Former Champions Rule Season Opener
Oakshade Raceway kicked off its 35th year of racing on Saturday night with former champions making a clean sweep of all A Main feature events highlighted by 1991 Late Model track champion Matt Miller earning the first feature win of the season.
Dona Marcoulier from Houghton Lake, Michigan started on the pole of the 25-lap UMP Late Model feature and led the first 11 laps over Jeff Babcock and Matt Miller. A caution for Donnie Marcoullier tightened the field on lap 11 with the double file restarts. Miller took advantage of the situation and took the lead just before Jeff Babcock and Jon Henry tangled on the backstretch while battling in the top five.
Defending UMP National and Oakshade Raceway Late Model Champion Rusty Schlenk worked his way up to second on lap 14 after starting eighth, but could not reel in Miller who went on to pick up the victory. Finishing third behind Schlenk was Brian Ruhlman with Dona Marcoullier slipping back to fourth. Casey Noonan was fifth.
Defending Oakshade Raceway Sportsman Champion Mike Jessen led from flag to flag of the UMP Sportsman feature event after starting on the pole. Jerry Urbanowski started on the outside of the front row, but wrecked on lap two. Brice Luttrell got by a few cars to jump up to second on the ensuing restart but Jessen powered his way out to a substantial lead. A lap seven caution tightened up the field once again and Tim Line managed to get by Luttrell for second and tried to pressure Jessen for the lead, but Jessen wouldn’t allow him to close in. Line had to settle for a second place finish ahead of Luttrell, Bruce Stuart and Joe Derbeck.
Curt Lancaster took control early in the UMP Bomber A Main until a restart after a lap four caution. Tony Tolles restarted on the outside of Lancaster who chose to restart on the inside. Tolles capitalized on the opportunity and took the lead away as the green flag flew once again.
Terry Rushlow brought out another yellow flag on lap seven after spinning while battling with defending champion Jim Scout for third. Scout made quick work of Lancaster and Tolles and went on to pick up what looked to be an easy victory. Tolles and Lancaster finished second and third respectively with Garry Domoe taking fourth after starting 21st. Steve Morris was fifth.
Defending Hornet track champion Drew Smith led the entire distance of his feature event, but Derek Morris tried to make it a race in the closing laps. Morris was running near the front, but got turned around as the yellow flag flew for an unrelated spin and fell victim to Oakshade’s “stop on the track and you go to the tail” rule. Morris quickly worked his way back through the field but ran out of laps as he closed in on race leader Drew Smith. Smith starts off the year with a Hornet feature victory while Morris had to settle for second. Brandon Myers was third followed by Drew Greene and William Cundick.
Todd Silvey grabbed the lead at the start of the UMP Bomber B Main after starting on the outside of the front row and proceeded to open up a huge lead over the rest of the field. The first caution came out on lap 9 after Kyle Light rolled to a stop. Brad Brehm was running second and dropped a drive shaft on the restart which moved Chris Dachenhaus up to second. Dachenhaus was unable to put much pressure on Silvey who went on to an impressive win. Finishing third behind Dachenhaus was Satch Crispen followed by Teri Murphy and Tony Sylvestri.
Oakshade Raceway has another exciting full racing program of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsmen, UMP Bombers and Hornets on tap for Saturday, May 14. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.