Grand Rapids, MI driver Mike Root came from 13th spot, took the lead on lap 83 and powered his way to victory in the Moran Chevrolet/Stan Yee Memorial 150 for the ARCA Allegiant Air Gold Cup Late Models Saturday night at Flat Rock Speedway. Root, the defending Gold Cup champion, was presented the 5 foot trophy by Ann Yee and her grandsons and Pat Moran of Moran Chevrolet.
An impressive field of 35 Late Models made the trip to Flat Rock for the prestigious event. Root started off the night by winning the Diamond Racing Products $333 Fast Time award with a lap of 11:599. Mike then pulled the number 13 for the inversion, putting Scott Hantz and Dennis Strickland on the front row. Hantz, in just his second trip to "The Rock", took the lead on the start and then battled with Eric Lee for nearly 40 laps, with Scott on the low side and Eric up in the top groove. The duo traded the lead back and forth until Hantz nosed out front on lap 41. One lap earlier, the yellow came out when rookie Nick Grodi's car quit while running a great race in 4th spot. Nick was done for the night with mechanical woes. Root had moved to 6th by lap 47 while great racing for position continued throughout the 24-car field.
Paul Pelletier and 2009 race winner Mike LuBerda Jr. marched to the front to challenge the leaders. On lap 70, Steve Cronenwett Jr. and Justin Schroeder tangled, with the 2 cars going all the way from the front-stretch to the turn 1 wall, damaging both cars. The red came out to clean up the mess and get the track ready again for racing. Lee also pitted, along with several other cars as they worked to maintain the fast pace set by the lead contingent. On the re-start, Pelletier went to work on Hantz in turn 4, dipped low and grabbed the lead. Paul was strong out front but Root had other ideas. Mike used the high lane and on lap 83 took the number 1 spot. Mike took the reins and put some distance on his challengers, with a great battle for positions 2-3-4 between Hantz, Pelletier and Dennis Strickland went on behind the leader. With no yellow the last 62 laps, Root sailed to the big victory, collecting $3,206 for his efforts. Pelletier's great run garnered him second, Hantz was third, Strickland fourth and LuBerda was fifth. Harold Fair Jr., Ricky Kargel, Chad Finley, Brent Jack and Ron Allen completed the top ten finishers. The top 7 cars completed the 150 lap distance.
A pair of last-chance races saw the top 2 in each move to the feature event. Stan Yee won the first last-chance over Jim Thiel, Jeff MacZink, Jim Bailey, Steve Peters, Ken Matthews and Jason Burkhart. Keith Nelson topped Dan Trosen Jr., Brad Birr, Donald Burkhart, Dan Ford Jr. Jim Alvis, Larry Smouthers and Paul Calo in the other event.
Chad Guinn jumped out of the Pete Bailey Late Model and into Bill Meade's Street Stock and held back Dan Ford Jr. to win the 25 lap ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A Main race. The lead duo put on a great battle for much of the event. Third was Tim Moore, fourth went to Dennis Whisman and fifth was Danny Slater, followed by Rob Moore, Rich Frantz, Clyde McKee, Jeff Kurzyniec and David Kind.
There were 3 different leaders in the 15 lap DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock B Main event, with Lonnie York taking the win. Rich Abel led the first 3 laps, but dropped out with mechanical woes. Billy Cronce took control for a lap until York wheeled by for the win. Josh Bunting, Cronce, Anthony Camilli, Shonda Harbin, Smouthers, Jimmy Little, James Pankow, Abel and Alan Beno were next in line.
Clyde McKee set fast time for the 34 car field at 13:503, with Larry Smouthers leading the B Cars at 14:377.
An all-green flag 20 lap ARCA Figure 8 race saw race leader Gary Cronenwett loop his car in turn 1 of the Figure 8 course on lap 14, allowing Jeremy Vanderhoof to get by Gary and then second place man Greg Studt to take his first win of the season. Studt held on for second, Dennis Whisman was third, Jerry Lee fourth and Troy Herrmann fifth, followed by Sam Hall, Chuck Pankow, James Rae, Anthony Terris and Cronenwett. Fast time went to Studt at 20:593.
Saturday, July 3 Flat Rock Speedway will host a 250 lap Enduro race, the MCR Dwarf Cars, the ARCA 4 Cylinders, Race Car Bowling and a Boat Figure 8 race! The pits open at 4, practice begins at 5 (the front gate opens at that time) time trials are at 6 and racing begins at 7 p.m.