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Kester Speeds To His First Win Of Season

Mother Nature did her best to thwart the scheduled racing program at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night. The forecast high temperature and heat index caused race officials to push the scheduled race time back one hour to 8pm. Then, a storm rolled through with gusty winds and downpours just after hot laps at around 7:30pm. Track crews had a difficult time running in the track with the high humidity and lack of sunshine, but with the help of the race car drivers the track eventually came around and made for some extremely fast racing.

Holland Ohio’s Steve Kester picked up his first UMP Late Model feature win of the season despite some stout competition. It was Ryan Missler who rocketed out to a huge lead just after the drop of the green flag. Missler appeared to have the car to beat until he slammed into another car that had spun in turn two. That would put an end to Missler’s night after only six laps. The lead would turn over to three-time track champion Rody Schroyer. Another caution would come out for Matt Shippley’s stopped car one lap later and on the ensuing restart, Steve Kester would get by Schroyer for the lead. Rusty Schlenk, who was celebrating his birthday Saturday night, got by Schroyer for second soon after. Caution flags continued to fly for the remainder of the race with Schlenk trying to figure out a way around Kester. He worked the high side and tried the bottom a couple times to no avail in a bid to find capture his 200th win. That milestone will have to wait as Steve Kester held on to take the checkered flag with Schlenk settling for second. Joe Godsey from Edinburgh, Indiana, finished third with defending track champion Devin Shiels fourth. Schroyer slipped back to finish fifth.

Mike Jessen from Berkey, Ohio, started on the pole of the UMP Sportsman feature and led from flag to flag to earn his second feature win in 2019. Jerry Signor, fresh off his very first sportsman win two weeks ago, pursued Jessen most of the race. Signor was able to close up on Jessen in lapped traffic, but could not make the pass and finished in second. Brandon Gregory’s third place run kept him atop the Oakshade Raceway sportsman point standings, but now with only a slim nine-point advantage over Jessen. B.J. Gregory ended up fourth with Karl Spoores finishing fifth.

Curt Dickie looked strong early in the Hot Rod Welding & Engineering Bomber A Main, leading the first half of the race after starting on the pole. Adam Noonan pressured Dickie for much of that time and eventually was able to get the lead from Dickie. His lead wouldn’t last too long as a hard-charging Jeff Foks Jr. would get by on the high side to take the lead on lap 11. The Holland, Ohio, driver would go on to win his second A Main of the season. Noonan finished in the runner up spot followed by point leader Terry Rushlow in third. Gabe Mueller was fourth and Bubba Cundick gained 10 positions to end up fifth.

Cameron Tusing and Cory Gumm had a heated battle for the lead in the Napa of Swanton Compact feature event. Tusing led at the drop of the green flag after starting on the pole and Gumm was immediately putting on the pressure. Gumm would get up alongside Tusing and the two drivers banged doors a few times. Eventually, Gumm would take the lead on lap five. Tusing would battle back and Nathan Goodman made it three-wide for the race lead, but the Hillsdale, Michigan, driver would prevail for his fourth consecutive feature win. Goodman would finish second followed by Brogan Rehklau and Eric Carr. Tusing slipped back to finish fifth.

A wild and crazy Hot Rod & Welding Bomber B Main would finish off the night’s racing action. Dylan Burt took the lead at the start, but spun in the first corner resulting in a complete restart with Burt at the tail. Steve Reeves would lead the first couple laps, but Burt battled back to take the lead by lap three. Wauseon, Ohio’s Adam Lantz would close in on Burt and took the lead on lap seven and never looked back. Reeves would finish second followed by Shane Nofzinger. Burt finished the last few laps with a flat right front tire and managed to hang on to a fourth place finish. Bill Reeve’s Jr. was fifth.

This weekend is a big one at Oakshade Raceway. It is the rescheduled 30th Annual Barney Oldfield Race paying $5,500 to win for UMP Late Models. UMP Sportsman, Hot Rod Welding & Engineering Bombers and the Napa of Swanton Compacts will also be in action. Gates open at 4pm, hot laps at 6pm and racing begins at 7pm. Pit passes are just $25 and general admission is only $14 for ages 12 and up.

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Rescheduled 30th Annual Barney Oldfield Race

The 30th Annual Barney Oldfield Race paying $5,500 to win for UMP Late Models, has been rescheduled to Saturday, July 27th after getting washed out last month. UMP Sportsman, Hot Rod Welding & Engineering Bombers and the Napa of Swanton Compacts will also be in action. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.

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Keller Grabs Birthday Race/Hell Tour Finale Win, Shirley Crowned Summer Nationals Champion

Story by Gerry Keysor

Adrian Michigan’s Chris Keller showed up to Oakshade Raceway without a single sponsor on the No. 67 Late Model, but that didn’t matter, as Keller would beat the field in the 50-lap Hell Tour UMP Late Model Finale, leading wire to wire. No. 2 Nick Hoffman bagged the 25-lap Dirtcar UMP Modified A Main victory. No. 63R Terry Rushlow won his 4th Hot Rod Welding and Engineering Bomber A Main, while No. 11C Bubba Cundick picked up the B Main win.

Kicking off the features were the UMP Late Models in their 50 lap feature event. Chris Keller and No. 7R Kent Robinson would bring the field to green. Keller took the lead and headed to the bottom of the track, pulling away early over Robinson and No. 99JR Frank Heckenast Jr. Caution would fly on lap 5 for No. 23 Ryan Vanderveen spinning in turn 2. On the restart, No. 55 Jeep Van Wormer fought his way to 3rd, and set his sight on the leaders. No 25 Jason Feger headed to the top of the track and began his march toward the front. The leaders would get to lapped traffic on lap 15 and that would allow Robinson to close on Keller. No. 50 Ryan Missler would bring out the next caution on lap 18 when the driveshaft came out of his car and he came to a stop on the backstretch. On the restart, Feger powered his way to 3rd and Van Wormer lost multiple spots. Keller would pull out to a 10 car length lead and was on a roll until lap 33, when the No. 06 Jake Rendel proved to be a thorn in the leaders’ sides as they tried to put him a lap down. Keller cleared Rendel on lap 39 and set sail once again. Rendel would hold his line and fight hard to stay with the leaders, holding up Robinson long enough for Feger to make his way to 2nd on lap 42. Keller would win over Feger, Robinson, No. 2 Travis Stemler, and No. 3 Brian Shirley, who would be crowned UMP Summer Nationals Champion and picked up the $25,000 check for the 3rd time in his career.

Next up the UMP Dirtcar Modifieds would take the track with No. 88 Matt Crafton and No. 99 Hunt Gossum pacing the field to the green flag. The 14 year old Gossum would charge to the lead early with Crafton settling in 2nd. Hoffman began to make his moves by lap 2, getting by Crafton and setting his sights on Gossum. Gossum looked to be in control of this feature until lap 20, when No. 975 Reed Hurst spun right in front of the leader, and Gossum made contact as he got by. On the restart, Hoffman wasted no time in getting by Gossum for the lead in the middle of the track. Caution would wave just before the checkered flag, setting up a one lap dash for the finish. Gossum would leave the track however, thinking the race was over. That handed 2nd to Crafton, with No. 12 John McClure finishing 3rd, No. 555 Justin Coulter 4th, and No 5 Curt Spaulding completing the top 5.

The Bomber A Main was next with No. 8 Adam Lantz and No. 55 Dylan Hough leading the field to green. Lantz would grab the early lead before mechanical woes sent his pitside on lap 3.No. 63 Terry Rushlow would assume the lead and never look back. Multiple cautions kept this one close, but ultimately, time would run out, as Rushlow grabbed his 4th Bomber A Main Victory of the season over No. 96 Donavan Paskan, No. 70 Jeff Foks Jr., No. 21s Roscoe Stetten, and No. T62 Curt Dickie.

The Bomber B Main would wrap up the night’s racing action, with No. 123 Dave Mc Mannamy and No. 721 John Martis leading the field to green in the 12 lap event. No. 4G Justin Gamber would grab the lead on lap 2 and try and set sail. No. 11C Bubba Cundick battled his way to 2nd by lap 6, and started heading for the lead. After a lap 8 caution, Cundick battled side by side with Gamber and came out with the lead and the win. Gamber finished 2nd with No. B18 Dan Bleikamp 3rd, Martis 4th, and No. 711 Amy Clair completing the top 5.

Oakshade Raceway roars back to life next Saturday July 20th, with a full show featuring the UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman division, Hot Rod Welding and Engineering Bombers, and Napa of Swanton Compacts. Gates open at 4PM, Hot Laps at 6pm, and Racing at 7pm. General admission for ages 12 and older $14. Pit Passes all ages $25. Get details on this and all events at oakshaderaceway.com