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Three Separate Events Equals Three Different Winners in ULMA Weekly Action!

ULMA - United Late Model AssociationSam Stoecklin
ULMA Public Relations
May 15, 2012

The 2012 race season rolled on last weekend and now, races eight, nine, and ten are in the books for the Lucas Cattle Company ULMA late models. Over the weekend at three separate tracks, three different winners claimed wins in weekly race action. Friday night at Callaway drew 18 late models in which Bob Test claimed his first win of the year. Also on Friday, Valley Speedway drew 9 late models for Brett Wood’s first ULMA victory of the season. The strong car counts at Lucas Oil Speedway continued again this past Saturday as Jason Russell claimed his association-leading third victory of the year against a field of 24 competitors.

Eighteen late models were on hand at Callaway Raceway Friday night in Fulton, Missouri, as the track completed a night of racing without a weather threat. In fact, going back to the first ULMA-sanctioned event of the year at Callaway, this past weekend marked just the third time the track hosted drivers and fans for one of their weekly programs. For Jefferson City driver Bob Test, it had been since last September at Central Missouri Speedway in Warrensburg that he last drove into victory lane to claim his lone victory of the year. This season, Test added his name to the list of yearly winners much earlier with his latest victory. Jason Russell started off his weekend solidly by claiming the runner-up spot ahead of Brandon Imhoff in third. Trace Westling, Chris Cox, Darren Turner, and Zeke Langley also raced their way to top-ten finishes. Check out the track online at www.callawayraceways.com; another Friday race program is scheduled this weekend, May 18.

Although there were just nine cars on hand for ULMA’s second appearance at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri this past Friday, it didn’t make much difference in the action and for the fans as the bipartisan fans in the stands were on their feet cheering for their favorite drivers even before the main event got underway. Chris Hawkins once again made the long haul to Grain Valley from his Neosho, Missouri home base in search of his second feature win of the year at the track and third sanctioned win over all. After the heat race concluded, it looked as though Hawkins’ goal might be attained, that is until Brett Wood of Warrensburg powered his way to the front with a thrilling high-side move to grab the top spot from Hawkins to begin the main event.

The first 14 laps of the feature race went caution free with Jason Bodenhamer, Chris Hawkins, and Jimmy Morris all gunning for increased positions. A near miss for Wood occurred on lap 14 when the car of Nathan Cates slowed down the backstretch with mechanical troubles with Wood making slight contact with Cates. Wood did not incur race-ending damage as he maintained his top position once the race resumed. Wood again used his straightaway power to place himself out front by five car lengths over the furious battle for second. While running in second, Hawkins drifted too high in turn four allowing Bodenhamer to make the pass and set his sights on Wood, who is Bodenhamer’s Brother-in-Law, to go for the win.

This same scenario has played out on a few occasions over the years in ULMA action with Bodenhamer having the edge over Wood in victories and for awhile it looked like once again Bodenhamer would come out on top. Late in the event, Wood’s car developed a wicked push and his closest competitors rapidly closed in as his lead dwindled to a half-car length. As Wood’s struggles continued, Bodenhamer made his move to the inside for the lead with one lap remaining with Hawkins and Morris waiting in the wings ready to pounce. Wood used sheer horsepower and driving determination down the straights and kept all challengers at bay to claim his first win of the young season. Bodenhamer finished in second, in front of Hawkins, Morris, Joe Walkenhorst, Steve Clancy, Cates, and Gary Billings, Jr.

It’s always great to see strong fan support like what we seen Friday night at Valley Speedway for the late models, a class that is not even the top billed class of the night. ULMA and Valley have kept late model racing alive for fans in the greater Kansas City metro this year, we hope the drivers geographically located in this area will bring their cars out and participate. The next ULMA appearance at Valley Speedway takes place during the Memorial Day weekend on Friday, May 25th. For complete details and schedule of events, visit the track online at www.valleyspeedway.com.

Another solid lineup of drivers challenged the Lucas Oil Speedway Saturday night on a track surface that was completely different than the first two weekly shows this year. By the time heat races rolled out, the track was showing signs of dry-slick conditions at least three lanes wide from the bottom of the track up to setup for the main event. Tommy Cordray, R.D. Peterson and Jeremy Kelley claimed their respective heat races but it was a hard-charging Jason Russell who garnered the pole position for the night’s late model main event by virtue of passing points earned from his heat race.

Russell took center stage at the beginning of the race, sometimes building up an eight-car advantage over his closest pursuer. By lap five, fifth-starting Rylan Long looked as though he could challenge for the win; however, on lap six, he ran too high entering turn one and ultimately spun while trying to exit turn two and brought out the first caution period of the race. Russell again took command once the race resumed with Kelley, Brandon Imhoff, Cordray, and Larry Jones keeping pace. The race stayed under green-flag conditions until a lap 17 spin by Todd McCoin brought out the second yellow flag of the night. Unfortunately, on the restart, the cars of Chris Morelock and Harlen Kennedy hooked together down the back straight with many cars taking evasive action to miss the stalled pair of cars right in the middle of the track. While most cars managed to miss the incident, Lane Ehlert was unable to avoid contact as his night came to a close with heavy damage to his car.

At the beginning of the night, drivers in all divisions were told they would have one minute per lap and if the races drew in on the time limit they would be stopped short of the originally scheduled distance. After the Ehlert car was hauled away, drivers again smashed the loud pedal only to be slowed again, this time in turn four as eighth-running Jake Williams spun, ending his bid for a solid top-ten finish. Shortly after the Williams incident, Chris Morelock slowed on the track and was unable to exit drawing yet another caution period. With 18 cars still running, the white flag flew on lap 17 as the time limit ran out to cut the race by two laps. Russell went on to claim his first win at the speedway this season with Kelley again solidly inside the top three. Brandon Imhoff, Jones, Cordray, Justin Russell, Evan Hubert, Long and Brett Wood also finished inside the top ten. The track announced Saturday night that the June 23rd date at the speedway will no longer include late models. For all the latest information and updated schedule for the speedway, visit www.lucasoilspeedway.com. Another weekly show is on tap at this speedway this Saturday, May 19.

ULMA is pleased to announce the dates for this year’s annual ‘Triple Crown Shootout’ in which drivers will compete in a three-race mini points-earning series for additional prize money. Competing drivers have the following race options to garner three starts out of the four available races from Friday to Sunday: Friday, June 29th at Callaway Raceway or Friday, June 29th at Valley Speedway, Saturday, June 30th at Lucas Oil Speedway, with the finale taking place on Sunday, July 1st at Double X Speedway in California, Mo. The July stop at Double X is sponsored by Bonecutter Body Shop of California. Drivers not familiar with the tiny Double X Speedway will have a chance to get the feel of the track as ULMA will hold a points-earning event at the track on Sunday, June 17th to build up to the Triple Crown Shootout two weeks later. Complete details and entry forms will be made available in the coming days on ULMA’s official website.

On Saturday, June 2, drivers will have another opportunity to earn one of two ULMA provisional starting positions during the MLRA late model race at LA Raceway in LaMonte, Missouri. Only drivers competing in ULMA-legal cars are eligible for the provisional starting positions. Drivers who are ULMA members will earn association points for their participation during the race program in the same manner as a regularly sanctioned ULMA race.

ULMA’s title sponsor is Lucas Cattle Company. Contingency sponsors are Rod End Supply and Buyraceparts.com. Affiliate sponsors include Imhoff Construction, Bone Cutter Body Shop, PhotoGraphics by Shelly Payne, General Fence LLC, and Midland Printing. ULMA is a proud supporter of Homes for Our Troops. To join the team, or to request an addition to ULMA’s email group, send your request to unitedlatemodelassociation@hotmail.com. Visit the association’s website for schedule of events, race history, results, points, and much more at www.ulmaracing.com or like ULMA on Facebook.

Upcoming ULMA Races:
Friday, May 18th – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 19th – Lucas Oil Speedway
Friday, May 25th – Callaway Raceway
Friday, May 25th – Valley Speedway

ULMA Point Standings
1st 2J Jason Russell 8 850
2nd 86 Brandon Imhoff 7 781
3rd 133 Chris Hawkins 6 662
4th 7 Brett Wood 6 638
5th 1T Chris Cox 6 597
6th 23Z Zeke Langley 6 551
7th 22 Kevin Coyne 5 463
8th 99 Larry Jones 4 452
9th 9M Jimmy Morris 4 421
10th 0X Justin Russell 4 414

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