Oakshade Raceway hosted its last race of the season on Saturday afternoon with an exciting 200-lap enduro race.
Brad Baklund who had won the last enduro race took command early and set a fast pace in the first 50 laps.
This week, luck was not on Baklund’s side. Mike Kimpel got turned around in turn one in front of a pack of cars that included the leader. Baklund ended up hooked together with Kimpel’s car and sat in the corner for many laps.
Jake Rendel was also caught up in the incident making heavy contact with Kimpel. Rendel was running in the top three, but the accident ended his afternoon early.
Baklund finally got separated and continued on, but not until after Jeremy Grover took the lead. Grover maintained the lead until shortly after the halfway point in the race when the right rear wheel came off and almost caused Grover to roll over, but luckily for him the car came back down on the three remaining wheels.
Grover dragged his car back to the pits and made a quick stop to add a fourth wheel to his car. He appeared to maintain the lead after the fast stop, but a few laps later the right rear wheel fell off and again almost sent Grover’s car rolling over. Grover’s car came back down hard right side up, but his day was over.
Mike Lauharn was next to lead and held on to it for over 50 laps with Craig Dippman closing in. Just as Dippman was about to catch Lauharn, Lauharn dove into the pits.
Dippman took over the lead within the final 25 laps and appeared to have the win locked up with at least a five lap lead over his nearest competitor. Then bad luck struck again with less than two laps to go. Dippman limped down the backstretch and into the pits a lap and a half shy of the checkered flag.
Eventually Chris Williams completed enough laps to take the lead with Brad Baklund behind him on the same lap.
Williams held on to take the checkered flag with Baklund settling for second. Craig Dippman maintained a third place finish with Chris Joy fourth. Both drivers completed 198 laps. Mike Lauharn fell back to finish fifth after completing 188 laps.
It felt more like a Sunday afternoon in August for the second of three 200-lap/2 hour enduro races this fall at Oakshade Raceway with bright sunny skies and temperatures soaring to near 90 degrees.
The heat did not stop the action on the track as the field took the green flag shortly after 3pm. Craig Dippman had to be an early favorite driving the car that Dan Dippman had dominated in a week ago. But Craig was not as fortunate, suffering mechanical problems with a broken rear end finally ending his afternoon before he could complete 75 laps.
Brad Baklund on the other hand had a good run early in last week’s enduro until he had to make several lengthy pit stops that took him out of contention. This week, Baklund had the 39 car looking stout, taking the lead early and running the entire distance without making a stop.
Baklund had a few close calls. The first one happened when he got hooked together with a lapped car coming off turn four and both cars spun. They got unhooked and both drivers continued on. There were a couple other incidents where Baklund had contact with other cars, but not enough to keep him from taking the checkered flag well ahead of his nearest competitor.
Ryan Desgrange had a strong run in second most of the afternoon and seemed to be the only competition for Baklund though he was several laps down. Desgrange’s luck ran out shortly after the 150 lap mark as a lapped car shot out from the inside and directly into his path. Desgrange could not get slowed up in time and plowed into the car and broke the steering on his vehicle ending his day.
That allowed Jacob Dick to overtake second before the end of the race. Dick finished over 30 laps behind Baklund. Desgrange completed enough laps to hand on to a third place finish with Nate Goodman’s car holding together just enough to finish fourth. Jacob Lazier survived to finish fifth.
The final race of the season happens on Saturday, October 20 with another 200-lap/2 hour enduro race starting at 3pm. The Oakshade Raceway Swap Meet takes place that morning. Also, the haunted hay rides continue every Friday and Saturday night throughout the month of October at the track. Check out www.oakshaderaceway.info for more information.