With only one more weekend left in the Oakshade Raceway UMP Late Model points chase, Casey Noonan’s feature win on Saturday night moved him 14 points closer to point leader Brian Ruhlman.
It was defending track champion Rusty Schlenk stealing the early thunder in the 25-lap Richmond Gear Weekend Warrior Series Night UMP Late Model feature, grabbing the lead at the drop of the green flag. Back in his familiar number 91 ride after several week’s in Ken Hahn’s 27, Schlenk led the first half of the race. A caution on lap 12 brought Noonan up to Schlenk’s outside for the double-file restart. Noonan seized the opportunity and took the lead on lap 14. No one could catch the Sylvania, Ohio driver and he went on to post his fourth feature win of the season. Schlenk finished second and Brian Ruhlman kept Noonan from gaining too many points on him by finishing third. Brandon Thirlby and Steve Kester were the rest of the top five finishers.
UMP Sportsman rookie Mathew Chapman, from Tecumseh, Michigan, dominated his Richmond Gear Weekend Warrior Series Night feature event. He started on the outside of the front row and led the entire distance. A huge crash involving Donnie Ringman, Tim Fisher, Jack Garland, Chris Williams, Scot Mills, Joe Smith and John Laney brought out the red flag on lap six. Once racing resumed, Chapman once again ran away and picked up his fourth feature win of the year and closed to within just 8 points of the lead in the Oakshade Sportsman point standings. Point leader Jamie Grochowski ended up finishing second with Drew Smith third. Mike Jessen ended his good run with a fourth place finish after starting 11th and Rich Ruff was fifth.
Gregg DeTray out of Swanton, Ohio was the Bomber Point leader a few weeks back in an extremely tight points race. DeTray was able to hold off Chris Sands to pick up his sixth Bomber A Main win of the year. His Richmond Gear Weekend Warrior Series Night win moved him up to third in points, 7 behind point leader Skeet Reckner. Chris Sands has also been atop the points this season and after some recent bad luck, was back up near the top, finishing in second just behind DeTray. That puts Sands in second in the point standings, one point ahead of DeTray and six back of Reckner. Another point contender, Adam Noonan, finished third which puts him fourth in the points, 17 out of the lead. Reckner’s fourth place finish was good enough to hang on to the Bomber point lead for at least another week and last week’s A Main winner, Craig Dippman, finished fifth.
Toledo, Ohio’s Richard Riffe continued to make his presence known in the Sport Compact class, earning his second consecutive feature win and his fifth of the year. Point leader Brogan Rehklau finished in second. Riffe and Rehklau have been the only Sport Compact feature winners since the July 4th weekend. John Martis is second in points and finished third in the feature. Aaron Barrick and Jeff Foks Sr. were the rest of the top five finishers.
Rick Dixon out of Grand Ledge, Michigan started on the outside of the third row in the Bomber B Main and drove to his third B Main win of the season. Evan Myers started fifth and posted a second place finish followed by Terry Rump, Teri-Lynn Murphy and Scott Barnhardt.
A crash filled Bomber C Main produced another first time feature winner with Hicksville, Ohio’s Cody Laney taking the checkered flag. Rayce Price started 10th and finished second. Robert Meinen was third followed by Abby Burton and Tyson Scaife.
Find out if Clarklake Michigan’s Brian Ruhlman can finally secure his first UMP Late Model track championship at Oakshade Raceway on Late Model Season Championship Night Saturday, August 29. UMP Sportsman, Bombers and Sport Compacts will also be in action with gates opening at 4pm and racing at 7pm sharp!
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY SCOTT HAMMER