2003 Oakshade Raceway Late Model Track Champion Justin Paxton won the first Late Model feature of the year over field filled with talented drivers.
Josh Steinacker was scheduled to start on the pole of the feature but a fire erupted under his hood during the parade laps before the race forcing him to watch the race from the pits.
With Steinacker out, the field was realigned with a new pole sitter, Casey Noonan. Noonan would lead the first eight laps of the UMP Late Model feature until Kris Patterson closed in and took.
With Patterson at the point, Justin Paxton began picking off cars on his charge to the front. By lap 12 of the 25-lap event, Paxton was up to second and four laps later took the lead from Patterson.
Paxton pulled away and won convincingly with Noonan just edging out Patterson for second at the checkered flag. Hillard Miller started 16th after winning one of the two Late Model consolation events and drove all the way to a fourth place finish ahead of Ron Perrine.
Rusty Schlenk finished sixth in the Late Model feature and quickly jumped into his Sportsman ride to try for his second consecutive feature win in that division.
Tim Bernard started on the pole and quickly jumped out to the lead early in the race. Bernard was disqualified shortly after the race when his car came up too light after crossing the scales.
Schlenk passed Bernard to lead the field by lap three. Schlenk opened up a sizeable lead until a series of caution flags kept the pack tight. After each restart, Schlenk would once again pull away from the field.
Chris Smith appeared to be on a mission, driving from deep in the field up to second by lap 11. Another caution would allow Smith to restart right behind the 28z of Schlenk, but not even Smith who used to dominate the Sportsman division at Oakshade a few years ago could surmount much of a challenge.
Schlenk went on to pick up the victory. Smith settled for second ahead of Mike Jessen, Joe Derbeck and Brian Fisher.
The Bomber A Main featured some of the night’s most exciting racing action with Rob Anderzack leading the first couple laps.
Jake Rendel, Jim Scout and Tom Ordway quickly closed in and put on a whale of a race exchanging lead several times each lap and going four abreast at times.
Once things finally shook out, Tom Ordway found himself out front and went on to be the first to the checkered flag. Last week’s A Main winner, Jim Scout, held on to finish second with Jake Rendel, Rob Anderzack and Danny Hogrefe filling out the rest of the top five finishers.
Karl Spoores tore up his car pretty bad last week, but got it back together for this week and held on to just barely win the Bomber B Main.
Spoores led from start to finish, but Kevin Hanford made things interesting after starting 13th and closing in on the leader to challenge for the lead on the final lap. Hanford dove to the inside of Spoores coming off turn four and got alongside as they headed to the checkered flag.
Spoores won by the nose of his car over Hanford. Gary Cole had a good view of that exciting finish as he came home third. Jacob Gamber was fourth with Dan Shaffer making it in to the top five after starting way back in the 11th row.
John McGeorge was running second behind Tim Zuver in the early running of the Bomber C Main when he spun in turn two in front of the entire field. Everyone got by with no major incident, but McGeorge’s good run was relegated to a restart at the tail.
Richard Patton got by Zuver once the green flag dropped to take the lead and then Zuver began to slip back through the field.
Keven Cole worked his way into second before dropping his drive shaft down the front stretch putting an end to his night.
That allowed Hugh Snell to take over second and then Snell passed Patton on the final lap to win the Bomber C Main.
Gene Potridge was third and Ron Leonard was fourth. John McGeorge recovered for a fifth place finish.
Oakshade Raceway will once again feature some great racing action Mother’s Day Weekend with a Saturday night program once again highlighted by UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman and Bombers. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.