MARNE, Mich. – Johnny VanDoorn battled past Bubba Pollard with 10 laps remaining and held on to win the ARCA/CRA Super Series Battle at Berlin 251 at Berlin Raceway Saturday night.
“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 all night long and my brother (crew chief) Butch (VanDoorn) called an excellent race. This is my third race of the year and I didn’t crash like the first two at Milwaukee and Anderson.
“I really have to thank (Car Owner) Tom Kmak for letting us run his car and the entire T.K. Racing Team. They worked so hard this whole weekend. It was great how Tom came through at the last minute for us. Also Dewaine McGunegill at McGunegill Engine Performance for giving us such awesome power tonight,” VanDoorn said.
It would be VanDoorn and Jay Niewiek leading the massive 30-car field to the green flag to start the Battle at Berlin. VanDoorn would beat Niewiek to the first corner to grab the early lead while the rest of the field settled in for the long distance event. The first 51 laps went by with no problems as VanDoorn set an absolute torrid pace early on. By the time the second caution came out on lap 141, VanDoorn had lapped the field up to the sixth place car.
In the first round of live pit stops, Brian Campbell emerged as the new leader and was immediately pressured by VanDoorn, who would retake the point on lap 151. Six laps later Terry Senneker Jr. drove around the outside of the top three cars in one motion, careening around turns three and four to lead his first career laps in a super late model. A pivotal moment of the race occurred on lap 172 when Ross Meeuwsen and Campbell collided going into turn three, sending Campbell backwards into the wall and ending his night.
As the race resumed Senneker continued to show the way. A caution on lap 214 brought the leaders down pit road for the final time. However, Senneker stayed out for track position and led the field back to the green. On lap 223 as another car was spinning off the backstretch Daniel Hemric, who was in second, went past a suddenly slowing Senneker to take the lead as moments later the caution flag came out.