David Mielke Scores Fourth Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour Victory In Five Races In Flag Day Shootout At Cherry RacewayJune 18th, 2015
Fife Lake, Michigan- The second race in three days as part of an important Northern Michigan swing for the Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour Presented by Lane Automotive concluded up in the Northwestern part of the lower peninsula of the state of Michigan. On Friday, June 12th the fast 3/8s (0.375) mile high-banked dirt oval of Cherry Raceway, located south of Traverse City in Fife Lake, Michigan served as hosts of the American Flag Day Shootout at the Roger and Michelle Steig owned and operated facility.
Coming off of a very successful race at near-by Merritt Speedway in Lake City, Michigan for the Inaugural Merritt Summer Showdown on Wednesday, June 10th, the MDC Modified Tour was right back in action at the Northwestern Michigan speed plant. In five all-time MDC races at Cherry, each race hasproduced a different winner. In the 2015 appearance in the ‘Great White North’ 2013 Tour Champion, David Mielke made certain that streak would end as the Gladwin, Michigan driver in his #87 Krompetz Elevator / Northeastern Builders machine grabbed the lead from home track favorite, Joe Rokos on lap 17 and pulled away to his fourth victory of the season in five MDC starts.
“We’ve had an amazing year this season. The competition in the Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour is so tough, one win in this series is an accomplishment. I don’t know how we have four already this season,” stated the 23-year-old driver who moved into a tie for the lead all-time in career wins with Two-Time MDC Tour Champion, Jacob Poel with eight. “I have to apologize to Joe (Rokos) for getting into him a little bit when we were battling for the lead. We’ve raced together for years and hopefully he knows I don’t race like that and I really didn’t mean to get into him. The track was tough tonight, but we found a lane right on the bottom and was able to make it work.” He added.
Cherry Raceway track favorites and multi-time track champions, Larry Cade and Joe Rokos led the stout 20-car field to Cherry Flagman, Steve Sherwood’s green flag and it as the field made their way into the first corner, Rokos would roll up on the high side and get past Cade to take the top spot early on. On a very heavy and wet race track, Rokos immediately went to the bottom lane which was the preferred lane around the 3/8s mile dirt oval and would slowly work into a rhythm as the rest of the field sorted itself out behind him.
Mielke began his charge towards the front from his fifth starting position running a very low line around the track and would soon catch up to Rokos. On what was the final restart on lap 16, Mielke edged up against Rokos’ drivers side door and the two drivers bumped and rubbed going down the backstretch before Mielke was able to edge out ahead for the lead on lap 17. From there, it was all Mielke as he stayed on the bottom of the race track, continued building momentum and would put a safe piece of real estate between himself and Rokos to sail on to victory lane.
Rokos, in his second appearance of the 2015 racing season tied a career high finish in the MDC Modified Tour with a second place showing in his #77 Gilboe’s Lock & Safe machine. The home track favorite from near-by Interlochen, Michigan was hoping to celebrate his 33rd birthday with a trip to victory lane, but settled for the runner-up spot. Rounding out the podium finishers was West Olive, Michigan’s Aaron Morey in his #2K Performance Engineering entry who was impressive on a difficult track by starting 15th and in the end, the 35-year-old finished an impressive third.
It was a fourth place finish for Hartford, Michigan driver, Bob Baldwin in his #42 Baldwin Construction machine. The 27-year-old was the last MDC Modified Tour event winner at Cherry back on August 8th, 2014. On this night, he would have to fight off a hard-charging Travis Stemler who finished off the top five. Stemler’s #2 Gilboe’s Lock & Safe ride earned the Allstar Performance Hard-Charger award with his impressive 18th to fifth place run. The 24-year-old driver from Ionia, Michigan, the defending MDC Modified Tour Champion maintained a slim one-point lead in the season long points chase over Morey with Mielke just four points out of the lead.
Cade, the three-time Cherry Raceway Track Champion finished sixth ahead of another home track favorite, Collin Thirlby who climbed up to fourth in points with his seventh place effort. Two more Cherry regulars, Jeff Cade and Dennis Taghon were eighth and ninth respectively while Dave Baker completed the top 10. Earlier in the evening in the Howe Racing Enterprises Qualifier Heat Races, Rokos, Bauer and Thirlby went to victory lane after each of those events.
The Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour Presented by Lane Automotive will take a well deserved break before returning to action and kicking off the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend in the process. The wicked fast 1/2 (0.500) mile semi-banked dirt oval of Hartford Motor Speedway, located west of Kalamazoo in Hartford, Michigan will host the Fourth of July Weekend 40.
The Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour has visited the ultra fast Southwest Michigan facility on three occasions and it’s been Two-Time MDC Modified Tour Champion, Jacob Poel visiting victory lane in all three races. Poel won the inaugural event at Hartford in 2011 to clinch the inaugural tour championship. Then, after a three-year absence, the MDC cars and stars returned twice in 2014 with Poel taking both of those victories as well.
To learn more about the Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour Presented by Lane Automotive, go to the Tour website at: www.michigandirtcup.com. You can also follow MDC all season long on Facebook and Twitter at: www.facebook.com/midirtcup and www.twitter.com/michigandirtcup. For further information, email Michigan Dirt Cup, Director of Operations Scott Menlen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, for more information about Cherry Raceway, the host track for the sixth race of the fifth anniversary 2015 racing season, log onto website located at: www.hartfordmotorspeedway.com.