Flat Rock, MI—July 28, 2018: Brian Bergakker took the lead for the first time on lap 126, becoming the 6th different driver to lead a lap and steered his way to the big win in Saturday night’s Moran Chevrolet/Stan Yee Memorial 150 for the ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Models at Flat Rock Speedway. The event was postponed by a week due to rain. Frank Jiovani’s 4th place run netted him the ARCA Late Model Gold Cup championship for the 2nd year in a row. The event was the 4th and final leg of that series for 2018.
Pat Moran of Moran Chevrolet presented the Gold Cup to Brian, while Ann Yee, Stan’s widow, awarded Bergakker the 5 foot trophy for his victory in the Monroe Asphalt Winner’s Circle.
Scot Bunge and Dillon Zalenski both captured their first-ever feature wins in the ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A and B Main features, respectively on Glass Unlimited Night. Jeremy Vanderhoof grabbed the ARCA Victory Lane Quick Oil Change Figure 8 feature. Those winners were presented trophies and bonus money from Walter Krause of Glass Unlimited of Westland.
Bent fenders and sheet metal damage were the result of 9 yellow flags and 1 red flag during the 150 lap contest. 15 year old rookie Albert Francis, in his first Flat Rock start, took the lead on the green flag and held the point for 13 laps when the first yellow appeared for Joe Hawes and Jeff Plumb. A poor restart stacked the field on the next green, resulting in a pile-up in turn 1 that eliminated Hawes, 2nd fastest qualifier Phil Bozell and Terry Bogusz. Several other cars received sheet metal damage as the field checked up. On the next restart, Jeff Vrsek powered by Francis on the outside lane to grab the lead. At lap 21, Andy Bozell took his turn up front and stayed there for the next 73 circuits. Andy had several challengers through that stretch, including Jimmy Thiel and Paul Pelletier. Lap 95 saw Pelletier slide under Andy in traffic, only to have Bozell come right back and grab the lead on the next lap.
The 16 car inversion provided some great action throughout the pack for a better part of the event as things settled down after the half-way mark. Bergakker, the fast qualifier, took care of his car and stayed in the top 10, keeping the fenders straight on the #12 and biding his time. By lap 86, Brian had moved into the 4th spot and at lap 99, got around Pelletier for second. Pelletier and Bergakker tangled on lap 100, bringing out another yellow and both drivers went to the tail when they could not agree on the fault for the incident. Bozell, Justin Schroeder, Stan Yee Jr., Thiel and Dennis Strickland were the top 5 with 50 laps to go.
On the lap 100 restart, Bozell’s engine started to miss, backing up the cars behind him on the green flag. Thiel immediately shot into second spot, going by Schroeder and then leader Bozell on lap 106 as he powered his way to the number 1 spot for the first time. Jimmy, the defending race winner, began to stretch his lead. However, Bergakker, now determined to get back into the mix, restarted 12th, got to 7th on lap 113 and was fourth just 3 laps later. Thiel’s lead was vanishing quickly and by lap 118, the lead duo battled for the top spot. Brian zipped by on the outside on lap 126 and took the point for the first time and then sailed to the win, his second at Flat Rock this season, adding this victory to go along with the Joy Fair Memorial 100 win in May.
Thiel’s great night ended with second spot, Strickland came home third, Frank Jiovani rallied from an early-race sheet metal wreck to get back to fourth and Pelletier was fifth. Schroeder, Jack Varney Jr., Steve Needles, Harold Fair Jr. and Craig Everage completed the top 10. The second five battled 3-wide to the checkered flag. Yee Jr., Andy Bozell, Vrsek, Chris Benson, Francis, Lori Hall, Scott Hantz, George Rangel, Plumb, Steve Cronenwett Jr., Phil Bozell, Bogusz, Hawes, Derrick Sheppard and Ron Allen were next in line in the finishing order for the 25 car field.
Bergakker collected $3341 for his efforts, including $533 for the Fast Qualifier Award, courtesy of Diamond Racing Products ($333), Moran Chevrolet ($100) and VanDoorn Racing Development ($100). Brian also won the $50 Moran Chevrolet Hard Charger Award. His quick time was 11:678 for the very competitive field. Just .32 seconds separated the top 16 qualifiers.
Bonus award winners included Bergakker and Pelletier for the $100 Penske Shock certificates, Thiel won the random draw for a set of tires from Moran Chevrolet and Andy Bozell took the $150 most laps led award from race fan Rich Fidh.
Jiovani’s Gold Cup title was highlighted with his first win at Toledo in June. The Series consisted of 3 races at Flat Rock also. Gold Cup sponsors are Dani’s Transport, Moran Chevrolet, Royal Truck and Trailer, Diamond Racing Products, DTS Drive Train Specialists, Francis Engineering and HABCO Tool and Development.
Second generation driver Scot Bunge zipped by race leader Kyle Worley on lap 15 and pulled away to win his first-ever feature in the 25 lap ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A Main. Worley ran out front with a slight margin on the pack until Bunge got hooked up in the outside groove as he moved into the lead on his way to the victory. Worley was second, Grant Hedges third, Clarity Patton fourth and Greg Studt fifth, followed by Ray Morneau Jr., Jeff Metdepenningen, David Liaeff, Steve Searles and Rob Moore Jr.
In just his third Street Stock night, Dillon Zalenski withstood a furious challenge from hard charging Anthony Camilli to win his initial checkered flag in the 15 lap Street Stock B Main. L.J. Farmer was third, Ian Jezylo fourth and Rich Abel fifth, followed by Troy Brehmer and Johnny Rangel.
Morneau Jr. set the Fastime Racing Engines and Parts quick time for the 28 car field at 13:633, while Troy Brehmer led the B cars at 14:336. Heat race winners were Metdepenningen, Bunge, Vaughn Chambless and Jezylo. Chambless’ win was the first checkered flag of his career.
Lap after lap of close calls at the intersection and several harrowing near-crashes entertained the fans that saw Jeremy Vanderhoof notch the win in the 20 lap ARCA Victory Lane Quick Oil Change Figure 8 feature. Jeremy took the lead on lap 6 and avoided the intersection traffic on his way to the win over Jeremy Miller, Dennis Whisman Jr., Billy Earley, Scott Apperson, Dennis Whisman, Eugene Worden, John Lambert, David Katafiaz, Ethen Lambert, Dave Lambert, Stephanie Bradley and Travis Earley. Whisman and John Lambert were the heat race winners. Billy Earley posted the Fastime Racing Engines and Parts quick time at 21:120.
The biggest race of the season for the DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stocks is set for next Saturday, August 4 at Flat Rock Speedway! The Corrigan Race Fuels 100 hits the track for the class, and a 30 lap Street Stock B Main is also on the race card. The Figure 8’s, Bandoleros and exhibition races by the TKC Go-Kart Club are also on the schedule.
The pit gates open at 2:30, the front gates and ticket office open at 4, practice begins at 4, time trials are at 5:30 and racing begins at 7 p.m.