Johnny VanDoorn came to the Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan hoping to change his luck around. In his two previous starts this season, both of his finishes had his car going off on the hook. On Saturday night, he took a 180-degree turn as he came back from an early pit miscue to win his second consecutive Battle at Berlin 251 and a check for $10,000.
The Coopersville, Michigan driver had a dominant car all night. He was the fast qualifier with a time of 16.223.
As the green flag flew on the 251-lap event, VanDoorn set a blistering pace in the first 138 laps putting all but the top eight a lap down. During a yellow, VanDoorn pitted and stalled his car in his pit, losing valuable track position.
“I went into moron mode and stalled my car on the first stop,” VanDoorn told Speed51.com powered by JEGS after the race.
VanDoorn would fall back to eighth after a couple of stops.
Quietly, he would work his way back towards the front.
With 10 laps to go, after a red flag for when Andrew Nylaan and Anderson Bowen drove off into the backstretch area, VanDoorn would start on the outside of the front row with Bubba Pollard.
As the green flag flew, VanDoorn took off and pulled away from Pollard. He was never challenged for the rest of the night as he defended his Battle at Berlin 251 victory by 18.24 seconds.
“I drove my car the way Ted Nugent told me, don’t tread on me,” VanDoorn said in victory lane. “We had such a good car and my brother, Butch, called an excellent race. This is my third race of the year and I didn’t crash. I really have to thank Tom Kmak for letting us use his house car, it was great how he came through at the last minute.”
VanDoorn, along with Daniel Hemric, who finished sixth, are both eligible for a $10,000 bonus by winning the Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana on October 12th. But that isn’t on VanDoorn’s mind.
“I don’t care about the $10,000, I want the gun,” VanDoorn said alluding to the Winchester rifle trophy that the winner receives. “I am racer who will race for that gun, not for the money. I want that gun.”
Bubba Pollard was looking for his second win in two nights at Berlin Raceway after winning the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100 on Friday night. But he came home with a second place finish.
“With the motor package we had, VanDoorn could power off a little quicker than me,” Pollard said after the race. “We didn’t need that caution at the end. We put ourselves in a position to win just didn’t go our way tonight.”
Pollard was pleased that second place paid $8,000.
“It definitely pays for our trip up here,” Pollard said. “You have to run good to pay for these trips and it definitely helps.”
Ross Meeuswsen finished third while Terry Senneker finished fourth. Defending ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Travis Braden rounded out the top five.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series will be back in action this Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Indiana. Kyle Busch is one of the entrants for the event.
Battle at Berlin 251
1. Johnny VanDoorn
2. Bubba Pollard
3. Ross Meeuwsen
4. Terry Senneker
5. Travis Braden
6. Daniel Hemric
7. Brandon Hermiller
8. Grant Quinlan
9. Wes Griffith
10. Joe Bush
11. Ali Kern
12. Andrew Nylaan
13. Chris Koslek
14. Brandon Watson
15. Paul Shafer Jr.
16. Nick Gullatta
17. Ross Kenseth
18. Dave Lake
19. Rick Turner
20. Anderson Bowen
21. Steve Dorer
22. Terry Van Haitsma
23. Trevor Berry
24. Jay Niewiek
25. Brian Campbell
26. Jeremy Munniksma
27. Scott Neal
28. Chris Davidson
29. Chad Finley
30. Lauren Bush
– Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com Midwest Editor/Director of Business. @KevinRamsell Photo Credit: Speed51.com