Despite coming up just short on an unprecedented sixth Oakshade Raceway track championship, Rusty Schlenk managed to finish the points season on a high note picking up his third UMP Late Model feature win of the year.
Things started off rough for the unofficial 2013 Oakshade Raceway UMP Late Model Track Champion Dona Marcoullier. For the second time in a row, Marcoullier from Houghton Lake, Michigan, was caught up in a major first lap pile-up that also included Chris Keller, Bob Mayer, Casey Noonan, Dusty Moore, Mike Miller and B.J. Gregory. Once all of the cars were separated, Marcoullier was able to continue on with only Moore, Miller and Gregory retiring to the pits.
Once the green flag finally dropped again on the UMP Late Model Season Championship Night, Steve Kester led the field over Keller’s damaged car. Schlenk closed in on Kester and took over the race lead for good on lap seven. Marcoullier worked his way up to third and then began to battle with Kester for second in the closing stages of the race.
After a long green flag run, the caution flew for the final time on lap 21 for debris on the track. This set up a four-lap sprint to the finish and wiped out the lead Schlenk had built up over Kester and Marcoullier. Marcoullier managed to get by Kester for second after the restart, but was unable to close in on Schlenk in the final couple laps. The defending track champion took the checkered flag and congratulated Marcoullier on his championship season as the two drivers raced each other hard all season long. Kester finished third behind Marcoullier with Brian Ruhlman finishing another strong performance in fourth after starting 14th. Casey Noonan finished fifth.
Mike Jessen took a big chunk out of Tim Line’s point lead in the Sportsman class at Oakshade Raceway with his second consecutive feature win. Bruce Stuart took the early lead with Tim Line pressuring. Stuart got into Line coming off turn two while battling for the lead and caused a huge crash on the backstretch which took both drivers out of contention. Also caught up in the incident were Rich Ruff, Kyle Turley, John Laney, Steve Meeks, Chane Stuckey and Kevin Alverson. Line pitted but rejoined the field just before going back to green. Jessen took advantage of the situation and grabbed the lead after the restart. The battle for third place got ugly on lap 15 when Jim Scout and Jamie Grochowski got together to bring out the yellow. Both drivers went back to the pits ending a top five run for each driver. Line, still running near the tail of the field, fell off the pace after the restart and retired to the pits with a 14th place finish. Jessen went on to claim his fifth feature win of the year and made up 40 points on Line to be 61 points back with only a few races remaining this season. Bob Gregory finished second followed by Joe Smith, Richard Patton and Rich Ruff.
Rick Dixon started on the pole of the Bomber A Main, but spun his rear tires at the start allowing Roscoe Stetten to gain the lead. Point leader Terry Rushlow took the lead away on lap six and added just a little bit of a cushion in his slim 14-point lead over Adam Noonan in the points chase with his second win in a row. Stetten held on to a second place finish with Curt Lancaster in third. Gregg Detray gained a spot in the points battle up to third with his fourth place finish. Garry Domoe ended up fifth.
Hornet point lead Codey Laney retired to the pits on the first lap of the combined Hornet/Sport Compact feature event. Brandon Myers took the Hornet lead from Brandon Leighton on the first lap and went on to pick up the victory over Leighton and Breanna Franks. In Sport Compact action, Matt Brazeau and “Sparky Marky” Gillingham Jr. battled for the lead most of the race with Brazeau hanging on to take the checkered flag ahead of Gillingham, “Junior” Jerry Hoot, Cory Gumm and Devin Goodman.
Derek Morris passed Teri-Lynn Murphy for the lead on the fourth lap of the Bomber B Main, but one lap later, Morris spun all by himself to bring out the yellow flag. That turned the lead back over to Murphy with Bill Reeves Sr. running second. Later in the race, Reeves fell off the pace and retired to the pits. Chris Sands started dead last, but caught Murphy in the last few laps. Sands made a last lap pass as Murphy slid up high coming off the final corner to win in an exciting finish to the B Main. Murphy got all crossed up coming to the checkered flag, but managed a second place finish despite finally spinning out just past the finish line. Brandon Clark finished third with Derek Morris recovering to a fourth place finish after his troubles earlier in the race. Satch Crispen started 17th and wound up fifth.
Multiple cautions marred the night’s final event, the Bomber C Main. Dave McMannamy spun on the first lap to bring out the first yellow flag and then Jody Burton, Chris Montgomery and Jared Smith wrecked in turn two bringing out another caution period. Maverick Wright led most of what few laps were run under green flag conditions until contact from Steve Reeves sent Wright spinning to bring out another caution. Reeves was sent to the tail with Wright for rough driving. That turned the lead over to Scott Robertson who went on to victory after the race distance was shortened due to the time limit elapsing. Henry Walls Jr. finished second followed by John Gamer, Duane Fletcher and Nick Fenner.
Oakshade Raceway will be the place to be on Saturday night this coming Labor Day weekend with the final $2,000 to win American Late Model Series program in addition to a full show of Sportsmen, Bombers, Hornets and Sport Compacts. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm. Adult general admission is just $12!