Cruz Doubles Down at Owosso Opener
Despite Mother Nature’s continued efforts to throw a wrench in the 2023 season with a mid-afternoon shower, a packed crowd piled in to witness the grand reopening of the Owosso Speedway. Close to 100 cars packed the pit area and would take racing action to the brand new Owosso surface for the first time.
First up on the night was the Durotech Automotive Street Stocks for a planned 25 lap event. Unfortunately attrition played a major role in this event, with the cautions forcing the race to be called at lap 20 due to exceeding the time limit. Despite that, some hard racing was on the track. It would be multi-time Champion of the M&K Truck Center Pure Stocks Lonnie Saumier able to hold off a hard charging Bo Smith to take the win. Colin Bozell finished third after leading a huge share of the opening laps. Nick Lechota and Ron Hart would complete the top five. Heat races were claimed by Chris Munson and Saumier, while Lechota set quick time for the new division with a 16.420.
The Valley Truck Center Modifieds were 33 cars strong. The 30-lap feature was a battle of epic proportions between Kyle Hayden and Nick Clemens. It would not be until the waning stages of the race Hayden would find himself able to get far enough away to be able to breathe again. Not for lack of trying behind him though, as new track record holder Curtis Spencer would make a late race charge, but it was not to be as Kyle Hayden picked up the win over Spencer, Trevor Berry was third. David McManus and Steven Pelky completed the top five. Tawas City, Michigan driver Andrew Groff was the winner of the $1500 to win B-Main over Matt Mueller and Billy Luckhurst. Kyle Smith, Damian Lytle, Luke Warhurst, and Clemens took heat races. Spencer set a new track record in qualifying with a 15.297.
The Reefer Peterbilt All-American Trucks would be next up with a thrilling event for the pretty close to stock truck class. It was really a tale of two races. The first half was a battle between Defending Champion Junior Gokee and his father Jim. The two would have a few restarts to get things sorted out, and Jim kept his son honest, until the final restart when Zane Cruz would find another groove and make a strong charge to the front, picking up the lead late and taking his first win in the Truck. Junior Gokee was able to hold onto second over Jim. Anthony Hart and Zack Lopez would complete the top five. Jim Gokee and Zane Cruz took the heat races with Junior Gokee setting fast time with a 18.959.
The MacAllister Rental Sport Compacts would complete the nights events with three big features. Matt Elsey Jr., fresh off of a new track record earlier in qualifying, would dominate the A feature over John Eastman Jr. 's late charge. Eric Spencer would have a strong return to the driver's seat in third. Adam Krzykowski and Rodney Russell completed the top five. The B Feature would see a true photo finish, as video replay had to be utilized to determine who the winner actually was! Zane Cruz would pick up his second feature of the night over Bobbi Jo Jernigan. Jeff Asmus, Adam Whitacker, and Corbin Kelley were the top five. Dominick Salander would win the C feature over Abby Colb, Josh Shiver, Tyler Oakley, and Maddy Orta. Heat races were claimed by: Rodney Russell, Matt Elsey Jr., Scott Elsey, Zane Cruz, Tyler Oakley, and Damian Watters. Matt Else Jr. shattered the track record in qualifying with a 17.107.
This Saturday at the Speedway is Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club Night as well as the debut of the Gross Construction Late Model Sportsman, and the M&K Truck Center Pure Stocks. Also on the card will be the MacAllister Rental Sport Compacts, and Durotech Automotive Street Stocks.
Article Credit: Chris Fobbe
Submitted By: Chris Fobbe