Keller And Ruhlman Get Wins

Wins by Steve Kester and Brian Ruhlman highlighted an exciting evening of racing at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night.

Freedom Sales and Rental Night kicked off with the make up UMP Late Model feature that was rained out on May 9. Adrian, Michigan’s Chris Keller took the early lead, but Devin Shiels took command on lap two with a pass on the outside. Curtis Deisenroth made it three-wide with Shiels and Rusty Schlenk to take the lead on lap 11. Steve Kester from Holland, OH came from starting in the middle of the field to take the lead from Diesenroth on lap 16 and went on to pick up the feature win. Schlenk got by Diesenroth to finish second. Shiels and Josh Scott rounded out the rest of the top five finishers.

American Late Model Series (ALMS) feature action took the track later in the evening and produced some incredible racing action. Clarklake, Michigan’s Brian Ruhlman started on the pole and took the lead at the start. ALMS point leader, Ryan Unzicker out of El Paso, Illinois battled three-wide with Casey Noonan and Dona Marcoullier for second. The three drivers appeared to make some contact down the backstretch and Marcoullier ended up spinning. Unzicker and Ruhlman had a heated battle for the lead all the way to the checkered flag. Unzicker ducked to the inside of Ruhlman with two laps remaining in the 30-lap ALMS feature event. He had the advantage coming off of turn two on the final lap, but Ruhlman found some grip in the high line and drove deep into turn three to get back to the outside. The two drivers were door to door, inches apart coming off turn four as they raced to the the checkers. Ruhlman’s momentum coming off the high side was just enough to edge out Unzicker at the finish line. It was Ruhlman’s second feature win of the year. Noonan was third followed by Schlenk in fourth. Matt Westfall from Ludlow Falls, OH started 12th and ended up finishing fifth.

Bruce Stuart from Adrian, Michigan made a bold move three-wide for the lead at the start of the Freedom Sales and Rental UMP Sportsman. Stuart opened up a bit of a lead on the rest of the field and looked to be a lock for the win, but Mike Jessen closed in late in the race and took the lead with two laps remaining. A caution for Steve Meeks’ spin on the final lap set up a one lap shootout to the finish with Jessen leading Stuart. Stuart jumped to the outside of Jessen on the restart and the two drivers raced side by side on the final lap with Stuart winning the drag race off the final corner. Jessen, the 2012 Sportsman track champion, had to settle for second followed by Bob Gregory, Jamie Grochowski and Bob Krumm.

Morenci, Michigan’s Chris Sands led flag to flag in the Bomber A Main to earn his second consecutive A Main win of the year. A good battle between Chris Henry and Craig Dippman ensued just behind Sands for second for much of the race. Sands could not put any distance between himself and the battle going on just behind him, but was able to take the checkered flag. Henry beat Dippman in the battle for second. Skeet Recker took fourth and Jeff Foks moved up six spots to finish fifth.

Brogan Rehklau from Waldron, Michigan took over the Sport Compact point lead with his feature win Saturday night. Rehklau started mid-pack and worked his way to the lead. Cody Stetten finished second followed by Jeff Goodman, Jeff Foks, Sr. and Nathan Goodman.

Morenci, Michigan’s Nick Fenner came from 13th in the Bomber B Main to pick up the feature win over Derek Morris, Henry Walls, Jr., Troy Double and Steve Morris.

Scott Hammer led the first part of the final event of the night, the Bomber C Main, until spinning with just a few laps to go. Amy Clair out of Toledo, Ohio took the victory over Rayce Price, Terry Rump, Josh Kiser and Scott Goodlock.

Oakshade Raceway will host more double features on Saturday, May 30 in addition to a full racing program of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman, Bombers and Compacts. Double features will be run for the UMP Sportsman, Bombers and Compacts only to make up for the rained out features on May 9. Gates open at 4pm and racing starts at 7pm.

Rain Ends Racing Action Early

Rain forced Oakshade Raceway officials to end the racing action a little early on Saturday night.

Brad Eitniear, Curtis Deisenroth from Oak Harbor, Ohio, and Rusty Schlenk were among UMP Late Model heat winners. Drew Smith of Sylvania Ohio, Mike Jessen and Graeme Short were among the UMP Sportsman heat winners. Bomber heat winners included Craig Dippman from Oregon, Ohio, Richard Riffe, Chris Henry, Adam Noonan, and last week’s A Main winner Chris Sands. Winners of the Compact heats were Brogan Rehklau from Waldron, Michigan, and John Martis.

All heat and consi races had been completed just before the skies opened up at what was to be an abbreviated intermission. Track officials tried waiting out the storm, but decided it would take hours to get the track back in shape for any more racing.

So Saturday, May 16th’s full racing program of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman, Bombers and Compacts will now include some bonus feature race action with double features as well. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.

Ruhlman Wins Opener

Oakshade Raceway kicked off it’s 40th season with some exciting racing action, highlighted by Brian Ruhlman’s UMP Late Model win.

The 25-lap UMP Late Model feature event produced quite a few lead changes with Devin Shiels getting the advantage over Traverse City, Michigan’s Brandon Thirlby, but Thirlby would fight back to take the lead on lap two. Shiels continued to work the outside and was able to get back beside Thirlby to challenge again for the lead. At about the same time, 2014 Champion Rusty Schlenk joined the battle to go three-wide for the lead. Shiels was able to regain the lead briefly on lap 12, but Schlenk disposed of both Shiels and Thirlby to become the leader on lap 13.

Herb Reich and Ken Hahn were battling at the back of the field as the leaders were closing in. Reich got into Hahn, spinning him around just in front of Schlenk to bring out the caution flag. Clarklake, Michigan’s Brian Ruhlman had worked his way up to second and moved up alongside Schlenk for the double-file restart. Ruhlman capitalized on the opportunity and snatched the lead away from Schlenk on lap 16. After a late caution involving Dusty Moore and Hillard Miller, Ruhlman got a great restart and was able to open just a little distance between himself and Schlenk on his way to the first checkered flag of the season. Finishing third behind Schlenk was Shiels with Thirlby hanging on to finish fourth. Casey Noonan had a great run to finish fifth after getting caught up in an early wreck on lap two.

Mathew Chapman made an impressive debut in the UMP Sportsman class, winning his heat event and then taking the early lead in the Bill Reckner Memorial feature event. Chapman darted out in front of Billy Brown at the start and opened up a good lead. Jamie Grochowski marched his way steadily toward the front and caught Chapman. Grochowski took the lead away on lap 14 of the 20-lap race. Bob Gregory made an incredible move on the final lap to the inside of Grochowski in the final corners. The two drivers charged off turn four side by side with the checkered flag waving just ahead. Gregory narrowly edged out Grochowski for the win. Chapman from Tecumseh, Michigan, held on to finish third in his first UMP Sportsman feature after moving up from the Bomber class. Joe Smith was fourth and Bruce Stuart took fifth.

Chris Sands started on the pole of the Bill Reckner Memorial Bomber A Main and led the entire distance with Jeff Foks knocking on his heels most of the way. Craig Dippman made a late charge toward the front after starting seventh. He was able to get by Foks for second, but was unable to get by Sands at the finish. Foks slipped back to finish third followed by Chris Henry and Skeet Reckner.

Brogan Rehklau took the lead early in an eventful Bill Reckner Memorial Sport Compact feature. John Martis started sixth and quickly closed in on Rehklau. Martis dove to the inside to take the lead from Rehklau on a restart about halfway through the race. Another late caution set up one lap race to the finish with Aaron Barrick making a nice move to the inside in the final set of corners. Barrick and Martis finished in almost a dead heat, but Barrick had just enough to earn the victory over Martis. Cory Gumm started deep in the field and ended up third, followed by Chris Miler and Cody Stetten.

Rick Dixon survived a crazy Bomber B Main to become the final feature winner of the night. Multiple cautions marred the event and Dixon was even caught up in one of those incidents. Jim Plotts took off to a decent lead over Nick Fenner during some of the green flag laps, but Fenner took the lead after a restart. Plotts and Fenner had a heated battle much of the race with Dixon eventually closing in to third. Plotts had the lead at the white flag, but spun in turn two and collected Fenner. Dixon assumed the lead for a one-lap shootout to the finish and claimed the victory over Scott Barnhart and Rayce Price. Plotts came back to finish fourth with Aaron Van Pelt taking fifth.

Great racing action continues Saturday, May 9 at Oakshade Raceway with another full show of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman, Bombers and Compacts. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.