fireworks Night Saturday, July 7 at Flat Rock Speedway! 50 lap features for the Figure 8’s and Street Stocks are on the card, along with the 75 lap ARCA Gold Cup Late Model feature, which was rained out June 23. The Street Stock B Main cars will run a 25 lap feature. The gates will open at 3:30 and racing begins at 7 p.m. The evening concludes with the annual Fireworks display, a tradition at Flat Rock for 38 consecutive years!