Justin Schroeder is perfect in 2017, winning all three late model races. The last time this happened was in 2012 when Paul Pelletier finished the season with three wins (he also did this in 2010). It's a rare accomplishment, In 2011, Scott Selmi won five Street Stock A division races in a row; Rich Abel,2015, won four Street Stock B division features in a row (and won three B division races in a row in 2014); Landon Schuster, 2015, Street Stock A division, three in a row; Greg Studt won three Figure 8 features in 2010.
"I kind of anticipated something going on (at the start of the race). (Jeff) Plumb has a fast car and he just made a little mistake there … he's getting faster every week … at the start you can't jam the throttle like that, you get sideways … he'll learn, he had a good car for sure. I had to work for that one, Paul (Pelletier) gave me everything I got. The car wasn't as good as it's been … definitely a handful. We were a little bit better than everyone else. It's awesome. I couldn't of dreamed it (the start of the season). Paul drove me real clean. He was a little bit better on the bottom. I thought I had him just about cleared and the next thing I knew he drove up past me. It was a good battle, he raced me clean and I really respect that. It got three-wide back there, that seems to be the tradition at Flat Rock. It was a good battle and a good day for us. I totally forgot about the fast time bonus, that's awesome (bonus for fast qualifier that wins the feature in the SLMs). I got to thank my guys, luckily our car has been good and haven't had to work them too hard this year," said the driver of the Gibson Broach & Tool, Inc (Livonia, MI), Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. (Livonia, MI), Southgate Hair Station (Southgate, MI), D. Slater Home Inspections, Molnar Funeral Homes (Southgate, Brownstown, and Wyandotte), Don's Garage (Westland, MI), G. Michael Kabot Orthodontics (Farmington Hills), Glass Unlimited (Westland, MI) #4.
Three different drivers have finished second to Schroeder this year: Frank Jiovani, Harold Fair Jr and Paul Pelletier.
Ray Morneau won his first Street Stock A division feature of the year. "I never expected to come around and see the lap that we had put up in qualifying. After the roll I never thought we would be able to get back up to the lead from seventh with all of the great cars that were sitting in front of us. I would like to thank everyone for helping out and our sponsors Xpress Group, Hallmark Memorial, Scooter Pro, Rivard Snowplowing, Highland Tools, Double R Reworks, CNR Auto and Tire, Expressway Trucks, JR Graphics"
Jimmy Pankow won his first Street Stock B division feature of the year. "There was a little dicing up there, back and forth. The 56 (Wilbur Parks) drove a really good race. We ran side by side a few laps so hope we gave everybody a good show. I want to thank my family, my wife, Melissa, my mom and dad, sister Stephanie (Bradley), everyone that helped me on the car … I wouldn't be out here without them. And the fans and my sponsors too."
Multiple Figure 8 champion, Jeremy Vanderhoof won the Figure 8 feature. "I was just trying to be very patient there. The 52 (Jeremy Miller) was a little better than the 1 (Dennis Whisman Sr) so I was just riding. Man, that doesn't happen very often (where a lap car plays a part in the finish) I'll take 'em however I can get them (the win). It was a great race, with three (laps) to go we were two by two for the first four spots. I was having a real good time. I want to thank this guy here, Rob Martell (my car owner), he's had a pretty rough three months, one of the toughest guys I've ever seen, from what he goes through day to day and I can't (say how much I) appreciate what he does for me enough.'
We had the largest field of Figure 8s, 17 of them, since May 2, 2015, when we also had 17 of them. For the first time since July 12, 2014, there were more Figure 8s than Late Models at the track. Several LMs suffered problems in the Joy Fair 100 and are under repair.
Paul Martell who won his first feature race at Toledo, the Factory Stock Figure 8 feature at Toledo. "I'm still riding high on Friday night...lol. I never thought my first Toledo win would come in only my second Figure 8 race. I spent two weeks trying to figure out how to get it to turn right, hoping just to get away with a Top 5. As I was riding behind Tommy (O'Leary) and Craig (Osenbaugh), I began to think I might have a shot at it if circumstances played out right. When they cut one way around the stalled car, I cut another, giving me the momentum for my run on the outside in that sweeping right hander. Heading into the intersection, I couldn't believe I had the lead. I have to thank my sponsors, My Mechanics Place, Discount Auto, Larry's Auto Parts, Mike's Auto Repair, and everybody who's helped out. This win means more than I can begin to describe after competing for 15 years … and beating O'Leary ... they're some of the best out there in the Figure 8's!"
Congrats to the other winners at Toledo: Howard Kelley Jr, Sportsman; Archie Padgett, Buses; Danny Apperson, Figure 8s; Dennis Whisman Jr, Flag Pole; Dave Lambert got two wins, the Boat Figure 8s and the Race Car Bowling race.
Toledo Drivers, please send me your quotes and sponsors after racing. I hardly ever get to Toledo because of work but would love to honor your wins and sponsors. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/icechips ...
From Facebook … I take these directly from the teams' Facebook page. If you would like to get added to my weekly list (Flat Rock or Toledo drivers), send me a message on Facebook and I'll add your team to my list.
"We have had an up and down season so far. We started strong with a very fast Vandoorn Development race car at Toledo Speedway in April. I was very excited to finish with my career best at the fast, high banked 1/2 mile in 3rd with some tough competition. The Moran Motor Sports team sailed into the Flat Rock Speedway on a high note and spirits up. We had a fantastic opening night battling for the lead with Justin (4 car) for the lead and just came up a bit short. The Joy Fair 100 was a bit of a struggle as the 71 car made contact with our right side twice knocking the tow in 7/8". The team remained positive with a strong top 10 finish in a stacked field. It is truly a honor to be racing with a full field of either feature or tack championship winning outlaw late model drivers in that race. The third night at the level pebble did not go our way. At the drop of the green flag our car was damaged bending just about every Right Front suspension part. My crew made up of my dad Ron, fellow FR driver Jimmy Tucker, Fred Lowery and owner/spotter Dick Barker did an awesome job patching the car back together enough to finish the race and save our championship hopes.
None of this would be possible without our great sponsors... Moran Automotive, Painter's Supply and Equipment Co., 4th Street Auto Repair, Gemini Electric Co., PAC Racing Springs, Hunter Engineering Equipment, PPG, Diamond Pistons, Trend Performance, Shadowoods Race Engines, DTS, Vandoorn Racing Development
"Well great race weekend finished seventh at Toledo on Friday. And was running great tonight at Flat Rock … car was really good. Made a driver error and ended up finishing 11th. Can't thank Rob Martell (sp) for a great car and an awesome guy and my cuz Jeremy Vanderhoof for all his help in making me better. Just need some more seat time and I will get there."
Joe Hawes Racing:
Joe came into the night 6th in points, and just 15 points out of 3rd in the 2017 standings. He finished 3rd in his heat race, and started 10th in the feature. On the initial green flag, the outside front row car spun and collected several others in the process. Joe took a direct hit to the left front after he got stopped. There was too much damage for the team to get the car back out for the restart.
What another awesome run we had this past Saturday! Caleb qualified 12th out of 30 with a best time of 14.01. Starting on the outside pole for the 2nd heat proved challenging as he tried to make that outside groove work. Challenged the leader on that outside lane for a good 5 laps then fell a little short at the end, finishing 5th. Starting 11th in the feature, he moved up as high as 8th and finished 11th, a personal best! He too has shown great improvements in his driving ability and confidence in just these past few weeks, racing hard and clean around very competitive cars. Incredibly awesome that both boys are also being recognized and encouraged by their peers. Its one thing to recognize progress within your own team, but it means so much more when it comes from those who are already successful. Thanks to those drivers and crew that offer encouragement and kind words to both of them! It really means a lot to them.
As always one of our favorite parts of racing is interacting with the kids. Thanks to the Gall's for coming out to watch and for bringing an extra fan, who apparently was still talking about his fun night at the races 2 days later!