TRACKSIDE TIDBITS

Three-time Gold Cup champion (2002, 2007, 2008) Harold Fair Jr, won his second Joy Fair 100 Memorial race (he also won the first one in 2012). “I saved tires, Steve (Needles) got me in traffic … so I just laid back, laid back and waited for him to go away and took advantage of him later. There wasn’t a lot of a second groove, but I’ll tell you what, the Royal Truck and Trailer, Ross Mortgage, Earnest Performance, Senneker Performance race car stayed under me all night, I was smart enough to save tires for 50-60 laps and it worked out,” said the driver from Milan, Mich.. When asked why he was so good at running the big races at Flat Rock he replied, “I think it’s just in the last name “Fair”, it makes it awesome,” Fair Jr didn’t race in the Gold Cup in 2018.

Craig Everage finished second in the series only V6 engine car. “The car was good early, but it was a handful there at the end. I’m blessed to finish second. I was able to catch the leaders in lapped traffic and I had high hopes they’d be that slow after they cleared the traffic, but they were gone. Thank you to Flat Rock and the fans that stayed and weathered that tornado or whatever it was (it was some pretty strong winds in the storm that hit just before practice),” said the driver of the Everageauto.com #101.

2016 Gold Cup champion, Steve Needles finished third after leading much of the middle portion of the race. “We got tight with 30-35 laps to go she started getting tight on us. This is a brand-new car and we weren’t sure what to expect with this thing. Now we know, so we go home make some notes and make it better for the next time. Harold (Fair Jr) drove a heck of a good race. He kind of played snooker on me a little bit. I thought he was done when I got by him (I thought) ‘he’s backing up a little bit, he’s done’, then about 50 laps later he comes by me again. It was fun he did good … great job for Craig Everage, hell of a run for him. Like I said, we’ll work on the car and get it better for next time and we’ll be back,” said the driver of the Direct Detail, Hutter Engines, Allstar Performance, Bicknell, PFC Brakes, Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales #14. “It can be (hard running out front and pacing yourself) … You really don't know what everybody else has got. Like I said, Harold (Fair Jr.) and the 4 car (Justin Schroeder) took off there at the beginning and I just kept clicking off easy laps. They started backing up and once I got by him we pulled away from them a little bit. Then we got the caution and kind of pulled away a little bit … I thought well maybe they just don't have anything … I didn’t think we were all that good but maybe they don't have anything either. Then that long green flag it hurt us, I burned the right rear tire off, so that was that. Thank you.”

Fourth went to Paul Pelletier who started 13. “We were just hanging on. Congrats to Harold and everybody. My guys worked hard and we struggled all day and with the help from other people, we got it better. Couldn’t get it off the track in the race… other than that burned the right rear off and held on the last 20 laps. We've been tight for 2 weeks and finally got freed up so I ain't gonna complain,” said the driver of the ABC Plumbing, L & M Hardwood, Jeff's Powdercoating, Blue Water Compressors #44.

Justin Claucherty was supposed to start on the pole, but a problem with his front splitter after qualifying relegated him starting last. He won the unofficial move up award, 15 positions. “If you said, ‘Hey you start last in this field and getting a Top 5’ I would be pretty happy with it. The car was pretty solid … It was tight kind of the whole race but didn't really get any worse. Unfortunately, with only the one yellow (editor note: there were two yellows) makes it tough to get up there. Also, you just don't have the chance to really kind of ride and take care of your tires for the end. But overall to start back there against this great of a field, I’m pretty happy to get a Top 5. The car was really consistent and sometimes that’s all you can ask for … not to change as the race goes on and it didn’t. It was fast at the end, despite going 100 laps. It would’ve been nice to see one more yellow with maybe about 20-25 to go but that’s the way it goes. Thank you.”

Harold Fair Jr is the all-time winningest Gold Cup driver with 16 victories. Dave Kuhlman, 11; Scott Hantz 8; Don St Denis and Steve Needles, 7; round out the top five. Of his 16 wins, 10 were at Toledo (also the top of the list) and six at Flat Rock (tied with Dave Kuhlman for top spot).

There were two lap leaders, and three lead changes. Harold Fair Jr led 52 laps, Steve Needles 48.

According to Race Monitor race time was 32:49.379. Harold beat Craig Everage to the line by 3.181.

Harold Fair Jr won the first annual Joy Fair 100 in 2012 … his last Gold Cup win at Flat Rock was the Stan Yee 150 Memorial race in 2017, his last 100 lap win at Flat Rock was that Joy Fair 100 in 2012.

Mike Root turned the fastest lap in qualifying in his UGS, ID Engineering, Ultimate Exposure Graphics, Root Recycling #9 with the speed of 11.743 seconds.

Two drivers made their first Flat Rock start, Kyle Crump and Cayden Lapcevich and Hayden Sprague made his first Gold Cup start. They finished ninth, 11th, 14th. Eric Lee made his first Gold Cup start since July 2016, finished 12th.

Of the 22 cars on the entry list only two weren’t at the track. Joe Hawes was ill and Albert Francis crashed his car at a recent Main Event race.

Street Stock A division feature winner.

Rob Randa won his first win of the year and his

“Had a great night a few bumps before qualifying ruined rf tire over a bad valve stem then fix radiator before feature but Brandon and Mike were there to fix it. Got really lucky on the role and put us on the pole thanks to everyone that came out to support our hobby thanks alot to our sponsors Tom's Cabinetry, Jillian's coney Island, Doug's Muffler, Longs Hardwood Flooring, Mt.Clemens Transmission. Thanks again to Brandon, Mike, my parents Dave and Bonnie and of course my wife Patty. Also thanks to my buddy Jack Tocco. Thanks to Jeff Metdepenningen for getting my car down there.

Kyle Worley, Street Stock B division winner

Kyle had qualified for the A division feature, but a mechanical infraction after qualifying scratched his time and he had to run the B division, which he won going away. “I’d like to thank my girlfriend, Jessica, mom, dad, the Moores, Ledell and the Dows for all the help. Also Pete Shrake and Discount Tire.”

Some catch up from the weeks of May 11 and May 18.

May 11

Congrats to Jeff Vrsek on his first career SLM feature win. He’s been trying for about six seasons to win (I haven’t been able to catch up to him, but I found him in a race in 2013). His sponsors are: Diamond Pistons, Trend Peformance, TS Group, 5 Mile Speed Shop, Simpson, Penske Shocks, Amsoil, Brinn Transmission, Microarmor.

Nick Shanks won his second career Street Stock A division feature. His first was in July 2016.

LJ Farmer won his second career Street Stock B division feature. His first was the season championship race in 2018.

Dennis Whisman (Sr.) won his second Figure 8 feature of the season. It was his 58th Figure 8 win at Flat Rock. It was his 90th ARCA Figure 8 win.

May 18

Caleb Barron is running the full season in the 103, with Collin stepping taking a break. He won his first career Street Stock A division feature.

We had a decent car qualifying didn’t really show what we had but a lucky inversion and some good calls on the setup and we were able to maintain our position and grab our first checkered flag for not only myself but the chassis. I want to thank our sponsors,

Becky Hernandez 31 Gifts, Mills Gymnastics, Jamie Szawara Matco Tools, Barbara McConnell Michigan Massage Professionals, Shearrer’s Arts’n’Motions.

From the team’s Facebook page: Where to start this one…how about at the end where WE WON THE A-MAIN FEATURE!!!!!!!!!The words are still difficult to put together, how do you explain something that you’ve been waiting for and working for so long?

The night was not easy…we knew we had to run new tires at some point, but the trip to the tire trailer left a lot to be desired. The tire size selection did not agree with how we set up the rest of the chassis, so we were in for some work. We did shake the car down on old tires for first practice, and with the sun shining, these tires were about done. Put the new tires on for second set, and the car was way too tight coming out of the corners. Time for some drastic chassis changes, since trying to adjust the tire sizes with air pressure was not working. Time to qualify- 13.41 was the best we could get this week (“You need to find another TWO tenths!”), but it was good for 11th place, and technically made us eligible for the inversion…so what was the inversion you ask? Eleven (Thank you fast qualifier Guy Fire for this dice roll!). Our first pole position start in the A-Main! Starting second row outside for the heat, we really didn’t figure we were going to do much, so we put the old tires back on and finished fiifth. Car not bad, just starting to drift on those old tires. What to do for the feature? We took some time, discussed it, discussed it more, and then discussed it some more. The new tires and one minor adjustment later, out Caleb went. Took the lead quickly, as our friend Vaughn faded just a bit from his outside front row starting spot. Lap 6 brought out the first caution, and we sweated another start. Once again Caleb took the lead early and maintained a good two car length lead until lap 12, which brought out the second, and final caution. Cool, another restart (said with a hint of sarcasm). With a little more challenge from the outside (some great, clean racing from the #67), it took Caleb about two, maybe three laps to have a car length lead. As *I* had feared, anyway, the #33 of former champion Greg Studt soon crept into that second-place spot. With 5 laps to go, and as every great driver does, he waited, in Caleb’s tire tracks, for any slip or mistake…but it never happened! Caleb ran near perfect laps to keep the lead and get that amazingly beautiful checkered flag! Cleared final inspection with no issues, and Caleb even received the traditional first-time winner’s bucket of water in his lap!

The hugs, handshakes, and fist bumps from our fellow competitors and track officials- simply overwhelming! Its one thing to win, its another to gain the accolades and respect of your peers! Thank you for the close, clean racing this week, and every week.

So, so many people to thank…The Harolds Fair, Junior and Senior, for working with the boys not only on the car, but also in driving technique. Chelsea, Maddy, Eddie, Robbie, and those that helped in years past- Nick Shanks, Vaughn Chambless, Coach Paul…all had a hand at some point in this car, making it what it is today. And of course, the guy that started this thing, Bobby Rae, who built one helluva car 18 years ago…just a couple of little tweaks is all it took to get us here today!

Our extended family, friends, and awesome advertisers, who never ask for performance, just that we have fun! The track management and officials, who only want to keep us safe, no matter how much we may disagree! All of you reading this today, words can barely express our gratitude!

Looking forward to next week…you know, we wouldn’t mind two in a row!

 

 

 

 

 

I want to thank all the drivers that sent me messages on Messenger. I love hearing from you, so you can send me a message on www.facebook.com/icechips or you can email me at icechips@hotmail.com. If you write something on your Facebook page and want me to just grab it from you page, please send me a note saying it’s okay to take … I have a list of pages that I check each race.

 

If you missed any of this year’s action visit Mike Miller’s YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/user/10yearnascarfan

 

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