Former Dirt Late Model Dream Winner, Steve Casebolt Wins In First Ever American Ethanol Late Model Tour Appearance

August 6, 2017

Second straight appearance in the Hoosier State next for the AELMT on Wednesday, August 16th at Baer Field Motorsports Park

Plymouth, Indiana (Saturday, August 5th, 2017): For the first time in the American Ethanol Late Model Tours’ three-year history, the cars and stars of the Great Lakes / Midwestern regions’ premier tour for DIRTcar UMP Late Models ventured into the Hoosier State on Saturday, August 5th.  The immaculate Plymouth Speedway, located south of South Bend in Plymouth, Indiana hosted the Iroquois BioEnergy 40 as this event was not only be the first ever appearance by the AELMT, but this race was only the third time ever that Late Models have raced on the fast 3/8s (0.375) mile semi-banked dirt oval since the track converted over to dirt in 2013. With no driver having a distinct home track advantage, the race was wide open as 2007 Dirt Late Model Dream Winner at Eldora Speedway, Steve Casebolt made the most of his first ever AELMT appearance by leading all 40 laps to score the $4,000 payday.


“My plan was to run the top the whole race and I thought there was no way anybody could pass me if I was running that cushion.” Explained the 39-year-old star from Richmond, Indiana after climbing from his #c9 Racecars/Cornett Racing Engines machine. “Well I glanced to my left and saw (Tim) Manville down there (on the bottom) and thought, oh I better change my plan. I never did really feel fantastic, but I felt good enough where I could hold those guys off and win the race. Definitely got to thank the American Ethanol people. There’s just no way that a tour like this can exist without them. It’s neat to have a $4,000 to win show on a random Saturday night in my home state. That’s fun.” Smiled the 39-year-old star who raced nationally with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series during the 2016 racing season and finished sixth in their final points standings.


After the top three in each Heat Race participated in the Redraw for the top nine starting spots in the 40-lap Feature, Brandon Thirlby, the winner of the last AELMT race back on July 28th at I-96 Speedway (Lake Odessa, Michigan) and Casebolt would bring the 20-car field to the green flag to start the Iroquois BioEnergy 40. Casebolt would drag race Thirlby to the first corner and take the early lead. Casebolt brought fourth place starter, Tim Manville with him and the two drivers, both making their AELMT debuts, quickly pulled away from the rest of the field. Thirlby was left to battle with defending AELMT Champion and current points leader, Dona Marcoullier for third. Marcoullier, who earlier in the evening established the AELMT Track Record in ISKY Racing Cams Qualifying, started in eighth and by the halfway point of the race, had worked his way up to the podium in third.


Manville was relentless in his pursuit of Casebolt as the two drivers pulled away from the rest of the pack to battle. Manville, the 2014 Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 Track Champion in DIRTcar UMP Late Models from Highland, Illinois tried every trick in his arsenal to get around Casebolt. However, it would be Casebolt, one of a select few drivers in the country with victories in both the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series (One Win, in 2015) and Lucas Oil Late Model Series (Three Wins-Last one in 2007), the two premier national tours for Dirt Late Models, was up to the challenge and he would fight off Manville to score his first career AELMT victory in his first career start in the third-year tour.


Manville would settle for second in his AELMT debut as he finished ahead of Marcoullier who extended his already healthy points lead in his bid to repeat as AELMT champion. 2016 AELMT Rookie of the Year, Travis Stemler finished fourth ahead of 18-year-old Tripp Gerrald, who made the trip from Lexington, Kentucky and like Casebolt and Manville, was also making his AELMT debut and completed the top five. Thirlby would bring home a sixth place finish ahead of Eric Spangler as 17-year-old Logan Arntz, 2015 AELMT Champion, Rich Neiser and Rich Bell rounded out the final top 10. The Iroquois BioEnergy 40 was the first of two races at the Plymouth, Indiana speed plant as the second and final appearance for the AELMT will be on Saturday, September 16th.  


The American Ethanol Late Model Tour contingent will stay in the Hoosier State for a second consecutive race and head to the tight ¼ (0.250) mile slightly banked dirt oval of Baer Field Motorsports Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A special midweek show on Wednesday, August 16th will see the AELMT cars and stars vie for a $4,000 payday in the running of the Summit City Late Model Nationals. The new ¼ mile dirt oval is located within the tracks ½ mile & 3/8s mile pavement layouts and this will be the fourth event held on the new track. This race also marks the second time that DIRTcar UMP Late Models will have raced on the new track. Back on July 26th, AELMT standout, Eric Spangler dominated a Sunoco American Late Model Series event over Devin Shiels and Jon Henry.


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 #9 – 20 Cars) – Saturday, August 5th, 2017 – Plymouth Speedway – Plymouth, Indiana

Iroquois BioEnergy 40

American Ethanol Feature (Iroquois BioEnergy 40): 1. (2) c9 Steve Casebolt, 2. (4) 33 Tim Manville, 3. (8) 6m Dona Marcoullier, 4. (11) 2 Travis Stemler, 5. (7) 4t Tripp Gerrald, 6. (1) m14 Brandon Thirlby, 7. (9) 27 Eric Spangler, 8. (14) 21a Logan Arntz, 9. (6) 87 Rich Neiser, 10. (5) 23b Rich Bell, 11. (10) 1m Mike Mataragas, 12. (17) 117 Kevin Reeve, 13. (16) 26 Wayne Chinn, 14. (12) 27m Matt Shipley ®, 15. (15) 23v Ryan VanderVeen, 16. (20) 9* Jesse Playter ®, 17. (13) 111 Curt Spalding, 18. (17) 31 Kyle Blight, 19. (18) 4 Jason Playter Jr., 20. (3) 79 Nick Kurtz


(Lap Leaders: c9 Steve Casebolt 1-40 – Cautions=2)


Carbon Green BioEnergy Heat Race #1 (10 Laps / All Transfer): 1. (3) 4t Tripp Gerrald, 2. (1) 23b Rich Bell, 3. (4) 6m Dona Marcoullier, 4. (2) 1m Mike Mataragas, 5. (6) 111 Curt Spalding, 6. (5) 26 Wayne Chinn, 7. (7) 117 Kevin Reeve Heat Race #2 (10 Laps / All Transfer): 1. (2) 27 Eric Spangler, 2. (1) 33 Tim Manville, 3. (4) c9 Steve Casebolt, 4. (3) 2 Travis Stemler, 5. (5) 21a Logan Arntz, 6. (6) 31 Kyle Blight, 7. (7) 9* Jesse Playter


Growth Energy Heat Race #3 (10 Laps / All Transfer): 1. (4) m14 Brandon Thirlby, 2. (1) 79 Nick Kurtz, 3. (3) 87 Rich Neiser, 4. (2) 27m Matt Shipley ®, 5. (5) 23v Ryan VanderVeen, 6. (6) 4 Jason Playter Jr.


American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 1): 1. 6m Dona Marcoullier 13.101 (ISKY Racing Cams Fast Qualifier / Establishes AELMT Track Record), 2. 4t Tripp Gerrald 13.103, 3. 1m Mike Mataragas 13.240, 4. 23b Rich Bell 13.298, 5. 26 Wayne Chinn 13.768, 6. 111 Curt Spalding 13.826, 7. 117 Kevin Reeve 13.885


American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 2): 1. c9 Steve Casebolt 13.200, 2. 2 Travis Stemler 13.313, 3. 27 Eric Spangler 13.450, 4. 33 Tim Manville 13.633, 5. 21a Logan Arntz 13.655, 6. 31 Kyle Blight 13.907, 7. 9* Jesse Playter ® 14.451


American Ethanol Qualifying (Group 3): 1. m14 Brandon Thirlby 13.269, 2. 87 Rich Neiser 13.793, 3. 27m Matt Shipley ® 13.908, 4. 79 Nick Kurtz 14.042, 5. 23v Ryan VanderVeen 14.158, 6. 4 Jason Playter Jr. 14.532


Contingency Awards:

QuickCar Racing Products Rookie of the Race: 27m Matt Shipley

Allstar Performance Hard-Charger Award: 2 Travis Stemler

Aeroquip Halfway Leader: c9 Steve Casebolt

ARP Most Laps Led: c9 Steve Casebolt
Driven Racing Oil P3: 6m Dona Marcoullier

Keyser Manufacturing P4: 2 Travis Stemler

Shirtworks Apparel P5: m14 Brandon Thirlby

Dirty Girl Racewear P10: 23b Rich Bell

ISKY Racing Cams Fast Qualifier: 6m Dona Marcoullier

American Ethanol Performer of the Race: 87 Rich Neiser

Hoosier Racing Tire Hard-Luck Award: 4 Jason Playter Jr.

Quarter Master Move of the Race: 2 Travis Stemler

Lane Automotive Member A: 27 Eric Spangler

Hoosier Racing Tire Member B: 79 Nick Kurtz


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