5/29/2004

Brian Ruhlman waited eight years two get his second late model feature win at Oakshade Raceway, but he made it two feature wins in a row Saturday night when he won his third in the 30-lap American Late Model Series presented by Sunoco feature event.

Sixty late models once again filled the pits for the first of four ALMS events at Oakshade in 2004. It was also the second night of a four night Memorial Day weekend stint with stops at Eldora, Fremont and Attica in addition to Oakshade.

Twenty-one cars made the feature through preliminary races. Jerry Bowersock and Dean Anderson took the two available provisional spots to bring the number of cars starting the race to 23.

Brad Miller’s night ended prematurely after he bounced off the backstretch wall on the very first lap. He limped his car back to the pits without a caution.

Mark Frazier brought out the first yellow after he had trouble in turn two on lap two.

Greg Martin was the leader at the restart, but Brian Ruhlman quickly closed in on the leader and took over the top spot on lap four. Kris Patterson, who has one Oakshade feature win this year, followed Ruhlman by Martin to take second.

After a caution for Justin Paxton’s spin, Ruhlman opened up a sizeable lead on a long green flag run that lasted all the way until the finish.

During that long green flag period, Patterson and Rick Delong traded the second position a couple of times, with Patterson eventually winning that battle. Patterson then began to close back in on Ruhlman as they came up on lapped traffic.

Patterson caught Ruhlman using the inside groove as much as he could and the two raced side by side for the lead while working through some heavy lapped traffic. Ruhlman threaded the needle a couple of times, shooting through the middle of lapped cars that were side by side in front of him. This allowed Ruhlman to maintain a slight advantage over Patterson, as he had to deal with the same slower traffic.

Patterson caught back up to Ruhlman and it was a dead heat as the two drivers took the white flag with Patterson still on the inside of Ruhlman. They remained door to door the entire last lap until Patterson had to take evasive action coming off of turn four to avoid the spun car of Jayme Zidar.

That slight hesitation was all Ruhlman needed to pick up the very narrow victory over Patterson and to take home the check for $2000 for winning the ALMS feature. Rusty Schlenk had an impressive third place finish after starting 16th and was followed by Rick Delong and Tony Marks.

In sportsman action, a bit of bumping while jockeying for position launched Dale Cole’s automobile up in the air and ended up with Chris Keller in the wall and Evan Myers spun to the inside during the second lap of the feature.

A pair of Fishers occupied the top two spots, Brian and Tim, and both would remain at the front for the entire race. Brian Fisher opened up a good lead, but a caution for Brian Roop’s spin allowed Tim Fisher to close up to Brian’s back bumper for the restart.

One lap later, Tim Fisher took the lead for good and went on to win his first sportsman feature of the season with Brian Fisher taking second. Ray Klawitter finished third with Rob Liaeff fourth and Joe Derbeck rounding out the top five.

Jake Rendel held on to win a close bomber A Main feature. Rendel took the lead from the drop of the green flag after starting on the pole.

A pile up involving Josh Steinacker, Gary Domoe, Tom Ordway, Brian Stricklin and Billy Ruff brought out the caution flag on lap four. Most drivers were able to continue.

Rendel’s first competition for the lead was from Dan Dippman who kept trying to look to the inside in the closing laps and eventually lost the back end and spun with two laps to go and brought out the yellow. Dippman had to restart at the tail of the field and the moved Bill Toedter to second with a chance to challenge for the lead.

Rendel and Toedter kept exchanging the lead the final couple laps, but it was Rendel who was ahead when the checkered flag dropped. Randy Murday finished third ahead of Jim Scout and Bob Zuver.

Another Rendel, Bob, appeared to have things in control in the bomber B Main, but Chuck Leininger had plans to spoil a Rendel sweep.

Bob Rendel led the almost the entire distance of the bomber B Main until Leininger closed in and drove the 43 car between the 06 of Rendel and a lapped car on the final lap to take the lead and the win. Jared Rendel ended up third behind Bob.

Danny Hogrefe opened up a huge lead early in the final event of the night, the bomber C Main.

The red flag came out for a fire under the hood of Brian Hensley’s car midway through the race.

This set up Gary Cole to challenge Hogrefe for the lead until the finish. Hogrefe proved too strong and picked up the victory over Cole and Dennis Laney, who came all the way from the back of the field to finish third.

Next week, yet more great racing action will be featured at Oakshade Raceway with UMP Late Models, sportsman and bombers all back in action.

5/15/2004

Brian Ruhlman picked up his first feature win in eight years at Oakshade Raceway Saturday night.

With another large car count, the late model feature was once again a tough race to get a starting position in with nearly twice as many cars having to pack things up and watch the feature from the stands as the number of cars actually starting the feature.

Max Stough’s effort to make the feature was thwarted in the second late model consolation after his car rolled over a couple times in an incident at the end of the front stretch. Stough was not hurt.

Bruce Stuart took advantage of starting from the pole in the 25-lap late model feature and opened up a big lead early on. Brian Ruhlman closed in on the leader and on lap eight, made a move to the inside of Stuart to take the lead.

Stuart had more problems four laps later when he came off turn four too high and made contact with the front stretch wall. Stuart then faded back through the field.

Last week’s feature winner, Kris Patterson, worked his way up to second midway through the race, but Ruhlman had opened up a huge lead over the rest of the field.

A caution for Brian McCabe on lap 17 eliminated Ruhlman’s large lead, but Patterson couldn’t keep up with Ruhlman after the green flag flew once again.

Ruhlman made it a clean sweep on the night, winning his heat and making it look easy in his win in the late model feature. It was his first feature win in eight years at Oakshade Raceway and only his second ever. His first victory came the first night he raced at Oakshade.

Patterson couldn’t make it two wins in a row and settled for second ahead of Justin Paxton, Rusty Schlenk (who started in the last row) and Matt Miller.

The sportsman feature proved to be the most exciting of the night with a last lap pass deciding the winner.

Jason Smith led the first five laps until he got too sideways coming off turn four and then fell back a few positions. He ended up spinning and bringing out the yellow a couple laps later.

Dale Cole’s car slowed on the back stretch shortly after the restart and Tim Bernard slammed into the back of him bringing out the red flag for Cole’s broken fuel cell and ending both drivers nights.
Last week’s sportsman feature winner, Ray Klawitter, took the lead shortly after the next restart and then a great battle between Klawitter, Tim Fisher and Jeremy Grover ensued. The three drivers battled three-wide at times and kept exchanging the lead among the three of them.

That battle continued for a few laps until the 15 of Klawitter spun in turn four and brought out the caution flag.

That left the race for the lead to be between Grover and Fisher. The two drove the last four laps door to door with Fisher the leader as they took the white flag. Fisher had the advantage much of the final lap, but Grover got a great run coming off turn four and won the drag race to the checkered flag.

Mike Jessen managed a third place finish behind Fisher with Joe Derbeck and Chris Keller rounding out the top five.

The bomber A Main was marred with caution flags, the first of which came out for Jake Rendel after he spun on the first lap after starting on the front row.

Jim Scout took the lead from Matt Shipley on lap three and began to pull away.

A few cautions later, Jake Rendel had worked his way back up through the field to second behind Scout under a late caution that set up a two-lap shootout to the finish.

Rendel made one final attempt to challenge Scout on the last lap, but Scout was too strong and held on to pick up the win. Rendel finished second followed by Bill Toedter and Dan Bleikamp.

Rob Anderzack, last week’s bomber B Main winner, was taken out early after coming to a stop between turns one and two and Gary Cole Jr. slammed into him on lap two.

Josh Steinacker took the lead from Jared Rendel early and with the exception of a close call putting Roger Davenport a lap down, went on to the easy bomber B Main win. Jared Rendel held on to second and Kyle Light finished third.

Eric Potridge, Hillary Majewski and Monroe McCoy got stacked up on the backstretch on lap five of the bomber C Main on lap five.

Dennis Laney assumed the lead from the start and held off Bob Zuver and Jeff Foks Jr. to win the bomber C Main.

More great UMP Late Model, sportsman and bomber racing continues Saturday, May 22 at Oakshade Raceway.

5/8/2004

Kris Patterson edged out Rusty Schlenk to win the late model feature Saturday night at Oakshade Raceway.

For the first time in a very long time, the late model car count exceeded that of the bombers. Nearly 70 late models were on hand for their first night of competition in 2004 at Oakshade.

The win did not come easy for Patterson even though he took the lead from Bill Hahn on the second lap of the 25-lap late model feature.

A lap three incident took out some top contenders when Dan Wallace, last week’s sportsman feature winner, spun on the back stretch and collected Shane Yoder, Rick Delong and George Lindsey. Lindsey was the only driver able to continue.

The second caution came out after Todd Schroyer and Skeet Reckner made contact and Reckner ended up spinning on the backstretch. Both continued on.

Rusty Schlenk moved up to second by lap 10 with Patterson still in command. Schlenk caught Patterson a couple laps later and the two battled side by side for a few laps with Schlenk taking a very small lead on lap 15.

The two drivers continued trading the lead back and forth until a caution on lap 21 that took out Steve Rowe and Tracy Grimes slowed the race down and set up an extremely exciting four-lap dash to the finish.

Patterson led the field back to the green flag with Schlenk just behind. Schlenk got to the inside of Patterson and the two drivers ran the final three laps door to door.

They entered the final corner locked in a dead heat, but Patterson had just a bit more momentum using the higher line coming off of turn four. Patterson used that momentum to carry him to the first late model feature victory of the year with Schlenk settling for a very close second. Brian Ruhlman and Brian McCabe ran much of the race in the top five and finished third and fourth respectively with Zach Olger rounding out the top five.

A pile up on the first lap of the sportsman feature slowed things down before it could even getting started. Brad Kendall and Tim Bernard got together in turn three and Randy Franks had nowhere to go but in to and on top of the cars of Kendall and Bernard.

Jeremy Grover led the first couple laps once things got going, but Ray Klawitter quickly took control and pulled away with the lead after taking it on lap three.

A late caution for Dale Cole set up a two-lap shoot out to the finish and eliminated the large lead Klawitter had built up over the rest of the field.

In the end, Klawitter proved to be too strong and went on to the easy win with Jeremy Grover holding off Mike Jessen for second. Ron Miller driving for Ron Schultz finished fourth with Brian Fisher taking fifth.

Bob Gregory and Jake Rendel put on one of the most exciting bomber heat races in recent memory trading the lead a couple time each lap for the entire race. The two made contact in the final corner and Gregory held on to win that race.

After the excitement of that heat, Gregory once again found himself out front, this time in the bomber A Main. A few cautions kept things tightened up, the third of which came out for Jake Rendel on lap seven.

After another late caution, Dan Dippman took the lead as Gregory began to fade back through the top five in the final few laps.

Dippman went on to an impressive bomber A Main win. Gary Domoe took second with Dan Bliekamp third. Bob Gregory settled for a fourth place finish.

Rob Anderzack started on the pole of the bomber B Main and led every single lap to take the checkered flag.

Bill Toedter looked to be one of the few who could get up and compete with Anderzack, but on a restart after a caution, Toedter had problems coming up to speed and was run over from behind.

Finishing second behind Anderzach was Kyle Light, who rebounded well after restarting at the tail of the field because he was the cause of an early caution. Jeff Foks Sr. finished third ahead of Roger Davenport and Kevin Cole.

More great racing returns to “The ‘Shade” Saturday, May 15 with UMP Late Models, sportsman and bombers all back in action.