Marcoullier and Schlenk Winners of Dual Push Truck Challenge
Houghton Lake, Michigan’s Dona Marcoullier came up one spot shy of a clean sweep in the Dual Push Truck Challenge UMP Late Model double feature events. Marcoullier won the first feature impressively and after an eight car invert for the start of the second race, could only get as high as second place as Rusty Schlenk held on to win his eighth Oakshade Raceway UMP Late Model feature of the year.
Steve Kester started on the pole of the first of the UMP Late Model features and led the first eight laps of the caution-free race. Dona Marcoullier closed in and began to pressure Kester on lap six and finally took the lead on lap nine. Marcoullier then began to pull away while Kester slipped back to the clutches of Devin Shiels and Rusty Schlenk who battled three-wide for second. Marcoullier went on to pick up his first feature win of the year with Shiels taking second after starting ninth followed by Rusty Schlenk, Rody Schroyer and Steve Kester.
An eight car invert put Marcoullier on the outside of row four for the start of the second 25-lap UMP Late Model feature and added Tom Ordway and Matt Lindsey to the starting lineup as they were the two drivers highest in Oakshade points not to transfer in through the preliminary events. Ronnie Perrine Jr. and Steve Kester battled for the early lead, but Schlenk worked his way up to second by lap seven and eventually into the lead. Schlenk, who said he changed just about everything in the car after finishing third in the first feature, opened up a commanding lead on his way to the checkered flag. Marcoullier’s efforts to get back to the front got him back up to second after battling a few laps with Kester. Kester capped off an impressive night with a third place finish followed by Brian Ruhlman and Devin Shiels.
The always exciting UMP Sportsman division at Oakshade Raceway once again produced some very intense racing action. Rich Ruff started on the pole alongside George Lindsey and those two drivers put on a show for the lead the entire distance of the race. Ruff held the early lead, but Lindsey worked the outside groove to take command on lap five. The two drivers battled side by side for much of the caution-free event with Ruff once again taking the lead with two laps to go. Lindsey took one final shot at Ruff as the two drivers worked the final set of corners. As they approached a slower car running at the back of the lead lap, Ruff dove to the inside coming off turn four. With the checkered flag in sight, Lindsey decided to try and squeeze to the outside of the slower car. Ruff held on to win as Lindsey scraped the front stretch wall throwing up a shower of sparks, finishing a very close second. Rusty Smith was third while Mike Jessen and Brett Miller rounded out the rest of the top five finishers.
Jeff Foks had his work cut out for him in the UMP Bomber A Main because of a spin on the first lap after starting third which brought out the yellow flag. That put him at the rear of the field of 23 cars. Dan Dippman was the early leader with Chris Henry eventually knocking on his door looking to take the lead away. Multiple cautions kept thwarting Henry’s attempts at taking the lead from Dippman and allowed Jim Scout to join the battle with Dippman and Henry. Scout took the lead on lap seven and Henry followed him by Dippman for second. Scout went on to pick up his fourth A Main win of the year with Henry finishing second. Jeff Foks came all the way back up through the field to salvage a third place finish. Craig Dippman and Jim Plotts finished fourth and fifth respectively.
In Hornet feature action, Drew Smith started sixth and drove around the outside to find the lead by the end of the first lap. Derek Morris survived and close call after almost getting turned around by Ben Finch III in turn three on the first lap. Morris held on and got by Smith to earn himself another feature win. It was the fourth consecutive win for the fifteen-year-old driver from Sylvania, Ohio. Smith finished second followed by Ben Finch III, William Cundick and Logan Hough.
Finally, the UMP Bomber B Main took to the track to cap off the evening’s racing program, but it had a hard time getting started. Multiple cautions kept resulting in complete restarts. Once things got going, Garry Domoe held the lead. More cautions kept the field tight and Chane Stuckey took advantage of a Domoe slip coming off turn four to take the lead on lap six. Domoe came back and reclaimed the lead one lap later, but Stuckey fought back and again was the leader on lap eight. Stuckey and Domoe were side by side at the white flag and battled all the way to the checkered with Stuckey ending up victorious. Domoe settled for second. Jon Miller, Allen Tolles and Tyler Line were the rest of the top five finishers.
Another full program of racing that includes UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsmen, UMP Bombers and Hornets takes place Saturday, August 21 at Oakshade Raceway. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.