Two hotly contested point battles weren’t decided until after the final lap of racing in the UMP Sportsman and UMP Bomber classes at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night. Mike Jessen entered the night just 34 points ahead of Brian Fisher in the UMP Sportsman battle and Chris Henry led an even closer UMP Bomber point chase, ahead of Jim Scout by only three points as the night began. In the end, Jessen and Henry were crowned unofficial track champions along with Tyler Line in the UMP Hornets.
Along with the exciting point battles, Season Championship Night featured some great racing action on the track as well. Brian Fisher started third in the UMP Sportsman Feature with Mike Jessen starting way back in 14th, but it was Matt Lindsey that took command at the start after starting on the outside of the front row.
With Lindsey continuing to lead, Jessen had worked his way up into the top five by lap nine with Fisher still running in third.
A caution for a Richard Patton spin tightened the field up behind Lindsey. After the restart, Joe Derbeck, Brian Fisher and Brad Mills battled three abreast for second.
By lap 18, Fisher and Mills caught Lindsey and once again went three wide, this time for the race lead. Lindsey changed up his line running low through turns three and four and high in turns one and two and began to pull away again from the Fisher and Mills.
Trouble for Pete Dotson brought out the yellow with just two laps remaining giving Fisher and Mills one last shot at keeping Lindsey from capturing his first ever UMP Sportsman Feature win.
Rookie driver Matt Lindsey was able to hold off Fisher and went on to win. Fisher finished a strong second in front of Brad Mills, but it wasn’t enough to catch Mike Jessen in the final point standings. Jessen’s fourth place finish earned him the unofficial 2008 Oakshade Raceway Sportsman Track Champion title by just 16 points over Fisher earning him $1,100 courtesy of Harold & Sue Holland, Fisher Motorsports, Bill Ersham Concrete, Country Charm Cafe, Don Williams Excavating, Leo’s Metal & Wood and Ron Miller Race Cars.
One other notable was Rusty Smith’s fifth place finish which netted him the Ruhlman Race Cars Hard Charger award for gaining the most positions which was officially 12 spots scored from his 17th starting position. Smith actually had to start the race dead last after having to pit for a missing gas cap before the race started.
By the time of the start of the UMP Bomber A Main, Chris Henry had increased his point lead over Jim Scout by two for a total of a five point advantage entering the final event.
Last week’s UMP Bomber A Main winner Danny Hogrefe grabbed the early lead after starting on the outside of the front row. Jim Scout and Chris Henry worked through traffic and each had a close call in the first few laps.
Ron Leonard smacked the backstretch wall and then spun entering turn three to bring out the first caution period in the race on lap four.
Brice Luttrell was running third, but gave up that position after retiring to the pits on lap 7. That put Chris Henry up to third, just behind Jim Scout and Danny Hogrefe. Those three drivers then battled three wide for the lead. Jim Scout led the three wide racing on lap 11 until Chris Henry finally got the advantage on lap 13.
Henry went on to pick up his eighth A Main win of the year which gave him the unofficial Bomber Track Championship by just seven points over a very disappointed Jim Scout who finished second. Brett Miller had an outside shot of winning the point title, but ended up third in the standing and third in the race finishing just ahead of Danny Hogrefe and Craig Dippman who gained 15 positions after starting 20th.
Chris Henry will receive $800 for the championship courtesy of Harold & Sue Holland, Bill Ersham Concrete, Country Charm Cafe, Don Williams Excavating, Leo’s Metal & Wood, Ron Miller Race Cars and Raceway Energy’s.
Thirteen-year-old Tyler Line had the first ever UMP Hornet point championship wrapped up week ago after being the first competitor to field a vehicle in this brand new four-cylinder division at Oakshade Raceway.
Derek Morris looked strong at the very start of the UMP Hornet Feature after winning his heat event earlier in the night, but some contact with Dylan Burt on the backstretch turned Morris into the infield and put him well back in the running order.
Burt then held the lead until Adam Noonan got by on lap three. Noonan didn’t look back and went on to win his very first feature event. Dylan Burt held on to finish second with Tyler Line a close third. Dylan Herman finished fourth and Derek Morris recovered to finish fifth without the assistance of any yellow flags to tighten up the field.
Chris Howard and Ron Bloomfield Sr. put on some great racing action for the lead in the UMP Bomber B Main. Howard led the first six laps of the race, but Bloomfield finally got by on the inside on lap seven. The two race side by side for several laps with Bloomfield eventually taking command for good.
A late caution involving several cars including Terry Rushlow and Joe Hefner set up a two-lap shootout to the finish.
Bloomfield held off Howard to pick up his second B Main win of the year. Dave Sibberson, Jeff Geis and Josh Montague were the rest of the top five finishers. Jeff Strock was running fifth, but spun on the final lap and collected Fred Birch putting them well outside the top ten.
The most exciting finish of the night was in the UMP Bomber C Main. Bobby Hutchins got the lead after battling with Nate Goodman early. Hutchins then proceeded to open up a big lead that Chris Williams began to chip away at after he started deep in the field.
The leaders were in some heavy lapped traffic as Williams took the lead when the white flag waved. Williams attempted to go under a couple of slower cars battling side by side at the back of the field. Those two cars got together and clipped the right rear of Williams’ car sending him spinning down the backstretch on the final lap. Hutchins, who was just behind, made it through the melee and won his second consecutive UMP Bomber C Main.
Nate Goodman finished second followed by Cody Houston and Jack Garland. Chris Williams got his car going after having almost the entire right side sheet metal stripped off to salvage a fifth place finish.
On Saturday, September 13, Oakshade Raceway will host the Seventh Annual Sportsman Twin 25’s as well as the Racing for the Cure Celebrity Race. Among the participants will be competing are Norm Van Ness from NBC 24, Ryan Vetter from WTOL 11, Frank Corsoe from the Toledo Blade and BCSN, Murphy from 106.5 The Zone, Pyke from FM 104 WIOT, Cliff Smithers from K100, Jimmy Vegas from Star 105.5 and Nick Vitucci, the Toledo Walleye hockey coach. All proceeds will go to the Northwest Ohio Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to fight breast cancer. UMP Bombers and UMP Hornets will round out the bill for a full night of racing action. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.