Schlenk Wins Plus Takes Over Point Lead

Five-time Oakshade Raceway Late Model Champion Rusty Schlenk picked up his first feature win of the year on Saturday night. His win moved him up nine points in front of Brian Ruhlman to take over the point lead.

Schlenk started on the outside of the front row and traded the lead with pole-sitter Steve Kester several times on the first lap of the Bob Culler Memorial UMP Late Model feature event. Kester was able to be out front at the completion of lap one, but Schlenk took over on lap two and never looked back. Bobby Hutchins was running near the tail end of the field and spun right in front of the leaders to bring out the yellow flag on lap eight. Luckily everyone was able to navigate around Hutchins without further incident. Jeff Babcock mixed it up with Schlenk after the restart, challenging for the lead. Schlenk was able to pull away and left the rest of the field in his dust in an impressive feature win. Babcock ended up finishing second with Chris Keller third. Kester finished fourth and Casey Noonan was fifth.

The UMP Sportsman feature was marred by a seemingly endless number of cautions before a single lap could be completed. The biggest incident happened on the initial start of the race and involved nearly half the field in a huge pile up at the end of the backstretch. Some of the drivers involved were Roger Weirich, Bruce Stuart, Karl Spoores, Eric Bradner and Mike Jessen who had two feature wins already this season. The next start was cut short for a wreck with Jamie Grochowski and Graeme Short. On the third attempt, Chane Stuckey and Scot Mills, who both were on the front row, wrecked and collected Dan Gehring. A single file start was then in order and even that didn’t work with things stacking up in anticipation of the green flag. That left point leader Tim Line stopped with a damaged car in turn four. Finally, after the next restart, there was a decent green-flag run with Bruce Stuart leading early. Bob Krumm, who managed to somehow keep out of trouble, took the lead away on lap two. Grochowski closed in on Krumm, but was unable to make a bid for the lead allowing Krumm to win his first ever Sportsman feature race. Grochowski settled for second followed by Stuart, Rusty Smith and Chane Stuckey.

Skeet Reckner led the first couple laps in the Bomber A Main until Jeff Foks dove to the inside and took the lead on lap three. Last week’s A Main winner, Terry Rushlow, mounted a late charge toward the front moving into second position by lap 11. Craig Dippman and Chris Henry got together while battling for fourth which sent both cars spinning and brought out the caution flag on lap 12. Another late caution set up a one-lap race to the finish in which Rushlow was unable to capitalize on. Foks earned his second feature win of the year with Rushlow a close second. Chris Sands took third finishing ahead of Skeet Reckner and Richard Riffe.

Cody Stetten led the first couple of laps in the always exciting Sport Compact feature. “Sparky Marky” Gillingham took command on lap three, but that lead was short-lived. Coming off turn four, Brandon Myers got into the rear of Gillingham sending him spinning. Both drivers were sent to the tail which turned the lead over to Bradley Griffitt who had won his heat race earlier in the night. Griffitt was able to hold off John Martis en route to his first Sport Compact feature win. Brogan Rehklau finished third followed by Jerry Hoot and pole-sitter Cody Stetten.

Teri-Lynn Murphy led the majority of the final race of the night, the Bomber B Main. Jim Remly tried to put some pressure on Murhpy, but Mathew Chapman played the spoiler. He started near the back of the field and worked his way up to the lead with just two laps to go. Chapman went on to take the checkered flag with Murphy finishing in second. Justin Gamber also capped off a decent run after starting near the back of the field to finish third. Terry Rump was fourth and Remly slipped back to finish fifth.

The racing action is just starting to heat up this season at Oakshade Raceway. This weekend will not only be a full show of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsmen, Bombers and Sport Compacts on Saturday’s Wallace Racing Products night, but there will also be a 200-lap/2 hour Enduro race on Sunday afternoon. Gates will open at 4pm on Saturday with racing at 7pm. On Sunday, gates will open at 12pm and the Enduro will take the green flag at 2pm.


Van Wormer Captures ALMS Win

Jeep Van Wormer topped the other 33 Sunoco American Late Model Series (ALMS) competitors at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night after masterfully working through lapped traffic.

The start of the 30-lap ALMS feature was a bit rough with two caution periods before a single lap was complete. One of which was for a major pile-up involving ALMS co-point leader Rusty Schlenk as well as Devin Shiels, Jeff Babcock and defending track champion Dona Marcoullier. Schlenk and Shiels went to the pits, but came back out before the resumption of racing. Despite Marcoullier’s car ending up on top of Babcock’s, both drivers drove away and were able to continue. Although Babcock would retire to the pits one lap later under another caution period.

With Casey Noonan leading, things settled down for the remainder of the race which went green all the way to the checkered flag. Van Wormer and Brian Ruhlman both got by Noonan to take the top two positions by lap six. Ruhlman challenged Van Wormer a bit for the lead, but Van Wormer was able to put some distance between them. As he caught traffic running at that back the of the pack, Van Wormer made several bold moves to lap those cars, threading the needle through the middle three-wide on a couple of occasions. With his car able working well enough to run where ever he wanted, no one was able to catch Van Wormer who took the victory and the ALMS check for $2,000. Ruhlman and Noonan maintained their positions the final 24 laps to finish second and third respectively. Matt Miller finished off an impressive run in fourth after starting 16th. Bellevue, Ohio’s Ryan Missler rounded out the top five finishers.

It was the Mike and Tim show in the UMP Sportsman feature event once again. Mike Jessen and Tim Line put on a great show trading the lead back and forth as they have just about every night so far this season at Oakshade Raceway. Jessen was on top early with Line in tow. The battle started heating up on lap three of the 20-lap race. Line looked to the outside and took the lead on lap five. Bruce Stuart was running third when he spun to bring out a caution flag, knocking him to the rear of the field. Line proceeded to lead the next few laps, but Jessen was back to work on the inside and reclaimed the lead by lap eight. The two drivers couldn’t get away from each other and raced side by side most of the race with Tim Line on the outside and Jessen working down low. A late caution set up a green-white-checkered finish with Jessen leading. Line managed to get back ahead of Jessen and earned his second feature win of the year and now has a slim five point advantage over Jessen in the standings with both drivers each having two wins. Bruce Stuart worked all the way back up through the field after his early spin to finish third behind Jessen. Jamie Grochowski and Chane Stuckey were the rest of the top five finishers.

Chris Sands started on the pole of the Bomber A Main and led at the start with Richard Riffe close behind. Defending Bomber track champion Terry Rushlow got by Riffe and Sands to take command on lap eight. A couple laps later, Sands retired to the pits. Jeff Foks moved up to second and tried to pressure Rushlow for the lead. A huge wreck brought out the red flag just as the field was taking the white. Roscoe Stetten, Terry Rump and Adam Noonan slammed hard into each other just past the flag stand on the front stretch. Stetten climbed out of his car under his own power, but was assisted to the ambulance to be checked out further. That incident set up a one-lap shootout to the finish in which Rushlow was able to fend off Foks for his first feature win of the season. Riffe finished third ahead of Gregg Detray and Craig Dippman.

The Sport Compact feature event had a lot of tight racing action at the front of the field among a handful of drivers. Terry Rushlow Sr. got turned around in turn four early in the race. Cody Stetten was the leader early with Cory Gumm, Brandon Myers, Jerry Hoot and John Martis all close behind. Myers somehow worked his way to the front and took the lead on lap six and was able to keep Gumm behind him at the checkered flag. Stetten slipped back to finish third followed by Martis and Hoot.

A big crash involving Steve Reeves, Rick Dixon, Satch Crispen and Scott Robertson in turn four resulted in a complete restart of the Bomber B Main. Derek Morris was able to take the lead after starting on the pole and held it all the way to the checkered flag with Tim Hancock able to finish in second where he ran the entire race. A couple drivers that started very deep in the field, Ray Albert and Steve Morris, worked their way up to third and fourth place finishes with Pete Herman ending up fifth.

The racing action is just getting heated up this season at Oakshade Raceway and it continues this Saturday, May 31 with a full show of UMP Late Models, Sportsmen, Bombers and Sport Compacts. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm!

Ruhlman Outperforms Competition

Brian Ruhlman outperformed the competition on Saturday night at Oakshade Raceway to win the 25-lap UMP Late Model feature race.

Ruhlman started alongside Chris Keller on the outside of the front row and jumped out to the lead at the drop of the green flag. Ruhlman along with the rest of the front-runners survived a close call just past the halfway point in the race when a couple cars running at the tail of the field wrecked just in front of them. Devin Shiels was running fourth at the time and gave up his position to head to the pits. Last week’s feature winner Dusty Moore and Casey Noonan tangled a few laps later in turn four to bring out another caution period.

On the ensuing restart, the field stacked up as they were coming off turn four to take the green. Rusty Schlenk was running third and was collected in the melee forcing him to restart at the tail of the field with just nine laps to go. With Ruhlman continuing to lead, Wayne, Ohio’s Jeff Babcock marched his way through the field up to second. Babcock put some pressure on Ruhlman near the finish of the race, but Ruhlman held on to win after leading the entire distance. Babcock settled for second with Keller ending up third. Schlenk recovered nicely to finish fourth as did Dusty Moore who ended up fifth.

Mike Jessen earned his second consecutive UMP Sportsman feature win once again fending off the defending track champion. Jessen started on the outside of row one and took command at the start over Eric Bradner. Tim Line worked up into second by the halfway point of the race and pressured Jessen all the way to the checkered flag. Line worked the outside while Jessen stayed tucked down low The two drivers raced side-by-side lap after lap. Line had the advantage on lap 12, but Jessen fought back and reclaimed the lead and eventually took the checkered flag. Line was a close second followed by Jamie Grochowski who ended a great run in third after starting way back in 18th. Bob Krumm and Bruce Stuart were the rest of the top five finishers.

Pole-sitter Satch Crispen ran over Chris Sands in turns three and four while battling out front on the first lap of the Bomber A Main. This resulted in a complete restart with both drivers at the rear. Another driver emerging as an early contender for the points this year is Gregg Detray who got the lead early and maintained it through multiple caution periods to earn his second feature win of the year. Last week’s feature winner, Jeff Foks, peaked in the fourth position before retiring to the pits early in the race. Mathew Chapman finished second followed by Terry Rushlow, Garry Domoe and recovering to finish fifth was Chris Sands.

Racing action heated up in an action-packed Sport Compact feature with multiple drivers challenging for the lead the entire race. John Martis found himself out front at the start with about five other cars in close pursuit. Cody Stetten was the first to put pressure on Martis, but couldn’t take the lead away. Brandon Myers joined the fray and made it three-wide for the lead and again, Martis managed to remain the leader. Finally, Cory Gumm came up to challenge and took the lead as the white flag flew and went on to pick up the victory. Myers got by Martis to finish second with Martis slipping back to third. Stetten was fourth and Terry Rushlow Sr. took fifth.

Perhaps the most exciting racing action was saved for the final race of the night, the Bomber B Main. Terry Rump and Terry Perry had a great battle for the lead much of the race. After Perry closed in on Rump, he was able to take the top spot with just two laps to go. Coming out of nowhere to spoil things for Perry and Rump was Tim Murphy. Murphy made a bid for the lead on the backstretch of the final lap going three-wide with Perry and Rump and emerged with the lead coming to the checkered flag. Rump ended up second with Perry third. Richard Riffe and Charles Stuckey were the rest of the top five finishers.

Next week is another full racing program of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsmen, Bombers and Sport Compacts on Saturday night at Oakshade Raceway with gates opening at 4pm and racing at 7pm. Then on Sunday, May 18, another 200 lap or two hour Enduro race will take to the track at 2pm. Gates for the Enduro will open at 12 noon.

In a correction to last week’s article, it was misreported that Dusty Moore’s last feature win at Oakshade was in 2008. This was incorrect. Moore had a feature win last year on July 13, which was his last feature win previous to last week’s.