Hearty race fans were treated to some great Mother’s Day weekend racing action at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night. After enduring a slight rain delay at the beginning of the night, Dona Marcoullier from Houghton Lake, Michigan, and defending UMP Late Model Champion Rusty Schlenk had an incredible battle for the lead in the final couple laps of the UMP Late Model feature with Marcoullier narrowly coming out on top in a photo finish.
Marcoullier started on the outside of the front row and grabbed the lead over Steve Kester on the first lap. Casey Noonan and Kester raced several laps side by side for the second position. On lap 10, the two drivers touched entering turn three sending both cars sideways. Kester was able to recover and continue on, but Noonan spun and brought out the caution flag.
Schlenk took second from Kester shortly after the restart and tried to chase down Marcoullier. It took him most of the remaining laps to get close enough to mount a challenge. Schlenk dove to the inside of Marcoullier in turn four as they were about to take the white flag. The two drivers made contact sending Marcoullier up the track just enough for Schlenk to take over the lead.
Marcoullier would fight back as they worked through slower traffic on the final lap. He stayed up high as Schlenk continued in the inside lane. Herb Reich was fighting to stay on the lead lap as both Schlenk and Marcoullier closed in while racing hard for the lead. Schlenk went low and Marcoullier stayed high in the final corner as they attempted to split around Reich. Schlenk made of bit of contact with Reich as he forced his way by with the checkered flag in sight. Marcoullier, meanwhile, shot off the high side of turn four to get alongside Schlenk as they exited the corner bringing the fans to their feet once again. Marcoullier had just enough momentum to carry him past Schlenk by just inches as the two drivers made contact again at the finish line sending both spinning into turn one after the checkers.
Kester maintained a third place run with Canada’s Andrew Reaume ending up fourth. Devin Shiels took fifth.
Tim Line survived several close calls to win his first UMP Sportsman feature race of the year. Line got by Bob Krumm on the second lap to take over the lead and began to pull away from the rest of the field. While trying to lap Rick Bates and Steve Mills who racing side by side, Line went to the outside to make it three-wide. Bates and Mills bounced off each other a bit forcing Line to take evasive action. Then, as Line was coming to the checkered flag, Dan Gehring spun coming off of turn four just in front of him. Line narrowly missed Gehring’s spinning car and took the checkered flag. Mike Jessen got by Rich Ruff to finish second. Bruce Stuart finished fourth and Jamie Grochowski finished fifth after starting 15th.
Last week’s UMP Bomber B Main winner, Gregg Detray, led early in this week’s A Main. Jeff Foks and Curt Lancaster battled hard for second just behind the leader with Foks eventually besting both Lancaster and Detray to take the lead on lap six. Foks began to pull away and went on to pick of the victory over Adam Noonan. Detray slipped back to finish third with Lancaster and Chris Sands rounding out the rest of the top five finishers.
In Hornet feature race action, Cody Laney took the lead at the start and held off William Cundick who kept the pressure on for most of the race. Cundick settled for second with Breanna Franks third.
Adrian, Michigan’s Roscoe Stetten got by Teri-Lynn Murphy for the lead early in the UMP Bomber B Main. Derek Zuver quickly closed in and it appeared as though Zuver and Stetten had some contact entering turn three on lap eight sending Stetten up the track and stopping in turn three which brought out the yellow flag. After the next restart, Murphy got into Perry Cox while battling in the top five. Cox spun and another caution flag flew. Terry Rump didn’t waste much time after the next restart and got by Zuver to take the lead and the eventual victory. Zuver settled for second and Ron Bloomfield Sr. had a good run to finish third after starting 15th. Rick Dixon also start very deep in the field and wound up fourth with Mike Plotts finishing fifth.
“Sparky Marky” Gillingham jumped out to the early lead of the UMP Sport Compact feature as Terry Rushlow Sr. and Cory Gumm got together just behind him. Both drivers continued on without a caution. Last weeks feature winner Austin Casteneda ran second to Gillingham and was not able to mount a significant challenge for the lead. Gillingham went on to his first win of the year with Casteneda coming home second. Regan Ford finished third with Gumm and Rushlow rounding out the rest of the top five.
Oakshade Raceway will host two days of racing on the weekend of May 18 and 19 with a full racing program featuring UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsmen, UMP Bombers, Hornets and UMP Sport Compacts on Saturday night and a two-hour/200-lap Enduro race on Sunday afternoon. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm on Saturday and Sunday’s Enduro will begin at 2pm with gates opening at noon.