7/31/2004

Rick Delong waited until late in the late model feature at Oakshade Raceway to take the lead and win his first of the year.

Late model rookie Devin Shiels led a couple other first year late model drivers, Brice Luttrell and Chris Smith, early on in the feature race. Luttrell’s good run ended on lap 10 when he spun and brought out the second yellow of the race.

Shiels continued to lead over Justin Paxton and Aaron Scott who was driving a borrowed car.

Paxton and Ron Price, a lapped car, got together as the leaders were working through lapped traffic. Paxton ended up nose first in the backstretch wall as was done for the night.

With Devin Shiels continuing to lead, Aaron Scott and Rick Delong began to put the pressure on in the closing laps.

Scott dove under Shiels on lap 22 and slid up and slammed into the side of the 51 car in turn two bringing out another caution flag.

Aaron Scott never stopped and took over the lead. Shiels was able to continue but had to restart at the tail end of the field.

One lap after the restart, Rick Delong passed Scott’s damaged automobile to take the lead, which he held for the final two laps. Kris Patterson finished second after starting 17th with Brian Ruhlman third. Scott slipped back to finish sixth behind Todd Schroyer and Rusty Schlenk.

The sportsman feature event turned into quite a crash fest with an interesting finish and the full moon shining down on the track.

Ray Klawitter grabbed the lead early over Mike Jessen and Rusty Smith.

After a pair of cautions for spins by Chris Keller and George Laney, Mike Jessen got by Klawitter to take the lead by lap four.

Ron Schultz tore up his racecar shortly after the lead change with a crash on the front stretch. Chris Keller anticipated the ensuing restart wrong and plowed into the rear of George Laney as the two were trying to come up to speed near the back of the pack.

Joe Derbeck jumped a late race restart, passing before the restart point and would be penalized two positions for each position gained. Derbeck only gained one spot on the restart, but eventually got out in front of the field.
Derbeck was the first to take the checkered flag, but the battle for the lead was taking place just behind him as Klawitter and Jessen came together coming to finish line.

Klawitter edged out Jessen for his second consecutive feature win. Derbeck received credit for a third place finish after the penalty was enforced. Jeremy Grover and Dale Cole rounded out the rest of the top five.

Josh Steinacker led from flag to flag in the bomber A Main to pick up his second A Main victory of the year.

The event was slowed by cautions only three times for spins.

Billy Ruff finished second ahead of Jake Rendel, Jeff Foks and Dan Bliekamp.

Richard Patton led most of the bomber B Main that went caution free.

Curt Lancaster closed in on the leader while working through slower traffic and on the final lap, used a slower car as a pick and took the lead and the win, his second B Main win in a row.

Patton settled for second with Gary Domoe third.

Dennis Laney opened up a big lead early in the bomber C Main with Karl Spores closing in.

After a couple cautions, Spores was able to get by Laney for the lead, but a caution for David Goben’s trouble in turns one and two would negate the pass for the lead.

Chris Williams joined the battle at the front late in the race, but lost it in turn two after contact with Spores.

Spores continued to put the pressure on Laney and on the final lap got to the inside of Laney as they came to the checkered flag. Laney held on to win by a very slim margin over Spores. Dan Bronson and Steve Dempewolf finished third and fourth respectively.

Saturday, August 7 marks the third visit by the American Late Model Series presented by Sunoco to Oakshade Raceway with the feature paying $2,000 to the winner. Sportsman and bombers will also be back in action.

7/17/2004

Some of the Midwest’s top UMP Late Model drivers were on hand to compete in the finale of the 18th running of the Summer Nationals once again hosted at Oakshade Raceway. Don O’Neal already had the points championship wrapped up for this year coming into Saturday night’s events, but it was Shannon Babb who took home the big check for $10,0000 for winning the 60-lap feature event.

Last week’s feature winner, Aaron Scott, set the fast time in qualifying with a lap of 15.933, one of only two drivers with laps under 16 seconds. Scott won the dash and earned a starting position on the pole for the feature.

Dennis Erb jumped out to the early lead after starting on the outside of the front row. Scott fell back through the field, as Matt Miller, Shannon Babb, Don O’Neal and Kris Patterson would occupy the top five positions.

Patterson, who started ninth, used the low groove to work his way up to third by lap 16 and eventually took the lead on lap 21 while the leaders were working through heavy traffic.

Once Patterson took the lead, he began to pull away from the rest of the pack, until the only caution flag of the event flew on lap 31 after Rusty Schlenk spun in turn one.

Patterson led Erb, Babb, O’Neal and Donnie Moran as racing resumed after the restart. Babb quickly took second away from Erb.

Patterson went from the high groove back down to the low side of the track shortly after the restart. Babb closed in staying up high and took over the lead on lap 42. Patterson hung tough on the inside for a few laps, but then began to slip back through the running order.

Illinois’ Shannon Babb pulled away from the field in the closing laps of the race and was first to take the checkered flag. Dennis Erb was second with the Don O’Neal, last year’s winner, coming home third. Donnie Moran finished fourth and Kris Patterson held on for a top five finish.

The sportsman division had the night off so the bomber features were next to take center stage.

Bill Toedter led a group of fast cars from the start in the bomber A Main. Billy Ruff was right on his tail for most of the race and the two made contact on a couple of occasions in some very tight racing.

Toedter got loose coming off turn two after some more contact. That allowed Ruff to scoot on by and take the lead for a few laps.
Jake Rendel started 11th and with two laps to go, came from out of nowhere to breeze past the leaders and take the lead himself.

Rendel went on to win his second A Main of the year. Ruff finished second with Jim Scout, the bomber points leader entering the night, third.

Chris Dotson and Jeff Foks put on a great battle for the lead in the beginning stages of the bomber B Main, battling side-by-side lap after lap.

Foks took the lead on a restart after a yellow for Rick Dixon’s stopped car on the front stretch.

Dotson, who had fallen back to second, spun in turn two to bring out another caution sending him to the back for the restart.

Foks went on to the easy victory over Curt Lancaster (who started 19th), John Brooks, Dennis Laney and Richard Patten. Dotson ended up working his way back up to finish seventh.

Kyle Light picked up his first bomber feature win of the year leading the C Main from flag to flag.

The event was marred by a slew of caution flags. The first of which came out after hard contact between Dan Bronson and Joe Hefner on lap one that ended both drivers’ nights.

In the end, Light took the checkered flag uncontested.

Jeff Potridge rolled his car over earlier in the night in his heat event and started near the back of the C Main field, but managed to have a second place finish ahead of sportsman regular, John Bailey.

Saturday, July 24 is Auto Value Night at Oakshade Raceway featuring late model, sportsman and bomber racing.

7/3/2004

Brian Ruhlman ruled the Howard Miller Memorial late model feature Saturday night at Oakshade Raceway, picking up his third feature win of the year.

Early in the late model feature, Steve Row was the leader with Casey Noonan following close behind.

Aaron Scott closed in to join the lead battle until a huge pile up on lap 12 of the 30-lap event took out all three leaders. Aaron Scott made it to the pits and was the only driver amongst the top three to continue on. Also involved in the crash were Ron Miller, Todd Schroyer and Jon Horner.

Tim Sabo assumed the lead for the restart with Kris Patterson second and Rusty Schlenk third.

Brian Ruhlman had worked his way up to fourth by lap 16 when the second yellow came out for a Brice Luttrell spin. Another caution came out after Mike Harger got turned around on lap 18 as he exited turn four. One lap after that restart, Ruhlman positioned himself in second behind Sabo.

Ruhlman finally assumed the lead on lap 20 and began to pull away quickly. He opened up an insurmountable lead until the caution flag flew a final time with two laps to go.

The yellow and eventually red flag flew after Shane Yoder and Brad Miller made contact that sent Miller head on into the front stretch wall. Miller climbed out of his car under his own power, but the field was stopped until some flames under the hood could be extinguished.

Tim Sabo could not mount a challenge on Ruhlman in the two-lap shootout, and Ruhlman went on to the easy victory. Sabo settled for second and Patterson finished third. Aaron Scott worked his way back up through the field in his battle-scarred car to a respectable fourth place finish with Rusty Schlenk fifth.

In recent weeks, the sportsman feature has been stealing the show with last lap passes and exciting finishes, but Rob Liaeff was out to break this trend, at least for this week.

Liaeff jumped out from the pole to take the lead and left the rest of the field in his dust. Liaeff took his big lead straight to the checkered flag in the caution free event to become the eighth different sportsman feature in eight races.

Brian Fisher continued his “close but not quite” finishes with another second followed closely by Tim Fisher. Bill Hahn came home fourth and Ray Klawitter finished fifth.

Bill Toedter opened up a big lead early in the bomber A Main until Andy Borton and Chris Joy got together on lap two to bring out the caution.

Tom Ordway restarted second behind Toedter and they continued in that order for much of the race.

Another yellow came out after contact between Billy Ruff and Jim Scout resulted in Scout’s car slamming the front stretch wall and then coming back down across the track and collecting the cars of Chris Joy and Todd Silvey.

Back under green, Ordway ducked low under Toedter on lap 12 to take the lead and win his first bomber A Main of the year. Joe Nickoloy was third behind Toedter with Josh Steinacker and Jake Rendel rounding out the top five.

Josh Caudill looked impressive in the bomber B Main for one lap, leading the pack until his car went up in smoke and ended his night.

Dan Dippman inherited the lead and then the rain came on lap five.

After a very brief delay, the race resumed and Dippman pulled away and was uncontested all the way to the checkered flag. Chuck Leininger crossed the line second with Josh Montague finishing third.

The bomber C Main featured some great racing for the lead with Kyle Light the first driver to occupy that position.

Chris Williams was first to challenge for the lead getting to the inside of Light, but Bill Reeves Jr. saw an opportunity and took second from Williams.

On lap six, Light, Reeves, and Bill Couts went three-wide for the lead. Couts ended up passing both cars to take the lead with Light falling back to third.

They went on to finish in that order with Chris Williams fourth and Terry Rump fifth.

On Saturday, July 10, Oakshade Raceway will once again feature the late model, sportsman and bomber divisions with a regular racing program.