Third of three races in five days for the AELMT complete – Two more in two days to highlight Fourth of July Holiday Weekend
Lake Odessa, Michigan (Sunday, June 25th, 2017): The third of three races in five days for the American Ethanol Late Model Tour was the second of three appearances of 2017 at I-96 Speedway, located east of Grands Rapids and west of Lansing in Lake Odessa, Michigan for the Inaugural American Ethanol Shootout. The AELMT teams raced in the YellowHose.com 40 as current DIRTcar UMP Late Model National Points Leader, Rusty Schlenk swept both races in 2016 and those two wins accounted for two of his three AELMT triumphs. The McClure, Ohio standout made sure that he left the track with his third victory at the fast 4/10s (0.400) mile high-banked dirt oval and fourth overall of his AELMT career in convincing fashion after winning his first AELMT Feature of 2017.
“It got pretty treacherous there at the end. I knew as long as we kept our speed up at the top of the track, the bottom and the middle blew off pretty good,” Stated the 30-year-old standout originally from Jackson, Michigan but not calls McClure, Ohio home. “I don’t know how close they were, but I knew I had some good cars behind me. I just tried to hit my marks and keep my right rear on the cushion and not mess up.” He added as family and friends surrounded his popular #cj1 Velocita U.S.A./C.J. Rayburn Racecars by Rusty Schlenk Racing/Kercher Engines machine.
After the Redraw of the top three finishers from the three Heat Races, it would be Oakshade Raceway points leader, Devin Shiels and 2015 AELMT Champion, Rich Neiser bringing the field to Chief Starter, Frankie Bockstanz’s green flag. It would be Shiels who would beat Neiser to the first corner to take the early advantage. Soon Eric Spangler, a former two-time track champion at I-96, charged his way into second and set his sights on Shiels. Spangler brought Rusty Schlenk with him and the battle was on for the race lead. Spangler took the point on lap 12 only to lose it a lap later to Schlenk.
Schlenk would quickly check out on the field while current points leader and defending AELMT champion, Dona Marcoullier, who started 11th, had clawed his way up to second with 10 laps to go. As hard as Marcoullier was running in an effort to catch Schlenk, the 2010 DIRTcar UMP Late Model National Champion kept a safe piece of real estate between himself and Marcoullier utilizing the very top side of the track banging the right rear off the cushion, Schlenk would cross the stripe first to pick up his first AELMT victory of 2017 and fourth of his career to move him into second all-time behind Marcoullier, who has eight including three this season.
Marcoullier would settle for second but would extend his already healthy points lead over Spangler who finished right behind Marcoullier in third and is second in points. 2016 AELMT Rookie of the year, Travis Stemler continued his impressive runs of late with his third straight top five finish, a fourth, while Brian Ruhlman completed the top five. Shiels would recover to finish in sixth as ISKY Racing Cams Fast Qualifier for the third straight event, Brandon Thirlby was seventh. Neiser was eighth as Casey Noonan advanced 11 positions, from 20th, to finish ninth over Ryan VanderVeen who would finish off the top 10.
The hectic stretch run through the 2017 schedule continues for the American Ethanol Late Model Tour with two races in two days over the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend. It all starts on Saturday, July 1st with the tour’s one and only appearance at the 1/3 (0.333) mile semi-banked dirt oval of Thunderbird Raceway in Muskegon, Michigan. The Michigan Corn Growers Association 40 will be the second ever appearance for AELMT at the Tom Sprague owned facility. In the AELMT’s only other appearance at the track located off the shores of Lake Michigan, the “Illini Invader” Rich Bell went to victory lane in this event one year ago.
Then the following day on Sunday, July 2nd, it’ll be the second of three appearances on the season at the fast ¼ (0.250) mile semi-banked dirt oval of Merritt Speedway, located west of Houghton Lake in Lake City, Michigan for the Lane Automotive 40. This event is part of the tracks mammoth three-day race weekend, the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Independence Weekend. Just $5 will get fans in the stands to watch the premier DIRTcar UMP Late Model tour in the Great Lakes / Midwestern United States along-with a huge Fireworks display. In the last AELMT race at Merritt, the $10,000 to Win Merritt Showdown, five-time and defending track champion, Eric Spangler grabbed the win, his second AELMT triumph with coming at his home track. Defending AELMT Champion, Dona Marcoullier also has two wins while 2015 AELMT Champion, Rich Neiser has one checkered flag in the “Great White North”.
For more information about the remainder of the 2017 racing season for the fasting growing dirt late model tour in the country, the American Ethanol Late Model Tour, please visit the website at: aelmt.com. You can also follow the tour on Facebook by going to: facebook.com/AmericanEthanolLateModelTour and click on “Like”. The tour Twitter account will be the primary source for live race day updates throughout the 2017 racing season. Be sure to go to AELMT Twitter page today at: twitter.com/AELMT and click on “Follow”.
To learn more about Motor City Racing Promotions, the event management group for AELMT, email MCRP President, Scott Menlen at: email@example.com or call the MCRP office at: (248) 747-6277. You can also go to the MCRP website at: motorcityracing.co. The Facebook Fan Page for MCRP is at: facebook.com/motorcityracingpromotions and click on “Like” today. Don’t forget to “Follow” MCRP on Twitter at: twitter.com/MCRP_Racing. 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: MotorCityRacing.co/LiveTiming.
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 & YellowHose.com.
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: americanethanolracing.com
Official Results (Race #5 – 30 Cars) – Sunday, June 25th, 2017 – I-96 Speedway – Lake Odessa, Michigan
Inaugural American Ethanol Shootout – YellowHose.com 40
American Ethanol Feature (YellowHose.com 40): 1. (3) cj1 Rusty Schlenk, 2. (11) 6m Dona Marcoullier, 3. (5) 27 Eric Spangler, 4. (9) 2 Travis Stemler, 5. (13) 49 Brian Ruhlman, 6. (1) 51 Devin Shiels, 7. (8) m14 Brandon Thirlby, 8. (2) 87 Rich Neiser, 9. (20) 1n Casey Noonan, 10. (14) 23v Ryan VanderVeen, 11. (12) 79 Nick Kurtz, 12. (18) 111 Curt Spalding, 13. (4) 21 Logan Arntz, 14. (15) 21t Derek Thebo ®, 15. (16) 28 Sammy Epling, 16. (21) 44 Matt Shipley ®, 17. (7) 21b Rich Bell, 18. (19) 20 Chad White, 19. (10) 2j Bry Johnson, 20. (6) 0x Zack Olger, 21. (17) 97 Brett Miller
(Lap Leaders: 51 Devin Shiels 1-11, 27 Eric Spangler 12, cj1 Rusty Schlenk 13-40 – Cautions=3)
Boyne Machine Company B Feature (10 Laps / Non-Transfer Race): 1. (2) 23 Brad Wade, 2. (1) 12 Scott Fisk, 3. (4) 5* Bryant Dickinson, 4. (3) 15 Phil Ausra, 5. (5) 52 Brad Harden – Did Not Start: 4 Jason Playter Jr., 7m Brad Mann, 66 Rody Schroyer, 9* Jesse Playter
NUVU Fuels Last Chance Race (15 Laps / Top 5 Transfer): 1. (3) 28 Sammy Epling, 2. (1) 97 Brett Miller, 3. (4) 111 Curt Spalding, 5. (10) 1n Casey Noonan, 6. (5) 12 Scott Fisk, 7. (2) 23 Brad Wade, 8. (6) 44 Matt Shipley ®, 9. (8) 15 Phil Ausra, 10. (12) 5* Bryant Dickinson, 11. (15) 4 Jason Playter Jr., 12. (14) 52 Brad Harden, 13. (11) 7m Brad Mann, 14. (9) 66 Rody Schroyer, 15. (13) 9* Jesse Playter ®
Carbon Green BioEnergy Heat Race #1 (10 Laps / Top 5 Transfer): 1. (4) 0x Zack Olger, 2. (2) 87 Rich Neiser, 3. (5) 27 Eric Spangler, 4. (3) 2j Bry Johnson, 5. (9) 49 Brian Ruhlman, 6. (1) 97 Brett Miller, 7. (7) 111 Curt Spalding, 8. (8) 20 Chad White, 9. (6) 1n Casey Noonan, 10. (10) 9* Jesse Playter ®
YellowHose.com Heat Race #2 (10 Laps / Top 5 Transfer): 1. (1) 2 Travis Stemler, 2. (2) 21b Rich Bell, 3. (4) m14 Brandon Thirlby, 4. (6) 6m Dona Marcoullier, 5. (3) 23v Ryan VanderVeen, 6. (7) 23 Brad Wade, 7. (5) 12 Scott Fisk, 8. (10) 15 Phil Ausra, 9. (9) 7m Brad Mann, 10. (8) 52 Brad Harden
Growth Energy Heat Race #3 (10 Laps / Top 5 Transfer): 1. (4) cj1 Rusty Schlenk, 2. (1) 51 Devin Shiels, 3. (5) 21 Logan Arntz, 4. (2) 79 Nick Kurtz, 5. (9) 21t Derek Thebo ®, 6. (8) 28 Sammy Epling, 7. (7) 44 Matt Shipley ®, 8. (6) 66 Rody Schroyer, 9. (10) 5* Bryant Dickinson, 10. (3) 4 Jason Playter Jr.
American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 1): 1. 0x Zack Olger 17.675, 2. 2j Bry Johnson 18.073, 3. 87 Rich Neiser 18.294, 4. 97 Brett Miller 18.431, 5. 27 Eric Spangler 18.449, 6. 1n Casey Noonan 18.526, 7. 111 Curt Spalding 18.553, 8. 20 Chad White 18.643, 9. 49 Brian Ruhlman 18.671, 10. 9* Jesse Playter ® No Time
American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 2): 1. m14 Brandon Thirlby 17.505 (ISKY Racing Cams Fast Qualifier), 2. 23v Ryan VanderVeen 17.700, 3. 21b Rich Bell 17.993, 4. 2 Travis Stemler 18.079, 5. 12 Scott Fisk 18.444, 6. 6m Dona Marcoullier 18.576, 7. 23 Brad Wade 19.046, 8. 52 Brad Harden 19.193, 9. 7m Brad Mann 19.794, 10. 15 Phil Ausra 19.966
American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 3): 1. cj1 Rusty Schlenk 17.822, 2. 4 Jason Playter Jr. 18.770, 3. 79 Nick Kurtz 18.783, 4. 51 Devin Shiels 18.830, 5. 21 Logan Arntz 19.076, 6. 66 Rody Schroyer 19.254, 7. 44 Matt Shipley ® 19.272, 8. 28 Sammy Epling 19.481, 9. 21t Derek Thebo ® 19.866, 10. 5* Bryant Dickinson 20.333
QuickCar Racing Products Rookie of the Race: 21t Derek Thebo
Allstar Performance Hard-Charger Award: 1n Casey Noonan
Aeroquip Halfway Leader: cj1 Rusty Schlenk
ARP Most Laps Led: cj1 Rusty Schlenk
Driven Racing Oil P3: 27 Eric Spangler
Keyser Manufacturing P4: 2 Travis Stemler
Shirtworks Apparel P5: 49 Brian Ruhlman
Dirty Girl Racewear P10: 23v Ryan VanderVeen
ISKY Racing Cams Fast Qualifier: m14 Brandon Thirlby
American Ethanol Performer of the Race: 87 Rich Neiser
Hoosier Racing Tire Hard-Luck Award: 21b Rich Bell
Quarter Master Move of the Race: cj1 Rusty Schlenk
Lane Automotive Member A: 6m Dona Marcoullier
Hoosier Racing Tire Member B: 4 Jason Playter Jr.