Oakshade Raceway entered its final month of competition for 2003 with Season Championship night for the sportsman and bomber divisions.
A seven-car pile up at the start of the 20-lap sportsman feature stopped the action before it could even get started. The incident began when Chris Smith, who started on the outside of the front row, got loose in turns one and two in front of the entire field and everyone stacked up behind him.
Devin Shiels, who was second in sportsman points behind Ray Klawitter coming into the night’s events, got a piece of the first lap incident and pitted while the accident scene was being cleaned up. Shiels made if back out onto the track before the restart, but had to give up his fifth place starting spot and restarted at the tail.
Jeremy Grover became the early leader once they were back underway. Joe Derbeck, also in the top three in points, passed Tim Shelley to take over second and began to close in on Grover.
Problems for Grover on lap number eight forced him to the pits after he slowed way off the pace on the back stretch bringing out the yellow flag. Derbeck inherited the lead momentarily, but then pulled into the pits while still under the yellow.
That turned the lead over to Tim Fisher who went from third to first without having to pass a single car.
Ray Klawitter worked his way up to second and after a caution for Devin Shiels who spun on lap 10, Klawitter challenged Fisher for the race lead on the restart. Fisher was too strong and began to put some distance between himself and Klawitter.
Fisher went on to win his second sportsman feature of the year. Klawitter finished second which was good enough to make him the 2003 Sportsman Champion unofficially.
Brad Kendall finished third and Jeremy Grover worked his way back up to finish fourth after his problems earlier in the race.
Rob Price entered the night with the bomber points lead and elected to take the Racer’s Connection Tail Start Challenge, giving up his starting position to start at the tail and a chance at an extra $850 if he could win.
Unfortunately for Price, his car failed to make it the distance, pulling into the infield out of competition on lap 11, making him only the second car out of the event.
Josh Steinacker had much better luck leading the entire bomber A Main with just one close call after he and Josh Caudill made a little contact as Caudill went a lap down and then Steinacker bounced off the front stretch wall, but managed to maintain his lead over Gordon Digby and Adam Bokor.
Steinacker won his first A Main in the caution free event over Digby, Bokor and Bob Rendel who finished fourth.
Even with his bad luck, Price’s point lead was large enough to make him unofficially the 2003 Bomber Champion at Oakshade.
A great battle for the lead early on between Andy Borton, Rex Strow, George Laney and Ron Tolles highlighted the bomber B Main. Strow was the first to get eliminated from the lead group after he came off turn four too high and collected the front stretch retaining wall, ending his night.
Borton held off a challenge from Laney on the restart for the lead. Another caution came out after the fourth place car of Randy Murday lost a wheel.
On the ensuing restart, Laney got a better run on Borton and slid up in front of the 45 car to take the lead for good.
Borton finished second to Laney with Ron Tolles finishing third.
Billy Ruff was leading the bomber C Main, but while under a caution on lap five, Ruff pulled to the infield giving up the lead to Ted Goetz Jr. who held off Curtis Lancaster and Dennis Laney to pick up the victory in the final event of the night.
The second annual Twin 25’s for the sportsman division with be on tap for this coming Saturday’s racing program at Oakshade Raceway with more great bomber action as well.