Matt Miller Wins ALMS
Matt Miller dominated the 30-lap American Late Model Series (ALMS) feature event at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night and picked up his first Oakshade feature win of the season.
Miller darted out the lead at the drop of the green flag of the ALMS feature after starting on the outside of the front row. Last week’s UMP Late Model feature winner, Dona Marcoullier, followed him into second and the two drivers separated themselves from the rest of the pack.
Miller opened up a pretty good lead over Marcoullier until late in the race. Miller had to carefully work his way through lapped traffic which allowed Marcoullier to begin to close in. Without the benefit of any caution flags, this was Marcoullier’s only chance to close the gap, in which he did. Marcoullier closed to within about a car length back when Miller had a tough time trying to put the 99 car of Frank Heckenast Jr. a lap down. Unfortunately for Marcoullier, he was unable to mount any kind of challenge as Miller went on to take the checkered flag.
Marcoullier, after winning the two previous week’s features, had to settle for second with a hard-charging Jeep Van Wormer finishing in third just as he was about to catch the leaders. Pole-sitter Rusty Schlenk slipped back to a fourth place finish with Chris Keller rounding out the top five.
Tim Line dropped down low to make it three-wide at the start of the UMP Sportsman feature and took the early lead. Roger Weirich had a good run cut short when he spun on lap two while running in the top five. Eric Bradner, Kyle Turley, Steve Mills and Dan Gehring also got caught up in the incident.
Line continued to lead while last week’s feature winner and defending track champion, Mike Jessen, marched his way up through the field and advanced into the second position by lap eight. A caution for with four laps remaining tightened up the field behind Line, but Jessen was unable to stay with him as Line went on to win his second feature of the year. Jessen finished second after starting in eighth followed by Bob Gregory, Jamie Grochowsky and Rick Bates.
In Bomber A Main action, Jeff Foks wasted no time and jumped to the outside of Adam Noonan to take the early lead. Noonan, winner of last week’s A Main, was unable to stay with Foks as he began to pull away. Late in the race, Donovan Paskan spun to bring out the yellow flag which set up a one-lap shootout to the finish. Foks managed to fend off Noonan and won his second feature of the year with Noonan settling for second. Chris Sands was third and Terry Rushlow came all the way from 17th starting position to finish fourth. Dave “Gumby” Golembiewski Jr. also started fairly deep in the field and managed a fifth place finish.
Next out was the combined four-cylinder classes of the Sport Compacts and Hornets which both ran on the track at the same time, but were scored separately. At the start of the race, Cory Gumm got bounced around in the middle of several cars in turns one and two before coming to a stop on top of turn two to bring out the yellow for a complete restart. Terry Rushlow Sr. was the early leader of the Sport Compacts, but Austin Casteneda eventually took command and Rushlow fell off the pace and retired to the pits. Cody Laney worked his way into the lead of the Hornets and both Casteneda and Laney won their respective features. Regan Ford was the only other Sport Compact competitor left on the track at the checkered flag to finish second followed by Rushlow, Don Daughtry and Cory Gumm who had all retired to the pits. All Hornet drivers that started were able to finish which included Breanna Franks in second and Brandon Leighton in third.
More Bomber action was next with the B Main with a spectacular start. Pole-sitter Maverick Wright came off turn four up high and little out of control and came down into last week’s B Main winner, Mathew Chapman, causing both cars to slam into the front stretch wall. A few other cars were caught up in the wreck which brought out the red flag so crews could clean up the mess.
Once racing resumed, Garry Domoe found himself out front with Rick Dixon pressuring him for the lead. Finally Dixon got by Domoe on the outside on lap five. Domoe battled back and both drivers made contact entering turn three which resulted in Dixon spinning and a yellow flag. Domoe was also sent to the tail along with Dixon for the incident turning the lead over to Terry Rump. Dan Dippman and Gregg Detray battled with Rump for the lead in the late stages of the race with Dippman getting alongside Rump at the white flag, but Rump was able to power his way to victory. Dippman and Detray both started very deep in the field and managed second and third place finishes respectively. Joe Heffner and Zach Tipton rounded out the rest of the top five finishers.
The final feature race of the night, the Bomber C Main, also featured a lot of lead changes. Charles Stuckey held the early lead, but brought out the yellow on lap three sending him to the tail for the restart. That turned the lead over to Mike Plotts who held the lead a couple laps until Duane Fletcher took it away. Fletcher went on to pick up the victory followed by Derek Zuver, Plotts, Ron Williams and Henry Walls Jr.
Oakshade Raceway kicks off the month of June with another full racing program of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman, Bombers, Hornets and Sport Compacts. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm on Saturday, June 1.