RACE RECAP: LPT AUTOMOTIVE NIGHT (JUNE 9)

STANLEY STEEMER NASCAR LATE MODELS

Prior to Saturday night, the 2018 season had started out in frustrating fashion for Matt Berger.

Bad luck and bad finishes had haunted last year’s points runner up during the early part of the racing season, but on LPT Automotive Night, it was Berger’s time to shine.

The Loves Park resident made his move to the front of the field after a lap 23 yellow flag and kept the rest of the competition behind him on the way to his first victory of 2018.

Berger took the lead from Dennis Smith Jr on what became the final restart of the 30 lap race, which was slowed by just two yellow flags. Smith held onto a third place finish, a stellar outing for the second year Late Model racer who had missed the most recent week of racing on May 26 after discovering issues under the hood of his race car. Two-time track champion Michael Bilderback got past Smith with five laps to go, settling for second behind Berger. It was Bilderback’s first runner up of the season after winning his two prior appearances in 2018. Alex Papini fought to a fourth place finish, while Jake Gille rounded out the top five.

BARGAIN HUNTER SPORTSMAN

2017 track champion Chad Smith was patient in his climb to the front of the 14-car field en route to his first Sportsman feature win of the season.

Smith got the lead just after halfway of the 25 lap feature race and outran Howie Ware to claim the victory. Along with the runner up finish, Ware was also the evening’s quick qualifier. Cody Houseweart finished the race in third place, while Jake Gille finished fourth in a rare appearance in the Sportsman class. Rookie Richie Schinderling rounded out the top five.

MILLER LITE AMERICAN SHORT TRACKERS

In typical dominant, yet dramatic fashion, Franc Beldowski conquered the 25 lap Short Tracker main event. After being buried in seventh position during the race’s first half, a yellow flag allowed things to clear up for Beldowski. Even with the yellow, hard work was still required for Beldowski to dispose of Rookie of the Year point leader Destiny Genore in the battle for the win. Beldowski earned the lead with five laps to go and never looked back on his way to his fourth win of 2018.

Aaron Rude finished the race in second place after a late race battle with Genore, who bounced of the turn four wall on the final lap trying to keep the second position. The result of the last lap scrape with the wall was a flattened right side and third in the scorebook for Genore. Kyle Voss came home in fourth while David Russell rounded out the top five.

KICKSTART ROADRUNNERS

Despite numerous challenges from Chad Lounsbury, Robby Robinson was able to hold onto the lead while earning his second win of the season in the Roadrunner class, besting a field of 12 cars in a 20 lap affair.

Robinson took the lead on the race’s fifth lap, thwarting Lounsbury’s run for a third feature win of the year. Lounsbury settled for second while Kevin Memoli was third. Austin Fowler finished the race in fourth place while Nick Schneider rounded out the top five. Schneider also won the Roadrunner Challenge ‘Hare & the Hound Race’ earlier in the evening.

T.E.D. TRANSIT BANDITS

Duane Lounsbury commanded the field in a caution-free 20 lap Bandit feature en route to his first win of the year. Ross Lamont made the best of his first start of the season, collecting a second place finish. Ben Rucker made a charge to third place, while Kelsey Dobbs finished fourth.

ORIGINAL TRAILER RACE OF DESTRUCTION

Randy Huen topped a field of 24 entrants and claimed victory in the Original Trailer Race of Destruction.