Defending American Ethanol Late Model Tour Champ, Dona Marcoullier Begins Title Defense; Wins 40

May 27, 2017

AELMT kicks off third season with a stellar cast of 32 Late Models for the Inaugural NUVU Fuels Dual on Dirt

Lake Odessa, Michigan (Friday, May 26th, 2017): The third season of competition for the fastest growing dirt Late Model tour in the country, the American Ethanol Late Model Tour began on Friday, May 26th at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan. The Inaugural NUVU Fuels Dual on Dirt featured a thrilling race throughout the as Defending AELMT Champion, Dona Marcoullier began defense of his title by taking the lead on lap 21 after race leader, Rich Bell lost a motor just past the halfway point of the event. Once Marcoullier took the lead and before a standing room only, capacity crowd on hand, never looked back en route to the win. For Marcoullier, it was the sixth win of his AELMT career.


“This is a big win for us. Especially with the field that was here tonight and to win in front of such a great crowd, wow. This is a great way to start the season with the tour.” The 32-year-old driver of the #6m Northside Towing & Service/Rocket XR1/Rhyne Competition Engines machine stated in Pace Performance Victory Lane. “We had a small oil leak after the heat race and we still have it, though not as bad. We’ll have to get that checked out, but man this car was strong tonight and we needed it to be with the cars that were here.” The Houghton Lake, Michigan standout added.


After the American Ethanol Redraw and all preliminary events were completed, it would be Brian Ruhlman and QuickCar Racing Products Rookie of the Year title contender, Dan Wallace leading the 21-car starting field to Chief Starter, Marc Henry’s green flag. Ruhlman would pace the field for the first two laps before Rich Bell, who started right behind Ruhlman in the third spot, went by for the race lead. Ruhlman fought back to reclaim the lead on lap seven before Bell regrouped and retook the lead on lap 13.


As the halfway signal was given, Bell’s motor let go going into turns one and two and he would come to rest just off the back stretch as Curtis Roberts came to rest in turn one to bring out the caution flag. This gave the lead to Dona Marcoullier who had Ruhlman trying to stay with the reigning champion. However, Marcoullier was up to the task of holding off the two-time Oakshade Raceway Track Champion and Marcoullier crossed the start/finish line first to claim the popular win at the fast 4/10s (0.400) mile high-banked dirt oval.


Ruhlman, who is also a five-time Track Champion at the famed Eldora Speedway, settled for second with former two-time I-96 Speedway Track Champion and also four-time and defending DIRTcar UMP Late Model Michigan State Champion, Eric Spangler completing the podium finishers. Another former I-96 Track Champion (2012), Brandon Thirlby finished fourth as Ryan VanderVeen completed the top five.


Curt Spalding would finish sixth ahead of current DIRTcar UMP Late Model National Points Leader and 2010 National Champion, Rusty Schlenk. Casey Noonan earned the Allstar Performance Hard-Charger award by finishing eighth after starting 17th after having to come through the NUVU Fuels Last Chance Race. 2015 I-96 Track Champion, Scott Fisk was ninth as Roberts, who was the Last Chance Race winner, recovered from a flat tire to round out the top 10.


The second race of the 2017 racing season will be the highest paying event in AELMT history. Wednesday, June 14th, the fast ¼ (0.250) mile semi-banked dirt oval of Merritt Speedway, located west of Houghton Lake in Lake City, Michigan will host the 3rd Annual Merritt Showdown presented by Don’s Auto Clinic paying a cool $10,000 to the winner. Dona Marcoullier, who lives a mere 10 minutes away from his home track, is the defending race winner of the prestigious event while five-time and defending Track Champion, Eric Spangler, who also claims Merritt as home, won the inaugural race in 2015. The AELMT’s little brothers within the American Ethanol Modified Tour presented by Allstar Performance will also be on the card. For more information, go the track website at:


For more information about the 2017 racing seasons for the fasting growing dirt late model tour in the country, the American Ethanol Late Model Tour, please visit the website at: You can also follow the tour on Facebook by going to: and click on “Like”. The tour Twitter account will be the primary source for race day updates throughout the 2017 racing season. Be sure to go to AELMT Twitter page today at: and click on “Follow”.


To learn more about Motor City Racing Promotions, the event management group for AELMT, email MCRP President, Scott Menlen at: or call the MCRP office at: (248) 747-6277. You can also go to the MCRP website at: The Facebook Fan Page for MCRP is at: and click on “Like” today. Don’t forget to “Follow” MCRP on Twitter at: Finally, and throughout the 2017 racing season, Live Timing & Scoring from every race in 2017 will be available for absolutely free from your mobile device by purchasing the Race Monitor Mobile App or online at:


2017 American Ethanol Late Model Tour Marketing Partners

American Ethanol (Title Sponsor) Allstar Performance, ARP Bolts, Boyne Machine Company, Carbon Green BioEnergy, Dirty Girl Racewear, Growth Energy, Hoosier Racing Tires, Horsepower Innovations, Iroquois Bio-Energy, Isky Racing Cams, Keyser Manufacturing, Lane Automotive, Michigan Corn Growers Association, Motor City Racing Promotions, NUVU Fuels, Pace Performance, Poet Bio-Refining, Quarter Master, QuickCar Racing Products, Shirtworks Racewear &


About the American Ethanol Late Model Tour

Founded in 2015, the American Ethanol Late Model Tour was created as a prominent touring series for Dirt Late Models in the Great Lakes / Midwestern United States and is one of the fastest growing motorsports tours in the country. In 2017, the AELMT, featuring DIRTcar Racing UMP Late Models, will race in 14 events within three states, including two of those races, which will pay a cool $10,000 to Win (Wednesday, June 14th at Merritt Speedway & Saturday, October 7th at Berlin Raceway). The home state of Michigan is well represented with 10 events while the surrounding states of Indiana (Three races) and Ohio (One event) are also represented with future plans to expand within and outside of those three key states.


About American Ethanol

American Ethanol is a partnership between Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association and is a collaborative-effort marketing campaign to increase awareness of the reliability, performance capabilities and affordability of American made E15 Ethanol. Growth Energy, an ethanol industry group, and the National Corn Growers Association formed the American Ethanol partnership which highlights E15, a high-performance fuel, providing the same drivability with increased engine performance as regular gasoline. It’s a 15% Ethanol blend made with American ethanol from corn grown in our nation’s heartland and an 85% Gas blend. After extensive testing, NASCAR adopted the fuel for use in all three of their national racing series in 2011. The race teams and engine builders were heavily involved in the transition process, and have since reported high praise for the fuel, which boosts horsepower while reducing emissions. For more information about American Ethanol, go to:


Official Results (Race #1 - 32 Cars) – Friday, May 26th, 2017 – I-96 Speedway – Lake Odessa, Michigan
Inaugural NUVU Fuels Dual on Dirt - 40

American Ethanol Feature ( 40): 1. (9) 6m Dona Marcoullier, 2. (1) 49 Brian Ruhlman, 3. (7) 27 Eric Spangler, 4. (5) m14 Brandon Thirlby, 5. (13) 23v Ryan VanderVeen, 6. (6) 111 Curt Spalding, 7. (4) cj1 Rusty Schlenk, 8. (17) 1n Casey Noonan, 9. (12) 12 Scott Fisk, 10. (16) 9r Curtis Roberts, 11. (10) 87 Rich Neiser, 12. (19) 21t Derek Thebo ®, 13. (11) 20 Chad White, 14. (21) 4 Jason Playter Jr., 15. (8) 2 Travis Stemler, 16. (3) 21b Rich Bell, 17. (2) x3 Dan Wallace ®, 18. (15) 79 Nick Kurtz, 19. (14) 2j Bry Johnson, 20. (20) 50 Scott Phillips, 21. (18) 00 Mathew Chapman ®

(Lap Leaders: 49 Brian Ruhlman 1-2, 21b Rich Bell 3-6, 49 Ruhlman 7-12, 21b Bell 13-20, 6m Dona Marcoullier 21-40 – Cautions=4)

Boyne Machine Company B Feature (10 Laps / Non-Transfer Race): 1. (1) 34 Herb Reich, 2. (3) 44 Matt Shipley ®, 3. (4) 4w Taylor Wiles ®, 4. (5) 11 Rachel Carpenter ®, 5. (2) 16 Garrett Wiles-®…. Did Not Start: 51f Chad Finley, 31g Dan Gehring ®, 9* Liz Patterson ®, 94 Bill Bray, 21 Logan Arntz, 24f Cody Fultz ®

NUVU Fuels Last Chance Race (15 Laps / Top 5 Transfer): 1. (1) 9r Curtis Roberts, 2. (3) 1n Casey Noonan, 3. (4) 00 Mathew Chapman ®, 4. (11) 21t Derek Thebo ®, 5. (6) 50 Scott Phillips, 6. (2) 34 Herb Reich, 7. (7) 51f Chad Finley, 8. (8) 44 Matt Shipley ®, 9. (12) 16 Garrett Wiles ®, 10. (14) 4 Jason Playter Jr. (AELMT Provisional), 11. (13) 11 Rachel Carpenter ®, 12. (9) 4w Taylor Wiles ®, 13. (10) 31g Dan Gehring ®, 14. (5) 9* Liz Patterson ®…. Did Not Start: 94 Bill Bray, 21 Logan Arntz, 24f Cody Fultz

Carbon Green BioEnergy Heat Race #1 (10 Laps / Top 5 Transfer): 1. (4) 6m Dona Marcoullier, 2. (1) 49 Brian Ruhlman, 3 (3) m14 Brandon Thirlby, 4 (8) 87 Rich Neiser, 5. (2) 23v Ryan VanderVeen, 6. (10) 9r Curtis Roberts, 7 (5) 1n Casey Noonan, 8. (7) 50 Scott Phillips, 9. (9) 44 Matt Shipley ®, 10. (5) 21t Derek Thebo Heat Race #2 (10 Laps / Top 5 Transfer): 1. (2) 111 Curt Spalding, 2. (1) x3 Dan Wallace ®, 3. (7) 2 Travis Stemler, 4 (5) 20 Chad White, 5. (4) 2j Bry Johnson, 6. (6) 34 Herb Reich, 7. (3) 00 Mathew Chapman ®, 8. (10) 51f Chad Finley, 9. (8) 4w Taylor Wiles ®, 10. (9) 16 Garrett Wiles ®…. Did Not Start: 24f Cody Fultz ®

Growth Energy Heat Race #3 (10 Laps / Top 5 Transfer): 1. (2) 27 Eric Spangler, 2. (4) cj1 Rusty Schlenk, 3 (3) 21b Rich Bell, 4. (1) 12 Scott Fisk, 5. (7) 79 Nick Kurtz, 6. (5) 94 Bill Bray, 7. (8) 9* Liz Patterson, 8. (6) 21 Logan Arntz, 9. (11) 31g Dan Gehring ®, 10. (9) 11 Rachel Carpenter ®…. Did Not Start: 4 Jason Playter Jr.

American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 1): 1. 6m Dona Marcouller 16.271 (ISKY Racing Cams Fast Qualifier), 2. m14 Brandon Thirlby 16.373, 3. 23v Ryan VanderVeen 16.499, 4. 49 Brian Ruhlman 16.881, 5. 1n Casey Noonan 16.982, 6. 21t Derek Thebo 16.986, 7. 50 Scott Phillips 17.110, 8. 87 Rich Neiser 17.139, 9. 44 Matt Shipley ® 17.284, 10. 9r Curtis Roberts 18.213


American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 2): 1. 2j Bry Johnson 16.587, 00 Mathew Chapman ® 16.798, 3. 111 Curt Spalding 16.888, 4. x3 Dan Wallace ® 16.990, 5. 20 Chad White 17.005, 6. 2 Travis Stemler 17.147, 8. 16 Garrett Wiles ® 17.542, 9. 51f Chad Finley 17.706, 10. 4w Taylor Wiles ® 17.771, 11. 24f Cody Fultz ® No Time


American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 3): 1. Cj1 Rusty Schlenk 16.487, 2. 21b Rich Bell 16.572, 3. 27 Eric Spangler 16.690, 4. 12 Scott Fisk 16.736, 5. 94 Bill Bray 16.875, 6. 21 Logan Arntz 16.925, 7. 79 Nick Kurtz 17.346, 8. 9* Liz Patterson ® 18.009, 9. 11 Rachel Carpenter ® 18.632, 10. 4 Jason Playter Jr. No Time, 11. 31g Dan Gehring ® No Time


Contingency Awards:

QuickCar Racing Products Rookie of the Race: 21t Derek Thebo
Allstar Performance Hard-Charger Award: 1n Casey Noonan
Aeroquip Halfway Leader: 21b Rich Bell
ARP Most Laps Led: 6m Dona Marcoullier
Keyser Manufacturing P4: m14 Brandon Thirlby
Shirtworks Apparel P5: 23v Ryan VanderVeen
Dirty Girl Racewear P10: 9r Curtis Roberts
ISKY Racing Cams Fast Qualifier: 6m Dona Marcoullier
American Ethanol Performer of the Race: 87 Rich Neiser
Hoosier Racing Tire Hard-Luck Award: 21b Rich Bell
Quarter Master Move of the Race: 9r Curtis Roberts
Lane Automotive Member A: 27 Eric Spangler
Hoosier Racing Tire Member B: 16 Garrett Wiles

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