MARNE, Mich. – Brian Gerster used a wire-to-wire performance to capture the 30-lap Engine Pro Fast Car Slash at Berlin Raceway Saturday night, starting from the pole and never looking back en route to his third Must See Racing Sprint Car Series win of the season.
Gerster earned the prime starting position after winning the eight-lap Pole Slash earlier in the evening, charging from sixth to win the sprint and saying later on that it was a “turning point” in his team’s night.
“The way I look at it is we came from sixth to win this deal tonight,” Gerster said of his 19th career series victory. “Track position wasn’t everything … but it was a big part of allowing us to do this tonight. We came from the third row and won, it was just that the feature was split into two parts.”
The two-time series champion then added that the Dick Myers-owned No. 50m was arguably “the best it’s been all season” as far as on-track performance was concerned.
“We were solid all might long,” Gerster explained. “Before this car crashed last year, it wanted some different things setup-wise that we’ve still been trying to work out, but it was as close (to where it was) as we’ve been and that’s a credit to Dick Myers and Rick Ferguson. It feels good to take one back from that Toledo mafia tonight.”
An early caution on the opening lap, after Bronzie Lawson IV spun exiting Turn 4 and slapped the outside wall on the frontstretch, set up a restart with Jimmy McCune on Gerster’s tail tank, but after that lapped traffic became the key to Gerster’s success.
He opened up as much as a second and a half on McCune before the next yellow flag flew with 13 to go, when Teddy Alberts spun to the bottom of Turn 4, and the same song and dance repeated itself with five to go after Jerry Caryer slowed to a stop on the backstretch and triggered the final caution.
Though McCune had been closing on Gerster slightly in traffic before the last yellow, he was trapped behind the lapped car of Kevin Feeney and lost just enough time when green flag conditions resumed to be able to make a run for the win.
“We just didn’t have quite enough tonight,” McCune said. “I was running him down and then the yellow came out. I didn’t want to see it … but what can you do? That’s racing.”
May Berlin winner Jason Blonde was third ahead of Bobby Santos, who crossed the line on the podium but was docked one position after review of a procedural violation on the final restart.
Doug Dietsch finished a strong fifth, with Derek Snyder, Anthony McCune, Charlie Schultz, Kevin Feeney and Tom Jewell making up the balance of the top 10.
The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series returns to action on Aug. 25, with the non-points American Racer Invitational at Michigan’s Birch Run Speedway and Event Center.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…