Jon Henry Impressive in American Late Model Series Win
A cool and breezy evening greeted fans and racers for the final American Late Model Series (ALMS) event of the season at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night. Finding his way back to victory land for the second time this season was defending ALMS Champion John Henry.
At the start of the 30-lap ALMS feature, Ryan Vanderveen from Six Lakes, Michigan jumped out to a big lead early, but a caution on lap two for Scott Baker tightened the field back up with the double-file restart. Jeff Babcock pulled up alongside Vanderveen for the restart and snatched the lead away after racing resumed. Babcock proceeded to open up his advantage and appeared as though he may finally earn that elusive first feature victory at Oakshade Raceway, but Jon Henry from Ada, Ohio, closed in quickly after starting on the outside of row two. Babcock, in the car Henry had driven in 2009, couldn’t fend off the hard-charging Jon Henry. After a couple of laps of side by side racing, Henry finally took command for good. Even though he was held up slightly while working through slower traffic, Henry went on to win impressively and was presented with a check for $2,000 for his victory. Babcock had to settle for second with Curtis Roberts taking third after a hearty battle with Rusty Schlenk. Schlenk finished fourth with Dona Marcoullier ending up fifth.
Bruce Stuart started on the pole of the UMP Sportsman feature and quickly slipped back a few positions on the first lap allowing Brad Mills to get out front after starting on the outside of the front row. Joe Smith applied the pressure for the lead early as Mills and Smith raced side by side for a few laps. Smith eventually gained the lead. The first yellow flag of the race flew on lap 12 after Tim Fisher rolled to a stop in turn two. Again, the double-file restarts were a factor. Smith dropped down to the inside for the restart which put Bruce Stuart to his outside after Stuart charged back up to the second position. After the restart, Stuart continued to look strong on the outside and took the lead on lap 14. He went on to pick up his second feature win of the year with Joe Smith in second. Brice Luttrell’s third place finish moved him up to second in points, 90 in arrears to Mike Jessen. George Lindsey started 14th and worked his way up to finish fourth with B.J. Gregory ending up fifth.
Tim Line slipped from second to third in Oakshade UMP Sportsman points while pulling double duty, racing in both his Sportsman car and his son’s UMP Bomber. Line started on the pole of the UMP Bomber A Main and led the first lap, but slipped up too high in turns three and four on the second lap allowing Craig Dippman to get by for the lead. Adam Noonan was running third on lap eight, but spun in front of most of the field shortly after a restart for a caution and collected Chip Freshcorn and Joe Overmyer. Dippman went on to pick up his first A Main win of the year with Tim Line finishing second. Unofficially, Jim Scout pretty much wrapped up a second consecutive UMP Bomber point championship with his third place finish after starting 13th. Jeff Foks and Billy Brown finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The Hornet division will enter next week’s Season Championship Night with the closest point battle that is yet to be decided. Derek Morris and Drew Smith have had a tight battle all year long, but it was Curtis Spurgeon grabbing the early lead in the feature event after starting on the pole. Morris and Smith fought hard behind Spurgeon for second for the first half of the race, but Morris took the lead on lap five with Smith following him by into second. Despite having won his sixth Hornet feature in a row, fifteen-year-old Derek Morris holds a slim four point advantage over Drew Smith who finished second in the race. Spurgeon held on to finish third with Taylor Dippman looking strong in fourth. Troy Schalitz finished fifth.
In UMP Bomber B Main action, Bob Krumm from Sylvania, Ohio, jumped out to the early lead after starting on the pole, but with three laps remaining, Joe Cordes got by Krumm and went on to pick up his second B Main win of the year. Garry Domoe finished second after starting near the back of the field followed by Gregg Detray in third. Krumm slipped back to wind up fourth with Karl Spoores posting a fifth place finish.
A big wreck at the start of the UMP Bomber C Main involving Dave “Gumby” Goliembewski Jr., Dean Taylor, Cody Walls, Josh Sisty and Shaun Sharp brought out an early caution flag. Once the mess was finally cleaned up, Greg Whitehead grabbed the lead after staring on the pole and never looked back. He led from flag to flag to pick up the feature win over Brad Brehm.
Saturday, September 11 is Season Championship Night at Oakshade Raceway for the UMP Sportsman, UMP Bomber and Hornet divisions. The UMP Late Models will also be in action with an extra $300 for first, $200 for second and $100 for third in addition to the regular payout for the feature event. This special bonus event was made possible by Jerry’s Speed Shop, Performance Machining, Racer’s Connection, Ron Miller Race Cars, Ruhlman Race Cars, Wallace Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Hartford Speedway, Rod Stanley, Ted Goetz and family, New Glass Bowl Lanes, Red and Blue push trucks, Mike Anderzack, Zeller Automotive, Winston Speedway and VP Race Fuels. Gates open 4pm with racing at 7pm.