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January 9, 2020

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Poel Picks up Where He Left Off; Spangler Becomes Season’s First Repeat Winner


Lake City, MI (June 7, 2018) – A rare mid-week race marked the halfway point for one of the American Ethanol Tours, while also serving as the Season Opener for another.  The 4th Annual Merritt Showdown from Merritt Speedway in Lake City, MI has quickly become a crown jewel event for both the American Ethanol Late Model Tour (AELMT) and the American Ethanol Modified Tour Presented by Allstar Performance (AEMODT).  With a $5,000 pay day to the Don’s Auto Clinic 40 (AELMT) winner and a $2,000 prize to the Lane Automotive 30 (AEMODT) winner, the night was sure to be filled with excitement.


The evening began with Motul Motor Oil and Lubricants qualifying that saw David Mielke, who picked up a feature win at Merritt a week prior, blistering the field with at 14.448 second lap time.  With that time, Mielke was a full tenth-of-a-second faster than the nearest competitor, Chad Bauer, with a 14.549.  Heat race action was next for the AEMODT, with 21 cars on the property; everyone would make the main event, so it was pure bragging rights on the line.  Heat race wins went to Paul Johnson, Jeffery Erickson Jr, and Curt Spalding.


The field was set for the first feature of the night during the Merritt Showdown, the Lane Automotive 30.  Chad Bauer jumped out to the early lead before an incident between Hubble and Joe Rokos brought out the first caution of the evening.  Bauer held the lead until lap 9 when Mielke powered by and never looked back.  With nine laps to go a single car spin bought out the caution to bunch the field back up.  Mielke got a great start over Bauer and a hard charging Jacob Poel (who started 13th).  Mielke again started to walk away from the field and looked to be a sure winner.  But with just a lap and a half to go, Mielke’s car went up in smoke with what appeared to be a blown engine.  That handed things back over to Bauer and Poel for a Green-White-Checkered Finish to decide it all.  The two battled side-by-side through the restart with Bauer protecting the middle to bottom of the race track, while Poel worked the outside.  Coming out of turn two during the final lap, Poel edged ahead of Bauer and held on to win the Lane Automotive 30.


An emotional Poel said in victory lane that his crew had just got the car done in time for racing that night at Merritt.  “Finally got this car together, JUST today to come up here to race.”


The AELMT ran second on the American Ethanol running order Wednesday night, and in Motul Motor Oil and Lubricants qualifying, Dona Marcoulier set fast time with a 13.509 second lap time.  In heat race action Travis Stemler, Kory Maurice, and Eric Spangler were race winners, while only the top five from each race made it directly into the Don’s Auto Clinic 40.  Drivers like Logan Arntz, Marcoulier, Greg Haskell, and Phil Ausra had to try and race their way into the show through the Carbon Green BioEnergy Last Chance Qualifier, which Logan Arntz went on to win.


A fairly uneventful main event was run as the American Ethanol night cap with 22 cars starting the 40 lap main event.  Only one caution slowed the field on lap 24 when Mike VanderMark blew a tire and nearly collected race leader Spangler.  No harm was done however, and Spangler went on to lead flag-to-flag to become the first repeat winner of the 2018 season. Spangler saw few challenges throughout the race. David Mielke did make a late race run coming along side of Spangler for some time, but never being able to complete the pass.  Spangler thanked his sponsors and fans for their support of the Wednesday night show and of his efforts.


The next stop for the American Ethanol crew will be with the AEMODT on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23 for the first double header weekend of their season from Hartford Speedway (Friday) and Merritt Speedway (Saturday).  As for the AELMT, their next stop is also a double header weekend as they make a return trip to I-96 Speedway on Friday, June 29 and then a first ever stop to Butler Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 30.


For more information on the AELMT and the AEMODT log onto or  Find both Tours on Social Media including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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AELMT Heat Race 1

  1. 2 Travis Stemler

  2. M14 Brandon Thirlby

  3. 1 Greg Gokey

  4. 21B Rich Bell

  5. C9 Steve Casebolt

  6. 6M Dona Marcoullier

  7. 1W Michael Luberda

  8. RH21 Gregg Haskell

  9. 15 Phil Ausra


AELMT Heat Race 2

  1. 79M Kory Maurice

  2. 87 Rich Neiser

  3. 87M David Mielke

  4. 41 Mike Vandermark

  5. 117 Kevin Reeve

  6. 21A Logan Arntz

  7. 3 Jeremy Tulick

  8. 16 Mike Stazak


AELMT Heat Race 3

  1. 27 Eric Spangler

  2. 4T Andrew Terrill

  3. 3 Kyle Roberts

  4. 78 Drew Wilkerson

  5. 79 Nick Kurtz

  6. 94 Bill Bray

  7. 21 Bob Hammer

  8. 7M Brad Mann

  9. 00 Rob Lewis


AELMT Last Chance Qualifier

  1. 21A Logan Arntz

  2. 6M Dona Marcoullier

  3. 94 Bill Bray

  4. 1W Michael Luberda

  5. 21 Bob Hammer

  6. 3 Jeremy Tulick

  7. 15 Phil Ausra

  8. 7M Brad Mann

  9. 00 Rob Lewis

  10. 16 Mike Stazak

  11. RH21 Gregg Haskell


AELMT Merritt Showdown

  1. 27 Eric Spangler

  2. 87M David Mielke

  3. 4T Andrew Terrill

  4. 2 Travis Stemler

  5. 87 Rich Neiser

  6. M14 Brandon Thirlby

  7. 6M Dona Marcoullier

  8. 79 Nick Kurtz

  9. 21B Rich Bell

  10. 1 Greg Gokey

  11. C9 Steve Casebolt

  12. 3 Kyle Roberts

  13. 21A Logan Arntz

  14. 79M Kory Maurice

  15. 94 Bill Bray

  16. RH21 Gregg Haskell

  17. 78 Drew Wilkerson

  18. 117 Kevin Reeve

  19. 16 Mike Stazak

  20. 3 Jeremy Tulick

  21. 1W Michael Luberda

  22. 41 Mike Vandermark

  23. 21 Bob Hammer


AEmods Heat 1

  1. 4J Paul Johnson

  2. 92 Caleb Kill

  3. 26P Michael Patrick

  4. 62 Daryl Lehn

  5. 82 Jacob Poel

  6. 9 Garrett Rons

  7. 31G Rick Gokee Jr.


AEmods Heat 2

  1. 1E Jeffery Erickson

  2. 47 Collin Thirlby

  3. 15 Dave Baker

  4. 313 Clayton Smith

  5. 63R Donnie Roberts

  6. 24N Kyle Novak

  7. 77D Anthony Deming


AEmods Heat 3

  1. 111 Curt Spalding

  2. 19 Chad Bauer

  3. 87M David Mielke

  4. 77 Joe Rokos

  5. 99 Brent Banning

  6. 18 Chase Burda

  7. 23 Luke Hubbell


AEmods Merritt Showdown

  1. 82 Jacob Poel

  2. 19 Chad Bauer

  3. 47 Colin Thirlby

  4. 111 Curt Spalding

  5. 15 Dave Baker

  6. 4J Paul Johnson

  7. 77 Joe Rokos

  8. 313 Clayton Smith

  9. 1E Jeffery Erickson Jr.

  10. 31G Rick Gokee Jr.

  11. 24N Kyle Novak

  12. 63R Donnie Roberts

  13. 92 Caleb Kill

  14. 26P Michael Patrick

  15. 62 Daryl Lehn

  16. 9 Garrett Rons

  17. 77D Anthony Deming

  18. 18 Chase Burda

  19. 87M David Mielke

  20. 23 Luke Hubble

  21. Brent Banning


AEmods Awards

Allstar Performance Hard Charger: 82 Jacob Poel 

CompCams Halfway Leader: 87 David Mielke

ARP Most Laps Lead: 87 David Mielke

Motul Motor Oil & Lubricants Fast Time: 87 David Mielke

Dirty Girl Racewear P10 Award: *31G Rick Gokee Jr.

Lane Automotive Member: 19 Chad Bauer

Quarter Master Move of the Race: 82 Jacob Poel

* = Non-Member, not eligible to receive award certificate 





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