First Time Winner at Berlin

By Mike Strevel

MARNE, Mich. (August 30, 2003) –
The Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series visited Berlin Raceway in Marne MI Saturday evening and capturing his first ever sprint car feature victory was Ottawa Lake MI racer Dave Baumgartner.

The beautiful Saturday afternoon was started with 26 AVSS stars checking into the pits of the Berlin track. The Hamilton Trucking qualifications were very eventful with Litchfield MI driver Jason Blonde taking his fifth straight fast time award worth $100.00. He ran a 13.130-second lap that converts to an average speed of 120.091 mph. It was Kevin Newton second quick at 13.142 and Hank Lower was third at 13.161.

The United Trailers heat race went to Jeff Bloom, Chris Hayes took the Dowker Engines heat and Curt Shumaker snared the Wolverine Steel heat race. The very exciting B-main saw Tim Cox take the honors over Johnboy Hotchkiss, Ryan Katz, Todd Wohlford and Bill Tyler. A very scary accident started the B-main when Bill Jacoby and George Gustafson collided with the turn three wall. The Jacoby car climbed the wall and rolled over on its top on the track. The Gustafson car flew through the air and landed off the Berlin backstretch. The great news is both drivers are sore, but doing well.

The Berlin crowd estimated at nearly 7,000 cheered on the AVSS three wide salute as the 20 winged racers readied for battle. The inversion for the feature was eight and this placed Baumgartner and Tom Fedewa on the front row. The race started with both drivers running full throttle around the circular track and after the first circuit it was Baumgartner with the lead. The long time midget driver was competing in only his fifth AVSS feature and was dominating the action early in the feature. The huge crowd was watching the action develop between Jason Blonde and Tim Cox who were flying through the field trying to close on the leaders. The last five laps were some of the best competition ever witnessed at the legendary oval as Cox, T.Fedewa and Blonde fought through lapped traffic trying to make a pass of Baumgartner. The drivers all tried but, could not make it happen as the driver of the Benny Rapp owned machine was able to hold off all challengers in taking his first ever AVSS feature victory in only his fifth attempt.

The very excited racer in Berlin victory lane thanked his hard working crew, his family, and car owner Benny Rapp and sponsors Telegraph brake and Lyden Oil. The driver who has raced midgets for years announced earlier in the day that he planned on racing the rest of the season with AVSS and hoped to finish second in Owens Petroleum rookie of the year points considering his late start with AVSS this season.

The top ten finishers were Baumgartner, Cox, T.Fedewa, Blonde, Lower, Hotchkiss, Newton, Jimmy McCune, Bloom and Brian Lay. The Suspension Spring Specialist driver of the race was Jimmy McCune. The official website of AVSS is for more information. The next event for AVSS is Saturday September 6 at Auto City Speedway in Flint MI where Tom Fedewa tries to make it a perfect season with his fifth feature win in five races at the 7/16 mile oval.

Hamilton Trucking Qualifications- 1. 55 Jason Blonde 13.130. 2. 99 Kevin Newton 13.142 3. 37 Hank Lower 13.161 4. 40 Tim Cox 13.213 5. JB Johnboy Hotchkiss 13.293 6. 35 Ryan Katz 13.323 7. 20 Tom Fedewa 13.326 8. 14 Dave Baumgartner 13.336 9. 45 Brian Lay 13.386 10. 61 Jimmy McCune 13.390 11. 33 Kevin Feeney 13.510 12. 4 Troy Underwood 13.583 13. 26 Jeff Bloom 13.606 14. 42 Gary Fedewa 13.607 15. 71 Curt Shumaker 13.677 16. 70 Dennis Craft 13.681 17. 11 Chris Hayes 13.681 18. 82 Nick Landon 13.716 19. 35w Todd Wohlford 13.722 20. 8 Ryan Davis 13.722 21. 44j Bill Jacoby 13.762 22. 69 Bill Tyler 13.782 23. 92 George Gustafson 13.868 24. 3A Mike Astrauskas 14.277 25. 40s Doug Stepke 14.289 26. 2 Tim Angello 14.543

United Trailers heat – 1. Bloom 2. T.Fedewa 3. Craft 4. Blonde 5. McCune 6. Cox 7. Tyler 8. Wohlford

Dowker Engines heat- 1. Hayes 2. G.Fedewa 3. Baumgartner 4. Feeney 5. Newton 6. Gustafson 7. Davis 8. Angello 9. Hotchkiss

Wolverine Steel heat-1. Shumaker 2. Lay 3. Landon 4. Lower 5. Underwood 6. Katz 7. Astrauskas 8. Jacoby

B-Main- 1. Cox 2. Hotchkiss 3. Katz 4. Wohlford 5. Tyler 6. Davis 7. Stepke 8. Astrauskas 9. Jacoby 10. Gustafson

A-Main –1. Baumgartner( 1st ever) 2. Cox 3. T.Fedewa 4. Blonde 5. Lower 6. Hotchkiss 7. Newton 8. McCune 9. Bloom 10. Lay 11. Underwood 12. G.Fedewa 13. Feeney 14. Hayes 15. Craft 16. Wohlford 17. Landon 18. Shumaker 19. Katz 20. Tyler