UMP Late Model National Point leader Rusty Schlenk picked up an exciting American Late Model Series (ALMS) win after some late race heroics at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night.
Matt Miller got the advantage over J.R. Hotovy at the start of the 30-lap ALMS feature event. Miller, who has the most all-time ALMS feature wins at Oakshade with 12, led much of the race that was slowed multiple times for cautions. Ryan Unzicker came into the night with the ALMS lead, but rolled to a stop on lap three and was done for the night. Brandon Thirlby entered the night second in ALMS points and had to take a provisional to even make the starting field. After starting in the very last row, Thirlby seized the opportunity make up a lot of ground on Unzicker in the ALMS point standings. He drove all the way up to the third position by lap 20. The two cars in front of him had a great battle for the lead. Matt Miller was able to keep McClure, Ohio’s Rusty Schlenk behind him until there were only a couple laps to go. Schlenk finally got by and then pulled away to win the $2,000 prize. It was Schlenk’s third Oakshade Raceway feature win of the year. Miller settled for second with Thirlby passing the most cars to finish third. Last week’s UMP Late Model feature winner and unofficial 2015 Oakshade Raceway Track Champion Brian Ruhlman got by Curtis Roberts to finish fourth.
The great racing action continued with the UMP Sportsman feature event. Bob Gregory and Rich Ruff challenged each other for the lead the entire race. Gregory took the lead over Ruff on lap two and held it until the caution came out on lap eight. Ruff restarted on the inside of Gregory and the two drivers battled side by side for the next eight laps. Ruff edged ahead on lap 12, but two laps later it was Gregory back out front. Ruff took the lead for good on lap 15 and the caution slowed things down one lap later for an incident with Karl Spoores and Dennis Laney. Ruff, from Adrian, Michigan, led the final four laps with Gregory trying to keep second from Mathew Chapman. Chapman took the position with two to go, but Gregory fought back to finish in that position. Chapman, last week’s feature winner, finished third, but managed to solely take over the Sportsman point lead with only two weeks left. Mike Jessen and Jamie Grochowski were the rest of the top five finishers.
Garry Domoe took the lead at the start of the Bomber A Main, but Chris Henry took command by lap number two. Adam Noonan closed in and started pressuring Henry just before the caution flag flew on lap 11. Championship points contender Gregg DeTray was running third, but started to slow after the restart, eventually retiring to the pits. Craig Dippman made it three-wide for the lead on the final lap with Noonan and Henry, but Henry held on to take the checkered flag. Dippman was able to get by Noonan for second, as was Chris Sands who ended up third. Noonan slipped back a couple spots on that final lap to end up fourth, but now finds himself on top of a very unstable and competitive bomber points championship. Tim Murphy started very deep in the field and ended up fifth.
Randy Murday started on the pole of the Sport Compact feature race and despite getting a great start to lead the field through turns one and two, he did not complete a lap. Murday spun at the end of the backstretch and was hit hard by another car. This resulted in a complete restart. Jeff Rehklau took over the lead after the restart and held it for a few laps until Richard Riffe took advantage of Rehklau slipping way high in turn four to take the lead. Riffe, out of Toledo, Ohio, went on to pick up his sixth Sport Compact feature win of the year. Nathan Goodman finished second, followed closely by Brogan Rehklau, Brandon Myers and Jeff Foks Sr.
Holland, Ohio’s Jeff Foks led from flag to flag in the Bomber B Main. William Cundick was able to provide a little competition early in the race, but eventually faded back and spun later in the race. Foks went on to pick up his first feature win of the year over Amy Clair and Dean Taylor. Steve Morris worked his way back up to finish fourth just in front of Dave McMannamy after getting caught up in an earlier wreck.
Tyler James jumped the start of the Bomber C Main to get out in front of the field and then slowed a couple laps later. Brenem Mellon from Morenci, Michigan, then took command and dominated the rest of the race to earn his second C Main victory of the year. James recovered for a second place finish. Chris Yockman, Jeff Strock and Gabe Goens were the rest of the top five finishers.
The Michigan Dirt Cup Modifieds invade Oakshade Raceway on Saturday, September 12 along with the UMP Sportsman, Bombers and Sport Compacts. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm.