Blenheim,ONT — Mike Bennett – South Buxton Raceway
South Buxton Raceway is gearing up for its biggest show of the season – and biggest purse in the track’s 37-year history.
Rusty Schlenk, of Jackson, Mich., will be back to defend his championship in the fourth annual Castrol Canadian UMP Late Model Showdown on Saturday, Sept. 27.
South Buxton has added a second main attraction to its marquis event, the Advantage Warehouse UMP Modified Canadian Fall Blowout.
Track owner Scott Mihalco announced the total purse will be over $34,000.00 (U.S. funds), which should be attractive to drivers on both sides of the border.
The winner of the Late Model Shootout pockets $6,000.00 with second-place taking home $3,000 and third $2,000.
The Modified Blowout winner gets $2,500.00 with second and third earning $1,400 and $1,200 respectively. (The full payout can be found at www.southbuxtonraceway.com under the Shootout icon).
“The Shootout has always been popular to American late model drivers,” said Raceway owner Scott Mihalco. “We always draw the big boys.
“There aren’t many big modified races in the States in September, so we hope our Fall Blowout will be a big attraction to American modified drivers.”
Over 3,000 fans packed South Buxton Raceway to watch Schlenk lead an American sweep of the top four positions in the 2007 Late Model Shootout.
Brian Ruhlman, of Clarklake, Mich., took the lead with 10 laps left in the 35-lap ‘A’ main, only to have Schlenk make a pass on the outside with four laps to go as the ‘Jackson Assassin’ drove away with the checkered flag and $5,000 first-place prize.
Two-time Shootout winner Jayme Zidar of Greenfield, Wisc., was third, followed by Dusty Moore of Swanton, Ohio.
Other Americans in the top 10 were Rick Delong of Whitefield, Ohio in sixth, Don Maccoullier Jr. of Houghton Lake, Mich., in seventh and Tyler Boggs of Warsaw, Ind., in 10th.
Andrew Reaume of Blenheim, Ont., was the top Canadian finisher as he came home fifth. Chatham’s Brad Authier was eighth and Dale Glassford of Thamesville, Ont., finished ninth, the only other South Buxton regulars in the top 10.
Reaume made Shootout history by becoming the first driver to ever post the fastest qualifying time and then win his heat and dash races. However, he started eighth in the ‘A’ main after the pill draw to invert the field.
Schlenk will be back to defend his Shootout title while Ruhlman hopes to turn in his two bridesmaid veils for his first crown.
“I love the place,” Schlenk said of South Buxton’s three-eighth mile ‘D’ oval. “It’s a challenging track, more of a drivers’ track instead of just horsepower and set-up.
“South Buxton has its own persona … it’s like two totally different tracks with the corners,” Schlenk continued. “The first time I drove there, I couldn’t believe how we were turning 8500 (RPMs) on the front and 8000 on the back.
“Turns 3 and 4 are so sharp, you’ve got to get in and out as quick as you can. Coming around the front stretch, you don’t lift until you’re on the backstretch heading into 3 again.”
South Buxton also suits Ruhlman’s driving style.
“Every time I’ve run there, it’s been a smooth track and fairly slick,” he said.
With the skyrocketing cost of fuel, a competitor like Ruhlman, whose livelihood revolves around dirt track racing, has to be choosey about where he races. A track like South Buxton, he said, gets a priority.
“If I have to choose between a track that’s rough and a track that’s smooth, I’ll take the smooth track because you don’t want to be tearing your stuff up,” he said.
South Buxton’s Late Model Shootout and Modified Fall Blowout are important to all drivers as points will count towards their regional and national UMP standings.
South Buxton Raceway is located near Chatham, Ont., 45 miles southeast of the Windsor-Detroit border.
Go to www.southbuxtonraceway.com for more information on the track and event, including a pre-registration form and a downloadable tariff form for crossing the border.
Castrol UMP Canadian Late Model Shootout Payout
1st place –$6,000
2nd place $3,000
3rd place $2,000
6th-place – $1,100
7th-place – $975
8th-place – $875
9th-place – $775
10th-place – $725
11th-place – $675
12th-place – $400
13th-place – $400
14th-place – $400
15th-place – $400
16th-place – $400
17th-place – $400
18th-place – $400
19th-place – $400
20th-place – $400
21st -place – $400
22nd place – $400
UMP Modified Canadian Fall Blowout Payout
1st place –$2,500
2nd place $1,400
3rd place $1,200
6th-place – $500
7th-place – $450
8th-place – $425
9th-place – $400
10th-place – $375
11th-place – $300
12th-place – $250
13th-place – $250
14th-place – $250
15th-place – $250
16th-place – $250
17th-place – $250
18th-place – $250
19th-place – $250
20th-place – $250
21st-place – $250
22nd place – $250