Template body cars and Outlaw cars took to the fast 3/8-mile oval of Kalamazoo Speedway in Michigan on Tuesday evening to practice for the 23rd Annual Kalamazoo Klash.  Teams had three hours to try to dial their cars in for Wednesday’s races.


Some of the usual suspects can be found near the top of the speed chart like Terry Senneker Jr. in his Outlaw Late Model, and 2014 Snowball Derby champion John Hunter Nemechek in his template Super Late Model for the ARCA/CRA Super Series.


But neither of those drivers were right at the top, like they were expected to be.  Instead, both divisions saw a couple surprise drivers pace each session.


Tom Thomas arrived at Kalamazoo on an open trailer. (Speed51.com photo)

Tom Thomas arrived at Kalamazoo on an open trailer. (Speed51.com photo)

For the Outlaws it was Tom Thomas, who came to the track with an open trailer, who led practice with a lap of 11.97 seconds around Kalamazoo Speedway.


“It’s just a practice day, but it’s a good way to start,” Thomas told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.  “It’s been a year since we’ve been here.  We threw a lot of stuff at it today, so hopefully it’ll carry over to tomorrow.  It should be a good race and I’m looking forward to it.”


For the CRA Super Series template Late Models it was Ali Kern who sat atop the leaderboard.  Her time of 12.837 seconds just barely beat out Nemechek’s lap by two one-thousandths of a second.


“It makes me feel really good,” said Kern.  “Everybody has been working really hard towards that one common goal, and that’s to win a race.  Hopefully we can carry that speed over to tomorrow and win us one.”


Kern has run the majority of the ARCA/CRA Super Series schedule each of the last years, but is still seeking that ever elusive first victory.  She said she feels that she has as good a chance as anybody of scoring the win on Wednesday evening.


“It would be huge,” she said.  “It would just be a huge confidence boost for everybody.  So many people put so much effort into this and they don’t get anything out of it.  We deserve to win.”


The Kalamazoo Klash XXIII can be seen live on 51 TV on Speed51.com for just $19.99.  The pay-per-view broadcast can be purchased by clicking here: http://speed51.com/51livetv-events/


For an on-demand replay of Tuesday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by JRI Shocks, click here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-kalamazoo-klash-xxiii-practice-day-2/


-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount

-Photo Credit: Speed51.com


Kalamazoo Klash Practice Results:

Driver Time
1 82 Tom Thomas 11.97
2 37 Terry Senneker Jr. 11.98
3 12 Brian Bergakker 12.039
4 83 Phil Bozell 12.132
5 24 Tyler Roahrig 12.147
6 5 Jeff Ganus 12.178
7 14 Trent Hellenga 12.183
8 16 Andy Bozell 12.192
9 84 Mike Brooks 12.202
10 11 Jeff Bozell 12.207
11 56 Matt Crafton 12.258
12 1 Todd Currier 12.279
13 25 JR Roahrig 12.31
14 21 Billy Shannon 12.329
15 10b Bud Perry 12.371
16 14 Mark Shook 12.378
17 10 Jack Landis 12.388
18 24v Lee VanDyk 12.392
19 21c Steve Cronenwett Jr. 12.43
20 97 Matt Frazier 12.474
21 49 Scott Rugg 12.625
22 0 Nick Bailey 13.066


ARCA/CRA Super Series Practice Results:

Driver Time
1 4 Ali Kern 12.837
2 8 John Hunter Nemechek 12.839
3 7 Paul Shafer Jr. 12.847
4 47 Brian Campbell 12.894
5 28 Grant Quinlan 12.956
6 13 Hunter Baize 12.981
7 23K Chris Koslek 13.012
8 104 Phil Bozell 13.056
9 33 Wes Griffith Jr. 13.091
10 4h Buddy Head 13.104
11 94 Quinton Bear 13.133
12 55 Dave Lake 13.162
13 04 Matt Hall 13.175
14 23 Eddie VanMeter 13.197
15 18 Mark Lambert 13.278
16 12 Tim Devos 13.313
17 84 Jay Niewek 13.443
18 20J Jeremy Munnismka 13.513


Thomas, Kern Pace Practice at Kalamazoo Speedway