NMD wraps up 2021 season this weekendContact: Brian Ledford 231.
218.26579/23/2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEKaleva-Northern Michigan Dragway's racing community came together last weekend for the first of two championship race weekends. The generous crowd raised approximately $2,500 to provide much needed funds for the family of Emily Orth, a 16 year-old racer from Traverse City who is recovering from a stroke. Orth is currently at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids for several weeks.
Many racers displayed words of encouragement, such as "Emily Strong" or "Racing for Emily." The Authentic 231 Rider Class final points night came down to a final round thriller to decide the championship. Points leader Gordie Bosack of Marion made an outstanding effort to keep his lead, but bowed out in the semi finals with a foul start on his Ski-Doo Mach Z. The final round battle was between the Arctic Cat F7 of Rockford's Thom Rosely and Springdale racer Chris Hardesty on a Buell X-1 motorcycle.
Hardesty needed a win to claim a tie, and force a run-off with Bosack. Rosely had suffered mechanical issues with his own snowmobile at the beginning of the night, but switched to his son's, the same make and model, prior to round 1 of the race. Rosely could claim the championship outright with a win in the finale. Both racers left with green lights, and Rosely used a reaction time advantage to take a come-from behind win in the 5th-round final and claim the class event and season championship.
More season championships continue this weekend. Friday night will feature Thirlby Automotive Street Nights, with time trials at 5pm, and eliminations at 7pm. Two championship races are still undecided in the Street Nights series. The Performance Paint High School class is led by Bellaire's Dominic Dyer and followed closely by Patrick Boris of East Jordan.
Robbie Kesling of Ludington still holds an outside chance in that points chase. The Chicks on Slicks class will also be decided, with Bear Lake's Mel Wade holding a slim lead over Onekama's Jazline Bredbanner. Saturday's TNT Specialized Transport Points event is the always-exciting season championship. Corey Mikus of Bear Lake clinched his 3rd championship in the Pro Systems Bracket I class with his $1,200 win last week.
In Hlavka H&C Bracket II, Dale Mardlin of Kaleva opened up a 49-point lead in the class last week, with a runner-up finish, passing last week's leader Travis Mardlin. In order for Travis to regain his lead, he would need an early exit by the leader, coupled with a 7th round or better finish himself. SK Customs Pro Trophy is also decided, with David Evans clinching his fifth-straight championship. However a strong battle for second is in store, with Ty MacNeill of Lincoln deadlocked with Manistee's Martin Moore.
Thirlby Advanced Juniors was claimed for the third-straight season by Manton's John Root, with his win last weekend. ModuGo Mini Juniors has a 14-point difference between new points leader, Hannah Moore of Cadillac, and Free Soil's Jesse Persinger. Both are in the running for the championship. Saturday time trials start at 1pm, with eliminations scheduled for 4pm.
Northern Michigan Dragway is located 3 miles north of Kaleva at 13991 Potter Road. For further information, visit NMD's social media pages or NorthernMichiganDragway.com.attached photo: A special tribute pass was made during last Saturday's event at NMD.
Emily Orth's purple Mustang was driven by her brother Devin Orth of Traverse City, while Dan Snyder of Houghton Lake drove Devin's car. Points Standings Top 10 each classPro Systems Bracket I1 Corey Mikus, Bear Lake, Chevy Camaro, 4302 Travis Mardlin, Kaleva, Chevy S-10, 3093 Chris Gee, Bear Lake, Ford Mustang, 2674 Tom Whitaker, Muskegon, Chevy Camaro, 2545 Mark Daniels, South Boardman, Pontiac Firebird, 2496 Scott Eriksen, East Jordan, Chevy Camaro, 2297 Patrick Boris, East Jordan, Dragster, 2088 Steve Mikus, Ashley, Chevy Nova, 2079 Eric Johnson, Onekama, Chevy II, 19310 Bud Roof, East Jordan, Dragster, 190 Hlavka Heating & Cooling Bracket II1 Dale Mardlin, Kaleva, Ford Falcon, 4902 Travis Mardlin, Kaleva, Chevy S-10, 4413 David Evans, Benzonia, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4084 Scott Eriksen, East Jordan, Chevy Camaro, 3605 Al McChesney, Kaleva, Plymouth Belvedere, 3566 Kyle Kidder, Benzonia, Chevy Camaro, 2777 Dan Snyder, Houghton Lake, Altered, 2738 Andrew Heinig, Traverse City, Plymouth Barracuda, 2459 Bob Vandewater, Cadillac, Dodge Challenger, 24310 Donnie Heinzer III, Manistee, Chevy Camaro, 220S.K. Customs Pro Trophy1 David Evans, Benzonia, Chevy Monte Carlo, 6992 Martin Moore, Manistee, Chevy Nova, 446tie Ty MacNeill, Lincoln, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4464 Parker Cesaro, East Jordan, Chevy S-10, 4045 Dustin Cesaro, Kalkaska, Chevy S-10, 3826 Bill Moody, Bear Lake, Ford Mustang, 3467 Jim Bacon, Luther, Chevy Nova, 3458 Jim Evans, Benzonia, Buick Skylark, 301tie Nathan Cebula, Bear Lake, Ford Mustang, 30110 Gary Wood, Manistee, AMC Spirit, 285Thirlby Automotive Advanced Juniors1 John Root, Manton, 5092 Leah Helsel, Manton, 4303 Hunter Cesaro, East Jordan, 2344 Toby Helsel, Manton, 2325 Carley Guerne, Bear Lake, 2186 Hunter Sanford, Ludington, 1997 Cheyenne Martin, Manistee, 1538 Lexie Sanford, Ludington, 1329 Damian Snow, Brethren, 12010 Ean Guenthardt, Manistee, 118ModuGo Mini Juniors1 Hannah Moore, Cadillac, 3912 Jesse Persinger, Free Soil, 3773 Knox Schmidt-Stoykovich, Kaleva, 3344 Tyler Thompson, Grawn, 3195 Ava Cebula, Bear Lake, 2386 Ann Cerka, Free Soil, 2187 Wyatt Martin, Manistee, 1738 Emmett Omar, Bear Lake, 1509 Nevaeh Adams, Kaleva, 13210 Eli Omar, Bear Lake, 102Performance Paint High School1 Dominic Dyer, Bellaire, Pontiac Firebird, 772 Patrick Boris, East Jordan, GMC Terrain, 713 Robbie Kesling, Ludington, Ford Mustang, 444 Chase Clark, Central Lake, Dodge Ram, 385 Gannon Dougherty, Honor, Ford Crown Victoria, 316 Madelyn Ledford, Bear Lake, Jeep Cherokee, 177 Dakota Sutter, Chesaning, Ford Mustang, 168 Sean Lamb, Pickford, Pontiac Trans Am, 109 Alexis Rosenburg, Kalkaska, Ford F-150, 6tie Brennan Tallquist, Rothbury, Subaru Legacy, 6Chicks on Slicks1 Mel Wade, Bear Lake, Chevy Monte Carlo, 1552 Jazline Bredbanner, Onekama, Ford Ranger, 1463 Angela Freeman, Kaleva, Chevy S-10, 924 Kim Crawford, Kingsley, Chevy Camaro, 835 Darci Simpson, Free Soil, Chevy S-10, 716 Pam Snyder, Houghton Lake, Chevy El Camino, 707 Kristina Mardlin, Bear Lake, Chevy S-10, 618 Leanna Sorensen, Kaleva, Chevy S-10, 60tie Kalia Wiederhold, Grawn, Chevy S-10, 6010 Rebecca McNinch, Beulah, Chevy Nova, 56 Authentic 231 Rider season completedChamp Thom Rosely, Rockford, Arctic Cat F7, 1372 Gordy Bosack, Marion, Ski Doo Mach Z, 1273 Chris Hardesty, Springdale, Buell X-1, 1164 Jeremy Krueger, Wellston, Arctic Cat Thundercat, 935 Scott Bosack, Cadillac, Yamaha, 796 Danniel Dean, Kaleva, Harley Sportster, 577 Travis Mardlin, Kaleva, Jonway, 528 Tyler Fisher, Benton Harbor, Suzuki, 489 Thommy Rosely, Rockford, Arctic Cat F7, 4710 Dan Marcinkowski, Kaleva, Harley Fat Boy, 40Grand Rapids Machine Repair Top Doorslammer (season completed)Champ Dru Williams, Manton, Chevy Nova, 1152 Sean Nagy, Houghton Lake, Ford Mustang, 973 Ron Brow, Belmont, Chevy II, 914 Brad Rentsman, Stanton, Chevy Malibu, 665 Tim Heiges, Traverse City, Chevy Corvette, 416 Mark Daniels, South Boardman, Pontiac Firebird, 377 Bill Bruske, Glen Arbor, Chevy II, 368 Justin LaRocque, Essexville, Ford Mustang, 31tie Bill Heiges, Honor, Chevy Roadster, 3110 Jason Helsel, Manton, Chevy II, 26Brian & Rebecca LedfordNorthernMichiganDragway.
comTrack Manager & Promotions(231)218-2657 (231)429-4411.
Bowtie Challenge provides amazing finish(From NMD Email Shoutout)photo: Dru Williams of Manton was quick and consistent with his Chevy Nova, celebrating his second championship of the season in Grand Rapids Machine Repair Top Doorslammer.
His three winning run elapsed times were 4.51, 4.52 and 4.51 at 159 miles per hour.
The 2021 Bowtie Challenge brought a multitude of storylines. In this 11th-annual competition, the Chevy racers compete head-to-head with competitive makes, and a point is given to the "Bowtie/Chevy" team for every time they win a match-up, and vice-versa for the competition, aka "The World." The Northern Michigan Dragway event began Thursday evening, with the Chevy racers falling behind early by a score of 27-18 in preliminary Eriksen Towing & Recovery Street Trophy competition. A Harley-Davidson racer, Dan Marcinkowski from Kaleva, was the Thursday night winner.
Friday's racing found a new track record in Grand Rapids Machine Repair Top Doorslammer, as Sean "Showtime" Nagy of Houghton Lake had his newest Ford Mustang race car in qualifying. He blasted through the 1/8-mile with an elapsed time of 4.17 seconds for a new record E., matching his previous-best speed of 168 miles-per-hour. Nagy claimed the top qualifier position in the "Quick 8" field.Racing action was outstanding in all classes. Bowtie racers collected a victory in SK Customs Pro Trophy as Brian Boeve of Nunica won with his Chevy S-10.
The World, however, took wins in three classes. Mark Daniels of South Boardman topped Pro Systems Bracket I with his Pontiac Firebird. Chad Brintnell of McBain drove his Ford Fairmont to the Hlavka Heating and Cooling Bracket II victory. Each racer collected $2,000 for his efforts.
The Street Trophy victory was captured by Manistee's Kevin Wood in a Ford Mustang, earning himself $600.Despite allowing the World racers to take three of four class wins, the Bowtie racers managed enough late-round finishes to bring the score back to a tie by the end of Friday competition.Heading into the final day, the stage was set for another classic finish Saturday evening. However, the Bowtie faithful found their hopes becoming dashed by the end of round 2 competition.
At one point, they trailed by 19 points. Every race match-up was crucial for the Bowties to mount a comeback in round three of each class.Manton's Dru WIlliams' Chevy Nova was able to hold off Nagy's Mustang in round 2 of Top Doorslammer. Williams then defeated Stanton's Brad Rentsman in an all-Chevy final round, claiming the $2,000 prize.
This may have been the spark the Chevy racers were needing.In Bracket I, Jared Ledford of Greenville picked up crucial Bowtie points, as he was the last stock-bodied vehicle in competition with his Chevy Camaro, as he was eventually ousted in a 6th-round semi-final by Fountain's Madisyn McCormick with her dragster. Madisyn then advanced to a very special event, a $3,000 final against her father, Jeremy McCormick. Jeremy was the beneficiary of a final-round foul start by his daughter, and claimed the championship with his dragster.
Pro Trophy and Bracket II divisions found several Bowtie racers with outstanding finishes, to help set the stage for a remarkable comeback. Against the odds, the Bowtie racers clawed their way back to striking distance by the end of round 6. The Pro Trophy class had three of them winning their way into a 7th-round semi-final, racking up wins for Bowtie each round. David Evans of Benzonia bowed out in the semi-final against the superb teenage sensation from Bailey, Cody Marlatt.
The youngster earned a trip to his first final-round appearance in his Chevy Vega. Jim Bacon of Luther took the solo pass "bye-run" into the final with his Chevy Nova. Bacon claimed the Pro Trophy championship with his win in the 8th-round final. Due to head-to-head Bowtie Challenge match-ups becoming increasingly scarce, Bracket II found all the pressure and the fate of the Bowties on the steering wheel of one racer.
A crucial 6th-round quarter-final matchup was to be had by North Branch racer George McConnell in a Chevy Malibu "The Aggravator." The lead had been trimmed to 1 point. His opponent was a super-tough Mopar competitor in Kaleva's Al McChesney with his Plymouth Belvedere.With the NMD loudspeakers playing the Electric Light Orchestra classic song "Don't Bring me Down" the tension was as high as ever.
The race was quickly decided with a foul start by Mopar. The Bowtie faithful celebrated the satisfaction of coming back to a tie score, where they had started the day's racing. A pair of Chevy racers then squared off as Kaleva's Travis Mardlin drove his S-10 to a win over Jonesville's Derek Shaw in a Camaro. The last Mopar racer, Tommy Aretakis of Ray advanced to round 7 with his bye-run in a Plymouth Barracuda.
Three cars remained in the $7,500-to-win race. Mardlin earned the bye-run to the final due to his best reaction time in his 6th round win. The stage was set, yet again, with all the pressure on McConnell in his Malibu, as he faced yet another dominant Mopar racer in Aretakis. Both drivers left with nearly-identical reaction time, and the win light came on for the Malibu.
It was announced that McConnell was the "hero of the day" for the Bowtie fans. In the 8th-round final, Travis Mardlin grabbed the win for the largest payout of his young racing career, and re-established himself atop the 2021 NMD points standings for Bracket II.In junior classes held Thursday and Friday, Tyler Thompson of Grawn won both nights in ModuGo Mini-Juniors. Thirlby Advanced Juniors also ran the first two nights.
Carley Guerne of Bear Lake picked up the Thursday win, while Leah Helsel of Manton won Saturday.NMD management was pleased to see another participation record set for the event, as the total number of race entries surpassed 684 for the weekend. The previous record turnout (2020) was 636 entries.Racing action continues the next two weekends.
This coming weekend features Street Nights, sponsored by Thirlby Automotive on Friday starting at 5 pm. Saturday resumes the NMD 2021 points series with a full race program in all bracket classes, with time trials slated for 1 pm and eliminations beginning at 4 pm.The following weekend, the 24th Annual Mopars Against the World, sponsored by Allstar Performance and Pertronix, will take place, starting Thursday, July 22nd. NMD is located 3 miles north of Kaleva on Potter Road.
For further information, visit the social media page, see NorthernMichiganDragway.com, or call (231)218-2657Brian & Rebecca LedfordNorthernMichiganDragway.comTrack Manager & Promotions(231)218-2657 (231)429-4411.