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IM racer wins again

ESCANABA — The Upper Peninsula International Raceway kicked off the Fourth of July weekend in Escanaba Friday night with a full card of racing action at the track’s Salute to Veterans presented by Sayklly’s Candies.

Frank Gasperini (Iron Mountain) earned his third win of his 2022 season — with two already under his belt at Tomahawk Speedway in Tomahawk, Wis. — as he took his first-ever UPIR feature win in the Bink’s Coca-Cola Sport Modifieds.

Gasperini battled to the inside of Matt Maki (Rapid River) — who was running his favorite line up top — for a number of laps before taking the lead and withstanding several late-race restarts.

Maki faded to fifth after a green-white-checkered finish to the race as Lonnie Dalgord (Escanaba), Brock Bower (Bark River) and Billy Bowden (Escanaba) tussled their way past to finish second, third and fourth.

The win for Gasperini also came in his first appearance at UPIR this season. His previous best feature finish at the track was second.

The Escanaba trio of Griffin Iverson, Bentley Richer and Tanner Rae finished one, two and three in the Riverside Auto Group Youth Micro Sprint A Feature while Taylor Artley (Escanaba) took the B Feature race ahead of Abbie Langtgne (Escanaba).

Tyler Demars (Green Bay, Wis.) made up eight spots from the ninth starting position to take the Don’s HVAC Sportsman Micro Sprint Feature ahead of Brennan Swanson (Menominee) and Carson Artley (Escanaba).

Much of the opening segment of the sportsman feature was led by Macy Degnan (Escanaba) who jumped to the lead from the outside of the front row and put several car lengths between herself and the field. Though she fell to sixth as the race progressed, it was arguably Macy’s best race this season since moving into the sportsman division.

Logan Getzloff (Wilson) — who continues his hunt for his first 600 micro sprint championship — copped his first feature win of 2022 in the EMP 600 Micro Sprint feature. Second went to Robert Buttry (Escanaba) and third Tony Beauchamp (Escanaba).

Charles Peterson (Rapid River), Terry Royer and David Broeders (Bark River) were the podium finishers in the Miller Pipeline Vintage Modified feature.

In the JD Machine Super Modifieds, heartbreak was on the menu for the second week in a row for young Gunnar Hansen (Ogantz). After capturing his first heat win in the division, Gunnar took a commanding lead in the feature race. But, just like last week, a mechanical issue brought his race to an early end, leaving Gunnar to watch from the infield.

Jesse Denome (Escanaba) took the feature, holding of Scott Degnan (Escanaba) on a late-race restart. Third belonged to Clayton Peterson (Rapid River).

Trevor Denome (Escanaba) earned his first Five Corners Market Street Stock feature win ahead of Eric Mathieson (Escanaba) and Jason Piron (Escanaba).

Trevor, however, is no stranger to victory lane at UPIR as he is a multiple-time winner in the sportsman division, including a four-win season in 2019.

The Island Resort Sport Compact division had one of its cleanest races in recent memory, with only one yellow flag waving in the feature race.

Trever Cronick (Faithorn) and Tom Waselesky (Harvey) each climbed six spots from the start of the race to finish first and second, while Alex Constantino (Escanaba) finished third.

The Upper Peninsula International Raceway hosts racing again this Saturday for the non-points UPIR Midsummer Classic.

Racing gets started at 6 p.m. eastern.

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