Needles Returns to Intimidator 100 Victory Lane
For the second consecutive season Steve Needles started the season in victory lane by winning the Intimidator 100 Presented by Boyne Machine at Kalamazoo Speedway. Twenty-nine Late Models filled the pit area Saturday night at the Zoo, with several heavy hitters included but when the smoke cleared it was Needles, driving for car owner Terry Gentry that emerged victorious. Tyler Roahrig made a late charge but came up just short by finishing in the second position ahead of fast qualifier Jeff Ganus, who came all the way from 14th starting position to finish third. Twelve time Kalamazoo Speedway Outlaw Super Late Model champion Andy Bozell came home in fourth position ahead of his son and 2011 Outlaw Super Late Model champion and Intimidator 100 winner Phil Bozell. JR Roahrig, Jeff Bozell, former Modified champion Mike Brooks, Matt Frazier and Randy Day completed the top ten finishers. Defending champion Brian Bergakker was involved in an accident and finished a disappointing 15th. Dick Bissett won the Last Chance race. Ganus leaves the season opener as the point leader ahead of Tyler Roahrig by just four points. Needles (-8), Phil Bozell (-12) and Andy Bozell (-18) complete the top five.
Super Stock Pre-Season Testing at Kalamazoo Speedway saw Buddy Head put his machine at the top of both sessions this season but there were some that questioned whether he could back it up on Opening Night. Head turned the doubters to believers on Saturday with a win in the season opening “Super Stock Mania Presented by Hayes Jeep”. Chris Shannon finished second ahead of fast-qualifier and defending champion Kenny Head. Kellie Jo Hofacker finished a strong fourth ahead of TK Whitman. Bryan Noble, Larry Hollenbeck, former champion Matt Corliss, Tyler Hufford and Chris Orr completed the top ten. After opening night Buddy Head sits atop the standings by just two points over his brother Kenny Head. Hofacker (-8), Shannon (-18) and Whitman (-20) round out the top five.
Veteran driver Brent Hook took the season opening win in the Pro Stock division, coming out on top of a late race duel between himself and Brad VanAvery. Travis Hall, Tony Montgomery and fast qualifier Bud Hybels completed the top five. John Foote finished sixth ahead of Jerry Pierman, Keith Wilfong, Greg Brown and Mark Flierman. Hook’s win propels him to the early season point lead, just four points ahead of Montgomery. VanAvery (-6), Hybels (-6) and Hall (-14) complete the top five after one event.
Nineteen Mini Stocks made the call for opening night with Bobby Blount emerging victorious over Jim Newman. Shane Clark finished a solid third ahead of Jerime Damron and Dustin Kline. Defending champion Frank Stager led the second half of the top ten over Noah Gallandt, Doug Smith, Rick Gale and Brian Echtinaw. Chaz Hook was the fastest qualifier but was involved in an accident and finished a disappointing 17th. Blount takes the point lead after opening night with Newman (-6), Clark (-6), Damron (-16) and Stager (-16) completing the top five.
The Cybernetic 25 Presented by McDonald’s Towing ironically saw a lot of carnage, resulting in several cars needing to be towed off the track. When the smoke cleared Walter Nielson IV collected his first ever Cyber Stock victory holding off a head charging Barry Jenkins. Tyler McGhan finished a strong third ahead of Jerry Jansen III and Dion Vrooman. Walter Nielson III finished sixth ahead of Joel Ritsema, Jason Ratashak, Matt Majewski and Josh Roberts. Notable finishers included former champion Dale Leonard in 16th and defending champion as well as fastest qualifier Jerry Jansen Jr. in 23rd.
Next on the schedule is another Full 5-in-1 Show coming up this Saturday night, May 4th. The evening will be highlighted by the “Little Caesars 50 Presented by Titan Equipment” for the Outlaw Super Late Models. Also on hand will the Super Stocks and Pro Stocks, who will be running the “Pro Stock Spring Fling 35 Presented by Cool 101”. The Mini Stocks and Cyber Stocks will complete the program. It will also be Autograph Night and Scout Night, making this an evening you won’t want to miss! For more information on Kalamazoo Speedway visit www.kalamazoospeedway.com.