Lake Odessa, Michigan (Monday, May 30th, 2011): After two consecutive rain outs, the third and final day of the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend Celebration was on tap a very hot and humid day featuring the much anticipated return of the World of Outlaws Sprints Series in the running of “The Rumble In Michigan” on Memorial Day Monday, May 30th. This event was rescheduled due to the rain out back on May 21st.
In the World of Outlaws Sprints Series feature, Bill Rose and Jason Sides led the fastest race cars in the world to the green flag to begin their 30-lap Feature and as they took the green, several cars touched wheels resulting in 20-time series champion Steve Kinser flipping end over end several times before coming to rest in turn one. In total, eight cars were involved and all were ok and most were done for the night. A complete restart was in order and again it would be Rose and Sides leading the now depleted field to the green flag.
Sides grabbed the lead at the start and tried to pull away from the pack when teammates Joey Saldana and Cody Darrah collided in turn four and spun bringing out the caution flag. Both Kasey Kahne Racing teammates restarted at the rear of the field. On the restart, Rose was able to get the jump on Sides in the double file restarts and take over the lead.
On lap 10 Jessica Zemken and Saldana touched wheels sending both around and Saldana over the turn two embankment bringing out a red flag as Saldana was a considerable distance away from the track in the neighboring farm. Saldana was able to return and restart at the back of the pack. On the restart, Rose tried to pull away but Sides kept him in his sights and with a daring slide job coming out of turn four, retook the lead on lap 13.
Four-time series champion Donny Schatz, who started fourth, got around Rose for second and set his sights on Sides. Using lapped traffic, Schatz caught up to Sides and the battle was on for the lead. With just two laps to go, Kraig Kinser, who was involved in the opening accident that took out his father Steve Kinser, flipped wildly in turn two before coming to rest on his wheels bringing out the red flag for the third time. He was ok, but done for the evening.
This set up a green-white-checkered finish for the “Greatest Show on Dirt” as Sides and Schatz started side by side in the double file restart. As the field took the green, Sides got the jump on Schatz when the caution came out again as Tim Shaffer flew off the backstretch bringing out another caution flag and setting up a second G-W-C finish. On the next restart, Sides again got the jump and Defending Series Champion Jason Meyers, the winner of the last two World of Outlaws shows at I-96, also slipped by Schatz for second.
As the field took the white flag, Paul McMahan who was running fifth and was the winner of the series’ last race at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, May 28th, touched wheels with another car sending him flipping wildly down the front stretch. Several cars were also involved and the red flag flew once again. Everyone involved was too damaged to continue.
Under World of Outlaws rules, with the restart happening on lap 29, the last two laps must be run under green flag conditions resulting in an overtime situation with the teams going 31 laps. Plus the field would be lined up single file with Sides, Meyers, Craig Dollansky, Schatz, and Fast Qualifier Chad Kemenah the top five.
As the field took the green for the final time, Sides quickly got away from the remainder of the field and as the checkered flag, Sides in his Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim took the hard fought win and the Bartlett, Tennessee would score his third World of Outlaws Sprint Series Feature of the 2011 racing season.
Meyers settled for second while Dollansky, Schatz, and Kemenah were the top five. Shaffer recovered to finish sixth while Danny Smith, Dustin Daggett, Cody Darrah, and Current Series Points Leader Joey Saldana finished off the top 10.
Earlier in the afternoon, Kemenah won the Fast Qualifier Award with a 15.989 which averages out to 112.577mph. Jessica Zemken, Meyers, and McMahan Won the Qualifier Heat Races. Bill Rose took the Dash Win to secure the pole position for the Feature while Greg Wilson won the B Main to transfer into the Feature.
The Lane Automotive UMP Modifieds were on hand in support of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series and they were also racing on the big ½ mile. A strong 33-car field was on the grounds and after the Qualifier Heat Races and the B Main, a stout 20-car starting line-up lined up. There 20-lap feature was led to Chief Starter Tim Beebe’s green flag by Zack Olger and Mark Anderson.
Anderson took the early lead while the rest of the field jockeyed for position. Jacob Poel, who started third, shot by Olger and began chasing down the current points leader and UMP DIRTcar Series Michigan points leader. On lap seven, Poel dove underneath Anderson to grab the lead away. Three laps later Anderson spun in turn four bringing out the caution and while the yellow was out, Poel lost power in his machine and was forced to pit. This gave the lead to Andy Sprague.
Sprague had to deal with B Main winner, two-time track champion Todd Feutz, who started 16th. As the laps counted down, Anderson charged through the pack, overtook Feutz and set his sights on Sprague. In the end however, Sprague had enough of a cushion to keep his lead and the Muskegon, Michigan driver in his Sprague’s Auto Parts Chevrolet would go on to win his first feature of the 2011 racing season at I-96.
Anderson settled for second while Feutz, Travis Stemler, and Jeff Sayles finished off the top five. Justin Fleming who started 17th finished sixth as Jared Guinn, Kyle Roberts, John McClure, and Poel completed the top 10.
In preliminary action, Jacob Poel, Jared Guinn, and Mark Anderson all collected Qualifier Heat Race wins while Feutz scored the B Main victory over Fleming, Roberts, Steve Shellenberger, and James Kimmel who all transferred to the feature.