Schlenk Dominates for Second Consecutive Feature Win
The 2005 and 2006 Track Champion, Rusty Schlenk, continued his march toward a third track championship and a possible UMP national point championship with his fifth feature win of the season at Oakshade Raceway on a night in which fans, crews and drivers remembered those who have passed away over the years that have made an impact in making Oakshade Raceway what it is today.
In a sport where so much can go wrong to knock a driver out of contention, luck is a major factor that goes hand in hand with skill and equipment. Luck was once again on Schlenk’s side as he drew a starting position on the pole for the UMP Late Model feature. Schlenk took advantage of the situation and took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Brian Ruhlman not far behind in second.
Only two cautions slowed the race, both on lap four. The first came out when Steve Kester spun coming off turn two. Then, just after the restart, Kevin Reeve spun in turn two and collected the 53 car of Hillard Miller.
The remainder of the race went caution-free as Schlenk opened up a large advantage over the rest of the field while working through lapped traffic on his way to his second consecutive feature win. Ruhlman held off a hard-charging Casey Noonan for second. Devin Shiels finished fourth behind Noonan with Dusty Moore slipping back to finish fifth after starting on the outside of the front row.
Another driver to take advantage of a pole starting position was George Lindsey in the UMP Sportsman feature, although Lindsey had to fight off a lot more pressure to pick up his first feature win of the year. Lindsey took the lead at the start, but a caution on lap three set up a double-file restart with Brice Luttrell restarting second on the outside of the front row. Luttrell had a great restart and assumed the lead on lap four, but Lindsey fought back to regain the lead the next lap. The two drivers raced hard, side by side for the lead for a few laps. Lindsey eventually began to pull away. A few more cautions kept allowing Luttrell a shot at the lead. Luttrell appeared to be better on the restarts while Lindsey needed a few laps to get back up to speed. Luttrell took the lead on lap 15, but Lindsey reclaimed the lead again on the next lap and went on to earn the victory. Luttrell had to settle for a second place finish followed by Mike Jessen, B.J. Gregory and Rich Ruff who started dead last.
Jim Scout started on the pole of the UMP Bomber A Main and opened up a commanding lead on a long green flag run that ended when Craig Dippman brought out the yellow flag after he had something break in the rear end of his car. Curt Lancaster was third on the restart and made a late charge for the lead that Scout was able to fend off on his way to his second A Main win of the year that put him back in the Bomber point lead by two points over Billy Brown. Curt Lancaster finished the race second followed by Danny Hogrefe, Todd Silvey and Jeff Geis.
Derek Morris and Dylan Herman have been very greedy with Oakshade Hornet features wins this season, having all the feature wins among them. Drew Smith, another pole-starter, had plans to become only the third different Hornet driver to pick up a feature win this year. Dylan Herman was the winner of the previous three features, but rolled to a stop in turn four on lap two which brought out the caution flag and relegated him back to the pits. Smith went on to lead the entire distance, but a close call with the lapped car of Austin Finch that almost sent Smith spinning, allowed Morris to close while Smith gathered control of his car. Smith held on to win his first feature of the year while Morris finished a close second. Drew Green ended up third with Dylan Burt and Ben Finch III rounding out the rest of the top five finishers.
Josh Montague held the early lead in the UMP Bomber B Main, but was pressured by Dan Plath. Plath finally took command of the lead on lap five. Plath survived a near miss with three laps to go when Tim McNicol who was running near the tail of the field spun right in front of the leader. Plath dove to the inside and just got by. He went on to pick up his first feature win of the season. Montague held on to finish second with Marty Bloomer third. Terry Rushlow and Karl Spoores started very deep in the field and ended up fourth and fifth respectively.
Joe Cordes was leading the UMP Bomber C Main until he got held up by a lapped car that allowed rookie Bomber driver Adam Noonan to take the lead. Cordes had slipped back a few positions after the incident with the lapped car, but worked his way back up to second to challenge for the lead once again. Noonan had enough to hang on for his second C Main win of the year with Cordes a close second. Jesse Moyer started 12th and worked his way up to finish third. Craig Turner ended up fourth with Jamie Faller fifth.
Oakshade Raceway will host the M&K Metals Bomber Bash that will pay $500 to the UMP Bomber A Main winner in addition to a full show of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsmen, UMP Bombers and Hornets on July 10. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.