Neiser wins Merritt's Wood Tic opener
MERRITT, Mich. (July 19) — Rich Neiser of Fruitport, Mich., won his second Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup victory of the season Friday at Merritt Speedway on the opening night of the 25th annual Wood Tic 100 weekend.
Neiser, who started outside the third row, topped pole-starting Eric Spangler of Lake City, Mich., for a $1,500 payday as he moved into the points lead on the second-year tour.
David Hilliker of Midland, Mich., advanced seven positions to finish third while reigning series champion Brandon Thirlby of Traverse City, Mich., started outside the front row and finished fourth. Chris Brindley of West Branch, Mich., rounded out the top five. J.R. Hotovy of Covert, Mich., who entered the event leading the series point, finished 12th in the 30-lap feature.
Merritt’s Wood Tic 100 weekend, one of the biggest annual events in Michigan Dirt Late Model racing, continues Saturday with a $4,000-to-win series event.
Notes: Neiser drives a MasterSbilt powered by an engine from Baker Engineering. ... Neiser’s previous series victory came June 15 at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich. ... Scott Phillips of Marlette, Mich., rallied from 16th to seventh. ... Bill Bray (15th to eighth) and Sam Epling (14th to ninth) also made progress in the feature. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Renton Hurley, Mike Kresnak, Steve Nieuwenhuis, Jordan Erickson, Butch Strait Jr., Derrick Waldfogel, Brad Finkbeiner, Chad Foster, Alex Hupert, Bret Darling, Kyle Borgman, Andy Chester, Ryan VanderVeen, Keith Gentz, Charlie Liggett, Bob Hammar and Bob Harden. ... Consolation race winners Justin Robinson and Andy Galgoci received $50 product certificates from PPM Racing Products. ... Saturday’s 35-lap feature pays $4,000-to-win. Time trials are scheduled for 6 p.m. with racing at 7:30. Visit merrittspeedwaymi.com for more information.
Wood Tic: (1) Rich Neiser, (2) Eric Spangler, (3) David Hilliker, (4) Brandon Thirlby, (5) Chris Brindley, (6) Kris Patterson Jr., (7) Scott Phillips, (8) Bill Bray, (9) Sam Epling, (10) Tom Sprague Jr., (11) Adam Thrush, (12) J.R. Hotovy, (13) Justin Robinson, (14) Andy Galgoci, (15) Jeremy Tulick, (16) Brad Harden, (17) Jim Billett, (18) Adam Erickson, (19) Dave Hartman, (20) Chad White, (21) Brook Brasington, (22) Josh Knoll. Fast qualifiers (among 36 cars in group qualifying): Hotovy, Neiser, White, Spangler. Dash winner: Spangler. Heat race winners: Sprague, Neiser, Thirlby, Spangler. Consolation winners: Robinson, Galgoci.