Eric Spangler Wins Michigan Corn Growers Association 40 At Thunderbird Raceway

July 2, 2017

Two races in two days continues hectic mid-season schedule for the American Ethanol Late Model Tour

Muskegon, Michigan (Saturday, July 1st, 2017): The American Ethanol Late Model Tour continues a hectic stretch run through the 2017 schedule after just completing three races in five days from June 21-25th. It’s two more races in two days over the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend and it all started with the one and only appearance at the 1/3 (0.333) mile semi-banked dirt oval of Thunderbird Raceway in Muskegon, Michigan on Saturday, July 1st. The Michigan Corn Growers Association 40 would be the second ever appearance for AELMT at the Tom Sprague owned facility and at the end of 40 laps,


“We had a good starting spot with drawing the #1 pill. I just had to keep the car moving forward and not make any mistakes. I’m sure we touch the turns one and two wall there a couple of times, but that’s where the moisture was.” Smiled the 48-year-old Lake City, Michigan veteran in victory lane after his first win at Thunderbird Raceway since the 2002 season, 15 years ago. “Everyone on this team is what makes us successful, my Dad, who works in the shop with me during the week, Roxanne and everyone else, all the sponsors, we can’t do this without everybody. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going tomorrow (Sunday, July 2nd) back home at Merritt (Speedway). He ended.


After the Redraw of the top three finishers of the three Heat Races, it would be Eric Spangler and Zack Olger, the winner of the Feature in the tracks weekly Late Models one week ago, leading the field to the Green Flag. Spangler would beat Olger to the first corner to take the early race lead while Olger and the rest of the pack settled in behind him. Spangler, the winner of the 3rd Annual Merritt Showdown back on June 15th at Merritt Speedway, was in search of his second win of the 2017 season in the AELMT and proceeded to pull away to an early advantage setting a torrid pace as the rest of the field scrambled to keep up with the leader.


Olger remained in second for the majority of the race until defending AELMT Champion and current points leader, Dona Marcoullier, who started seventh, began picking his way through the field and got around Olger to take over second. He then set his sights on Spangler who has begun picking through traffic in an effort to keep plenty of track and lapped cars between himself and the hard-charging Marcoullier. As hard as Marcoullier tried to keep pace with Spangler, he wouldn’t get close enough to mount a challenge as Spangler’s #27 Spangler Heating & Cooling/MastersBilt Chassis/Homebuilt Engines machine would stay ahead for the entire race and chop away at Marcoullier’s points lead by winning his second AELMT Feature of the season.


Marcoullier would continue his impressive start towards defense of his title with his sixth top five finish in six AELMT events by finishing second. Olger would finish an AELMT career high third while Ryan VanderVeen grabbed fourth from his 12th starting spot as he finished ahead of 2016 AELMT Rookie of the Year, Travis Stemler who completed the top five. Rich Bell finished sixth after starting 13th while Brandon Thirlby was seventh ahead of 2015 AELMT Champion, Rich Neiser, Curtis Roberts and Curt Spalding who wrapped up the top 10.


The hectic stretch run through the 2017 schedule continues for the American Ethanol Late Model Tour with the second of two races in two days over the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend. 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 that will see the AELMT little brothers within the American Ethanol Modified Tour presented by Allstar Performance go for $10,000 to win in the Inaugural Merritt Allstar Performance Classic on Monday, July 3rd.


As for Sunday, July 2nd with the AELMT, it’s just $5.00 to get into 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 back on June 14th with the main event postponed to June 15th, 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: 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 live 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 #6 – 19 Cars) – Saturday, July 1st, 2017 – Thunderbird Raceway – Muskegon, Michigan

Michigan Corn Growers Association 40

American Ethanol Feature (Michigan Corn Growers Association 40): 1. (1) 27 Eric Spangler, 2. (7) 6m Dona Marcoullier, 3. (2) 0x Zack Olger, 4. (12) 23v Ryan VanderVeen, 5. (6) 2 Travis Stemler, 6. (13) 21b Rich Bell, 7. (9) m14 Brandon Thirlby, 8. (3) 87 Rich Neiser, 9. (5) 9r Curtis Roberts, 10. (18) 111 Curt Spalding, 11. (4) 4 Jason Playter Jr., 12. (14) 28 Sammy Epling, 13. (17) 44 Matt Shipley ®, 14. (8) 0n Kevin Nelson Jr., 15. (11) 79 Nick Kurtz, 16. (15) 02 Jeramy Lange, 17. (19) 72 Kyle Borgman, 18. (16) 21s Tom Sprague Jr., 19. (10) 94 Bill Bray


(Lap Leaders: 27 Eric Spangler 1-40 – Cautions=3)


Carbon Green BioEnergy Heat Race #1 (10 Laps / All Transfer): 1. (4) 6m Dona Marcoullier, 2. (6) 9r Curtis Roberts, 3. (1) 0n Kevin Nelson Jr., 4. (5) 94 Bill Bray, 5. (4) 79 Nick Kurtz, 6. (2) 21s Tom Sprague Jr. Heat Race #2 (10 Laps / All Transfer): 1. (1) 2 Travis Stemler, 2. (2) 0x Zack Olger, 3. (3) 87 Rich Neiser, 4. (4) m14 Brandon Thirlby, 5. (5) 28 Sammy Epling, 6. (6) 02 Jeramy Lange


Growth Energy Heat Race #3 (10 Laps / All Transfer): 1. (2) 4 Jason Playter Jr., 2. (4) 27 Eric Spangler, 3. (1) 72 Kyle Borgman, 4. (3) 23v Ryan VanderVeen, 5. (5) 21b Rich Bell, 6. (7) 111 Curt Spalding, 7. (6) 44 Matt Shipley ®


American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 1): 1. 6m Dona Marcoullier 12.966, 2. 21s Tom Sprague Jr. 13.295, 3. 0n Kevin Nelson Jr. 13.454, 4. 79 Nick Kurtz 13.542, 5. 94 Bill Bray 13.627, 6. 9r Curtis Roberts No Time


American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 2): 1. m14 Brandon Thirlby 12.970, 2. 87 Rich Neiser 13.563, 3. 0x Zack Olger 13.606, 4. 2 Travis Stemler 13.640, 5. 28 Sammy Epling 13.770, 6. 02 Jeramy Lange 14.418


American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 3): 1. 27 Eric Spangler 12.942 (ISKY Racing Cams Fast Qualifier / AELMT New Track Record), 2. 23v Ryan VanderVeen 13.327, 3. 4 Jason Playter Jr. 13.520, 4. 72 Kyle Borgman 13.659, 5. 21b Rich Bell 13.663, 6. 44 Matt Shipley ® 13.754, 7. 111 Curt Spalding 13.797


Contingency Awards:

QuickCar Racing Products Rookie of the Race: 44 Matt Shipley

Allstar Performance Hard-Charger Award: 23v Ryan VanderVeen

Aeroquip Halfway Leader: 27 Eric Spangler

ARP Most Laps Led: 27 Eric Spangler
Driven Racing Oil P3: 23v Ryan VanderVeen

Keyser Manufacturing P4: 23v Ryan VanderVeen

Shirtworks Apparel P5: 2 Travis Stemler

Dirty Girl Racewear P10: 111 Curt Spalding

ISKY Racing Cams Fast Qualifier: 27 Eric Spangler

American Ethanol Performer of the Race: 87 Rich Neiser

Hoosier Racing Tire Hard-Luck Award: 94 Bill Bray

Quarter Master Move of the Race: 6m Dona Marcoullier

Lane Automotive Member A: 21b Rich Bell

Hoosier Racing Tire Member B: 94 Bill Bray

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