Eric Spangler tunes up before his fifth career Ethanol Tour victory.
What won the race: Second-starting Eric Spangler of Lake City, Mich., won a back-and-forth duel with fellow front-row starter David Mielke on Saturday at Thunderbird Raceway for a $4,000 American Ethanol Late Model Tour victory. Spangler took the checkers 1.555 seconds ahead of Mielke in the 40-lapper.
Key notes: Spangler, who has five career series victories, also won last season's tour race at Thunderbird. ... David Mielke led laps 1-3 and 15-20; Spangler led virtually the rest of the way. ... Thirteen drivers completed 40 laps. ... After entering the weekend atop the tour's point standings, Rusty Schlenk of McClure, Ohio, was suspended for Saturday's event after an altercation with Rich Bell the previous evening at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich. ... The Ethanol tour's lone visit to Thunderbird drew a near-capacity crowd. … Rich Neiser owns the track record at 12.734 seconds.
On the move: Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind., started ninth and finished fifth.
Winner's sponsors: Spangler's MasterSbilt Race Car is sponsored by Spangler Heating & Cooling, Cyclo Products, Forbes Construction & Excavation, Mark Mitchell P.C., Atkins Electric, Taco Boy, A&L Trading Post, Babb Ford, Goodman H&C and Xtreme GrafX.
Points chase: Before I-96, Rusty Schlenk (165) of McClure, Ohio, led ahead of Steve Casebolt (160), Brandon Thirlby (128), Dona Marcoullier (125) and Doug Drown (125).
Car count: 25
Fast qualifier: Brandon Thirlby
Time: 12.504 seconds
Polesitter: David Mielke
Heat race winners: Ryan VanderVeen, Eric Spangler, Steve Casebolt
Next series race: June 6, Merritt Speedway (Lake City, MI) $4,000