Defending Oakshade Raceway Late Model Champion Justin Paxton picked up his first feature win of the year Saturday night by dominating the race.
Brian Ruhlman, in an effort to try for his third feature win in a row, had to transfer in to the feature by winning one of the three consolation events. Unfortunately, Ruhlman was caught up in a huge pile up on the backstretch on the very first lap which brought out the red flag so the track workers could clear the track. Eight cars were involved, but only two, Ken Hahn and Greg Martin, were unable to continue. Ruhlman’s badly damaged car rejoined the field just as the green flag dropped.
Paxton started on the pole and went on to open up a large lead over Rick Delong, Todd Schroyer and Casey Noonan.
After a caution on lap eight for debris, Noonan moved up to the second position. Delong and Schroyer got together on lap 15 to bring out another caution flag that knocked both drivers out of the top five.
Another late caution set up a two-lap sprint to the finish with Paxton ahead of Noonan and Rusty Schlenk, but Paxton was too strong for Noonan and picked up the checkered flag after leading every lap. Noonan, Schlenk, Kris Patterson and Aaron Scott rounded out the top five. Brian Ruhlman managed an eighth place finish.
The sportsman feature once again produced the most exciting finish on the night with a lot of lead changes throughout the race.
Rusty Smith jumped out from the pole to claim the early lead, but soon found last week’s feature winner, Tim Fisher, and Joe Derbeck all over his back bumper. On lap five, Fisher and Derbeck made it three wide for the lead as they split around the 71 car of Smith pushing him back to third.
Fisher held the lead for two laps until Derbeck got by and became the race’s third different leader.
John Bailey brought out the caution on lap number nine and on the ensuing restart, both Tim Fisher and Brian Fisher got by Derbeck for the top two positions. Brian Fisher then became the fourth leader of the race on the very next lap.
Derbeck got hooked up in the high groove and retook second from Tim Fisher and on the final lap got to the outside of Brian Fisher for the lead. They raced door to door the entire final lap all the way to the checkered flag with Derbeck crossing the line first just by the nose of his car. Derbeck won his first sportsman feature of the year and became the fifth different driver to win this year.
Brian Fisher ended up second for the second week in a row followed by Tim Fisher, Dale Cole and Mike Jessen.
The bomber A Main was the only feature of the night to be run entirely caution free.
Matt Shipley grabbed the lead after starting from the pole and must have watched Justin Paxton dominate in the late model feature because Shipley went on to lead every lap as well to win his first bomber feature of the year.
Kevin Cole ran second the entire race and finished in that position with Josh Steinacker third and Jake Rendel fourth.
Karl Spores took the early lead in the bomber B Main with Jared Rendel and Rob Anderzack in pursuit.
Craig Dippman’s spin on lap three brought out the yellow flag and on the restart, Anderzack who was trying to advance his position, lost control and spun coming off turn four. Bill Toedter had a full head of steam coming off the corner and smacked Anderzack head-on putting the field under yellow again.
Toedter retired to the pits, but Anderzack continued on and rejoined the tail of the field.
Jared Rendel was the next to spin while racing Gary Cole Jr. for second relegating the 006 car of Rendel to the rear of the field.
It was Karl Spores who led the entire distance to pick up his first feature win of the year over Josh Caudill, Cole Jr. and Ken Eitniear.
The bomber C Main finally provided some lead changes with Bob Zuver the leader on lap one, but Kenny Fiig would lead lap two.
By lap four, Chris Dotson took over the top spot with Zuver, Fiig and Randy Murday in tow.
Fiig faded back through the field as Dotson went on to hold off Zuver for the win. Murday finished third ahead of Rex Strow and Gene Zollner.
Saturday, June 12, Oakshade Raceway will host a special event featuring topless late models (think convertible late models) in a non-points event. Sportsman and bomber divisions will also be back in action.