Mother Nature decided to play nice this weekend after dumping a large amount of rain over the area the past few weeks. It was a welcome reprieve from the rain that allowed Oakshade Raceway to put on the $5,100-to-win, 26th Annual Barney Oldfield Race and the Night of Wheels bike giveaways. It had been 10 years since Pinconning, Michigan’s Jeep Van Wormer had won the Barney Oldfield Race, and after a decade he was able to pick up his second Oldfield victory which put him among some pretty elite company.
The first race of the night was the rained out (on multiple occasions) Bomber A Main from May 9. Gregg DeTray from Swanton started on the pole and led the entire distance. DeTray was able to open up a sizable lead on his way to his first Bomber A Main win of the year. Adam Noonan finished second ahead of Chris Sands. Chris Henry had peaked up to the second position but slipped back to end up finishing fourth. Tim Murphy charged to a fifth place finish after starting near the back of the field.
At intermission, over 60 donated bikes, trikes, wagons, were given away to a whole bunch of happy kids as part of the annual Night of Wheels.
Once the kids were happy, it was time to get down to business with the 40-Lap Barney Oldfield Race/American Late Model Series feature event. Bellevue, Ohio’s Ryan Missler jumped out to the early lead after starting on the pole, but six laps in, Jeep Van Wormer took command. The only caution came out on lap 12 for Rich Neiser’s spin on the front stretch. Chris Keller restarted second and tried to challenge Van Wormer on the restart, but later faded back and Van Wormer went on to pick up the win. Defending track champion Rusty Schlenk finished in the runner up spot followed by Steve Kester and Richard Bell from Sheffield, Illinois. Matt Westfall finished fifth.
Mathew Chapman is off to a great start as a rookie in the UMP Sportsman class after moving up from the Bombers this season. He snatched the lead at the start of the UMP Sportsman feature after starting on the outside of the front row. Chapman opened up a big lead, but Mike Jessen of Berkey moved into second and began chipping away at his advantage. Jessen caught Chapman with four laps to go and then played the spoiler by taking the lead at the white flag and then picked up his first victory of the season. Chapman settled for second with Drew Smith third. Joe Smith moved up from 10th to finish fourth and Bob Gregory made up 11 positions to finish fifth after starting in 16th.
Sands slipped by Roscoe Stetten on lap four of the Bomber A Main to take the lead. From then on it was smooth sailing for the Morenci, Michigan driver who went on to earn his third A Main win of the year. Skeet Reckner and DeTray had a great battle going on for second that ended with Reckner edging out DeTray for the position. Rick Dixon finished fourth and Chris Henry ended up fifth.
Cory Gumm came out on top of a lot of position swapping on the first lap of the Compact feature event, but a couple laps later slipped up high in turns three and four. That allowed Toledo’s John Martis to take over the lead. Martis cruised to his second feature win of the year while the racing action was pretty intense for second on the backstretch with a lot of three-wide racing. Gumm recovered to finish a distant second followed closely by Brogan Rehklau, Josh Floyd and Jeff Foks Sr.
More Bomber feature action followed with the Bomber B Main. Ethan Gehring held the lead for much of the race, but Noonan was methodically working his way toward the front after starting on the tail, eventually catching Gehring and taking the lead away. Noonan went on to show the way the final half of the race and picked up the feature win. Terry Rump edged out Pete Herman at the checkered flag to finish second. Dan Shaffer was third and Cody Laney finished fifth after starting 16th.
It was a father/son battle in the final race of the night, the Bomber C Main. Both Rayce Price and his father, Rob Price, started at the rear after having to borrow rides from other drivers. It was Scott Boyd who led early until Rayce Price closed in about halfway through the race. With Rob Price in third and with a busted ball joint on the left front, Rayce challenged Boyd for the lead. Rob Price got by both Rayce and Boyd to take the lead with Rayce taking over second. The two drivers continued battling all the way to the checkered flag with Rob Price just hanging on to take the checkered flag. Rayce Price finished a close second followed by Garrett McClain, Tim Vanpelt and Scott Goodlock.
Saturday, June 27 is Super Heroes and Princesses Night at Oakshade Raceway. Kids are encouraged to come dressed up as their favorite super hero or princess. Prizes will be awarded. There will also be a full show of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman, Bombers and Compacts and a bonus Bomber B Main make up feature from May 9. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.