Red Dirt Raceway
Berck breaks in Brill with MARS-NCRA victory
By David Smith Jr.O'Reilly NCRA
MEEKER, Okla. (June 26) — In the first sanctioned Late Model event at Brill Motor Speedway, Kyle Berck of Marquette, Neb., raced to victory in a special co-sanctioned by the O'Reilly National Championship Racing Association and O'Reilly MARS DIRTcar Series. Berck survived a mid-race battle with Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., and held off Jason Bodenhamer of Centerview, Mo., the race's late stages for a victory worth $2,500. | Slideshow
The high-running Berck earned his 20th career NCRA victory with Bodenhamer and Kelly Boen of Henderson, Colo., chasing him to the finish. Consolation race winner Brandon McCormick of Lebanon, Mo., rallied to finish fourth with Jeremy Payne of Springfield, a teammate to Phillips, rounding out the top five in the 30-lapper.
Phillips wasn't around at the finish after contact on the 25th lap with Berck sent Phillips for a spin, and he retired his damaged machine.
"I don't like winning that and there wasn't nothing intentional and I do apologize to Terry," Berck said in victory lane. "This is our first time here and I didn't know anything about the track and kept the setup to be as versatile as it could be. I saw him (Phillips) down low once and went down there at one point but it just didn't feel comfortable and moved back up to the top."
Polesitter Eric Turner of Springfield took command early with fellow front-row starter Ronnie Wallace of McCook, Neb.,, the fifth-starting Berck, Phillips and Bodenhamer in pursuit. Phillips took the runner-up spot by lap three, but Berck raced his way to the front, taking the point from Turner following a lap-nine restart to take over on lap 11.
The low-running Phillips moved into second, but Berck built a 12-length advantage in the high groove, but a lap-15 caution for Greg Larsen's spin reset the field and gave the frontrunners a break from lapped traffic.
On the restart, Phillips stayed right with Berck as they began a side-by-side battle with Berck up high and Phillips down low. Approaching lapped traffic down the frontstretch, the frontrunners made contact, sending Phillips into a spin for the third and final caution on lap 25. Berck kept Bodenhamer at bay the rest of the way for the victory.
Notes: Berck's Lazer Chassis is sponsored by Dorothy Lynch Salad Dressing and Strobel Construction. ... Berck is on a four-race win streak including a pair of regular-season victories at Boone County Raceway in Albion, Neb. (May 29 and June 19) and a June 14 victory at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb. ... MARS and NCRA competitors head to 81 Speedway near Wichita, Kan., for a Saturday night event paying $2,500 to the winner.
MARS-NCRA @ Brill: (1) Kyle Berck, (2) Jason Bodenhamer, (3) Kelly Boen, (4) Brandon McCormick, (5) Jeremy Payne, (6) Eric Turner, (7) Al Purkey, (8) Ronnie Wallace, (9) Jason Frieson, (10) Gary Scott Christian, (11) Mike Collins, (12) Cory Zeitner, (13) Tony Jackson) Jr, (14) Ronnie Warman, (15) Shawn Harker, (16) Steve Kempt, (17) Darrell Mooneyham, (18) Rylan Long, (19) Terry Phillips, (20) Greg Larsen, (21) Scott Koskovich, (22) Jason O'Brien. Heat race winners (among 33 cars): Turner, Wallace, Phillips, Boen. Consolation winners: McCormick, Zeitner. Provisional starters: Kempt, Harker, Jackson, Long.