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BERCK ENDS FRUSTRATION WITH WDRL VICTORY AT MID-NEBRASKA
Popular central Nebraska driver grabs first series win of the year on “home turf”
By Tom Lathen
DONIPHAN, NE (July 21, 2006) - After suffering through a night of frustration and disappointment at Corning, Iowa the previous night, Kyle Berck raced to an impressive victory here Friday night, to win the preliminary Pump and Pantry Late Model Nationals feature race, a WORLD Dirt Racing League sanctioned event at Mid-Nebraska Speedway.
The Marquette, Nebraska farmer and race car builder rolled out his back-up car after handling problems in his primary mount forced an early exit from the series event at Adams County Speedway on Thursday, and led from start-to-finish to collect the top prize of $2,500.
“It was a long trip home from Corning last night,” said Berck in AMSOIL Victory Lane. “It felt like eight hours, but it was only four.”
“We only got a couple hours of sleep this morning and unloaded both cars and went through the other car and couldn’t find anything major wrong,” he added. “We were running out of time, so we just loaded it back on the trailer for a spare and brought out this car and I’m glad we did.”
After a second-place run in the night’s Iowa-Illinois Taylor Insulation Pole Dash, Berck started the 25-lap event on the outside pole, and out ran pole setter Chad Simpson at the drop of the green flag to grab the early advantage.
By lap five, the front-runners were already in congestion, with Berck, Simpson and third-place running Denny Eckrich chasing each other through slower traffic, lap-after-lap on the three-eighths mile race track.
With Simpson applying constant pressure to the front-running Berck, the first caution flag of the night appeared on lap 16 when Omaha, Nebraska’s John Anderson coasted to a stop in turn one with engine problems. Caution flags on laps 17 and 18 kept the field tightly bunched, with Berck’s Dorothy Lynch Homestyle Dressing/Rocket/Kuntz and Company Ford Taurus still holding a slim advantage over Simpson and Eckrich, with series rookie contender Trent Follmer now running fourth.
“At times we were able to get out to a little bit of an advantage, but then the caution would come back out,” commented Berck of the race stoppages. “You want to get in a rhythm, but once you got smoothed out a little, there would be another caution and you would have to find it again.”
Simpson’s chances for the win were derailed on lap 21, when a broken fan blade caused severe engine vibration in his Five-Star Shop Service/MasterSbilt/Automotive Engine Machine Chevrolet Monte Carlo, forcing the 27-year old Mount Vernon, Iowa driver to retire to the infield.
From there to the checkers, Berck was able to negotiate a difficult racing surface, caused by over an inch of overnight rain, to grab the victory, with Eckrich holding on for second.
“I know my way around here pretty good,” commented Berck, who began his Late Model career at Mid-Nebraska Speedway in 1985. “Tonight was a little bit difficult being in the front all night, though.”
Added the winner, “I really didn’t think they could get underneath me and it was really getting rough toward the end and hard to handle the car, but I thought if they are better than that, the deserve it, so I just kept trying to keep the wheels underneath me and going forward.”
Follmer held off Jason Utter to grab third, with 2003 Late Model Nationals victor Kelly Boen of Henderson, Colorado finishing fifth. Dave Eckrich rolled to a sixth place finish, followed by Steve Boley, Davey Nall, Chris Simpson and Brian Harris.
The two-night event at Mid-Nebraska Speedway is being co-sanctioned by The National Championship Racing Association (NCRA).
Hot-Lap Time Trials: Kelly Boen; Henderson, CO (17.879), Denny Eckrich; Tiffin, IA (17.995), Steve Kempt; Shelton, NE (18.237), Eddie Moore; Milford, NE (18.283), Kyle Berck; Marquette, NE (18.303), Ben Schaller; Norfolk, NE (18.304), Steve Boley; West Liberty, IA (18.401), Rob Moss; Iowa City, IA (18.491), Davey Nall; Phillips, NE (18.531), Al Humphrey; Giltner, NE (18.695), Billy Murphy; Lincoln, NE (18.759), Trent Follmer; Elk River, MN (18.787), Eric Pember; Pittsville, WI (18.896), Jim Clifton; Fort Morgan, CO (18.934), Chris Simpson; Marion, IA (18.948), Dave Eckrich; Cosgrove, IA (18.958), Jason Utter; Columbus Junction, IA (18.979), Jerry Warner; LaVista, NE (19.036), Mike Wiarda; Aurora, NE (19.049), Brian Harris; Davenport, IA (19.073), Steve Kosiski; Papillion, NE (19.103), Jason Keeshan; Grand Island, NE (19.216), Chad Simpson; Mount Vernon, IA (19.233), Bo Egge; Kearney, NE (19.409), Gary Webb; Blue Grass, IA (19.534), Corey Zeitner; Bellevue, NE (19.572), Brett LaFollette; Kansas City, KS (19.653), Garry Billings, Jr.; Prairie Village, KS (19.789), John Anderson; Omaha, NE (19.836), Bill Koons; Omaha, NE (20.040), Ted Martin; Bennington, KS (20.074), Junior Coover; Norfolk, NE (20.121), Brian Kenkel; Elkhorn, NE (20.239), Mel Zeitner; Bellevue, NE (20.290), Rusty Miller; Norton, KS (20.332), Jason Landers; Cairo, NE (20.744), Jason Schobinger; Wiggins, CO (22.632).
First PolyDome Qualifier: 1. Harris (59.0), 2. Follmer (57.75), 3. Dave Eckrich (52.0), 4. Anderson (57.5), 5. Moss (45.0), 6. Webb (43.75), 7. Kenkel (42.5), 8. Schobinger (39.0), 9. Moore (31.0), 10. Kosiski (27.5).
Second PolyDome Qualifier: 1. Boley (65.75), 2. Chris Simpson (55.5), 3. Wiarda (52.0), 4. Kempt (50.75), 5. Keeshan (47.25), 6. Mel Zeitner (48.25), 7. Koons (40.25), 8. Corey Zeitner (34.5), 9. Murphy (31.0).
Third PolyDome Qualifier: 1. Denny Eckrich (68.0), 2. Chad Simpson (64.5), 3. Humphrey (52.0), 4. Warner (48.5), 5. LaFollette (49.5), 6. Clifton (41.5), 7. Schaller (38.0), 8. Miller (36.75), 9. Martin (31.0).
Fourth PolyDome Qualifier: 1. Utter (59.0), 2. Berck (60.0), 3. Pember (52.0), 4. Boen (50.75), 5. Nall (45.0), 6. Egge (41.5), 7. Billings, Jr. (38.0), 8. Landers (36.75), 9. Coover (31.0).
First KSE Racing Products Consolation: 1. Nall, 2. Egge, 3. Kosiski, 4. Moore, 5. Warner, 6. Landers, 7. Billings, Jr., 8. Schobinger, 9. Keeshan, 10. Kenkel.
Second KSE Racing Products Consolation: 1. Clifton, 2. Webb, 3. Schaller, 4. Corey Zeitner, 5. Murphy, 6. Mel Zeitner, 7. Miller, 8. Moss, 9. Koons, 10. Coover.
Iowa-Illinois Taylor Insulation Pole Dash: 1. Chad Simpson, 2. Berck, 3. Boley, 4. Utter, 5. Anderson, 6. Denny Eckrich, 7. Follmer, 8. Harris (scratch).
Pump and Pantry Nationals Preliminary Feature: 1. Berck, 2. Denny Eckrich, 3. Follmer, 4. Utter, 5. Boen, 6. Dave Eckrich, 7. Boley, 8. Nall, 9. Chris Simpson, 10. Harris, 11. Kosiski, 12. Pember, 13. Clifton, 14. Kempt, 15. Koons, 16. Moss, 17. Chad Simpson, 18. LaFollette, 19. Egge, 20. Murphy, 21. Anderson, 22. Webb, 23. Humphrey, 24. Wiarda.
Additional Information of Interest:
Number of Entrants: 37
Lap Leaders: Berck (1-25)
Time of Race: 30:12.801
Margin of Victory: 1.866
Caution Flags: 4 (laps 16, 17, 18, 21)
Red Flags: None
Fastest Lap: Berck (17.343)
Series Provisionals: Moss, Koons
Hard Luck Driver: Chad Simpson
Contingency Award Winners:
Iowa-Illinois Taylor Insulation: Chad Simpson, Berck, Boley
QA1 Motorsports: Denny Eckrich
The Brake Man: Berck
Champ Pans: Denny Eckrich
Joie of Seating: Follmer
Performance Bodies: Utter
Design 500 Racewear: Boen
V-Performance Batteries: Dave Eckrich
Fast Shafts: Boley
Hooker Harness: Chris Simpson
Weld Wheels: Harris
Scott Performance Wire: Kosiski
Design 500 Racewear (non-qualifier): Kosiski
KSE Racing Products: Kosiski, Webb
Chase Race Decals: Chad Simpson
2006 WORLD Dirt Racing League sponsors include PolyDome Products, AMSOIL, Hoosier Racing Tires, Iowa-Illinois Taylor Insulation, Lincoln Electric Company, Chase Race Decals, Wyman’s Ford, Gatorade, QA1 Motorsports, The Brake Man, Champ Pans, The Joie of Seating, Performance Bodies, Design 500 Racewear, V-Performance Batteries, Fast Shafts, Hooker Harness, Weld Wheels, Scott Performance Wire, KSE Racing Products, MasterSbilt Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, GRT Race Cars, and Swartz Xtreme Race Cars.