MARNE, Mich. — Every year, Money in the Bank at Berlin Raceway is one of the biggest races of the year, not only locally but in the Midwest region.
This year's lineup is one of the most impressive in recent memory, once again with drivers from all over the country.
"I'm from Hudson New Hampshire, it's probably about a 14-hour drive," chuckled Derrick Griffith, who is one of the top drivers in the country.
Stephen Nasse is another big name coming into town for Wednesday night's 150 lap event, the Pinellas Park, Florida native is excited for his second-ever trip to Berlin.
"Man, I can't tell you how many miles it was, Florida is a long ways," Nasse laughed about the trip.
Dozens of drivers were at the track on Tuesday to get a test session in prior to qualifying and the green flag dropping on Wednesday.
"The place is goofy, it's not a very straightforward race track," Griffith added after his first trial run, "the line is going to be really difficult to get down. I've been watching a lot of the locals and I've learned a lot already."
Unlike Griffith, Nasse ran at Berlin Raceway before just a few years back but didn't run the way he had hoped with handling issues on his race car.
"This place is difficult, especially with an ill-handling race car," Nasse added, "but it's is a track that I don't get to come to often, it's so far away. It's something we wanted to do, we have the time, why not come up and do it?"
With so many big names coming in from across the country, the local drivers feel a responsibility to protect their home turf.
Portage 18-year-old Carson Hocevar won the Money in the Bank race last summer and is taking a quick break from the busy life of the NASCAR Truck Series to come home and compete.
"I wouldn't miss this race for anything," Hocevar said, "and yes, there's some responsibility there, just how they would feel if we came into their home territory. You feel like you have the advantage and if you let yourself get beat by an out-of-towner, then you messed up or did something wrong."
Seventeen-year-old Evan Shotko of Coopersville is already a six-time Berlin Raceway feature winner but even he knows what he's up against on Wednesday night.
"I've never seen a lineup of cars this good," Shotko added, "it's one of those deals where there are 15 cars that have a legitimate chance to win the race."
With a lineup so stacked, there's no telling what might happen when the green flag drops and the 150 laps are complete.
"The locals have a great advantage here because they're used to it and have the setup down and rhythm of the track," added Lakeland, Florida native and driver of the No. 90 car, Steve Dorer, "but, there are some people like Stephen Nasse and Derek Griffith coming in that are good drivers that go all over the place."
One thing is for certain, those in attendance are in for a fun night.
"I think the fans are in for a good show," Dorer said.
And Shotko will even raise that comment.
"It'll probably be one of the best races you'll ever see, I think it's going to be really, really good."
With rain in the forecast, track officials say they'll do everything they can to get the race in on Wednesday night but Thursday night would be the potential rain date.
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