Max Blair Wins Ron Baker Memorial At Freedom & Ties Father In All-Time Wins

Column By: ROBERT SYMONDS / RPW – DELEVAN, NY – One of the more remote tracks in Western NY, Freedom Motorsports Park managed to pack their facility to nearly full capacity as the ULMS Racing Series took the main stage.

Eighteen cars filled the third mile clay oval for the annual event of the Ron Baker Memorial. After Max Blair set quick time on the speedway, Blair, Mike Maresca, and Matt Lux won the ULMS Qualifying heats to set the field for the thirty lap main event.

Pacing the track, the ULMS Drivers saluted the fans by going four wide just before the feature started. Alex Ferree and Mike Wonderling Jr led the field to the green though a four car pileup before the start finish line would slow the field. During this caution, Eric Andrus and Matt Lux would pull in to the pit area due to extensive damage and would not return.

Back to green, Blair made some quick moves to get by both Greg Oaks and Mike Wonderling to take over third place in one lap. Maresca was also making moves towards the front making his way from nineth to sixth on lap three. All through this, Alex Ferree maintained the lead entering lap traffic on lap 7. Whilst in lap traffic, Blair moved to the bottom passing Doug Eck for second position. Eck nearly lost third place in lap traffic as Oaks peeked to the inside but Eck shut the door.

Al Brewer came to a stop at the exit of turn four on lap eleven slowing the field for the second time. During this caution, fourth place running Mike Maresca went into the pit area for repairs made on the 7mm and would rejoin the rear of the field for the restart. After the restart, Chris Hackett took to the top side of turn two and would spin collecting Boozel, Mott, and Dubois thus slowing the field yet again.

On the ensuing restart, Ferree would also take to the high side in turn two and spin. With his front end nearly torn off from collecting other cars, Ferree would exit the speedway and not return for the rest of the feature. Blair would then inherit the lead here on lap twelve. Restarting the field, Blair pulled away from the three car battle for third. With Wonderling on the top side, Eck in the middle, and Maresca digging on the bottom, these drivers weren’t letting off. Eck would soon regain second and begin to try and make gains on Blair.

Adjusting his entry, Maresca was able to keep his car on the bottom and pull alongside Eck for second. Slight contact between the 4s and 7mm would leave Eck sitting at the exit of turn four to draw the caution on lap seventeen.

With the checkered flag looming, Blair restarted the race and was able to pull away from Maresca and claim the Ron Baker Memorial. Mike Maresca would finish second, Doug Eck third, Dave Dubois fourth, and Mike Wonderling Jr fifth.

“I couldn’t have gotten this win without my crew, especially my dad,” Max Blair expressed in Victory Lane Friday evening. “My dad was full time racing but has scaled back his program to focus more on me so I have to thank him for all he does.”

This win comes special for Max Blair as he ties his dad, Robbie Blair, in all time ULMS wins.

“My dad is obviously my hero so to be written down next to him in any record book is a big deal to me.”

Car Count: 18

Fast Time: Max Blair

Heats: Max Blair, Mike Maresca, Matt Lux

ULMS RACING SERIES- “RON BAKER MEMORIAL” – 30 Laps: MAX BLAIR, Mike Maresca, Doug Eck, Dave Dubois, Mike Wonderling Jr, Mike Smith, Danny Kienitz, Nathan Hill, Jason Dobson, Alex Ferree, Greg Oaks, Chris Hackett, Andy Boozel, Garrett Mott, John Lobb, Al Brewer, Matt Lux, Eric Andrus

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