August 8, 2019
Krashin’ the Klash
Last night the Kalamazoo Speedway in Kalamazoo, Michigan held their 27th annual Kalamazoo Klash Outlaw Late model race. The prestigious event was a three-race event starting with the B-Main for the Outlaw Late Models, the ARCA/CRA Super Series race, and then the main event of the night the Kalamazoo Klash XXVII.
The B-Main was an exciting last chance race, as there was side by side racing throughout the entire 9 car field for all 20 laps. In the end, the owner of South Bend Speedway, Kevin Sauer made a late pass with three to go to get by the Niles, Michigan driver of the 32X, Corey Pressler, to take the win. Sauer who had the option to go home with a $1,000 prize for winning the B-Main or to tack himself on the back of the main event, said that he came to race and added himself to the Klash to race for a shot at the big prize of $10,000.
The next race on the night was the 125 lap ARCA/CRA Super Series tace. The race was the series’ last event of the regular season. The chase for the championship begins the 17th of August with the tri-sanctioned Battle at Berlin 251.
The race got off to an interesting start as on lap 12, two of the favorites on the night got together when Brian Campbell had a parts failure and spun into Carson Hocevar in turn two, which sent Hocevar spinning as well. The two drivers were the only ones collected in the incident and Hocevar would be given his spot back as he was only a casualty in the incident.
The racing went go green again and drivers would be able to race for a few more laps before the caution came out when Evan Shotko and Jack Dossey III were racing tightly and Shotko got into the side of Dossey, losing control of the car and ended up spinning out making contact with the outside wall, ending his night.
The race for the lead started to heat up about halfway through the race as Travis Braden had gotten by Johnny VanDoorn for the lead and VanDoorn would attempt to get back by, but the two made contact which allowed VanDoorn and Hocevar to get around Braden.
With 60 to go in the race, Hunter Jack spins out in turn 3 from the 10th position, bringing out the yellow and another restart with it. They were able to race clean and green for the next 13 laps until Hocevar had a parts failure himself with 47 to go effectively ending his night.
After a tough night of racing, Hunter Jack is still optimistic about the upcoming race at Berlin Raceway, ‘We have had some bad luck the last couple races but we are working hard to turn that around. I am ready to get back to Berlin it’s such a great facility and the Berlin 251 is such a prestigious race it would be really cool to win it!”
With around 35 laps remaining, there was hard racing among the top 5 of Kyle Crump, VanDoorn, Josh Brock, Braden, and Austin Kunert who had worked his way to the front of the field. During this battle, Brock moved VanDoorn out of the way sliding him up the track allowing Brock to pass Van Doorn along with Braden and Crump who was able to take the lead.
Things started to heat up more as a series of cautions started to take place beginning with Dossey III losing the rear end with 19 remaining and Harold Fair Jr. spinning in fluid left behind. With 15 to go, Trevor McCoy, spun in turn 4, bringing out the 7th caution of the race. With 12 to go, Greg Van Alst spun in turn 4, and then the last caution came out with 11 to go when the 01 of James Krueger spins setting up an 11 lap dash for the win.
The excitement did not end there, as with 5 to go, battling for second place VanDoorn and Braden get together again, this time cutting VanDoorn’s tire allowing Kyle Crump to drive away and pick up his first career ARCA/CRA super series win with Braden, Brock, Hayden Sprague, and Logan Runyon rounding out the top 5.
At the end of the night, Crump was all smiles telling TLC Motorsports Marketing “I really didn’t think I had the car to win, had a really good car, but didn’t think I had the drive off. About halfway through the race, I could see that I was starting to reel them in. Caught up to Johnny (VanDoorn) and had a really fun battle for about thirty laps, and he started to pinch me off, and I was able to get by him. I can’t thank everyone enough for racing me clean.” Crump was not done racing for the night after the Super Series race, as he was also entered in the Klash driving the 50 car owned by Cross Town Auto.
After driver introductions, the Kalamazoo Klash was underway! Around 40 laps into the race, one of the odds on favorites had a mechanical issue, which seemed to be the theme of the night. Terry Senneker Jr, who was looking for his 6th win in the event had a part break in the front end going into turn two. He kept it off the wall, but the failure was enough to end his night.
The race went clean and green for the next 50 laps until Mark Shook’s car went up in flames ending the track regular’s night and bringing out the caution and erasing race leader, Adam Terry’s lead which was up to nearly half the 3/8th-mile oval. When the race went green again, they needed two attempts as the first one was not satisfactory due to a false start, however, it did not matter as Tyler Roahrig took the lead and set sail from there from second place taking home the win. Following behind Roahrig was Terry, Phill Bozell, Steve Needles, and JR Roahrig. After foregoing the money and entering the main event, Kevin Sauer was able to move up a few spots up to the 17th position proving that he really did come to race. The race that had side by side racing throughout the field was Roahrig’s third win in the Klash all in the last three races after breaking through having previously been the bride’s made a total of three times all to Senneker Jr.
The next race for Kalamazoo Speedway will be their regular program on August 16th with all of their classes racing, and the next event for the ARCA/CRA Super Series is the Battle at Berlin 251 at the Berlin Raceway, in Marne, Michigan which will be a tri-sanctioned race between them, the JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour, and the track’s local Budweiser Super Late Model series. The CRA tours are in their chases for the championships and the Budweiser Super Late Models are coming to the last few races for their championship making it a high stakes race, with the winner taking home $20,000.