Keller Earns Sixth Consecutive Win/Henderson Outlasts Enduro Competition
After rain outs the past couple weeks, Oakshade Raceway was finally host to a full weekend of racing. Three champions were crowned on Butch Hobling Season Championship Night on Saturday and 31 cars took to the track on Sunday afternoon for an exciting 200-Lap Enduro race.
On Saturday, Matt Lindsey appeared to have the car to beat winning his heat convincingly and then opening up a substantial lead in the UMP Sportsman feature over Brice Luttrell. Chris Keller had won the previous five Sportsman features, but had some bad luck earlier in the night and had to race his way into the feature through the last chance race. Although Keller started deep in the field, he worked his way up to third by lap eight. A caution for Rich Ruff’s slowing car on lap 14 tightened up the field and set up a double-file restart with Chris Keller, who was now second, starting beside race leader Matt Lindsey. Lindsey had a great restart and pulled away from Keller who seemed a bit sluggish getting up to speed. Another caution a couple laps later for debris once again slowed the field and Lindsey surrendered the lead to Keller after mechanical problems forced him to retire to the infield. Keller was able to fend off Tim Line to pick up an incredible sixth consecutive feature win. Line’s second place finish was more than enough to secure his first track championship in the Sportsman division. Bob Gregory finished third followed by Tim Fisher and Rusty Smith.
Todd Silvey started on the pole of the Butch Hobling Season Championship Bomber A Main and led early until Chris Henry took command on lap five. Jim Scout had just gotten by Silvey for second when Terry Rushlow made contact with Silvey, turning Silvey around as they exited turn two which brought out the yellow flag. Scout, who had a comfortable point lead before the race started, pulled up alongside Henry for the double-file restart. The two drivers battled hard for the lead and traded the top spot a couple times until Scout took the position for good after Henry spun while trying to stay with the leader. Scout went on to win his fifth A Main of the year and earned an impressive third straight Bomber Track Champion title. Rushlow finished second with Garry Domoe and Jeff Foks finishing third and fourth respectively. Tony Tolles recovered after an early spin to finish fifth.
The Hornet class had the tightest point battle going into their final event with Derek Morris leading the defending champion Drew Smith by 21 points. Smith did everything he could to try to make up the point differential, leading the entire distance of the feature, but ended up just 17 points short of defending his title. Morris was battling hard with Brandon Myers for second early in the race, but then settled in behind Myers knowing that a third place finish would be enough to win the championship. Myers ended up second with Morris becoming the only two-time champion in the Hornets four year history with his third-place finish. Dylan Gensler was fourth and Breanna Franks finished fifth in the race.
Curt Lancaster was the early leader in the UMP Bomber B Main with Kyle Light putting the pressure on. The two drivers battled most of the race. After a late caution with only two laps remaining, Light jumped to the outside of Lancaster and got the lead. Light took the checkered flag with Lancaster close behind in second. Josh Sisty was third and Craig Dippman fought his was up to a fourth place finish after starting 19th. Greg Whitehead ended up fifth.
The racing action continued with the final event of Saturday evening, the UMP Bomber C Main. Craig Strow led the first lap, but Josh McNicol took over the lead on lap two and didn’t look back. McNicol went on to pick up the victory followed by Tim Murphy, Bill Reeves, Wayne Frymire and Rob Kime at the finish.
On Sunday afternoon, Kelsey Stamm led the 200-Lap Enduro competitors onto the track at the start of the event. Chad Zuver quickly took over the lead and Lamar Eby was at the point by lap 25. Rob Liaeff worked his way into the lead by lap 50, but a lengthy stay in the pits would take him out of contention. Shawn Stamm took the lead by lap 75 and held it for at least 50 laps. Matt Koerner was running second at the halfway point of the race, but a fire underneath his car brought out the only red flag of the race and ended his day. Mark Henderson finally got the lead by lap 150, just ahead of Shawn Stamm. Both drivers remained on the same lap the final quarter of the race and battled all the way to the checkered flag. Henderson held on to take the victory with Stamm ending up second. Brad Gilbert climbed his way up through the race from as low as 18th on lap 25 to finish third. Lamar Eby slipped back to finish fourth with Colin Walker winding up fifth.
There are still some great racing events left for 2011 at Oakshade Raceway with only two weekends of racing left. Saturday, September 24 is the 12th Annual Bomber Spectacular along with UMP Sportsmen and Hornets in action. Then on Saturday, October 1st, it is the Fifth Annual Celebrity Charity Race plus topless UMP Late Models, UMP Sportmen, UMP Bombers and Hornets. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm for those Saturday night events. Finally, the Sunday, October 2nd 200-Lap or 2 Hour Enduro will be now be paying $2,000 to win with race time at 2pm. Check out www.oakshaderaceway.com for more information.