Rusty Schlenk proved to be unbeatable Saturday night at Oakshade Raceway winning both the UMP Late Model and UMP Sportsman features on a night of racing sponsored by Wyse Excavating in Wauseon, OH..
It wasn’t easy for Schlenk in the UMP Late Model feature. Justin Paxton was racing like he was determined to win his second feature of the year after taking the lead on the second lap from Greg Martin.
With Paxton at the point, Schlenk marched his way up to second by lap 10 of the 25-lap event.
Two laps later, Skeet Reckner and Casey Noonan brought out the first yellow flag of the race which allowed Schlenk to restart right on Paxton’s rear bumper. The two leaders battled a bit for the lead after the green flag dropped, but Paxton held off Schlenk and began to open up some distance.
Paxton began to work his way through slower traffic in the closing laps, which allowed Schlenk to close back in. Schlenk caught Paxton on the final lap and dove to his inside. The two former track champions battled all the way to the finish line for a photo finish in which Schlenk won by mere inches.
Zack Olger finished third followed by Hillard Miller with his best finish of the year at Oakshade and Rick Delong in fifth.
Schlenk quickly switched into his Sportsman ride for the Sportsman feature where he started seventh.
Chris Keller, another of the drivers racing in both Sportsman and Late Model divisions, led the first four laps after starting on the pole. Rookie Sportsman driver, Billy Ruff took over the lead on lap five.
Ky Harper, brought out a yellow on lap seven with a spin that tightened up the field for the restart behind Ruff with Schlenk in third.
It took Schlenk two laps after the restart to get by Keller for second and then three laps later, Schlenk took the lead and set sail pulling away to a straightaway lead by the conclusion of the race.
Brian Fisher passed Ruff to finish second. Mike Jessen came home fifth.
Dan Dippman decided to take the Racers Connection Tail Start Challenge and elected to start at the tail of the Bomber A Main for a chance at an extra $235 if he could win the race.
Dippman faced some stiff competition with the top 3 in Bomber points running in the top three positions on the track, early in the race. With Tom Ordway leading, Jake Rendel and Jim Scout battled for second.
Rendel fended off Scout and then proceeded to try to reel in Ordway near the end of the race. On the final lap, Rendel drove too hard into turn three trying to mount one last charge on Ordway. Rendel ended up spinning and gave up a second place finish to Jim Scout.
Gary Domoe finished third followed by Dan Dippman in an impressive fourth place finish after starting at the tail. Craig Dippman was fifth and Rendel ended up falling back to eighth.
Richard Patton dominated the Bomber B Main leading every lap, but failed to meet post-race inspection and ended up being disqualified. Dan Shaffer who finished second on the track was then credited with the victory of a caution filled Bomber B Main.
Karl Spoores was second followed by Kevin Hanford, John McGeorge and Jeff Foks.
Curt Lancaster assumed control of the Bomber C Main after passing Gene Potridge on the very first lap and went on to lead every lap winning convincingly over Hugh Snell, Gene Potridge, Ron Leonard and Dean Thompson.
Oakshade Raceway will celebrate 30 years of racing on Saturday, June 10 with the 30th Anniversary Race night. The pits will open an hour earlier at 3pm and will be open for fans until 5:30pm to meet the drivers. Racing among the Late Model, Sportsman and Bomber divisions will begin at 7pm. There will be plenty of giveaways and freebies for everyone as part of the celebration.