Lake Odessa, Michigan (Saturday, June 4th, 2011): It was Rudd’s Septic Service Night at the Races on Saturday, June 4th as it was Day II of the First Weekend in June Celebration at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan. The cars and stars of the four weekly divisions within the United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) DIRTcar Racing Series were back in action and all together again for the first time in almost a month.
A stellar field of teams were on the grounds and an enthusiastic crowd was on hand as well taking in the action as the Lane Automotive UMP Modifieds highlighted the evening racing for a $1,000 to win. The premier weekly division at I-96, the Tinney Automotive UMP Late Models was also on the card along-with the Renegade Racing Fuels & Lubricants UMP Street Stocks and Jim’s Auto Body of Portland UMP Sport Compacts for a jam packed four in one show on the fast 3/8s (0.375) mile high-banked dirt oval.
Current 18 and Over Rookie of the Year Points Leader Mike Vezino and 2010 Springport Motor Speedway Track Champion J.T. Leach led the Jim’s Auto body UMP Sport Compacts 20-lap Feature to Chief Starter Tim Beebe’s green flag and it would be Vezino beating Leach to the first corner to take the early lead as the rest of the field searched for position on the 3/8s mile.
Current Points Leader Rick Peck and Defending Track Champion Dan Reimersma both got by Leach and set their sights on Vezino as the top three pulled away from the pack. Soon Greg Pinard joined the battle making it a four car dash for the cash. Tim Horvath II made it a five car chase for the lead as Vezino and Reimersma squirted by Vezino to take over the lead on lap 12.
Soon Chuck Peterson II made it a six car battle as he shot to the outside of everybody and briefly took the lead away on lap 18 only to lose it a lap later to Reimersma as they were four-wide coming out of turn four taking the white flag lap. Pinard was on the far outside and coming out of turn two would steal the lead away from Reimersma and the Alto, Michigan driver in his Moe’s Coney & Grill Pontiac would fend off Reimersma and a late charging Peck to score his first ever Feature win!
Peck finished ahead of Reimersma in second while Vezino and Horvath II were the top five. Kyle Brigance was sixth with Peterson II in seventh. Two 19-year-olds, Colee Ruesink and Caleb Schuiling were eighth and ninth as Keith Brigance finished off the top 10. Vezino and Pinard scored the heat race wins.
The Tinney Automotive UMP Late Models were up next for their 25-lap feature and it would be Kris Patterson Jr., and Dale Sheehy leading the field to the green. Patterson Jr., driving the car made famous by his legendary father, Michigan Motorsports Hall of Famer and multi-time track champion, Kris Patterson, would lead the first two laps before Zack Olger charged by to grab the lead on lap three.
Olger, who won the feature the previous night up at Mt. Pleasant Speedway was looking to make it two for two on the weekend and started to slowly pull away from the rest of the field. Dona Marcoulier, who started eighth, worked his way up to second and tried in vain to reel in Olger while trying to fight off the advances of multi-time Hartford Motor Speedway track champion, Curt Spaulding who started 11th.
Soon Brandon Thirlby, who came into the night second in the UMP DIRTcar National Points Standings, joined the duo trying to chase down Olger, but slowed on the track on lap 12. He pitted and returned starting at the rear of the field. On the restart, Marcoulier briefly kept pace with Olger but soon Olger was off and running and the St. Johns, Michigan driver in his Mid-States Sales & Service Cadillac would go on to score his first I-96 Speedway Feature of the season and second feature of the weekend.
Marcoulier settled for second with Spaulding third over Thirlby who clawed his way back to finish fourth over Sheehy, who completed the top five. Patterson Jr., finished sixth as Scott Baker, Dave Hartman, Ben Hidy, and Rookie of the Year Points Leader Kathy Jarvis completed the top 10. Olger, Sheehy, and Marcoulier picked up the heat race victories.
The Lane Automotive UMP Modifieds were the highlight of the evening as their extended distance 30-lap feature paid a cool $1,000 to the winner. Jacob Poel and John McClure started on the front row of the stellar field of open-wheeled machines and it would be Poel beating McClure to the first corner to grab the early lead while the rest of the field jockeyed for position behind them.
Poel maintained his advantage while there was action all over behind the early race leader. Zack Olger, who only moments ago won the Tinney Automotive UMP Late Models Feature, climbed behind the wheel of his UMP Modified and from his fifth starting spot would charge up to second place and began reeling in Poel. Soon Current Points Leader at I-96 and UMP DIRTcar Racing Series Michigan Points Leader, Mark Anderson, who won the previous night at Hartford Motor Speedway also joined in on the battle.
While Olger and Anderson battled, Poel slowly but surely pulled away and after a marathon night of fixing his car due to an accident the night before down at Hartford, the dedication and perseverance paid off for the Spring Lake, Michigan driver as he would lead all 30 laps and pull his Poel’s PRO-ACT Welding & Fabrication Chevrolet into victory lane after winning his first feature of the season.
Olger fended off Anderson to finish second for a great night for him. Anderson was third to extend his points leads while McClure and Travis Stemler were the top five. Two-Time Track Champion Todd Feutz was sixth while Tim Stemler, Trevor Sloan, Kyle Roberts, and Jared Guinn were the top 10. Poel and McClure collected the heat race triumphs.
The last race of the night was the 20-lap feature for the Renegade Racing Fuels & Lubricants UMP Street Stocks and it would be Josh Loomis, the feature winner the previous night up at Mt. Pleasant Speedway and Rich Sweet leading the field to the green. Almost immediately after the green flag fell, Current Points Leader and Defending Track Champion Gary Vandermark shot up to second and the battle began!
The battle took a turn when Vandermark slipped underneath the northern invader to grab the lead away as Bill Brandt Jr., joined the duo making it a three-car battle for the lead. Several cautions plagued the event, but each time on each restart, Vandermark set the pace that everyone was following. Loomis never let Vandermark stray too far out in front and kept the reigning track champion within sight.
Try as he might though, Loomis did everything he could overtake Vandermark, but the Lowell, Michigan driver would fend off Loomis and the rest of the field and for the second time in a row, the veteran driver of the Earthworm Dozing & Excavating Chevrolet would pull into the P.A.T. Landscape & Restoration Victory Lane after winning the feature.
Brand Jr., snuck by Loomis to finish second while Jay Chlebek was fourth over 2010 Rookie of the Year Ron Harper who finished off the top five. 2009 Track Champion Aaron Wolf was sixth as Cody Denny, Ron Wiers, Harley Farkle, and Hillary Smith finished off the top 10. Loomis and Sweet were the heat race winners.