Neiser claims first MDC victory at I-96
LAKE ODESSA, Mich. (June 15) — Rich Neiser of Fruitport, Mich., raced to his first Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup victory Saturday night at I-96 Speedway, earning $1,500 in the second leg of the DIRTcar-sanctioned tour’s season-opener doubleheader weekend. | Slideshow
Reigning series champion Brandon Thirlby of Traverse City, Mich., pressured Neiser late in the race, but ended up settling for a runner-up for the second straight night.
J.R. Hotovy of Covert, Mich., winner of Friday’s MDC event at Winston Speedway in Rothbury, Mich., advanced from the 11th starting spot to finish third in Saturday’s race with eighth-starting Ryan VanderVeen of Six Lakes, Mich., and Phil Ausra of Dowagiac, Mich., rounding out the race’s top five finishers.
Notes: Neiser drives a MasterSbilt powered by an engine from Baker Engineering. ... Sam Epling (21st to seventh) and Dan Vance (19th to eighth) each charged through the field. ... The race was slowed by three cautions. ... Hotovy leads Thirlby by one point in the MDC points standings after two series races. ... The series returns to action June 28 with a visit to Hartford (Mich.) Motor Speedway. ... I-96 Speedway’s next major event is a $5,000-to-win race for the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals on June 23.
Michigan Dirt Cup @ I-96: (1) Rich Neiser, (2) Brandon Thirlby, (3) J.R. Hotovy, (4) Ryan VanderVeen, (5) Phil Ausra, (6) Bill Bray, (7) Sam Epling, (8) Dan Vance, (9) Pat Elhert, (10) Alan Vochaska, (11) Bret Darling, (12) Doug Ausra, (13) Brad Harden, (14) Keith Gentz, (15) Mark Andersen, (16) Rachel Carpenter, (17) Teddy Omlor, (18) Andy Galgoci, (19) Tom Sprague Jr., (20) Chris Nash, (21) Bob Harden. Heat winners (among 21 cars): Ausra, Thirlby, Vochaska.