The American Late Model Series presented by Sunoco were back at Oakshade Raceway to complete their event that was rained out on August 5. It was also Championship night for the Late Models, Sportsman and Bomber divisions.
Matt Miller took off from his front row starting position to assume the lead from the drop of the green flag in the AMLS make up feature. Tracy Grimes, who was running in the top five spun on lap 3 causing Casey Noonan and Larry Yantis to get together trying to avoid Grimes’ spinning car. Everyone involved was able to continue. Matt Miller continued to lead with a great battle for the second through fifth spots. Jerry Bowersock, Greg Johnson, Kris Patterson and Justin Paxton all kept swapping those positions. In the end, Matt Miller proved too strong for anyone to catch, leading every lap. Bowersock settled for second with Paxton holding off Johnson for third as they came together at the checkered flag.
Later on, the Late Models were back in action for there final feature event of the year at Oakshade Raceway. The points championship was on the line with Justin Paxton less than 30 points ahead of Kris Patterson. Shane Yoder was out early after coming to a stop on the backstretch on lap 2. Bruce Stuart crumpled up the front of his car earlier in the night, but had it back in race condition taking the lead in the Late Model A Main with Kris Patterson in tow. Justin Paxton was working his way toward the front after starting back in the sixth row when he got caught up in an incident in turn four which also included both Greg Martin and Jerry Sawmiller. Paxton was able to get the car refired, but could not steer and had to take it back to the pits. This could have been the break Patterson needed to win the points chase, but he could not get by Bruce Stuart for the race lead. Stuart won his first feature of the year holding off both Patterson and Butch Hobling who was in his final race at Oakshade Raceway, retiring after a successful race career. The final points standings had not been calculated as of press time, but it was virtually a dead heat between Paxton and Patterson. Official final points standings will be posted on www.oakshaderaceway.com.
Chris Smith came in to the final points race for the Sportsman division with a commanding lead winning 8 of the previous 13 feature events held this year. Mike Sudeth slipped past Bob Glover on lap two to take over the top spot. Tom Bennett and Tim Fisher were taken out after getting involved in a big mess on the backstretch. Chris Smith worked his way through the field and caught Glover. Smith got into the back of Glover and sent him spinning in turn two. Smith was penalized for rough driving and had to restart at the back of the pack. Mike Sudeth went on to win his third Sportsman feature of the year with Ray Klaywitter finishing second and Mike Jessen third.
Finally, the very popular Bomber division wrapped up the evening with their feature events. It was difficult to get the A Main underway with the caution coming out on the first two tries before a lap could be completed, but finally a lap was completed on the third attempt. Tony Tolles had a fast car, but brought out two caution flags and was eliminated from the event. 1999 Track Champion Brice Luttrell held off Jacob Rendel to pick up his third A Main victory of the year.
Dale Cole held off a hard charging Gary Schaffer in the final stages of the Bomber B Main to pick up the victory. Schaffer finished second followed by Jeff Sommers and Roy Zimmerman.
A battle of Coles highlighted the Bomber C Main. Gary Cole was leading with Kevin Cole closing in, but it was Gary Cole’s smoking X car that picked up the victory over Kevin.
In the Bomber D Main, Charles Sentel and John Laney got together on a restart while running in the top two spots. That allowed Joe Baker to reassume the lead. Laney would recover nicely, retaking the lead and eventually the victory over Dennis Randall, Baker, Chad Baumgartner and Steve Kester.
Next week, the 360 Sprints points champion will be determined. The Sportsman and Bombers will also be back in action Saturday night, September 9. Don’t forget to check out www.oakshaderaceway.com for the complete schedule of remaining events and for the final points standings.