Despite Missing Feature, Locals Show Speed in First Show
Sterling Heights, MI (Sunday, May 10, 2020) - For half a dozen Great Lakes Region drivers, Saturday night’s Karl Chevrolet 50 from Federated Auto Parts Speedway at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri marked the first time back at the track in over two months - for some if was the first time at the track this year. Some 59 DIRTcar UMP Late Models took time from the track described as a ‘mini-Eldora’, among those were Ionia’s Travis Stemler and Vestaburg’s Logan Arntz representing Michigan; plus McClure, Ohio’s Colin Shipley and Rusty Schlenk.
Stemler was the first local driver to hit the track in group one, struggling with his new team going 19th fastest of the 19 drivers who took time. Schlenk was the lone area representative during the second group of qualifying, showing tremendous speed in his Domination Chassis, going third quick behind fellow Buckeye state representative, Kody Evans, and Hall of Famer Billy Moyer, Sr. In group two, Shipley showed solid speed during his first visit to I-55, posting a time good enough for 10th in the group. Arntz followed closely behind going 13th quick.
In heat race action, Stemler continued to struggle, bringing up the rear of the 10 car heat race, sealing his trip to a B-Main later in the night. Schlenk continued to show speed from his camp during the third heat race where he finished runner up to Minnesota driver Jake Timm. Colin Shipley and Logan Arntz missed transfer spots during the fourth heat race, finishing 6th and 7th respectively.
In B-Main action, Stemler and his team perhaps showed their true potential, coming from the back of the field passing cars and competing for a shot at racing his way into the show. Stemler’s night would come to an end with a 7th place finish in the first B-Main. In B-Main number two, Arntz also showed more speed, but still came up short on a transfer spot finishing fifth - Shipley also was featured in the second B-main, struggling to find speed finishing 9th.
In the Karl Chevrolet 50, Rusty Schlenk showed promise of a solid run against some of the nations toughest Super Late Model drivers in the country. According to a post on the Rusty Schlenk Racing Facebook page, Schlenk went from a potential top five finish, to being scored in 19th position after a failed fuel pump cut his run short. Schlenk expressed his excitement for the performance of his team, despite the failed part.
As for the other Great Lakes representatives, Arntz and Stemler each posted via their respective Facebook pages thanks to their supporters from the mitten state. Stemler thanked his Anklem Racing team, and remarked on the trip calling it a, “...great start to our season.” Arntz said he learned a lot from his experience at Pevely, and called the amount of support he received from home “crazy.” No post race update was provided by Shipley Racing as of this story.
Next up for Schlenk and Arntz was supposed to be a start with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series from Lucas Oil Raceway in Wheatland, Missouri, however that event has already been cancelled due to weather. They will attempt to attend the World of Outlaws event back at I-55 Speedway on Friday and Saturday May 15th and 16th. As for Stemler, he says they will announce their next event when they know where it will be, as racing in and around the state of Michigan is still on hold amid Governor’s executive orders.
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Story by - Zach Hiser, Motor City Racing Promotions