A brief downpour an hour before hot laps delayed the start of Saturday evenings’ racing action at Oakshade Raceway, but the fans that waited things out were treated to some of the season’s best racing action which was highlighted by Brian Ruhlman’s last lap pass for his first feature win of the season. It was also the Night of Wheels where over 50 bicycles, power wheels and scooters were given away to a lot of happy youngsters.
The weather conditions led to some of the fastest laps by a UMP Late Model being turned at Oakshade Raceway with Rob Anderzack knocking out some heat race laps at just a few thousandths of a second over 14 seconds. Anderzack started on the outside of the front row of the UMP Late Model feature and led most of the 25-lap race. Devin Shiels was able to get up alongside Anderzack and the two drivers put on a heated side by side battle for the lead. Shiels finally got by for the top spot while working through lapped traffic which forced Anderzack high. Anderzack smacked the back stretch wall coming off turn two and slipped back behind Clarklake, Michigan’s Brian Ruhlman. Ruhlman reeled in Shiels in the closing laps and made a bid for the lead with two laps to go. The move was unsuccessful and he lost a bit of ground as they took the white flag. Ruhlman then closed back in quickly and made an incredible move, diving to the inside of Shiels coming off turn four and just edging him out at the line for the defending champion’s first feature win of the year. Anderzack held on to finish third with Casey Noonan fourth. UMP Late Model rookie driver Chris Sands posted his first top five finish after finishing in fifth.
For the second week in a row, Rusty Smith appeared to have the car to beat in the UMP Sportsman feature event and was unable to make it to the finish. Smith took the race lead from Chane Stuckey on lap five and then spun two laps later while battling with eventual winner Drew Smith. That ended Rusty Smith’s night and dropped him out of the Oakshade Sportsman point lead. Brandon Gregory worked his way up to the second position, but got caught up with a lapped car bringing out the yellow flag with three laps to go. Drew Smith from Sylvania went on to pick up his third feature win of the season which also catapulted him 36 points in front of Rusty Smith for the point standings lead. Rich Ruff finished second ahead of Stuckey, Tim Fisher and last week’s winner George Lindsey.
A great battle at the front of the Bomber A Main turned ugly in a hurry. William Cundick, Chris Henry and Gregg DeTray were fighting for the lead when Henry and DeTray spun in front of the entire field causing a big mess and ending the night for both drivers. Rich Riffe from Toledo took the lead from Cundick shortly after the restart and went on to pick up his fourth A Main win this year. Craig Dippman was second with Jeff Foks Jr. not too far behind. Tim Hancock started 11th and ended up fourth with Terry Rushlow fifth.
Holland, Ohio’s Jeff Foks Sr. finally put an end to Brogan Rehklau’s win streak after picking up his second Compact feature win of the season. His win also closed him to within two points of point leader Jason Deshler who ended up finishing fifth. Cory Gumm posted a second place finish after starting outside the top 10. Nathan Goodman was third and Rehklau finished fourth.
Justin Gamber out of Wauseon won the Bomber B Main from the pole, holding off Gabe Mueller and Satch Crispen. Scott Robertson started deep in the field and was able to move up 12 positions to finish fourth ahead of Ryder Price.
Dave “Gumby” Golembiewski Jr. suffered engine issues and pulled off the track, giving up a big a lead in the Bomber C Main that was won by Wauseon’s Jody Burton. Brian Johnsonbaugh finished second followed by Abby Burton, Brianna Ruby and Chris Bleikamp.
The annual Tom Elling Memorial Australian Pursuit Races wrapped up the night. Ryan Missler, Mike Jessen and Rich Riffe were the winners of the Tom & Betty Elling Motorsports, Tom Elling Family sponsored events.
Another huge night of racing is on tap for Saturday, August 12 at Oakshade Raceway. There will be double features for the American Late Model Series (ALMS). The Barney Oldfield Race, paying $5,300 to win that was rained out back in June will be run also, as well as a full ALMS show paying $2,000 to win. Sportsman, Bombers and Compacts will also be in action.
Gates open at 4 p.m., hot laps at 6 p.m., and racing starts at 7 p.m.