Schlenk Captures Fourth Late Model Championship at Oakshade
Rusty Schlenk capped off an incredible fourth championship season in the UMP Late Model division at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night with a his seventh feature win of the year.
Schlenk grabbed the lead at the start of the 30-lap Season Championship Late Model feature event and led the entire distance. Brad Eitniear, Brian Ruhlman and Steve Kester put on quite a show for the second position with Kester occupying the spot most of the first half of the race. Eitniear and Ruhlman both got by Kester for the second and third positions by the mid point of the race. Kester battled back and got back around both drivers for an impressive second place finish. Ruhlman finished third for the second straight week with Casey Noonan right behind in fourth which secured him second in the final point standings. Eitniear slipped back to finish fifth.
After wrapping up his second consecutive Oakshade Raceway Championship, Rusty Schlenk now has his sights set on a second consecutive UMP National Late Model Championship. He currently sits in second in a tight point battle with Ryan Unzicker.
Tim Fisher started on the outside of the front row in the UMP Sportsman feature and led the first lap. Fisher slipped up high in turn two opening the door for the Oakshade Sportsman point leader, Tim Line, to duck on by for the lead. Line stretched his advantage for a bit, but Fisher and Chris Keller began to close back in. Fisher regained the lead on lap 12, but a caution for Eric Bradner’s spin reverted the field back to the running order on lap 11 allowing Line to maintain the top spot. On the ensuing restart, Fisher dropped down low to challenge for the lead and ended up spinning out in turn two to bring out another caution. This was the first in a string of caution periods that continued to keep the field stuck on lap 11. Eventually a few green flag laps allowed Keller to take the lead from Line. Another late caution as the time limit expired set up a one lap shootout to the finish in which Keller held on to pick up his fifth consecutive feature win. Line settled for a second place finish followed by Joe Derbeck and Mike Jessen who started 16th. Bob Mayer finished fifth.
A big wreck at the start of the UMP Bomber A Main resulted in a complete restart with a bit of a jumbled line up after pole-sitter Fred Burtch spun on the backstretch and stacked up the field behind him. Craig Dippman moved up to the pole for the restart and led the first lap. Dippman’s great run was short-lived as he spun in turn two on the second lap while leading which brought out another yellow flag. Jeff Geis assumed the lead with Jeff Foks in second. Foks eventually got alongside Geis for the lead and both drivers battled side by side for a few laps until Foks finally got the advantage on lap six. Foks went on to post his second consecutive feature win and his third of the year. Tony Tolles and Jim Scout got by Geis to finish second and third respectively with Chris Henry ending up fifth.
Derek Morris continued his domination in Oakshade’s Hornet class earning his sixth feature win of the year. Morris took command after starting on the pole with Brandon Myers in pursuit. Myers great run was cut short in a scary incident with Tyler Grames. Myers was looking to the outside of the lapped car driven by Grames when it suddenly veered right in front of Myers and the two drivers made hard contact. That brought out the red flag as emergency crews checked on Grames. Once racing resumed, Morris was able to hold off a late challenge from Drew Smith to pick up the checkered flag. Smith settled for second followed by “Sparky Marky” Gillingham, Logan Hough and Regan Ford.
Kyle Light, Rick Dixon and Josh Sisty battled three-wide for the lead at the start of the UMP Bomber B Main. Light led the first lap, but Dixon found his way to the front by lap two. Sisty’s top five run ended early when he spun in turn two on lap four which brought out the yellow flag. At least four more caution periods kept things tight and set up an exciting final lap. Dixon was continuing to lead late in the race, but Chris Sands got by on the last lap. Sands led Dixon into turn three and Dixon got into the rear of Sands which turned him around. Dixon then got turned around himself when another car tagged him in the rear in turn four. Garry Domoe drove through the carnage and came off turn four with the lead and picked up the feature win. Kyle Light came back to finish second followed by Dan Plath and Satch Crispen. Josh Sisty drove back through the field to end up fifth.
The final event of the night, the UMP Bomber C Main, rolled out onto the track next. A great battle for the lead between Justin Gamber and Nick Fenner highlighted the early race action. Gamber was able to lead the first two laps, but slipped up high coming off turn four which allowed Fenner drive under him into the lead. Gamber slipped back through the running order, but became a factor again late in the race and he recovered back to second. Fenner was able to hang on to pick up his second C Main win of the year. Following Gamber in second was Charles Stuckey, Tim Zuver and Marty Bloomer.
The great racing action continues at Oakshade Raceway on Labor Day weekend with the final American Late Model Series show paying $2,000 to the winner of the UMP Late Model feature. Also in action will be the UMP Sportsman, UMP Bomber and Hornet classes. Gates open at 4pm with racing beginning promptly at 7pm.