6/26/2004

Saturday marked the second of four stops for the American Late Model Series presented by Sunoco (ALMS) at Oakshade Raceway in 2004 which was highlighted by the defending Late Model Track Champion Justin Paxton’s feature win.

The 30-lap, $2,000 to win ALMS feature was only slowed once when the yellow flag was thrown for Rick Delong who had come to a stop in turn two on lap three.

Dusty Moore started on the pole and led the first five laps, until Justin Paxton ran him down on lap six after started back in the 10th position.

Brian Ruhlman, with two feature wins under his belt already in 2004 including an ALMS win, moved into second on the following lap.

With no cautions in the final 27 laps, Paxton found himself working through some pretty heavy lapped traffic at the back of the 23-car field. Paxton did open up a substantial lead during the mid-part of the race, but Brian Ruhlman did manage to close within a car length on a few occasions in the final 10 laps while working through lapped traffic.

In the end Paxton was just too strong and won his second late model feature of the year over Ruhlman. Last week’s feature winner and ALMS points leader, Aaron Scott, mustered a third place finish ahead of Tony Marks and Kris Patterson who was a close second in ALMS points, just three behind Scott, coming into the night’s event.

The sportsman division continued its trend of exciting feature races once again. The action heated up early with Dale Cole, Rusty Smith and Rob Liaeff all battling for the lead right from the start, sometimes going three abreast.

Rob Liaeff eventually assumed the lead on lap five and one lap later Denney Winkle cut down a left rear tire and went spinning down the front stretch bringing out the yellow flag.

Liaeff continued to lead and had opened up a bit of an advantage over second place. Ron Shultz, driving like a man on a mission, took second from Rusty Smith on lap seven and then began to close on Liaeff.

Shultz caught Liaeff in the final few laps and on the final lap in the final corner, dove to the inside and snatched the lead from Liaeff as they came to the finish line. Liaeff finished a close second with Tim Fisher third and Rusty Smith fell back to finish fourth.

Not wanting to be outdone, the bomber A Main produced the closest finish of the night’s main events. Bob Gregory and Jim Scout were the class of the field as the two broke away from the pack.

Scout was glued to Gregory’s back bumper the entire race until entering the final corners before the checkered flag. Scout got alongside Gregory down low and the two raced door to door to the finish.

Gregory won the drag race to the checkered flag by the nose of his car. Scout came up just inches short and settled for second. Jake Rendel got by Bill Toedter to finish third and Dan Dippman rounded out the top five finishers.

Dennis Laney led early in the bomber C Main until a caution for Russell Nickoloy came out three laps into the event.

Dan Bliekamp took advantage of the restart to swing around Laney for the lead as the green came back out. Bliekamp began to open up his lead and went on to the easy win over Laney, Josh Caudill and Bob Rendel.

Rich Ruff had an impressive debut at Oakshade Raceway leading the entire distance in the bomber C Main after starting on the outside of the front row.

Jeff Foks Sr. finished second behind Ruff with Adam Lantz third and Chris Williams taking fourth.

Saturday, July 3 is the Howard Miller Memorial at Oakshade featuring exciting late model, sportsman and bomber racing action.

6/5/2004

Defending Oakshade Raceway Late Model Champion Justin Paxton picked up his first feature win of the year Saturday night by dominating the race.

Brian Ruhlman, in an effort to try for his third feature win in a row, had to transfer in to the feature by winning one of the three consolation events. Unfortunately, Ruhlman was caught up in a huge pile up on the backstretch on the very first lap which brought out the red flag so the track workers could clear the track. Eight cars were involved, but only two, Ken Hahn and Greg Martin, were unable to continue. Ruhlman’s badly damaged car rejoined the field just as the green flag dropped.

Paxton started on the pole and went on to open up a large lead over Rick Delong, Todd Schroyer and Casey Noonan.

After a caution on lap eight for debris, Noonan moved up to the second position. Delong and Schroyer got together on lap 15 to bring out another caution flag that knocked both drivers out of the top five.

Another late caution set up a two-lap sprint to the finish with Paxton ahead of Noonan and Rusty Schlenk, but Paxton was too strong for Noonan and picked up the checkered flag after leading every lap. Noonan, Schlenk, Kris Patterson and Aaron Scott rounded out the top five. Brian Ruhlman managed an eighth place finish.

The sportsman feature once again produced the most exciting finish on the night with a lot of lead changes throughout the race.

Rusty Smith jumped out from the pole to claim the early lead, but soon found last week’s feature winner, Tim Fisher, and Joe Derbeck all over his back bumper. On lap five, Fisher and Derbeck made it three wide for the lead as they split around the 71 car of Smith pushing him back to third.

Fisher held the lead for two laps until Derbeck got by and became the race’s third different leader.

John Bailey brought out the caution on lap number nine and on the ensuing restart, both Tim Fisher and Brian Fisher got by Derbeck for the top two positions. Brian Fisher then became the fourth leader of the race on the very next lap.

Derbeck got hooked up in the high groove and retook second from Tim Fisher and on the final lap got to the outside of Brian Fisher for the lead. They raced door to door the entire final lap all the way to the checkered flag with Derbeck crossing the line first just by the nose of his car. Derbeck won his first sportsman feature of the year and became the fifth different driver to win this year.

Brian Fisher ended up second for the second week in a row followed by Tim Fisher, Dale Cole and Mike Jessen.

The bomber A Main was the only feature of the night to be run entirely caution free.

Matt Shipley grabbed the lead after starting from the pole and must have watched Justin Paxton dominate in the late model feature because Shipley went on to lead every lap as well to win his first bomber feature of the year.

Kevin Cole ran second the entire race and finished in that position with Josh Steinacker third and Jake Rendel fourth.

Karl Spores took the early lead in the bomber B Main with Jared Rendel and Rob Anderzack in pursuit.

Craig Dippman’s spin on lap three brought out the yellow flag and on the restart, Anderzack who was trying to advance his position, lost control and spun coming off turn four. Bill Toedter had a full head of steam coming off the corner and smacked Anderzack head-on putting the field under yellow again.

Toedter retired to the pits, but Anderzack continued on and rejoined the tail of the field.

Jared Rendel was the next to spin while racing Gary Cole Jr. for second relegating the 006 car of Rendel to the rear of the field.

It was Karl Spores who led the entire distance to pick up his first feature win of the year over Josh Caudill, Cole Jr. and Ken Eitniear.

The bomber C Main finally provided some lead changes with Bob Zuver the leader on lap one, but Kenny Fiig would lead lap two.

By lap four, Chris Dotson took over the top spot with Zuver, Fiig and Randy Murday in tow.

Fiig faded back through the field as Dotson went on to hold off Zuver for the win. Murday finished third ahead of Rex Strow and Gene Zollner.

Saturday, June 12, Oakshade Raceway will host a special event featuring topless late models (think convertible late models) in a non-points event. Sportsman and bomber divisions will also be back in action.