Spangler Wins Allstar Performance 40 at Thunderbird Raceway; Record Weekend for Other Drivers

 

Muskegon, MI (May 26, 2018) – The cars and stars of the American Ethanol Late Model Tour (AELMT) had their second night of the POET BioFuels Memorial Day Weekend of Racing on Saturday, May 26th. The Raceway’s Season Opening event, due to multiple rainouts, featured the Allstar Performance 40 from Thunderbird Raceway in Muskegon, Michigan.  Again, like last year, drivers broke the tour’s track record, some drivers had their best finish of 2018, while other drivers had the best finish of their AELMT careers.

 

The night started with Motul Oil and Lubricants Qualifying for the 25 cars that made the trip.  Group number one was led by Travis Stemler, with Steve Casebolt leading the way in group number three.  Group two had a record setting run, thanks to Traverse City’s Brandon Thirlby.  The Friday night YellowHose.com 40 feature winner, Thirlby, picked up right where he left off, turning a 12.504 second lap time. A time nearly a full tenth of a second faster than Stemler and nearly four tenths faster than Casebolt.

 

Three Heat Races were run to set the field for the night’s main event.  Minor incidents slowed the races that saw Ryan VanderVeen, Eric Spangler and Steve Casebolt pick up wins.  Officials with the AELMT and Thunderbird Raceway determined that there would be no need to run a Last Chance Qualifier, so all 25 competitors would start the $4,000 to win, $500 to start, Allstar Performance 40.

 

The near capacity crowd was treated to one of the most competitive shows that the tour has had in 2018.  From the drop of the American Ethanol Green Flag, fans witnessed side-by-side racing throughout much of the field, specifically between Eric Spangler and David Mielke, who started together on the front row.  The two battled all throughout the 40 lap A-Main, being slowed by only two cautions, one of which was a four car accident triggered by a spin by Ryan VanderVeen that collected Dona Marcoullier, Stemler and Logan Arntz.

 

On the restart, Spangler stayed committed to the top of the race track, where he had run all night.  He quickly lost four spots, nearly falling outside of the top five, while Mielke continued to work around the bottom of the racetrack.  After around 10 laps, Spangler’s car came back to life as he motored his way back to the front and on to his first win of the 2018 season.  For Mielke, it was his best finish of his AELMT career.

 

The next event for the AELMT is also the season opener for the American Ethanol Modified Tour Presented by Allstar Performance (AEMODT).  The two Tours will team up to bring fans the 4th Annual Merritt Showdown on Wednesday, June 6th from Merritt Speedway in Lake City, MI.  For more information on the AELMT and the AEMODT, find them on social media including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Full results below:

 

Allstar Performance Heat 1

1. 23V Ryan VanderVeen

2. 87M David Mielke

3. 21B Rich Bell

4. 1 Greg Gokey

5. 2 Travis Stemler

6. 87 Rich Neiser

7. RH21 Gregg Haskell

8. 94 Bill Bray

 

NUVU Fuels Heat 2

1. 27 Eric Spangler

2. M14 Brandon Thirlby

3. 79 Nick Kurtz

4. 6M Dona Marcoullier

5. 1S Andy Sprague

6. 7M Brad Mann

7. 117 Kevin Reeve

8. 44 Rob Taylor

 

YellowHose.com Heat 3

1. C9 Steve Casebolt

2. 21A Logan Arntz

3. 07 Shawn Reed

4. 79M Kory Maurice

5. 0N Kevin Nelson

6. 15 Phil Ausra

7. P3 Jeff Robertson

8. 21S Tom Sprague Jr.

9. 02 Jeremy Lange

 

Allstar Performance 40

1. 27 Eric Spangler

2. 87M David Mielke

3. 21B Rich Bell

4. 79 Nick Kurtz

5. C9 Steve Casebolt

6. M14 Brandon Thirlby

7. 2 Travis Stemler

8. 6M Dona Marcoullier

9. 1 Greg Gokey

10. 87 Rich Neiser

11. 07 Shawn Reed

12. 94 Bill Bray

13. 15 Phil Ausra

14. 7M Brad Mann

15. 02 Jeremy Lange

16. 23V Ryan VanderVeen

17. 21A Logan Arntz

18. 0N Kevin Nelson

19. 1S Andy Sprague

20. 44 Rob Taylor

21. P3 Jeff Robertson

22. 117 Kevin Reeve

23. 21S Tom Sprague Jr.

24. 79M Kory Maurice

25. RH21 Gregg Haskell

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