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Chad Finley Takes Checkers At Oakshade

WAUSEON, OH – Former NASCAR Truck Series driver Chad Finley scored his first dirt late model feature win of the year Saturday night at Oakshade Raceway.

Jim Plotts started on the pole and looked strong leading the first half of the UMP Late Model feature event. Plotts fended off an early challenge from Colin Shipley. Dewitt, Michigan’s Chad Finley worked his way past Shipley and took the lead from Plotts on lap 14 of the 25-lap main event. Casey Noonan moved up to second late in the race after starting sixth but could not close in on Finley who took the checkered flag easily in the caution-free race. Noonan settled for a second-place finish with Rusty Schlenk taking third. Plotts faded back to fourth with last week’s feature winner, Devin Shiels, finishing fifth.

In just his second start in the UMP Sportsman class, Donovan Paskan drove out in front of the feature after starting on the pole. Unfortunately, that lead was short-lived as Ian Palmer powered by to lead by the completion of lap number one. Palmer led the first handful of laps with Defiance, Ohio’s Josh Robertson knocking on the door. Robertson was able to Palmer for the lead and never looked back. A late caution would tighten up the field and give second place runner Carter Murday a shot at the lead, but Robertson was too strong and picked up the victory. Murday settled for second with Mike Jessen third. Palmer slipped back to finish fourth with Paskan rounding out the top five finishers.

Gabe Mueller, from Holland, Ohio, started on the pole of the Bomber A Main and led the entire distance to pick up the win. Multiple cautions kept the field tight, including one for last week’s A Main winner, Adam Lantz which ended his night early. Jeff Foks Jr. started 12th and worked his way all the up to a second-place finish with Justin Gamber, Kolin Schilt and Donnie Ringman the rest of the top five finishers.

Last week’s Compact A Main feature winner, Eric Carr, took the early lead in this week’s feature event. Cory Gumm, out of Hillsdale, Michigan, had battled with Carr for the lead last week before falling off the pace. This week, however, Gumm was able to take the lead from Carr on lap five. Despite his motor running at over 300 degrees, Gumm held off Carr to pick up the checkered flag. Carr finished second followed by Ryan Okuley, Charles Hargett and Todd Drewes.

A spectacular crash brought the Bomber B Main to an immediate halt on the very first lap. Dylan Wittes got in front of the field and got turned sideways entering turn three and barrel rolled several times. Wittes was uninjured but was done for the night. Once racing resumed, Burt Sharp paced the field with Taylor Dippman following in second. A car length or two separated Sharp and Dippman for most of the race. On the final lap, Dippman drove hard under Sharp going into the final set of turns. Somehow Dippman’s car stuck and the Oregon, Ohio driver came off the final corner with the lead and was first to cross the finish line. Sharp came across second with Alex Stoudinger recovering after an earlier caution to finish third. John Lonabarger and Scott Forrest finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Oakshade Raceway capped off the night with a Compact B Main that saw only half the grid make it out on to the track. Butler, Indiana’s Chariti Roby led the entire distance and picked up the easy win over Todd Drewes Jr. and Vanessa Goodman.

Action continues next Saturday, May 15, with more UMP Late Model, UMP Sportsman, Bomber and Compact racing at Oakshade Raceway. Gates open at 4pm with hot laps at 6pm and racing at 7pm.

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Shiels, Lantz, Smith and Carr Bill Reckner Memorial Winners

WAUSEON, OH – Oakshade Raceway opened its gates for the first time in 2021 with an exciting Bill Reckner Memorial night of racing. Three-time track champion Devin Shiels drove to the UMP Late Model feature win and Adam Lantz pocketed $1,200 for winning the Bomber A Main.

Dusty Moore won his heat race earlier in the night and started in the pole position for the UMP Late Model feature. Moore darted out to the lead over Ryan Missler at the start. Britton, Michigan’s Devin Shiels methodically marched his way up to second after starting sixth, taking advantage of a series of early cautions that kept the field tight. Moore continued to lead and appeared to have the car to beat until something broke in the rear end forcing him to abruptly head to the pits on lap 16 of the 25-lap main event. Shiels took over as the race leader and went on to take the first checkered flag of the season. Missler had dropped back as far as fifth earlier in the race, but recovered for a second place finish ahead of Colin Shipley, Jake Rendel and Casey Noonan.

Joe Smith from Sylvania, Ohio, led from flag to flag in the Bill Reckner Memorial UMP Sportsman feature. Carter Murday got into Jeff Robertson just a bit while the two were battling for second. Murday ended up spinning in turn three and collected fourth place Rusty Smith forcing both drivers to restart at the tail. Jeff Robertson held on to finish second with Josh Robertson moving up five positions to finish third. Mike Jessen and Jerry Signor were the rest of the top five finishers.

Multiple sponsors stepped up to increase the Bill Reckner Memorial Bomber A Main to pay $1,200 to win and additional monies throughout the finishing order. Those sponsors included PTSD Awareness Racing, Dynamic Technologies Setup & Consulting, Spiess Electric, Johnny Babb, Cory Gumm Racing, Ron Miller Race Cars and Tim’s Sims.

Terry Rushlow started third in the Bomber feature and took over the race lead by the completion of the first lap. Brad Eitniear managed to get by Rushlow on lap three, but a caution flag reverted the lineup back to the last completed lap with Rushlow maintain the lead position. On the ensuing restart Eitniear along with Donnie Ringman, Chane Stuckey, Jordan Conover and Cody Houston all got caught up in an incident in turn two. Wauseon, Ohio’s Adam Lantz restarted in second just behind Rushlow after the caution and took over the lead with a pass to the outside on lap five. Lantz appeared to be on the way to the easy victory after opening up a comfortable lead, but a late caution would set up an exciting finish. Lantz appeared to slip up a bit in turn two on the restart which opened the door for Rushlow to get back alongside. The two battled side by side for a lap or two, but Lantz was able to get back in front of Rushlow at the white flag and went on to earn the $1,200. Rushlow settled for second followed by Craig Dippman and Jeff Foks Jr. who started deep in the field after transferring in through one of the B Main’s earlier in the night. Gabe Mueller finished fifth.

The Compact feature event turned out to be one of the wildest races of the night. It was the only feature to run without a single caution flag despite multiple spins. In each case, drivers were able to right their cars and continue on, but it caused for lapped traffic to be spread all around the track. Joe Carr darted out to the lead on lap one, but defending track champion Eric Carr took command by lap two. Cory Gumm stormed up to battle with Eric Carr and took the lead on lap five. The two drivers continued to battle side by side while scattering around slower lapped traffic with Carr taking back the lead on lap seven. The two drivers made contact while trying to squeeze by one lapper and then Gumm fell off the pace allowing Wauseon, Ohio’s Eric Carr to pick up a convincing win despite an ill-handling car. Jason Deshler, Nathan Goodman, Ryan Okuley and Joe Elliott were all able to get by Gumm who slipped back to finish sixth.

Oakshade Raceway returns to action with a full program of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman, Bombers and Compacts on Saturday May 8 with gates opening at 4pm, hot laps at 6pm and racing at 7pm.