June 11, 2019
Last night, the Berlin Raceway held their third annual Money In the Bank 150, and as promised the show did not disappoint. The show began with The Main Event Outlaw late model tour finally debut this season, and it was a one car show. Phill Bozell made his way through the ten car field after near the rear of the pack after full field inversion after Mike Root was fast time on the night. After weaving through the field and getting by his father Andy Bozell and set sail for the rest of the night. Dissapointlying only half of the field finished with five cars having issues from overheating which is the issue Steve Needles ran into early in the race to a tire rub from possible contact that ended Monte Tolan’s night.
Following The Main Event tour was the man show for the night The Money In the Bank 150. This years field was a stacked 30 car field with drivers from Michigan, Illinois, Oklahoma, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado. Not only was the field one of if not the toughest you can find the track is also one of the toughest in the country. Oklahoma City, OK driver Donnie Wilson, driver of the number 2 Wilson Ford Parts, Ford said “ There is no track to prepare, its so unique, maybe Hickory in North Carolina? It’s so fast and quick for its size.” It was also said by Lawrenceville, GA driver of the number 22 Shaffer’s Oil Products Ford and short track ace Casey Roderick stated that Berlin is “ By far the toughest track I’ve ever been to.” With the difficulty of the track and the amount of talent that was there between the local drivers and the out of towners who have come to the track often such as ARCA Menards championship contender Travis Braden, qualifying that lead to a surprise fast time winner in Brighton, CO driver of the Generator Source/LLLP Diesel Service and Supply/ Hamke Toyota Preston Peltier who was making his first appearance at the track.
The action did not take long to start in the race as on lap 6 the yellow flag flew for Nate Walton a local driver from Hudsonville, MI spinning coming out of turn four. The race continued on for a clean 50 laps as at lap 56 the caution came out for the first of two competition cautions on the night. This caution was also the beginning of pit strategy on the night as all of the lapped cars came to pit road as well as the lead lap cars of Peltier, Michael Simko, Dave Lake, Boris Jurkovic, Brian Tillema, Kyle Crump, Evan Shotko, Tom Thomas, and Brian Bergakker.On the restart former ARCA/CRA series champion Johnny Vandoorn took a lead over Roderick where he held that for the next six laps until the caution flew again on lap 62 for Armada,MI native Dave Zigieski’s spin that lead to a bottle up, pile up involving the 55 of Lake, 76 of Tillema, 66 of Walton, and the number 5 car of Tyler Hufford. The next restart was won by the 22 of Roderick who was able to past Vandoorn’s 71 car who appeared to have an electrical issue that caused him to drop out of the race. The race continued on until lap 112 when the second competition caution of the night came out allowing the leaders of Brian Campbell, Roderick, Bubba Pollard, Boris Jurkovic, Braden, Shotko, Crump, Thomas, and Bergakker to pit, with Peltier staying out and assuming the lead. The race had very hard racing up until lap 131 when Evan Shotko got into Kyle Crump while attempting to make a pass on the inside causing both to spin without any major damage to the two cars. The hard racing continued after the restart until another caution flag flew just 8 laps later as Zigieski spun again coming out of turn four, however this time there was a major crash behind him as Donnie Wilson went to avoid the spinning 6 car, leaving nowhere for Dave Lake to go as Lake drives into the back end of Wilson’s car driving over the right rear tire, where he would get airborne and as Wilson spun, Lake slid across the hood of the 2 car getting airborne again, this time head first into the outside retaining wall of turn 4. In the midst of clean up from the accident, Lake was able to climb out of his car under his own power to the applause of the entire grandstands. After a long clean up the race continued on all the way to the end with hard battling for the win as there was beating and banging going on for all of the top positions, however, in the end, it was Wyoming, MI driver and home track favorite Brian Campbell taking home his second consecutive Money In the Bank 150 victory in his Daily Deals/Gro America/Senneker Performance Chevy. The top 10 was rounded out with Braden, Jurkovic, Pollard, Bergaker, Roderick, Thomas, Kyle Jones, Simko, and Crump as Peltier ended up with a disappointing finish as he had to drop out late with a flat right front tire, that was cut after contact with Simko during a hard fought battle.
After the race, Casey Roderick was available for an interview where he talked about the struggles he faced after his pit stop saying “The car got loose when the stagger opened up. Two new right side tires were slower than four old ones. Too much stagger caused the car to loosen up and caused an issue to drive it fast.” However, Roderick who loved the Michigan crowd and the welcome he received said that he plans to race in the north again next week at the famed Milwaukee Mile and that he plans on making a return to Berlin Raceway as he loves the track.