Birch Run Speedway
Lechota Picks Up Two/Shelters Gets First on Legendary Night!
Legends were celebrated and the racing action didn’t disappoint on Driver’s Homecoming 75th Anniversary Celebration night! Qualifying honors went to David McManus (Mt Morris Auto Repair Modifieds/16.133), Hunter Doutre (Pure Stocks/17.247), Jeff Asmus (Front Wheel Drives/17.544), Nick Lechota (Street Stocks/17.225), and Anthony Richardson in Mason Burgess Title Agency Trucks 18.091 (Josh Shaw’s time on MyRacePass is incorrect. His time was scored as 16.364 and the track record is 18.077).
The Pierson Rd Muffler Man Mini Wedges were slated to decide their championship, but due to several missed nights in the eight-race series, track officials have moved the final points night to Saturday, October 7th as part of the Laps and Legends Invitational weekend. Blake Childers Jr. won in the first Junior Division heat race and Greyson Marcinkowski took the victory in the second. Aaden McCaslin won the Senior Division heat race. The Junior Division feature was plagued with cautions, including a red flag for a multi-vehicle incident that eliminated current point leader Madlyn Matteson from the competition. Jordan Jaronlewski led until Bleighton DeLong took over. Blake Childers Jr. came from his fourth starting position to eventually get past DeLong to score his second feature in a row in his #10 Wheeler Trucking machine. Bleighton DeLong finished second ahead of Jordan Jaronlewski, Evan Lechota, and Brentley Evans. Bowen Jaynes led for a lap in the Senior Division feature until he was challenged by Elliott Abraham, Layden DeLong, and Aaden McCaslin. Abraham moved to the outside of Jaynes exiting turn three. Entering turn one, DeLong went to the inside of Abraham, but McCaslin made a three-wide bid for second, getting to the inside of that duo and also got by Jaynes to take the lead before the exit of turn two. McCaslin would hold the lead until the last lap. Trying to pass Bowen Jaynes, McCaslin tried to go low and Layden DeLong went high as they entered turn one. DeLong and the #27L Tip Top Towing/T&C Custom Concrete used the high side to his advantage in passing McCaslin completely in turn three coming to the checkered flag! McCaslin settled for second ahead of Emmie Abraham, Bowen Jaynes, and Elliott Abraham.
On the third and four-tenths miles, heat race wins went to Tim Kirby and Andrew Shelters (Pure Stocks), Nick Lechota (Street Stocks), Joe Shamel and Anthony Duvernois (Mason Burgess Title Agency Trucks), and Deagan Clayton and Jeff Asmus (Front Wheel Drives).
The Pure Stock feature 20 lapper had a lot to live up to after last week’s finish! Tim Kirby led the opening three laps until the first caution flew. Kirby got the lead on the restart but a lap later got loose off turn two, allowing Andrew Shelters to get to the inside and take the lead. Shelters would be hounded by Mike Mosier and survived a few yellow flags and two single-file restarts in picking up his first-ever feature win in his Whitney Insurance/KTS Performance #0! Mosier finished ahead of Andrew Burton, Tim Kirby, and Mark Martinez.
Donnie Matteson Jr. took off with the lead at the drop of the green flag for the Mt Morris Auto Repair Modifieds. Just after Nick Clemens and Nick Lechota split Austin Kryta in turn one, the first caution flew when Matt Mueller tried to get to the inside of Kryta down the backstretch and made contact with the left rear of Kryta. Kryta made hard contact with the wall in three and the melee also involved current point leader David McManus. McManus continued on but Kryta was done for the evening. Matteson had to fend off Robbie Johnson and Lechota on the ensuing restart to maintain the lead. Matteson, Lechota, and Johnson separated themselves from the battle for fourth when the caution flew for a spin in turn three involving Clemens and McManus. On the restart, Lechota on the outside got around Matteson to take the lead and never looked back in picking up his second win of the season in his Rhyne Competition Engines/Richfield Rentals #12. Matteson Jr., Johnson, Terry Trost, and Evan Foster completed the top five.
Nick Grzesik and John Leonard were the front row for the Street Stock 20-lap feature. Leonard from the outside took the lead at the start with Kevin Harder and Nick Lechota got by Grzesik. Leonard maintained the lead until lap three when Lechota motored by on the outside to take the lead. Lechota opened up his lead, but Adam Rowe was making his way to the front. Starting eighth, Rowe got by Fred Cummings and Kevin Dobis before getting around Kevin Harder to take third. He then got by Leonard for second and quickly worked on erasing Lechota’s nearly one-and-a-half-second lead. Multiple times over the course of the last eight laps Rowe would get alongside Lechota with the two trading paint and getting sideways but never lifting. Rowe took another shot to the inside of Lechota entering turn one on the final lap. The two made contact and were completely crossed up with Lechota hanging on to the lead entering turn three. Rowe gave Lechota a shot to the bumper in the middle of three and four with the two cars getting hooked momentarily. Lechota stayed in the gas, and in an epic finish, crossed the line first by a bumper! The #12 ELGA Credit Union/Manley and Manley may have had battle scars but was in victory lane for the fifth time in 2023. Finishing behind Lechota and Rowe were Fred Cummings Jr., Kevin Dobis, and John Leonard.
Mark Wilcox and Anthony Duvernois brought the Mason Burgess Title Agency Ttrucks to the start of their 20-lap feature. Duvernois took the lead as the field battled behind. Cam DeLong moved to second with Joe Shamel and Anthony Duvernois made their way up toward the front. DeLong would lose third to Shamel and Richardson as Duvernois continued to lead. Duvernois fended off Shamel until the halfway point when Shamel was able to get to the inside in turn one and come out of four with the lead. The current point leader held off a charging Anthony Richardson to put his Auto City Used Cars/Shamel Racing X47 in victory lane for the second time. Completing the top five were Cam DeLong, Dan Shamel, and Duvernois.
Jeff Asmus had picked up a feature win on the third mile and a B feature win with the National Compact Touring Series on the four-tenths mile in his last two starts at Birch Run. The Swartz Creek driver started in tenth but split the field and got by Daegan Clayton coming out of turn two on lap one to take the lead. The battles behind Asmus were two wide throughout the field. Keith Grainger managed to get by Troy Deuscher in the closing laps to take second while Abby Kolb and Corbin Kelley finished fourth and fifth.
The night concluded with the always exciting Motor City Core Figure 8’s. Tim Crabb led early with Anthony Richardson and Andrew Burton behind. Near misses at the intersection didn’t phase Richardson as he got past Crabb and scored a birthday present for himself in parking his Louie’s Towing/Finishline Seamless Gutters #422 in victory lane. Burton was second ahead of Crabb, Dustin Hitsman, and Greg Long Jr.
This Saturday is “The Big One” at Birch Run Speedway! The final event for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Triple Crown Challenge Series, the last visit by the Reveal The Hammer Outlaw Super Late Models, and the Legends cars will all be in action. Both the JEGS/CRA and Reveal The Hammer features are 100 laps while the Legneds will run heats and a 25-lap feature. DeWayne Spaw will be performing during intermission as well! Tickets can be bought in advance by going to www.birchrunevents.com
Submitted By: Charles Darling