Threatening skies loomed over Oakshade Raceway on Season Championship Night for the UMP Sportsman and UMP Bomber divisions and even though a light rain fell for much of the evening, almost the entire program, including double features, was completed.
Josh Steinacker began the night with a huge lead in the UMP Sportsman points at Oakshade thanks in part to his previous eight feature wins this year as the night began. Unfortunately, Steinacker suffered some bad luck early and had to borrow a car from Jackie Sheldrick for the first race of the night which was a make up feature from August 18. Steinacker was late making it onto the track as the rest of the field had already taken the green flag.
Joe Smith started on the pole and led the pack into turn one and then slid up high in turn two allowing a bunch of cars to get by.
Billy Ruff and Tim Fisher then battled for the lead with Fisher eventually getting the upper hand. Fisher then began to pull away.
Just as Fisher closed in on the tail end of the field, Rusty Schlenk closed in on the rear bumper of Fisher. Schlenk dove to the inside coming off the final corner to try to steal the victory away, but Fisher held on to win by just a couple feet over Schlenk.
Chris Smith finished third with Amy Bernard taking fourth. Billy Ruff slipped back to finish fifth in the caution-free event.
Next on to the track was the make up UMP Bomber A Main in which Chris Henry elected to take the Racers Connection Tail Start Challenge, giving up his starting position to start at the rear for a chance at an extra $900 if he could get the win.
Craig Dippman started on the outside of the front row and led much of the race.
Henry had weaved through traffic to work his way up to fifth by the halfway point.
Dustin Sautter and Jeff Foks Jr. brought out the first caution flag of the night after a hard crash. That tightened up the field behind Dippman for the restart.
On lap 16 of the 20-lap race, Chris Henry got by Dippman to take the lead.
A caution for last week’s feature winner Brett Miller one lap later would give Dippman one last shot to reclaim the top spot, but Henry was the class of the field and went on to become the first Bomber driver to win the Racers Connection Tail Start Challenge and an extra $900 for his efforts.
Dippman settled for a second place finish followed by B.J. Gregory, Brian Przepiora and Tom Ordway.
Cliff Bernard led flag to flag in the make up UMP Bomber B Main. He opened up a big lead at the start and never looked back. If he did he would have seen Chris Howard put on a heck of a run working his way up to fourth after starting at the tail with three laps remaining.
Bob Rendel and Jody Burton were battling for second and bounced off each other near the end of the race allowing Howard to duck underneath and take the second position which is where he would finish.
Bob Rendel managed to get by Burton for the third position with Jarrett Rendel rounding out the top five finishers.
Ted Goetz Jr. copied off Cliff Bernard and also led from flag to flag after starting on the pole of the UMP Bomber C Main.
Joe Flower, Roscoe Stetton and Steve Morris bounced off each other down the front stretch as they race three wide which resulted in Chuck Faller sliding to a stop in turn one to bring out the caution flag.
With Morris maintaining his position in second, Goetz pulled away with the lead after the restart and went on to pick up the win over Marty Bloomer, Bill Vorce, Jesse Burgett and Roscoe Stetton.
With the make up features out of the way, the Season Championship Night preliminary events began and about halfway through, a light but persistent drizzle began to fall making the track a bit slippery. The show continued on with a few short delays for the light rain.
The 25-lap UMP Sportsman Season Championship Feature took to the track and the unofficial 2007 Oakshade Raceway UMP Sportsman Champion Josh Steinacker passed Bob Gregory on lap three for the lead.
Steinacker opened up a big lead and began to work through slower traffic until Mike Sudeth slid to a stop down the inside of the backstretch. Once the green flag waved for the restart, Steinacker shot out to a big lead once again.
A few more cautions for spins kept wiping out Steinacker’s leads, but Gregory who was running second, could not mount a challenge.
Steve Mills’ good run came to an end a bit early after losing a drive shaft on a restart while running in third.
Steinacker went on to the easy victory, his ninth of the year solidifying the championship for the Grass Lake, Michigan driver.
Bob Gregory finished a distant second and Brian Fisher held off Rusty Schlenk in a great battle for third that lasted much of the race. Mike Jessen was fifth.
Chris Henry fresh off this Tail Start Challenge UMP Bomber A Main win from earlier in the night drew to start on the pole of the Bomber Season Championship A Main. Henry got the jump on Jim Scout to take the lead at the start, but the rain began to fall a bit heavier and the yellow flag waved on lap five of the 20-lap race.
The cars continued to circulate around the track, but the rain didn’t let up and the track became too wet to continue and the rest of the Bomber Features were postponed until next week.
In addition to the 6th Annual Sportsman Twin 25’s, there will be double features for the Bombers picking up with lap five of the Bomber A Main to kick off the night. Also, the Links Zone Smackdown Challenge will take place at intermission as Cliff Smithers from K100 radio and Ryan Vetter from WTOL Channel 11 will strap into a couple cars in a race against Oakshade’s announcer Scott Hammer and Links Zone host Dan Rice to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Gates will open at 4pm for this event-filled evening with racing starting at 7pm.