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.