Rader Shines in Car Show; Simply Getting to Race Makes Latimore a Winner~

Marty Salerno of Carolstream, Ill., and Jerry Neidlinger of Vicksburg were the Pro ET and Street ET winners Sunday at US 131’s annual Summer Bug Run but it was Donovan Latimore’s story that sent everyone home feeling a little better about the world and the people in it.

During the time trial phase of the event, Latimore sheared an axle in his Volkswagen Beetle, a catastrophe that might have sidelined someone with less determination. Instead, the Mears resident opted to try and make repairs before the start of eliminations.

First, he visited the swap meet area where he was able to find some of the parts needed for the reconstruction. He then met a man who was selling a rolling VW who, after hearing his story, offered to loan him an axle at no charge. Several other racers volunteered to help as well. In the end, Latimore not only was able to drive his car to the starting line for the opening round, he advanced to the semifinals.

Off the track, Holland’s Allen Rader was the big show car winner. His 1965 Microbus not only was one of the Top 20 VW show cars, it also was the People’s Choice award winner.

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Results from the annual Summer Bug Run Sunday at US 131 Motorsports Park. Hometowns are Michigan unless otherwise indicated. Race results include reaction time, track time in relation to target time and finish line speed:

VW Pro ET – Marty Salerno, Carolstream, Ill., .167, 7.444 on a 7.200, 96.07 mph, def. Clinton, Scheidegger, Mason, foul.

VW Street ET – Jerry Neidlinger, Vicksburg, .043, 9.280 on a 9.100, 75.43 mph, def. Ron Easton, Niles, .328, 10.727 on a 10.600, 62.58 mph.

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Car Show (top 20 in alphabetical order):

Chris Allen, Lafayette, Ind., 1971 Beetle
Brenda Amaya, Spring Lake, 1978 Westfalia
Mike Dontje, Shelbyville, 1988 Cabriolet
Lisa Cheatham Ferguson, Kalamazoo, 1973 VW Thing
Todd Gerber, Battle Creek, 1973 Super Beetle
K.C. Hartman, Marne, 1961 Dune Buggy
Tyler Hayes, Montrose, 1970 Beetle
Dave Lane, Lowell, Ind., 1972 Baja Beetle
Susie Lucas, Allegan, Mich., 1965 Beetle
Jessica Matthes, Pullman, 2016 Golf
Phillip Pion, Ft. Wayne, Ind., 1977 Super Beetle convertible
Allen Rader, Holland, 1965 Microbus
Jerry Robison, Lisle, Ill., 1974 VW Thing
Rick Staib, Battle Creek, 1956 Speedster Porsche
John Street, Berrien Springs, 1957 Beetle
Jeremy Sturgeon, Zeeland, 1979 Scirocco
Chuck Van Portfliet, Cedar Springs, 1998 Super Beetle
John Wasko, Granger, Ind., 1967 Beetle
Scott Wilson, Oakwood, Ill., 1974 Super Beetle
Shelli Wood, Grand Rapids, 1977 Super Beetle