FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (6-22-02)|
ST. DENIS CAPTURES ROYAL/G TEC GOLD CUP 100 AT FLAT ROCK
FLAT ROCK, MI: Canadian resident Don St. Denis displayed patience and speed as he roared to victory in the Royal Truck-Trailer/G Tec Truck Equipment Gold Cup 100 for the ARCA Allen Chevrolet-Cadillac/Cintas Late Models Saturday night at Flat Rock Speedway. Ken Bumgardner of Royal presented Don with the traditional Gold Cup in victory lane ceremonies on a very hot and muggy evening. Rain delayed the show during practice, but the heat quickly dried the track and allowed the program to continue.
The 100 lap contest got off to a rocky start, as 3 attempts went by the wayside. Front row mates Tom Simko and Joe Hawes locked horns on the initial green, triggering a pile-up in turn 1 and eliminating the cars of Robbie Loving and Tim Hebert. Dick Barker also sustained heavy damage, but he returned to the race several laps down later. The front row got together again, this time dropping Hawes from the race with a broken tie rod. Finally the green dropped, and rookie Eric Lee shot into the lead. St. Denis wasted no time, as he worked his way quickly to the front from his 8th place starting spot. Fast qualifier Dave Kuhlman (11:453) also was on the charge, but Steve Tabor spun and rolled up the track, giving the 2001 Gold Cup champ nowhere to go. The incident ended Dave's day. St. Denis was able to build up sizable leads as the race settled down and ran a long stretch of green. Don, who recorded his first Flat Rock win in just his 6th race at the ¼ mile oval, took the M.B. Windows and Doors Half-Way Award on his way to victory, pocketed $2450 for his efforts. Dennis Strickland finished second, Stan Yee Jr. made a late charge to take third, Jim Thiel was fourth and Royce Cornett fifth. Dan Ford Jr., Steve Cronenwett, Bill Steinhilber, Lee and Ron Allen completed the top ten in the 25 car field. Harold Fair Sr. finished 11th. Fair started 24th and was brilliant, working his way into the top 5 until he faded in the final 25 laps of the race. . The top 18 qualifiers were locked in, with 6 coming from the last-chance race and 1 points provisional. Mark Johnson won the last-chance race over Loving.
Ken Ahlgren posted his 1st win of the year in the 20 lap ARCA Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Figure 8 feature. Jerry Lee Jr. held the top spot for 3 laps, with Ahlgren working his way around Lee on lap 4 for the lead. Ken was able to hold off Randy Cronenwett and Ricky Kargel for the victory. Dennis Whisman was fourth and Rich Lee fifth, followed by Dan Apperson, Billy Early, Jerry Lee Jr., Parker Wade and Robbie Loving. Ahlgren and Whisman took the heat wins. Heavy rains Friday night made for a slick Figure 8 track and some wild action.
A very happy Terry Humphrey held off a race-long challenge from Ron Allen to win the 20 lap ARCA Walt Michal R.V. Center Street Stock feature race. Allen, jumping into his Street Stock ride after 100 laps in his Late Model, dogged Humphrey the entire race, which went without a yellow flag, enabling the lead duo to put some distance between them and the rest of the pack. Terry was able to hold on for the win over Allen, Tom Selmi, Ken Knight, Brian Norton, Clyde McKee, Chuck Koob, Randy DeMaggio, Tom Phillips and Rob Murphy. Norton set the Harwood Buick/Pontiac quick time at 13:273 for the 63 car field. Allen took the A dash, with heats to Dave Kensler and Jeff Kurzyniec. Steve Chartrand topped Jerry Eritano in the 15 lap B Main feature event. James Rae, John Huebner Sr. and Jim Selmi were next in line. The B dash winner was Skip Kissell, with heat wins going to Earl Roth and Aram Zadigian. Brian Loucks picked up his second C Main win of the year, getting by Nick Bradley for the win in the 10 lap contest. Jim Kourtakis and Stephanie Pankow captured the C division heat wins.
Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Parts Stores will sponsor Flat Rock Speedway's racing card this Saturday, June 29. The ARCA Late Models, Figure 8's and Street Stocks will be in competition. Time trials begin at 5:30 and racing starts at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 30 a 250 lap Enduro race takes place at Flat Rock at 1:30 p.m.