The JD Byrider 75 for the Great Lakes Helicopter Service Main Event Racing Series super late models at Midvale Speedway on Labor Day Monday saw a great race, even after a two hour rain delay that would have cancelled racing action at nearly any other facility on the tour. The 75 lap affair would be won by two time Main Event Racing Series champion Bud Perry in the #10 Redskin Motorsports car, holding off a hard charging Harold Fair Jr. in the #71 Royal Truck and Trailer Senneker chassis for the final handful of laps after a lap 70 restart saw Fair edge Perry at the line. Marcus Malcuit in the #75 VP Racing Fuels sponsored ride would set fast time of the evening at a pace of 13.267 seconds, narrowly missing Jimmy Carter’s track record of 13.262 set back on Independence Day weekend earlier this season.
Veteran late model racers Tim Ice in the #65 Howe chassis and the #7 Miller Lite sponsored car of Rich Rohrer sat on the front row for the start. The two share six MERS championships and nearly 30 feature wins on the tour. Rohrer and Bud Perry took first and second from Ice respectively on the restart, followed in the following few laps by Jeff Ganus in the #18 Direct Detail/Senneker Performance car and Harold Fair Jr to take third and fourth. Fair would pass Ganus with ten laps in the books for third as Perry would pass Rohrer for the lead in the following lap. Emerson Huffman would spin with 17 laps in, setting up a restart with Perry, Rohrer, Fair, Ganus, and Ice the top five. The restart would be a no-go as a handful of cars including long time late model competitors Bobby Gainer and John Flynn would spin in turn one. Gainer would have to pit with extensive rear body section damage, rejoining the tail end of the field when the car was fixed.
Harold Fair Jr would get under Rich Rohrer and pass him for second on the restart, followed by Jeff Ganus taking the third position from Rohrer the same way a few laps later. Bobby Gainer would give up in his #01 around the halfway point in the race, out for the remainder of the event. John Flynn in the #26 Clover Contractors FLF chassis powered by Griff’s Racing Engines would loop his car in turn four with 35 laps in the race. The top five for the restart would be Perry, Fair, Ganus, Rohrer, and Ice. Ganus would pass Fair for second once the field settled into a pace, followed by Alex Rosenberry in the FliteTest sponsored #2 racecar passing Tim Ice for fifth. Brian Clay in the #30 car and Flynn would spin in turn two with twenty five laps to go. Perry, Ganus, Fair, Rohrer, and Rosenberry would be the top five for the restart. Perry would jump the start on the restart, causing fast qualifier Marcus Malcuit to spin in turn one. The restart order would remain the same and Perry would take the lead legitimately on the start this time through.
Alex Rosenberry would take fourth from outside pole sitter Rich Rohrer with twenty laps to go. Jeff Ganus, defending Labor Day weekend MERS winner, would break with just thirteen laps to go in the race. The order for the restart would be Bud Perry, Harold Fair Jr., Rosenberry, Rohrer, and five time MERS champion Gary Whipkey Jr in the #59 car. Rohrer would get a flat left front tire on the restart after contact with Rosenberry and Whipkey, setting up another restart with twelve laps to go. Perry, Fair, Rosenberry, Whipkey, and Marcus Malcuit would be the top five at this juncture of the race. Rosenberry’s car was obviously giving up after the contact, heading to the back in a hurry allowing Drew Charlson to take the fifth running position. Malcuit would spin Whipkey off of turn two with ten laps to go in the race, and the restart would be with Perry, Fair, Whipkey, Charlson, and John Flynn holding the top five running positions.
Drew Charlson went to third on the restart from the outside groove with the leaders battling side by side in front of him. Tim Ice and Gary Whipkey would spin on the backstretch with six laps to go, setting up a restart with Bud Perry, Harold Fair Jr, Charlson, John Flynn, and Ice sitting in the top five as Whipkey was out of the event. This restart would see Charlson, Fair, Ice, and Marcus Malcuit tangle lightly, causing another restart with the same lineup with just six laps to go in the seventy five lapper. Fair would go on to jump two restarts, but when the field finally got going, the racing was artwork, as Fair would hold Perry to the very inside of the track to lead lap seventy. Unfortunately for Fair, that was his last lap as leader, as Perry would power around to lead the final five circuits of the JD Byrider 75. The finishing order was Perry, Fair, Charlson, Flynn, Ice, Brian Clay, Malcuit, and Emerson Huffman.
1)75-Marcus Malcuit 13.267, 2)21-Drew Charlson 13.336, 3)2-Alex Rosenberry 13.343, 4)18-Jeff Ganus 13.357, 5)88-Billy Roberts 13.406, 6)59-Gary Whipkey Jr. 13.414, 7)10-Bud Perry 13.433, 8)71-Harold Fair Jr. 13.446, 9)7-Rich Rohrer 13.505, 10)65-Tim Ice 13.509, 11)01-Bob Gainer 13.656, 12)90-Emerson Huffman 13.681, 13)87-Mike Mazzagatti 13.724, 14)26-John Flynn 13.844, 15)30-Brian Clay 14.074, 16)15-Virgil Ravenscroft 14.412, 17)48-Gene Holmar 15.255
1)10-Bud Perry, 2)71-Harold Fair Jr., 3)21-Drew Charlson, 4)26-John Flynn, 5)65-Tim Ice, 6)30-Brian Clay, 7)75-Marcus Malcuit, 8)90-Emerson Huffman, 9)59-Gary Whipkey Jr., 10)48-Gene Molnar, 11)2-Alex Rosenberry, 12)7-Rich Rohrer, 13)87-Mike Mazzagatti, 14)18-Jeff Ganus, 15)01-Bob Gainer, 16)15-Virgil Ravenscroft, 17)88-Billy Roberts
Series PR – Todd Ridgeway photo