Three great point battles continue to heat up as the season begins to wind down at Oakshade Raceway. Racing action Saturday night was highlighted by Casey Noonan’s third UMP Late Model Feature win of the year, Mike Jessen edging out Brian Fisher in a photo finish in the UMP Sportsman Feature and Chris Henry winning the UMP Bomber A Main while other drivers in the top five in points had a bad night.
With just two weeks remaining, the points championship is up in the air with seven drivers still mathematically having a shot at the title. Casey Noonan closed to within 51 points of the point lead with his feature win Saturday night after starting deep in the field. Noonan remains third in the tight points race behind Rody Schroyer and Dusty Moore.
Noonan earned his third feature win of the year the hard way, transferring in to the UMP Late Model Feature through the consolation race. That put Noonan back deep in the field for the start of the race.
Ronnie Perrine Jr. started on the pole and looked to be the man to beat early in the race with Curtis Roberts chasing him in second until he retired to the pits before the 10-lap mark of the 25-lap event.
Chris Ross inherited second and had a good battle with Tyler Boggs, before the Warsaw, Indiana driver took it away.
As all this action was going on and with Perrine leading the way, Casey Noonan quietly worked his way up to the front and got alongside Perrine for the lead. The two drivers battled side by side for a while before Noonan took command on lap 17.
Perrine stayed right on Noonan’s back bumper the remainder of the race and did everything he could to try to mount a challenge, but Noonan held on for the win with Perrine finishing a close second.
Tyler Boggs finished third followed by Chris Ross and Zach Olger.
Mike Jessen followed up last week’s UMP Sportsman Feature win with a photo finish victory over Brian Fisher to slightly increase his advantage in the point standings as they are the top two in points.
Jessen led from the start and managed to open up a lead the first half of the race despite multiple cautions keeping the field tight.
Brian Fisher restarted second behind Jessen after a lap 13 caution and Jessen could not pull away. Fisher remained glued to the rear of Jessen’s car the remainder of the race with a few challenges to inside of Jessen which Jessen was able to fend off.
Fisher once again dove to the inside of Jessen going into turn three on the final lap and Fisher made contact with the left rear of Jessen sending the back of his car sliding up the track. Jessen hung on as Fisher got alongside and the drivers were door to door coming off turn four and all the way to the checkered flag with Jessen claiming the victory by mere inches over Fisher in one of the most exciting finishes of the night.
Tim Fisher is third in points behind Brian Fisher and Mike Jessen and ended up with a third place finish in the race. Joe Derbeck and Matt Lindsey rounded out the rest of the top five finishers.
Brad Mills started 20th and finished 12th earning him the Ruhlman Race Cars Hard Charger $50 gift certificate for gaining eight positions in the race.
It was a bad night for most of the drivers in the top five of Oakshade’s UMP Bomber points with the exception of Chris Henry. Henry continues to trail Jim Scout in points despite posting his seventh feature win of the year.
Scout’s night ended with just two laps completed after being involved in a crash with Adam Bailer and Brett Miller, who is third in points. Miller pitted and rejoined competition after the incident after winning the UMP Bomber A Main the previous two weeks.
Craig Dippman is fourth in UMP Bomber points and worked his way up to third before suffering a cut tire on lap six. Dippman spun and brought out the yellow flag and then went to the pits to change the tire. Dippman made it back out on the track just as the field was taking the green flag and spun again as he tried to catch the pack. That brought out his second caution flag which ended his night due to Oakshade’s “two cautions and you’re out” rule.
Chris Henry went on to the easy victory and closed to just 11 points behind Scout. Curt Lancaster had another good finish in second ahead of Brice Luttrell, Rick Dixon and B.J. Gregory.
Gabe Mueller picked up his second consecutive UMP Hornet Feature win of the year after a great battle with Dylan Burt. Burt led early in the race and tried to hold off Mueller, but Mueller eventually got by Burt. Burt finished a close second with Tyler Line finishing third. Michel Triplehorn finished fourth with Dylan Herman fifth.
Kyle Light led from flag to flag in the UMP Bomber B Main, which was next to take to the track.
Dan Shaffer moved in on the leader after starting 15th and got to the inside of Light on the final lap as Ron Bloomfield Sr. also closed in. Light held off the challenge to pick up the victory. Bloomfield just edged out Shaffer for second in a close finish for the top three positions. Rick Dippman took fourth with Gene Potridge fifth.
Marty Bloomer led much of the final even of the night, the UMP Bomber C Main, until incidental contact with Donovan Paskin sent Bloomer spinning. Paskin was putting the pressure on for the lead and dove to the inside of Bloomer entering turn three. Bloomer’s back end broke loose and at the same time, Terry Rushlow dove to the inside of Paskin. Bloomer and Paskin touched sending Bloomer spinning in front of Paskin and Rushlow.
Everyone was able to get by as Bloomer grabbed a gear and continued on after falling back in the running order.