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Ross makes history as first Canadian to win Castrol Canadian UMP Late Model Shootout

Chris Ross in victory lane
Chris Ross in victory lane - James MacDonald Apex One Photo

SOUTH BUXTON – Running with the Americans helped Wallaceburg’s Chris Ross make Canadian history.

Ross started on the pole and led all 40 laps to win the fourth annual Castrol Canadian UMP Late Model Shootout in front of a capacity crowd at South Buxton Raceway on Saturday night.

His victory was the first by a Canadian driver in the four-year history of what has become the track’s signature event. Ross finished second in 2005.

“Definitely, it’s the biggest win of my career,” the 27-year-old Ross said, as he pocketed $6,000 (US) with his victory.
Ross, the 2003 Late Model season champion at South Buxton, has been racing on the Ohio dirt-track circuit the past two summers.

Saturday’s victory was his second in two appearances at South Buxton this year, as he won a feature race on May 24.

“This is my roots,” he said of winning at South Buxton. “I’ve moved on to other avenues, but I still like driving 45 minutes to my home track, so there’s a lot of sentiment here.”

Although his success has been limited in Ohio, Ross feels competing against the more experienced Americans the last two summers is paying dividends.

“We’ve really stepped up our program,” he said.

“I think we proved that tonight.”

Chris Ross - James MacDonald Apex One Photo
Chris Ross - James MacDonald Apex One Photo

Ross proved to be the driver to beat right out of the chute as he laid down the fastest qualifying lap of 15.059 seconds and ran away with the victory in the heat race to earn the pole for the ‘A’ Main.

Ross’s only scare came on a restart with 10 laps to go when Kevin Reeve of Hanover, Mich., pulled even coming out of turn four, but a caution flag negated the lap.

“I screwed up real bad and Reeve got by me, but I learned a little bit from that,” Ross said. “After cautions, it usually took me a lap or two to get going, so on that next restart, I scrubbed the tires to keep the heat in.”

Jon Henry of Ada, Ohio, passed Reeve with seven laps to go but had nothing for Ross.

“The last caution hurt us, because I thought I was making up some ground, but by the time I was able to get a run again, it was over,” said Henry, who settled for his second runner-up finish of the night.

Earlier, Henry finished second to Brian Ruhlman in the inaugural Advantage Warehouse UMP Modified Fall Blowout.
They traded places in the Late Model Shootout as Ruhlman finished one spot behind Henry in third, as American drivers took six of the top 10 positions.

Defending Shootout winner Rusty Schlenk, who needed a champion’s provisional to start the race, finished fourth, while Reeve slipped back to a fifth-place finish after chasing Ross for almost 30 laps.

Adam Ferri of Port Colborne was the second-highest Canadian as he was seventh, while Blenheim’s Andrew Reaume was ninth and Jeff Dayman of Welland was 10th.

Reaume, the two-time South Buxton Late Model champion, had high hopes for his best Shootout showing but walked away disappointed again.

After posting the second-fastest qualifying time, Reaume broke a part in the drive shaft before taking the green in his heat, but rebounded to win the ‘B’ Main and the Dash.

However, he was forced to start at the back of the 23-car ‘A’ Main field after a review of his starting position in the ‘B’ Main.

A flat tire with 10 laps to go forced Reaume to come back through the field a second time as he rebounded to finish ninth.

Andrew’s father Brett Reaume was 11th, while Jim Jones of Chatham was 13th and Jim Dale Jr. of Blenheim 14th.
Three other local drivers finished the race in the pits as Chatham’s John Pinsonneault Jr. was 19th, Chatham’s Joe Field 21st and Thamesville’s Dale Glassford 22nd.

Former Shootout winners Curtis Roberts of Coleman, Mich., and Jamie Zidar of Greenfield, Wisc., were 17th and 20th respectively.

Thirty-eight Late Models were in the field, 17 of those from across the border.

Brian Ruhlman
Brian Ruhlman - James MacDonald Apex One Photo

The first Advantage Warehouse UMP Modified Fall Blowout drew 30 cars, including 14 from the United States.
Ruhlman took the lead on lap six of the 35-lap Modified ‘A’ main after Mark Fowler, from Billings, Mont., spun out after leading the first five circuits.

Once in front, Ruhlman put his Modified on a rail and held off Henry for the final 24 laps for his first South Buxton win since 2004 when he won an American Late Model Series race.
“I won the first time I ever saw the place but haven’t been able to get back there (to Victory Lane) since,” said Ruhlman, who has twice been the runnerup in the Shootout.
“This car has been tight all year, we’ve been struggling to get it freed up, but tonight we finally got it to turn,” he said.
“I didn’t know how quick we were, but once we got into clean traffic, we could drive away.”
Ruhlman also won his heat and dash while posting the second fastest qualifying lap.
Henry wasn’t disappointed in the least being the bridesmaid twice in one night.
“My thinking is, two seconds equals one win,” he smiled.
“I thought could get a run on him, but then we had all those cautions, so second’s not too bad,” he said of his battle with Ruhlman.
Rich Robinson Jr. of Mt. Pleasant, Mich. was third, followed by a pair of Muskegon racers, Mike Wilbern and Troy Marciniak.
Tim Richardson of Tilbury, a two-time former track champion at South Buxton, returned to his home track for a sixth-place finish.
Clayton Smith of Woodslee was the highest finishing South Buxton regular as he was eighth.
Joey Brosseau of Merlin was 11th, leading a pack of nine local drivers who finished 11th through 19th.
Chatham’s C.J. Field was 12th, followed by Dale Jr., Merlin’s Brad McLeod, Wheatley’s Aaron Wiebe, Leamington’s Justin Coulter, Chatham’s Todd Wellman, Wyoming’s Brian Speelman and Leamington’s Curtis Coulter.
Leamington’s Paul DeGoey received one of the biggest ovations of the night as the 24-year-old returned to South Buxton for the first time since his career-ending crash on Aug. 30.
DeGoey visited Victory Lane after the Modified dash where he received his Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified points championship trophy. He also presented the dahs winner Ruhlman with a $100 bonus prize, which he donated as a thank-you to South Buxton fans for their support in his recovery.

South Buxton Raceway
Sept. 27 Results

Castrol Canadian UMP Late Model Shootout

‘A’ Main (40 laps)
1. Chris Ross (18R) Wallaceburg, Ont.
2. Jon Henry (1H) Ada, Ohio
3. Brian Ruhlman (49) Clarklake, Mich.
4. Rusty Schenk (91) Jackson, Mich.
5. Kevin Reeve (117) Hanover, Mich.
6. Eric Spangler (27) Lake City, Mich.
7. Adam Ferri (1F) Port Colborne, Ont.
8. Justin Robinson (X1) Sheppard, Mich.
9. Andrew Reaume (88) Blenheim,Ont.
10. Jeff Dayman (7) Welland, Ont.
11. Brett Reaume (77) Blenheim, Ont.
12. David Hilliker (21) Midland, Mich.
13. Jim Jones (34) Chatham, Ont.
14. Jim Dale Jr. (00) Shrewsbury, Ont.
15. Sammy Epling (28) Perry, Mich.
16. Dusty Moore (40) Swanton, Ohio
17. Curtis Roberts (9R) Coleman, Mich.
18. Ronny Perrine Jr. (0J) Lima, Ohio
19. John Pinsonneault Jr. (99) Chatham, Ont.
20. Jamie Zidar (9Z) Greenfield, Wis.
21. Joe Field (4) Chatham, Ont.
22. Dale Glassford (60) Thamesville, Ont.
23. Brock Cogswell (09) Davisburg, Mich.

‘B’ Main (15 laps; Top 6 transfer to ‘A’ Main)
1. A. Reaume
2. Cogswell
3. Epling
4. Pinsonneault
5. Hilliker
6. Jones
7. John Vanderlinden (13X) Chatham, Ont.
8. Paul Rivait (11) Tilbury, Ont.
9. Shawn Gillis (15) Windsor, Ont.
10. Mike Lewis (05) Wallaceburg, Ont.
11. Jason Parkhurst (38X) Houghton Lake, Mich.
12. Tim Mackenzie (81) Chatham, Ont.
13. Phil Lalonde (17) Lake City, Mich.
14. Mark Glassford (90) Goderich, Ont.
15. Jeff Jardine (28J) Dover Center, Ont.
16. Gerald Giroux (33) Chatham, Ont.
17. Brad Authier (1A) Chatham, Ont.
18. Jeff Kohn (25) Sheridan, Mich.
DNS – Mike Dale (00) Chatham, Ont.
DNS – Greg Haskell (RH21) Chatham, Ont.
DNS – Dona Marcoullier (6M) Houghton Lake, Mich
DNS – Justin Robinson (X1) Sheppard, Mich.

(All Heats 10 laps; top 5 finishers advance to ‘A’ Main)
Heat 1
1. Ross
2. Ferri
3. B. Reaume
4. Spangler
5. Pinsonneault
6. Jones
7. Hilliker
8. Parkhurst
9. Mackenzie
10. Authier

Heat 2
1. Reeve
2. Robinson
3. Moore
4. J. Dale Jr.
5. Cogswell
6. Vanderlinden
7. Lalonde
8. Gillis
9. M. Dale
10. A. Reaume

Heat 3
1. Zidar
2. Field
3. Perrine Jr.
4. D. Glassford
5. Schlenk
6. Epling
7. Rivait
8. Jardine
9. Kohn

Heat 4
1. Henry
2. Ruhlman
3. Roberts
4. Dayman
5. Giroux
6. Lewis
7. G. Haskell
8. Marcoullier
9. M. Glassford

Dash (6 laps)
1. A. Reaume
2. Zidar
3. Ross
4. Moore
5. Ferri
6. Roberts
7. Field

Time Trials
(Top 8 advance to Dash)
1. Ross 15.059
2. A. Reaume 15.234
3. Zidar 15.386
4. Henry 15.625
5. Ferri 15.667
6. Moore 15.716
7. Field 15.719
8. Roberts 15.780
9. Authier 15.830
10. Reeve 15.840
11. D. Glassford 15.857
12. Marcoullier 15.899
13. Hilliker 15.912
14. J. Dale Jr. 15.931
15. Kohn 15.952
16. Ruhlman 15.965
17. B. Reaume 16.035
18. Robinson 16.040
19. Perrine Jr. 16.147
20. Dayman 16.163
21. Jones 16.214
22. Cogswell 16.217
23. Epling 16.240
24. M. Glassford 16.245
25. Pinsonneault 16.326
26. Lalonde 16.396
27. Rivait 16.559
28. Giroux 16.662
29. Spangler 16.708
30. Vanderlinden 16.771
31. Schlenk 17.221
32. Lewis 17.420
33. Mackenzie 17.753
34. Gillis 17.813
35. Jardine 18.309
36. Haskell 24.295
37. Parkhurst 36.708
38. M. Dale no time

Advantage Warehouse UMP Modified Fall Blowout

‘A’ Main (35 laps)
1. Brian Ruhlman (49) Clarklake, Mich.
2. Jon Henry (18) Ada, Ohio
3. Rich Robinson Jr. (15) Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
4. Mike Wilbern (1W) Muskegon, Mich.
5. Troy Marciniak (8) Muskegon, Mich.
6. Tim Richardson (5X) Tilbury, Ont.
7. John Brooks (00B) Wayne, Ohio
8. Clayton Smith (55) Woodslee, Ont.
9. Chad Maurer (54M) Eaton Rapids, Mich.
10. Edgar Shaner (67) Wapakoneta, Ohio
11. Joey Brosseau (47B) Merlin, Ont.
12. C.J. Field (4) Chatham, Ont.
13. Jim Dale Jr. (00) Shrewsbury, Ont.
14. Brad McLeod (43) Merlin, Ont.
15. Aaron Wiebe (24) Wheatley, Ont.
16. Justin Coulter (5C) Leamington, Ont.
17. Todd Wellman (75X) Chatham
18. Brian Speelman (22S) Wyoming, Ont.
19. Curtis Coulter (5) Leamington, Ont.
20. Mark Fowler (1ST) Billings, Mont.
21. Chris Van De Wiele (0) Rutherford, Ont.
22. Steve Hilliker (21) Midland, Mich.

‘B’ Main (15 laps; Top 7 advance to ‘A’ Main)
1. Robinson Jr.
2. Marciniak
3. Brooks
4. Richardson
5. Speelman
6. Brosseau
7. Wiebe
8. Abe Unger (46) Leamington, Ont.
9. Irvin Thume (75T), Alger, Mich.
10. Dan McIntyre (77) Windsor, Ont.
11. Justin Fleming (5F) Oxford, Mich.
DNS – Mario Toniolo (25M) Belle River, Ont.
DNS Todd Sherman (65) Churubusco, Ind.
DNS – Nick Katterhenry (15K) Glenwood, Ohio
DNS – Mike Demars (75) LaSalle, Ont.

(All Heats 10 laps; Top five finishers advance to ‘A’Main)
Heat 1
1. Fowler
2. J. Coulter
3. C. Coulter
4. Wilbern
5. Smith
6. Robinson Jr.
7. Marciniak
8. McIntyre
9. Fleming
10. Speelman

Heat 2
1. Ruhlman
2. Van De Wiele
3. Field
4. Dale Jr.
5. Maurer
6. Unger
7. Katterhenry
8. Richardson
9. Sherman
10. Thume

Heat 3
1. Henry
2. McLeod
3. Hilliker
4. Shaner
5. Wellman
6. Toniolo
7. Brooks
8. Wiebe
9. Brosseau
10. Demers

Dash (6 laps)
1. Ruhlman
2. Henry
3. J. Coulter
4. Van De Wiele
5. Brosseau
6. Richardson
7. C. Coulter
8. Fowler

Time Trials
(Top 8 advance to Dash)
1. Fowler 16.670
2. Ruhlman 16.721
3. Henry 16.830
4. J. Coulter 16.879
5. Richardson 16.888
6. Brosseau 17.025
7. C. Coulter 17.147
8. Van De Wiele 17.161
9. Demars 17.237
10. Smith 17.279
11. Field 17.292
12. Hilliker 17.296
13. Wilbern 17.305
14. Dale Jr. 17.343
15. McLeod 17.366
16. Robinson Jr. 17.430
17. Sherman 17.432
18. Brooks 17.678
19. McIntyre 17.678
20. Thume 17.691
21. Toniolo 17.708
22. Speelman 17.754
23. Maurer 17.927
24. Wiebe 17.946
25. Marciniak 18.028
26. Unger 18.078
27. Wellman 18.952
28. Fleming 19.352
29. Katterhenry 20.481
30. Shaner 28.013