The 21st Annual “Kalamazoo Klash” lived upto the anticipation and excitement that everyone thought it would be. A good field of cars in both the Outlaw Latemodels and the Super Latemodels showed upto the Kalamazoo Speedway and both divisions put on a great show. Two Berlin Raceway regulars claimed the Fast Qualifier awards between the two divisions with Tim Devos claiming the Fast Qualifier award in the Super Latemodels and Ross Meeuwsen claiming the Fast Qualifier and award and New Track Record in the Outlaw Latemodels. The evening started out with the “Kalamazoo Klash” B Feature as local competitor John Chapman claimed the win and elected to take the trophy and payout instead of starting the tail of the A Feature.
The Super Latemodels were the next event of the evening as they would go 100 laps for the $7500 payday. Phil Bozell and Jordan Dahlke started on the front row for the event with Phil Bozell jumping out to the early lead. Bozell would continue to lead with Dahlke not far behind trying to chase him down. By lap 30, last year’s winner Johnny VanDoorn had moved upto 3rd and on lap 38 he would pass Bozell to take the lead. On the next lap, VanDoorn and Bozell were battling hard for the lead as they made contact and VanDoorn would get out of shape and falling back to about 5th position and Bozell would retake the lead. It only took VanDoorn 10 laps to catch Bozell and retake the lead for a 2nd time as he would start to pull away. By lap 60, VanDoorn continued to lead with Bozell, Ross Kenseth, Tim Devos, and Brian Bergakker running in the top 5. Bozell was working hard on the outside closing in on VanDoorn as it appeared that last year’s winner had used up his tires and starting to fall off. By lap 73, Bozell would catch Vandoorn and retake the lead and Kenseth would follow moving into 2nd. Lap 77 the caution came out for VanDoorn as he would stop on the track, he would refire his car and start at the tail. Steve Dorer who started near the back had moved into the 5th position at this point. The last 20 laps was the most exciting part of the race as Bozell, Kenseth, and Bergakker would fight hard for the top 3 spots almost making it 3-wide at some points. Bozell who was using the outside line most of the day was extremely strong coming off the corners and would maintain the lead with Kenseth, and Bergakker glued to his back bumper. On lap 97, Kenseth would drive into turns 3 and 4 a little to hard challenging Bozell for the lead and would spin out causing a caution and he would have to restart in the back. This would set up a side by side restart between 2011 Outlaw Latemodel Champ Phil Bozell and 2012 Outlaw Latemodel Champ Brian Bergakker. On the restart, Bozell would nose ahead of Bergakker and another caution would come out with 2 togo as Seth Moody would spin. A 2 lap dash between Bozell, and Bergakker would set up an exciting finish as Bozell continued to dominate on the outside groove as he would pull of the victory over a hard challenge by Bergakker.
The 21st Annual “Kalamazoo Klash” was set to be the Main Event of the night with Brian Ross and Dakota Carlson starting on the front row. Ross would jump out to the early lead with Phil Bozell moving into the 2nd spot over Carlson. The 1st caution of the event would come out on lap 7 as Terry VanHaitsma blows up and heads to the pits for the night. On the restart, Ross would lead over P. Bozell, Carlson, Jack Landis, and Andy Bozell. The 2nd caution would come out as Luke Krick would spin and Fast Qualifier Ross Meewusen would go into the pits and never return to the track for the remainder of the evening. At the restart, Ross continued to lead over P. Bozell, Landis, Adam Terry, and Tyler Roahrig. On lap 23 the caution would once again come out, this time for Ross Kenseth as he was smoking heavily. The top 5 would change alot and change quick as Ross continued to lead over P. Bozell, JR Roahrig would move into 3rd, Terry 4th and T. Roahrig 5th. Terry Senneker was charging hard through the field and by lap 40 he would move into the 2nd position by Ross who continued to set the pace. Ross and Sennker would battle side by side for the lead for the a few laps and on lap 44 Senneker would officially take the lead from Ross. The next 30 laps the top 5 would remain the same of Senneker, Ross, JR Roahrig, T. Roahrig, and P. Bozell. Senneker would start to pull away from the field and lapping cars. Phil Bozell came to life around lap 75 as he powered by both Tyler and JR Roahrig and move upto the 3rd position. On lap 79, the caution would come out as Jeff Ganus appeared to break something on the right front as he would head to the pits and be done for the night. Ganus was in danger of going a lap down right before the caution. On the restart, Senneker would remain the leader until lap 88, when Steve Needles and John Long would make contact and both cars climbing over each other. Both cars would goto the pits to make repairs and come back out. A restart with 12 laps to go in the 1st segment would set up Senneker and Ross on the front row. Ross was able to get ahead of Senneker and take the lead and the checkered flag at lap 100 to end the 1st segment.
Brian Ross rolled an inversion of 4 which would put Phil Bozell and Tyler Roahrig on the front row for the final 50 lap shootout. On the start, Phil Bozell would jump out to the early lead but on lap 101, Adam Terry and Jack Landis would make contact on the frontstretch and Landis would ride the wall with alot of damage as his night would come to an end. The 2nd restart for the final 50 laps would see Tyler Roahrig jump out over Phil Bozell. By lap 110, Senneker would move by Bozell and into 2nd, and by lap 115, Senneker would pass Tyler Roahrig on the inside and retake the lead. Last year’s Klash winner would never look back as he pulled out to a huge lead over T. Roahrig and P. Bozell. Senneker would work through lapped traffic and maintain the lead and would go on to win his 2nd “Kalamazoo Klash” in a row and his 3rd victory overall in the prestigious event. Tyler Roahrig would hang on to 2nd over Phil Bozell in 3rd, Brian Ross in 4th, and Andy Bozell would make a last lap pass on JR Roahrig to finish in the 5th position.
By: Nick Smith @ Left Turn Mania