Gregory, Jessen, Marcoullier and Liaeff Among Weekend Winners
A brief shower delayed the start of Saturday night’s racing program at Oakshade Raceway that included the Sportsman Twin 25’s, The Little Guy 33, and Season Championships for the UMP Bombers and Hornets. The weather conditions also made for a very fast race track that led some exciting racing.
The first main event of the night was the first 25-lap Sportsman Feature. Veteran driver Tim Fisher took command early, but B.J. Gregory was moving toward the front in a hurry, taking second by lap four. Gregory then made a charge for the lead on lap ten to the inside of Fisher. Gregory led the lap by a nose, but Fisher fought back to lead on the next lap. Gregory finally put his car out front for good on lap 12. Shortly after, Tim Fisher fell back with mechanical issues. Gregory went on to pick up the checkered flag in the first of the Twin 25’s. Rich Ruff was running second and tried to take a shot at Gregory in the final corner and wound up spinning out less than a quarter lap from the finish. Joe Derbeck got by Ruff to finish second. Mike Jessen came home third and Rusty Smith was fourth. George Lindsey started 18th and ended up fifth.
The Sportsman drivers and crews got a bit of a break before the second 25-lap race while the previous week’s rained out UMP Late Model Little Guy 33 Feature event ran. Brian Ruhlman wound up starting on the pole and immediately darted into the lead. Dona Marcoullier quickly worked his way up to second. After a caution on lap five for Chris Keller, Ruhlman elected to start on the outside of the double file restart with Marcoullier pulling up to his inside. When the green flag flew again, Ruhlman shot back out to the lead as Marcoullier was slower coming up to speed. Marcoullier actually ended up dropping back to third after Rick Delong motored on by.
National UMP point leader Rusty Schlenk’s night ended earlier than he would have liked. He worked his way up to fourth place, but slipped up high in turn two on lap eight and came to a stop bringing out the yellow flag. Schlenk retired to the pits and was done for the night.
On lap 18 of the 33-lap race, Rick Delong began to pressure Ruhlman for the lead as they worked through lapped traffic. Ruhlman got into one of those cars and turned it around which caused another caution flag. Shortly after the restart, Houghton Lake, Michigan’s Dona Marcoullier came back into the picture and began to pressure Ruhlman once again for the lead after getting by Delong. Marcoullier took the lead on lap 26, but could not separate himself from Ruhlman as the two drivers battled to the finish with Marcoullier coming out on top of the first ever Little Guy 33 sponsored by Jerry’s Speed Shop, Performance Machining, Racer’s Connection, Ron Miller Race Cars, Ruhlman Race Cars and Wallace Racing Products. Ruhlman finished a close second followed by Rick Delong, Zack Olger and Ryan Missler.
After Marcoullier received his trophy for his win, the second of the Twin 25’s rolled out on to the track with the top eight finishers from the first race inverted for the start of the second. Things got hairy on the very first lap after a four-wide battle entering turn three didn’t work out for two of the drivers involved. Amy Bernard and Rusty Smith both spun and brought out the yellow flag. Mike Jessen hurried his way to the front, taking the lead away from Bob Gregory on the second lap. Jessen continued to lead the rest of the distance on his way to his fourth feature win of the year. B.J. Gregory was just able to sneak by George Lindsey at the finish for second. Joe Derbeck was fourth and Tim line finished fifth.
Jim Scout entered the night with a commanding point lead in the UMP Bomber division at Oakshade, but started near the middle of the Season Championship A Main starting lineup. Ron Tolles started on the pole and led the first four laps. Craig Dippman closed in on Tolles by lap four and took the lead away one lap later. Dippman appeared to have the car to beat, but Scout was on a mission and charged into second on lap 12 of the 20-lap race. Scout closed in and tried to get Dippman to make a mistake as Scout peeked to the inside. The plan worked as Dippman slipped up in the corners on the final lap allowing Scout to steal the victory away. A disappointed Dippman settled for second with Ron Tolles fending off multiple competitors to wind up third. Jeff Foks and Joe Overmyer started 12th and 13th and finished fourth and fifth respectively. Scout’s fifth feature win of the year was more than enough to lock up his third UMP Bomber track championship unofficially.
The closest point championship up for grabs was in Oakshade’s Hornet division. Derek Morris held a slim four point advantage at the beginning of the feature event over Drew Smith after both drivers had each won a heat race earlier in the night. Drew Smith took the early lead and it didn’t take long for Derek Morris to begin to apply pressure. Things got ugly on lap four when Morris took the race lead. Smith attempted to battle back underneath Morris and got into him sending Morris sideways in the corner. Morris nailed the gas catching the tail of Smith’s car which sent him spinning as Morris crashed into the embankment that surrounds a light pole in the infield off the backstretch. Both drivers were able to continue and were sent to the tail. Troy Schalitz inherited the lead, but Ben Finch III took it away one lap after the restart. Sixteen-year-old Finch went on to win his first feature event. Schalitz held off Drew Smith to finish second. Logan Hough was fourth and Taylor Dippman was fifth. Derek Morris was unable to finish the race and Smith’s third place finish was enough to unofficially take the championship by just 13 points.
Racing action continued with the UMP Bomber B Main. Jesse Moyer started on the pole and took the early lead. Moyer fell off the pace on lap four, turning the lead over to Tim McNicol. After a couple caution periods, Dean Taylor went by the McNicol for the lead on the outside. Steve Morris slammed the front stretch wall on the exit of turn four to bring out the final caution flag of the race. With time expired, a green-white-checkered two-lap dash to the finish was in order. Joe Cordes worked his way up to second, but got sideways in turn two on the final lap and collected several front runners including Tim McNicol as the rest of the field continued to the checkered flag. Dean Taylor held on to pick up the victory followed by Garry Domoe, Roscoe Stetten, Marty Bloomer and Jim Remley.
The lead was problematic again in the UMP Bomber C Main. Chris Sands had it early, but slowed off the pace while under a yellow flag. At almost the same time, Tim Wells lost a rear wheel in a totally unrelated incident. Satch Crispen took over as race leader and went on to fend off Dave “Gumby” Golembiewski Sr. to earn his second C Main win of the year. Joe Hill started deep in the field and climbed to finish third followed by Pete Herman and Doug Lantz.
Oakshade Raceway hosted even more racing on Sunday afternoon with the third of four 200-Lap/2 Hour Enduro events. Twenty-six cars took the green flag battling to be the winner of $1,000 at the end of the afternoon. Shawn Stamm set a torrid pace early in the race and held the lead until his car came to a stop on the back stretch shortly after lap 50. Terry Rump took over as the race leader briefly before he made a pit stop before lap 75. Rob Liaeff became the next race leader by lap 75. He continued as the leader until he lost control and spun into the muddy infield. That gave the lead to Chris Williams. Williams appeared to have things wrapped up, but a flat right front tire with about 12 laps to go forced him to make a pit stop. Williams’ bad luck allowed Liaeff to regain the lead and the eventual win. It was his second consecutive Enduro win of the year. Williams had to settle for a second place finish after his quick tire change. Mike Grames finished a close third followed by Jeremy Grover and Tommy Wilhelm.
As the 2010 racing season begins to wind down, the action continues this coming Saturday night at Oakshade Raceway with the Fourth Annual Celebrity Charity Race benefiting Susan G. Komen For the Cure of Northwest Ohio featuring NBC24 Chief Meteorologist Norm Van Ness, WTOL Channel 11 Chief Photojournalist Ryan Vetter and many more. Also in action will be topless (roofless) UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman Season Championship and UMP Bombers and Hornets. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.