Dave Lake collected his first Short Track Simulation Circuit (STSC) victory, winning the OP Gambler at Oxford Plains Speedway.
The short track ace who groomed himself on the trick Berlin Raceway led 56 of 100 laps in the race, beating out STSC title contender Luis Cabrera Perez after a hectic and controversial penultimate with championship implications.
Entering the final lap, Dave Lake led Alex Light, Kevin Keselowski, and Luis Cabrera Perez. Light made a sudden move to pit road with an unknown issue, while Keselowski and Perez battled for the inherited second spot. While the duo negotiated the lapped car of Charlotte Bowey, Perez and Keselowski made contact.
Keselowski would spin, collecting points leader Kurt Gunnabee. Gunnabee was in position to extend his points lead over Jack Stevens with a fourth-place finish after Light’s mishap. Instead, he fell to 13th, just two spots ahead of Stevens in 15th on the final running order.
Furthermore, Perez’s runner-up finish pushed him ahead of Stevens for second in the STSC title hunt. Perez now sits 27 points behind Gunnabee, and just one marker ahead of Stevens.
Carl Downey made an impressive run in his STSC debut, avoiding the late-race carnage to finish third. Chester Curd finished fourth, which coincidentally moved him up to fourth in the points standings after Joe Trickle finished 25th. Trickle, believing he was in the Book of Joshua, attempted to tear down pit wall on lap 88. He was unsuccessful.
In the early stages of the race, Danny Vandoorne appeared poised for a third consecutive STSC victory. Vandoorne led 17 laps in the first half of the race, but was collected in an incident on lap 56 involving Mason Brown, ending his day.
Coincidentally, the next stop on the STSC tour is Lake’s home track, Berlin Raceway. Lake is a multiple-time champion at the Michigan facility in support divisions, most recently its Modified category. Berlin has also groomed drivers such as three-time ARCA champion Tim Steele, former NASCAR Winston Cup Series competitor Johnny Benson, Jr., and Bob Senneker, the winningest driver in ASA history.