Defending UMP Late Model National Champion Rusty Schlenk notched another feature victory at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night in an effort to repeat his Oakshade national championship and the Oakshade track championship.
Schlenk has all but sewn up the Oakshade Raceway UMP Late Model Track Championship with a commanding lead going into the final point event coming up in next weekend’s UMP Late Model Season Championship Night. Schlenk still has a little work to do in securing a second UMP National Championship. He currently sits second in the national standings.
Winner of one of the Dual Push Truck Challenge feature events last week, Schlenk started on the outside of the front row and immediately took control of the feature event ahead of Oak Harbor, Ohio’s Curtis Deisenroth. Zac Calkins lost a drive shaft to bring out the first caution flag on lap number two. Shortly after the restart, Deisenroth spun and collected Brian Ruhlman in a hard head-on collision. Both drivers went to the pits, but only Ruhlman rejoined competition just before the field went back to green. Schlenk went on to pick up his sixth Oakshade feature win of the year and Casey Noonan kept fairly close and earned a second place finish. Brian Ruhlman charged back through the field after restarting at the tail earlier in the race to secure third. Devin Shiels was fourth with Dusty Moore finishing fifth.
Chris Keller has come alive the second half of the season and earned his fourth consecutive UMP Sportsman feature win of the year. Keller had to duck under pole-sitter Bob Gregory to take the lead on lap one. Despite a very close call trying to lap Eric Bradner, Keller went on to what appeared to be an easy victory in the caution-free race. Bruce Stuart finished second and point leader Tim Line was third. Last year’s champion Mike Jessen followed Line for fourth with Bob Gregory slipping back to a fifth place finishing position.
Jeff Foks grabbed the lead at the start of the UMP Bomber A Main. Point leader Jim Scout was working toward the front when contact from Chris Henry turned him around in turn two early in the race. Scout managed to keep going with no caution flag, but fell to the back of the running order. The first and only caution flag flew near the finish of the race when Chris Dachenhaus, Chris Howard and Chuck Leininger wrecked in turn four. That would tighten things up with just a couple laps left. Foks held off Rick Dixon to pick up his second A Main win of the year. Adam Noonan and Garry Domoe finished third and fourth respectively and had a slight post-race altercation on the track. Chris Henry finished fifth.
Taylor Dippman led the early laps of the Hornet feature event until she suffered a flat right front tire. That allowed Derek Morris to take over the race lead. Morris went on to pick up his seventh feature win of the year and his fifth in a row. He also took over the Hornet point lead from Drew Smith who retired from the race early. “Sparky Marky” Gillingham finished second ahead of Brandon Myers, Logan Hough and William Cundick.
Jeff Geis opened up a big lead early in the UMP Bomber B Main over John Gamber who pulled off the track to the pits on lap two. Fred Burtch closed in on Geis, but could not mount a challenge as Geis went on to take the checkered flag. Burtch settled for second with Donvan Paskan winding up in third. Roscoe Stetten and Justin Gamber rounded out the rest of the top five finishers.
The UMP Bomber C Main once again produced one of the night’s most exciting finishes. Dylan Herman took the lead after starting on the pole. Dan Plath was in a battle for second when he suffered a flat tire and headed to the pits. Joe Heffner was running second when he made contact with the lapped car of Jacob Dickman allowing Jamie Grochowski to take over the position. Grochowski closed in on Herman for the lead on the final lap and the two drivers made significant contact as they crossed the finish line with Herman taking the win by a few feet. Randy Nickles started near the back of the field and finished third followed by Joe Heffner and Devin Goodman.
Saturday, August 27th is Season Championship Night for the UMP Late Models at Oakshade Raceway. The UMP Sportsman, UMP Bomber and Hornet divisions will also be in action with gates opening at 4pm and racing at 7pm.