Schlenk powers to second Oakshade feature win of season


By Scott Hammer - Oakshade Correspondent



Rusty Schlenk has many titles. He is the defending five-time UMP Late Model Oakshade Raceway Track Champion and is currently the national point leader for UMP Late Models and the American Late Model Series (ALMS). With his feature win on Saturday night at Oakshade Raceway, he has moved up to third in track points behind Casey Noonan and point leader Brian Ruhlman.

Noonan, fresh off his ALMS feature win last weekend, got the advantage over Schlenk at the start of the 25-lap UMP Late Model feature. Noonan built up a big lead over Ruhlman and Schlenk who had slipped back after starting on the pole. Schlenk, out of McClure, Ohio, had worked his way back up to second when the caution flag came out just about halfway through the race. That set up a double-file restart in which Noonan elected to take the outside.

Schlenk dropped to the inside of the Noonan and took the lead as the green flag dropped. Noonan wasn’t done yet. He fought back on the outside and regained the lead two laps later, but Schlenk took over the race lead for good on the very next lap. It was Schlenk’s second win of the year at Oakshade. Noonan held on to finish second with Chris Keller third. Devin Shiels was fourth with Brad Eitniear ending up fifth.

Graeme Short of Archbold took advantage of starting on the pole of the UMP Sportsman feature event to capture his first feature win. Short was hooked up on the bottom and avoided a spinning Christopher Whitlock at one point to convincingly claim the victory. Drew Smith finished second followed by Tim Fisher, Mathew Chapman and Mike Jessen.

It was a crazy night for the top two in points in the Bomber class. Chris Sands and Gregg DeTray came into the night atop the point standings with a single point separating the two drivers. Both drivers had issues in their heat races that forced them into borrowed rides for the features.

DeTray was able to make it into the Bomber A Main and even though he did not finish, he took over the point lead. Craig Dippman from Oregon, Ohio was the man to beat in the A Main. He took the lead over Jeff Foks and Skeet Reckner and led all the way to the checkered flag. Adam Noonan started 10th and ended up second with Foks and Reckner slipping back to third and fourth respectively. Adam Lantz was fifth.

Jeff Goodman and Brogan Rehklau battled side by side for the early lead in the Sport Compact feature race with Rehklau eventually winning that battle. John Martis tried to get in contention, working the low side. Not even last week’s feature winner Richard Riffe could get by Waldron, Michigan’s Brogan Rehklau who went on to pick up his fourth feature win of the year and increased his point lead to 132 over Martis. Riffe settled for second followed by Martis in third. Carter Murday held off Cody Stetten to finish fourth.

Chris Sands tumbled in the points from leading, down to fourth after an incident in his heat race that forced him into a borrowed car for the Bomber B Main. Unfortunately for Sands and the rest of the B Main line up, Holland, Ohio’s Tim Murphy did not feel like sharing the lead with anyone and led from start to finish after starting on the pole. Richard Riffe spun in front of a big group of cars at the end of the backstretch, did a 360 and incredibly kept going and without getting collected. The spin did knock him out of a top five finishing position. Satch Crispen managed to finish second followed by Rob Price, Derek Morris and Cody Laney.

Dave McMannamy led the first three laps of the Bomber C Main until his car slipped up high in turn four on the fourth lap. That opened the door for Dan Shaffer, who was driving Perry Cox’s 81C, to go on by for the lead. Shortly after Shaffer took command, Abby Burton got turned around on the front stretch to bring out the caution, at which time McMannamy went back to the pits. Shaffer led the rest of the way and held off Dylan Hough to pick up the C Main victory. Tim Vanpelt was third with Tyler James and Robert Meinen rounding out the rest of the top five.

Brad Eitniear won an emotional Tom Elling Memorial UMP Late Model Australian Pursuit race which was in memory of his father-in-law. Drew Smith won the Tom Elling Memorial Sportman Australian Pursuit and Craig Dippman was the winner in the Bombers.

The Dual Push Truck Challenge which features two complete 25-lap UMP Late Model feature races in addition to UMP Sportsman, Bomber and Compact racing action at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday, August 15. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.

By Scott Hammer

Oakshade Correspondent