Mean Green Machine refuses to relinquish the #1 spot and continues to reign supreme in the 2016 Tournament of Destruction!
Mean Green’s victory at the milestone 75th Team Demolition Derby event at Route 66 Raceway marks the first-time they’ve won in the month of July since 2000. That was way back at event #4 and was a crucial step towards their eventual Championship. Perhaps history is on their side again this year.
If not history, then irony certainly is. On 7/15/2000, Mean Green defeated the original ‘black’ team, Locomotives, in the Finals. On 7/23/2016, the modern day ‘black’ team, Thunderstruck, were the opposition and ready to strike in hopes of their first-ever victory.
Last month’s winner, Full Throttle, were tied for the points lead with Mean Green entering Round 3. They put immediate pressure on Mean Green by defeating Sting in the opening race. #43 Shaun Elder returned to Full Throttle and looked like he hadn’t missed a step while flying around the slick oval collecting laps along side #44 Steve Schaefer. #40 Ron Johnston buried #24 Leo Janzen into the wall and #47 Steve Vollbrecht collided with #28 Clifford Mondt in head-on smash. #23 Ed Hoak and #26 Leo Cusic couldn’t stop Elder although they did get in his way just enough to let Schaefer sneak into the lead and take the checkered.
Junkyard Dogs sought revenge for their Round 1 Finals loss to Mean Green and were going to do it with mobility and smaller moving targets. In a stark contrast to the all-wagon line-up in June, this time they went with all 2-door cars. The strategy worked early and Riley along with #33 Kyle Thompson were out front. Mean Green’s crushers took action and stopped Riley on Lap 1 and Thompson on Lap 2 which allowed #10 Jerry Decker and #14 Jay Van Allen to begin running away.
#39 Dave Swan, subbing for Jason Ritacco, dealt a stiff shot to #16 Zac Van Allen and was able to cut-off Jay Van Allen at one point, but crippled his car in the process by mid-race. Mean Green clicked off laps while Shearer went coast-to-coast to derail the runners.
White Flag wreckage ensued when JYD pummeled the #14 within a few feet of the Finish line. Riley broke free from the mess and took the White Flag while Van Allen fought to turn his car back towards the Finish. Riley got around Turn 2, but the last push fell short and Mean Green inched forward for the win and into the next round.
The “Race of the Night,” “Race of the Year” thus far, and one of the most incredible races ever at The Dirt Oval belongs to Thunderstruck vs. Orange Crush. Absolutely insanity; massive hits; unparalleled power; everything you could want in a Team Demo race.
#7 Kevin Gress rocketed around Turn 1, got shoved aside by #6 John Clemmons, then #71 Nick Hartung greeted Clemmons around Turn 2 with a perfectly timed t-bone blast.
All of that transpired within 15-seconds of Lap 1.
#66 Ron Tyrakowski took over the lead into Lap 2, but was immediately blocked by #77 Ryan Lagestee and #76 Levi Turnbaugh. Clemmons eluded them and was back out front. He spun himself out around Turn 3 and it worked perfectly. #67 Elmer Fandrey put a full-track, full-speed monster hit on Gress attempting to pass Clemmons around Turn 4. Gress didn’t, but Lagestee did get through and was back out front. Fandrey simply attacked again and spun out the leader, but propelled himself completely off the track!
It was a 3-way battle for the lead down the back-stretch until #65 Pete Ryan disrupted both Thunderstuck runners and Clemmons yet again had the lead. With the race shifting towards Orange Crush, Gress abandoned laps and the risky move paid off. He slammed Pete Ryan up into the Turn 2 wall and suddenly Orange Crush was at a 2-on-4 disadvantage. Clemmons was full tilt through Lap 4, even rocking up on 1 wheel around Turn 2 and bouncing off the wall down the back stretch.
Fandrey was done playing games and saw the chance to end Lagestee’s run. He stomped on the gas across the entire track once more and nailed Lagestee rear quarter-panel. The momentum slammed Fandrey even harder into the concrete while Lagestee somehow drove away from the impact and took the white flag.
On the other side of the track, Hartung and Gress were equally fed up with Clemmons and connected with a 1-2 combo of shots that drove Clemmons nose-first into the wall finally ending his run. It took 5 significant strikes to get the job done.
The race came to a stop to check on Fandrey after that wicked wall hit. He exited the car under his own power, which is the most important thing in that situation. Race-wise, the sequence of events swung the favor back to Thunderstruck for good and, when the race resumed, Lagestee completed Lap 5 for the win.
Crazy 8’s and Chicago Hitmen had the unlucky task of following up the OC vs. Thunderstruck race to conclude the opening round. Chicago Hitmen struck first, but couldn’t cause enough damage to slow down #81 Dave Janjanin. #88 Dustin Wilson took over his brother Matt’s usual seat and produced similar results that left the nose of his car pointed skyward. #82 Larry Younghusband squashed any thought of a comeback allowing Janjanin to cruise to the win.
Mean Green spent the off-weeks analyzing their mistakes against Full Throttle over the last year. After 4 straight losses, it was time for a new game plan. Early in this Semi-Finals race, their plan wasn’t working. #46 Andy Fleischman and #43 Shaun Elder took the first lap with ease and only had #14 Jay Van Allen anywhere near them. #16 Zac Van Allen caught up and connected on Fleischman in reverse, jamming the leader against the wall.
Elder and Jay Van Allen were door-to-door thru Turn 1. Elder coasted too far towards the wall and found himself pinned behind his teammate and Mean Green crushers. Zac dealt 2 big, timely hits against #47 Steve Vollbrecht and #40 Ron Johnston to secure the win and snap the losing streak against Full Throttle.
Thunderstruck caught a break and probably were thankful to catch their breath after the Orange Crush race. Crazy 8’s needed to borrow a car from Sting, but that didn’t help them out of gate as 3 of the 4 cars didn’t move or were stuck in a pile-up at the starting line.
#81 Dave Janjanin had no chance to even go for laps, rather he had to play defense against #7 Kevin Gress and #77 Ryan Lagestee. He and #21 Larry Younghusband did manage to slow their pace at the start of Lap 2, but not enough to give themselves a chance to run laps. #76 Levi Turnbaugh and #71 Nick Hartung provided enough of their own defense and Gress had a clear path for the final 3 laps and took Thunderstruck into the Finals.
In the Finals, Thunderstruck elected to have #7 Charlie Turnbaugh take Gress’ spot. Like his son and teammate #76 Levi, Charlie is typically a crusher. He raced away from the pack at the start and focused on laps instead and left Mean Green scrambling. Levi and #71 Nick Hartung tangled with #13 Ryan Decker and #11 Andrew Sherman, but no one was able to get in front of #16 Zac Van Allen who locked sights on the leader. Van Allen drilled Turnbaugh coming around Turn 2 and obliterated both cars. The huge impact knocked Van Allen’s helmet off his head and onto the track!
The race was momentarily halted to get Van Allen’s helmet back in a more suitable position. When it resumed, Sherman immediately grabbed the lead with #77 Ryan Lagestee trying to find traction to catch up. Levi Turnbaugh and Hartung both put major hits on Sherman, but could not stop the Mean Green tank from storming around the track.
Lagestee had to ditch laps in an effort to block Sherman. He and Turnbaugh were able to only shove the leader with some glancing hits; not enough to capitalize on the team’s strong start. Mean Green Machine wins Round 3 and put a sizeable gap between themselves and the other teams still chasing a Championship.
Team Demolition Derby Tournament of Destruction Round 4 is August 27th! Join us LIVE @ The Dirt Oval to see if Mean Green Machine can hold their ground or if another team will threaten their charge towards the Championship. Save $4 with advance ticket discounts valid thru August 21st.
More Sights from Summer Heat
The Stars of Team Demolition Derby greeted fans at the annual “Stars of the Cars” autograph session during the pre-race party. Dustin Wilson and Matt Jensen of Crazy 8’s, Ryan Lagestee of Thunderstruck, the entire Junkyard Dogs crew, and ladies of High Risk and Double-D Destroyers enjoyed some face time with our awesome fans of all ages.
Be sure to stick around after a Tournament of Destruction event and go into the pit area to see the wreckage and meet your favorite team and drivers. Trust us, they won’t bite, and appreciate everyone who comes to The Dirt Oval to support Team Demo!
Another night of first-time Figure-8 Winners!
The winning ways of the Hartung family do not belong to just the men any longer. #55 Katie Hartung won her first Figure-8 Car race and makes history as the first female event winner in the series.
She held off the top contenders including her father, #50 Wally Hartung, and brother, #5 Nick Hartung, which made the win just a bit sweeter. As thrilled as Katie was to win, Wally was probably 10x that amount and overjoyed at her accomplished.
#30 Pete Morris got tied up in a late-race wreck, but still managed to finish a solid 4th. #76 Derrick Decker, the points leader entering this race, did not fair as well and wound up 10th.
#11 Rob Hess is the only driver to finish in the Top 5 each race this season. He moves into the top spot and owns a 7 point lead over Katie Hartung, 10 ahead of Decker, and 11 ahead of Morris.
#31 Dave Harris had competed in a total of 7 Figure-8 trucks races up to this month. He finished 2nd place 4 times. No longer second fiddle, Harris bested 9 other trucks and claimed his first-ever win; jumping from 6th to 3rd in the points.
#11 Ryan Hoffman and Domrose flip-flopped #1 and #2 in the points, but the 1-point margin remains the same. Morris drops from 3rd to 5th and there’s only 4 points separating the top 4 trucks! The Truck Championship, and probably the Car’s as well, will be a fight to the finish and end with a Fall brawl at Round 5 in September.
Figure-8 Cars & Trucks divisions hit the track again August 27th! Entry is open to anyone over the age of 18 with any level of racing experience. Check the rulebook for full details and sign-up today! Zero entry fee!
Monster Truck Mayhem next Saturday!
Monster trucks roar into the Dirt Oval at Route 66 Raceway for one huge night of destruction! See eight monster truck superstars throwdown on a brand new track and crush everything in sight.
Jamey Garner’s brand new Over Bored has been turning heads and racking up victories since it’s debut in early July and it’s coming to Monster Mayhem. The Dirt Oval’s wide open layout is the perfect proving ground to break-in, or maybe break apart, this incredible machine.
Monster Truck & Driver Line-up:
Avenger – Jim Koehler Wild Side – Chris Bergeron Crushstation – Greg Winchenbach Rage – Cory Rummell Over Bored – Jamey Garner Wrecking Crew – Mike Thompson Brutus – Brad Allen War Eagle – Devin Jones
Street truck, big rig semi, dump truck, tow truck, cement mixer… any kind of TRUCK! We want to see ’em all at Monster Mayhem on August 6. You’ll join the 8 competing monster trucks on display inside the Dirt Oval 66 pre-race pit party from 4-7pm.
All fans in attendance will get to view your mega machine up close before the monster truck main event! Participation is FREE with paid admission for Monster Mayhem.
Craving more Destruction? Get your fix at the Lake County Fair this weekend!
Get tickets for all 2016 events and watch for the latest details @ DirtOval66.com