Oakshade Raceway celebrated its 30th year of racing Saturday night under a brightly shining full moon, which is the only way to explain a bizarre series of events in the evening’s feature races.
Rusty Schlenk, the winner of last week’s UMP Late Model feature’s photo finish, started on the pole of the 30 lap 30th Anniversary Feature and jumped out to the early lead over Zack Olger, Rody Schroyer and Kris Patterson.
Ky Harper started at the tail of his consolation race after missing his heat, and drove to a victory to earn a starting spot in the feature. Shortly after a lap three caution, Harper spun and once again had to fall to the tail of the field. Harper would come back through the field to be a factor at the end of the race.
Olger mounted a few charges on Schlenk for the lead in the first half of the race, but Schlenk held off each challenge and began to open up some breathing room.
Justin Paxton, the driver who finished second in last week’s photo finish, started 16th and had worked his way up to third by lap 13. Paxton then moved around Olger for second and began to close on Schlenk for the lead.
Bob Miller slid off the top of turns one and two on lap 22 to bring out the final caution of the race and then a strange set of events began to unfold after the ensuing restart.
The officials on the backstretch ruled that Ky Harper, who had worked his way back up to fourth after spinning earlier in the race, had jumped the restart in which the penalty is to be moved back two positions at the next caution or the conclusion of the race. Unfortunately for Harper, there were no more cautions.
Paxton and Schlenk battled for the lead in the closing laps with Harper getting by Schroyer to be the third car in the running order on the track.
After taking the white flag, the leaders made contact setting up a crazy finish. Schlenk had been running the inside groove most of the race, but stayed up in the high groove going into turn one on the final lap. Paxton had been running that line and got into the back of Schlenk which got Schlenk loose and sent Paxton way up high in turns one and two.
That contact allowed Harper to pass the both leaders and was first to the checkered flag. Schlenk was the second car across the finish line followed by Rody Schroyer.
With Harper having jumped the last restart, Schlenk would have been declared the winner, but some extracurricular activity on the cool down lap with Schlenk hitting the 34 car of Harper a couple of times negated that win. It appeared that Schlenk was retaliating for the contact that Paxton had made on the final lap and Harper was a victim of mistaken identity.
After much debate among Oakshade officials, Rusty Schlenk was disqualified for his unsportsmanlike conduct on the track and since Harper had jumped the restart on lap 22, Rody Schroyer was awarded with the win.
Harper would have been credited with third, but with Schlenk’s disqualification, Harper got second. Zack Olger took third ahead of Ron Perrine and Clint Jamison. Justin Paxton slipped back to finish sixth.
The drama continued into the UMP Sportsman 30-lap feature with Schlenk electing to give up his pole starting position to start at the back of pack after having won four of the last five UMP Sportsman features.
Steven Mills had a great run, leading the first part of the race until Ray Klawitter ran him down and took over the lead on lap four.
Schlenk suffered a close call on lap seven after bouncing off the B4 of Billy Ruff and then into the 94 car of Chris Smith that sent Smith spinning which collected Bruce Stuart to bring out the yellow. Ruff and Schlenk continued on without stopping on the track.
Brian Fisher had another strong run for the second straight week after his second place finish last week. Fisher took the lead from Klawitter by the halfway point in the race.
Schlenk continued his charge to the front by finally taking the lead on lap 23 from Fisher, but Fisher would not give up so easily. The two drivers battled side by side for the final five laps.
Rusty Smith spun with two laps to go setting up a two lap shootout to the finish. Schlenk appeared to get a great restart and opened up some distance on Fisher. Then as the field was coming to the white flag, Fisher slowed even more and retired to the infield after appearing to have the only car that could compete with Schlenk.
The Jackson, Michigan driver went on to win his fifth UMP Sportsman feature of the year. Klawitter finished second and Mike Jessen, after starting deep in the field, was third. Mills finished fourth with Brad Kendall rounding out the top five finishers.
Jerry Signor and Gary Domoe battled for the lead early in the Bomber A Main until Tom Ordway took control on lap three.
Craig Dippman worked his way up to seventh by lap 11, and then had a wheel come off that sent him spinning in turn three which ended his night.
Gary Domoe closed back in on Ordway and got in front of Ordway twice, but each time he took the lead, the yellow flag would come out which would keep Ordway in the lead.
Domoe’s bid for the lead was cut short after a restart when Jake Rendel, who was running third, got into the back of Domoe resulting in Domoe spinning and bringing out the yellow flag.
That allowed Rendel to restart in second behind Ordway and eventually Rendel got around Ordway to take lead and the victory which was his second A Main win of the year. Ordway held on to finish second ahead of Ron Tolles, Randy Roseman and Bomber points leader Jim Scout.
Bob Rendel, John McGeorge and Curt Lancaster put on a good show for the lead in the Bomber B Main. Rendel led early, but by lap eight Lancaster took over the lead and didn’t look back.
After winning the Bomber C Main last week, Lancaster took the checkered flag in the Bomber B Main. McGeorge held on to finish second with Hugh Snell third. Rendel fell back to finish fourth ahead of Dave Sibberson.
Dustin Sauter tried to challenge Chris Henry for the lead in the Bomber C Main and ended up scraping the front stretch wall after coming off turn four a little high. On the same lap, Sauter ended up spinning in turn four to bring out the caution flag.
Henry appeared to be on the way to the easy victory until Roger Davenport took over the lead with two laps to go. Davenport got loose on the next lap down the front stretch as the white flag flew allowing Henry to get back by for the lead and the eventual win.
Davenport held on to finish second ahead of Jared Rohrs, Gary Feldkamp and Chuck Faller.
On Saturday, June 17, the 17th Annual Barney Oldfield Race will take place at Oakshade Raceway paying $4200 to win to the UMP Late Models. The UMP Sportsman and Bomber divisions will also be in action with gates opening at 4pm and racing at 7pm.