Rusty Schlenk Powers To Second Oakshade Feature Win Of Season

WAUSEON, OH – Oakshade Raceway returned to racing action after last weekend’s rain out with Mother Nature providing a beautiful evening for competition in which McClure, Ohio’s Rusty Schlenk was able to find his way back to the Oakshade Raceway Winner’s Circle for the second time this season.

Steve Kester, the 2020 Late Model track champion, darted out to big lead early in the 25-lap Late Model feature event with Rusty Smith and Dusty Moore in pursuit.

The caution flag would fly on lap 10 that would tighten the field up for a restart. That was the opportunity Schlenk needed as he gained two positions to take over the race lead running the high line and passing on the outside. Another caution flag would fly one lap later for one last restart. Schlenk powered away from the rest of the field on his way to pick up the checkered flag. Colin Shipley posted a second-place finish with Kester slipping back to third. Mathew Chapman slipped back at the start of the race after starting on the outside of the front row but was able to fight back for a fourth-place finish. Dusty Moore ended up fifth.

Several drivers coming in to the night in the top five in Sportsman points suffered bad luck in the 20-lap Sportsman feature. Carter Murday and Jesse Jones each cut down a tire in the race and Carter Schlenk had motor expire that brought out the red flag due to a fire. Schlenk quickly exited the car and was OK.

Pole-sitter Josh Robertson, out of Defiance, Ohio, stayed out of trouble and led flag to flag to pick up his first feature win of the season which allowed him to take over the Sportsman point lead. Jeff Robertson, Josh’s father, finished second followed by Joe Smith, Mike Jessen and Karl Spoores.

Defending track champion Gabe Mueller was back at Oakshade Raceway after wrapping up the track championship at Limaland Motorsports Park the night before. The Holland, Ohio, driver made his visit worthwhile, grabbing the lead of the Dominator Super Stock A Main shortly after the drop of the green flag and driving away from the rest of the field. It was the only caution-free feature event of the evening allowing Muller to maintain his lead even after catching slower traffic.

Although he could not catch Mueller, Kolin Schilt’s second-place finish was enough to reclaim the Dominator Super Stock point lead from William “Bubba” Cundick who ended up finishing fifth behind Justin Gamber and Scott Hammer.

Wauseon, Ohio’s Eric Carr earned his third Compact A Main feature win in a row (fourth of the season) to close the point battle just a bit between him and Ryan Okuley who managed to just get by Jason Deshler at the finish to take second. Jason Bailey gained seven positions to finish fourth with Brandon Paskan rounding out the top five.

Brian Barber and Scott Barnhart started on the front row of the Dominator Super Stock B Main and the two came together on the front stretch just before the completion of lap one. At least half the field was caught up in the ensuing melee that brought out the red flag with the track blocked going into turn one. Once things got going again, Curt Dickie found himself out in front of the pack with Chris Bleikamp on his back bumper. Bleikamp would get by Dickie for the top spot to lead lap two, but Dickie fought back to the inside in turns three and four and appeared to take the lead back, however, Bleikamp got into the rear of Dickie coming off turn four and Dickie spun bringing out another yellow flag. Bleikamp was black flagged for the move which then turned the lead over to Zeke McNew.

The white flag flew a short time later as the 12-minute time limit had expired on the Dominator Super Stock B Main. Jason Drummond put some pressure on McNew on the final lap and attempted to get to the outside of McNew in the final set of corners, but he overdrove the turns and pushed up high allowing McNew to take the checkered flag. Drummond was able to hold off Luke Zuver to finish second. Brian Barber was fourth with Curt Dickie recovering to a fifth-place finish.

The final race of the night, the Compact B Main, began with a bit of a wild start. Brandon Proffitt and Todd Drewes Jr. were battling for the lead in turns one and two when Proffitt’s car suddenly shot up the track and into Drewes bringing out the yellow flag and knocking both drivers out of competition. Maria Wells would take over the race lead but Chris Rutan would take over the lead shortly after the restart.

Megan Elliott had an up and down race. She started on the pole and slipped back to fourth early. She fought back up to second and spun to bring out the yellow on lap three.

Rutan, out of Toledo, Ohio, would go on to pick up the victory over Craig Jones, John Roby, Taj Mitchell and Elliott who was able to come back to finish fifth.

Oakshade Raceway will be back in action with a full racing program that includes DIRTcar UMP Late Models, Sportsman, Dominator Super Stocks and Compacts on Saturday, August 6. Gates open at 4pm with hot laps/qualifying at 6pm and racing at 7pm.


Devin Moran Outduels Schlenk For $10,000 Birthday Race Win

Story by Randy Roberts

WAUSEON, OH – A late-race caution set up a fantastic finish as Devin Moran outdueled Oakshade regular and six-time track champion Rusty Schlenk to bag $10,000 at the 24th annual Birthday Race Saturday night at Oakshade Raceway in the annual stop for the Dirtcar Late Models and Modified Summer Nationals.

The final caution in a late model feature filled with incidents came with nine laps to go. While Moran and Schlenk were trading slide jobs, Joe Godsey came to a stop in turn four with a flat tire. After the restart, the Dresden, Ohio native was able to hold off Schlenk to earn the win and join his father, Donnie, as the second father and son winners of the Oakshade birthday race.

Colin Shipley started on the pole and led the first five laps before being overtaken by Moran, who charged forward from the third spot.

Moran held off the field for multiple restarts, with the worst incident coming near the halfway mark of the 40-lap event. The car of Brad Eitniear went over the nose of Rob Anderzack and ended upside down, which brought out the red flag.

Schlenk was able to move to second once the race restarted. Current Summer Nationals point leader Bobby Pierce had an outstanding move to shoot the gap between Payton Freeman and Devin Shiels to move to third on the restart. Pierce ended third, with Freeman and Shiels rounding out the top five.

In the 25-lap Summer National modified feature, Chad Bauer and Brian Ruhlman put on a show over the final five laps with Bauer besting the former Oakshade late model track champion for the win.

Very early in the race, Bauer took the lead from polesitter Dylan Woodling. Like the late model feature, Bauer needed to hold off the field through multiple restarts.

One person moving forward was Ruhlman, who started ninth in the 23-car feature. He took second from Woodling and set his sights on the lead, even nosing forward in the final laps. Bauer was able to get back to the inside late and hold off Ruhlman to snag the win.

Woodling pulled off while running third with six laps to go. Dalton Lane ended third, with Andrew Smith and Bill Griffith rounding out the top five.

The Dominator Super Stocks ended the night with three feature events. In the A Main, Adam Lantz had to take the lead on multiple restarts before finally getting to the point for good. He lost a huge lead on a late restart, but was able to stay in front of David Ellis for the win. Kolin Schilt, Scott Hammer and Shane Estes scored top-five finishes.

In the B-Main, Dan Dippman, who started deep in the field, shot to the front after Burt Sharp rolled his car over, to win. Dippman was in control from that point and took the checkered flag in front of Jason Drummond, Gary Domoe, Scott Barnhart and Sam Estes.

In the C-Main, Brian Barber battled for the lead early, but had to pull into the infield. It opened the door for Jayden Bleikamp, who had a great finish with Dean Taylor to earn the feature win. Taylor settled for second, with Josh Heinemann, Bradley Goad and Brandon Goad rounding out the top five.

Oakshade Raceway returns to action Saturday, July 23, with another full night of racing action with Late Models, Sportsman, Dominator Super Stocks and Compacts. Gates open at 4 p.m., with hot laps at 6 and racing at 7.


Steve Kester Back In Oakshade Raceway Winner’s Circle

WAUSEON, OH – An exciting night of racing at Oakshade Raceway was highlighted by 2020 Oakshade Raceway Late Model Track Champion Steve Kester putting his car in the Oakshade Winner’s Circle for the first time this season after leading from flag to flag in the 25-lap late model feature and Haley Dippman winning the first ever Hot Dog Race sponsored by Nickloy’s Fix & Fab and Hammer Down Racing Report.

Just before intermission, Haley Dippman and Chris Bleikamp drove out to the front stretch to compete in the first ever Hot Dog Race at Oakshade Raceway. Both drivers raced around the track for one lap with Bleikamp first to get back to the front stretch with Dippman close behind. Dippman was a little faster exiting her car as both drivers approached the wall to consume their hot dog and soda. Things were even as they returned to their cars, but Dippman got her helmet on and buckled back in faster. She took off to complete here second lap as Bleikamp appeared to struggle with his belts. Dippman came off turn four unchallenged and won the $100 courtesy of Nickloy’s Fix & Fab and an additional $84 that was donated by the night’s 50/50 winner.

After intermission, Steve Kester, out of Holland, Ohio, shot out to the lead of the Late Model feature event from his pole starting position. A couple of early yellows, including one on lap two that involved nearly half of the field, kept the field tight for the first few laps. After that, it was all green flag racing with Kester showing the way just ahead of an excellent battle for second between Casey Noonan and Devin Shiels. Eventually Brian Ruhlman would dispose of both drivers and take over the second position with five laps remaining. Despite dealing with lapped traffic, Kester was able to hang on and pick up the victory with Ruhlman settling for second. Shiels ended up third with Casey Noonan finishing fourth and remaining the track point leader by 13 points over Shiels. Hillard Miller finished in the fifth position.

Adrian, Michigan’s Carter Murday dominated the Sportsman feature event to earn his second consecutive feature win and padded his lead in the track point standings. Murday started on the pole and drove out to a huge lead the first part of the race. A few cautions would tighten up the field, but Murday drove away after each restart and picked up his third win of the season. Jake Gamber held off Mike Jessen to finish second. Jarrett Rendel and Scott Robertson were the rest of the top five finishers.

Justin Gamber and Kolin Schilt had a heck of a battle for the lead in the Dominator Super Stock A Main for pretty much the entire race. Gamber, out of Wauseon, Ohio, started on the pole and took the lead over Schilt at the start and the two drivers drove away from the rest of the field. Schilt had a close call near the finish of the race after trying to get by a couple lapped cars running side by side. Contact from one of those cars sent him sideways, but Schilt was able to gather it back in and continue on. The yellow flag did come out for Haley Dippman who ended up spinning after the contact which set up a one-lap shootout to the finish which did not disappoint. Schilt drove to the inside of Gamber for the race lead going into turn one after the restart. Schilt took the lead down the backstretch, but Gamber ducked back under Schilt going into turn three and muscled his way back to the lead at the finish line. Schilt settled for second followed by Adam Noonan, William “Bubba” Cundick and Curt Dickie.

The Compact A Main was slowed with a late caution as well that would wipe out Eric Carr’s lead and set up another one-lap race to the finish with Ryan Okuley restarting in second. Okuley tried to challenge Carr for the lead, but the Wauseon, Ohio, driver held him off to pick up his second consecutive A Main win and his third of the season. Okuley settled for a second-place finish with Jason Bailey, Jason Deshler and Brett Ireland the rest of the top five finishers.

The red flag flew on the first lap of the Dominator Super Stock B Main after a crash on the backstretch involving Jeff Wells, John Lonabarger, Harriet Callahan, Duane Fletcher and Mason Luttrell. That resulted in a complete restart that saw Herbie Haynes take command. Gregg DeTray began closing on Haynes and took the lead on lap five after Haynes slowed on the backstretch and retired to the infield. DeTray, from Swanton, Ohio, then drove away and picked up the easy victory over Wesley Fisher, Duane Fletcher, Zeke McNew and Jason Drummond.

The Compact B Main wrapped up the night’s racing action with another exciting finish. Taj Mitchell started from the pole and led all but one lap. Aaron VanPelt pressured Mitchell for the lead, but then retired to the pits on lap five. James Stamper then took over the second position and he too would retire to the pits before the finish. Monclova, Ohio’s Gage Rushlow was next to take over the second position and got up alongside Mitchell at the white flag. Mitchell got up high in turns one and two and appeared to drop off the pace a bit as Rushlow took the lead. Mitchell got back up to speed entering the final set of corners, but Rushlow would come out of turn for with the lead and the win. Logan Streight was able to get by Mitchell on the final lap as well to finish second with Mitchell slipping back to third. Chris Rutan was fourth and Tyler Sandahl finished fifth.

The Vintage American Race Cars (VARC) will be making their annual visit to Oakshade Raceway on Saturday, July 9, with the cars on display behind the grandstands and a few exhibition races. Oakshade will also host its second Oakshade/Attica Late Model Challenge Series event in addition to racing action from the Sportsman, Dominator Super Stock and Compact racing divisions. Gates open at 4pm with hot laps/qualifying at 6pm and racing at 7pm.