I-55 Raceway race report 2002-04-13

Oller takes I-55 checkers! PEVELY, MO (April 13, 2002) A field of twenty-nine UMP Late Models rolled into the pit area ready for action and it was action they provided. Mark Oller took control of the first heat from his pole starting position ...

Oller takes I-55 checkers!

PEVELY, MO (April 13, 2002) A field of twenty-nine UMP Late Models rolled into the pit area ready for action and it was action they provided. Mark Oller took control of the first heat from his pole starting position and held off a hard charging Billy Faust. Jeff Johns in his brand new Rayburn car finished third. The second heat saw John Bohn jump out to the early lead with Ed Dixon right on his heels. Dixon worked the high side and finally made the pass with 4 laps remaining. Dixon charged on to victory and Cody Hupp worked his way through the field to finish second. Bohn held on to finish third. The third heat saw the ageless Don Klein work his way to the front and cruise to victory. Tim Ratajczyk came from the back to finish second with Clay Baumann third.

The dash had Mark Oller and Ed Dixon battling side-by-side for most the race. Dixon used the high side to edge out Oller for the win. Billy Faust came home third. Steve Maisel ran off to a huge lead and won the consolation race. Kevin Gundaker came from the rear of the field to finished second. Bob Brown was third.

A full twenty-four rolled out onto the track for the feature event with Ed Dixon and Mark Oller starting on the front row. As the green flag waved, Dixon and Oller battled side-by-side lap after lap, trading the lead back and fourth nearly every lap. However, the early laps of the race were caution filled, the first coming on lap 3 when Brian Stephens lost a driveshaft. After the race was restarted, the caution waved just two laps later when Cody Hupp spun and collected Brian Wolfmeier. On the ensuing restart, Billy Laycock found the backstretch wall and the caution waved again. The caution waved again just one lap later as Allen Rettig and Mark Schaefer got together in turn one. The race resumed and Danny Haynes found the wall in the turn three and brought out the caution on the eleventh lap. This time the race resumed and Dixon and Oller began their battle again. On lap 15, Dixon scraped the wall on the front straight and got crossed up and backed it into the turn one wall collecting Kevin Gundaker who had charged from the 20th starting position to sixth. Dixon was able to restart, but had to go to the rear. Billy Faust moved up to challenge Oller the final ten laps, but Oller used the very bottom of the track to hold him off. Tim Ratajczyk worked his way to third, with Clay Baumann and Jim Durbin completing the top five.

A stellar field of thirty-five UMP Modifieds were on hand. Scott Weber and Bobby Bittle sat on the front row to start the main event. Weber jumped out to the early lead with Bittle and Dean Hoffman right on his bumper. Weber began to open up a small lead when he reached lapped traffic on the sixth lap. Bittle made a move under Weber going into turn one, but the lapped cars got crossed up and held up the leaders causing both to come to a near stop. Weber's car stalled and the caution flag came out for Weber's car sitting in turn two. Weber's car would not re-fire and he was out of the event. Bittle took over the lead on the restart and held off Hoffman for an apparent victory. However, Bittle failed to go to the claim area after the race and was therefore disqualified, giving the victory to Hoffman. Rusty Griffaw ended up second, Kyle Steffens third, Jim Shereck fourth and Leroy Haney came home fifth.

Scott Stuppy, Dan Dixon and Sam Worley put on a great race in the AARA Sportsman division. The three raced nose-to-tail and side-by-side for most of the event. Dixon was credited with leading the first fourteen laps, but Stuppy made a move on the final lap and picked up the win. Dixon came home a close second, with Worley third, Mark Blanke fourth and David Bardin fifth.

-i55r-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Kyle Steffens