Saturday night Oakshade Raceway welcomed fans to the grandstands for the first time in 2020 thanks to the easing of some restrictions from the health department. A decent crowd, practicing social distancing, was treated to some great racing action in the 31st Barney Oldfield Memorial Race with Parkersburg, West Virginia’s Tyler Carpenter adding his name to the winners list of the prestigious event.
Three-time and defending Barney Oldfield winner Rusty Schlenk started on the outside of the front row of the UMP Late Model main event and took the initial lead over 2008 Barney winner Casey Noonan. Tyler Carpenter started inside the second row and took second from Noonan by lap two. Carpenter began to close the distance on Schlenk, but slipped up high in turn four and lost a good deal of ground, but still maintained second position. Carpenter regrouped and began to close back in on Schlenk while working through lapped traffic. He finally ran Schlenk down and took the lead on lap 24 of the 40-lap feature race. Schlenk fought back under Carpenter and regained the lead briefly on lap 26 after some exciting door-to-door racing action.
The 28 car of Carpenter took the lead for good on lap 28 and looked to be cruising to the victory when the one and only caution flag flew with one lap to go after Brad Wade spun in turn four. That would tighten up the field with Schlenk, Noonan, Matt Miller and Devin Shiels lined up directly behind the race leader. Carpenter was flawless on the restart and his first visit to Oakshade Raceway earned him the $4,500 Barney Oldfield win. Schlenk settled for second after two feature wins in his two previous visits to Oakshade this season. Matt Miller was able to get by Casey Noonan to finish third. Noonan’s fourth place finish put him on top of the Oakshade point standings. Devin Shiels ended up finishing fifth.
Rusty Smith of Sylvania continued his dominance in the UMP Sportsman class, earning his fourth consecutive feature win after starting on the pole. Bruce Stuart ran right behind Smith early in the race, but later slipped back. Multiple cautions kept the field from getting too stretched out. Late in the race, Brandon Gregory and Josh Robertson gave Smith a little pressure while battling each other for second just behind the race leader. Smith was able to hang on to claim the victory and further cushion his point lead. Gregory finished ahead of Josh Robertson for second with Stuart finishing fourth. Matt Ringger was fifth.
In his first appearance of the season, Adam Lantz made it a memorable one. Lantz won his Hot Rod Welding and Engineering Bomber heat race and started on the outside of the front row in the A Main. The Wauseon driver then went on to win the feature over Adam Noonan, William “Bubba” Cundick, Rich Riffe and Donovan Paskan.
Defending Compact track champion Cory Gumm earned his first Oakshade feature win of the season. Gumm, out of Hillsdale, Michigan, started on the outside of the second row behind Eric Carr who took the initial lead. Three laps in, Gumm took command and drove away to the victory. Carr maintained a second place finish followed by Joe Elliott, Joe Carr and Charles Hargett.
Burt Sharp jumped out to the lead during the night’s final event, the Hot Rod Welding and Engineering Bomber B Main. Josh Corkwell pressured Sharp, but Swanton’s Gregg DeTray flew up through the field after starting at the back to take the lead away. DeTray went on to pick up the win with Corkwell hanging tough in second. Scott Barnhart edged out Scott Hammer for third and Dylan Burt finished fifth.
Coming up this Saturday, June 27, Oakshade Raceway will host its first Oakshade/Attica Late Model Challenge Series event which includes a full show of UMP Late Models, UMP Sportsman, Hot Rod Welding & Engineering Bombers and Compacts. Because of the restrictions that have been in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Night of Wheels portion of this upcoming weekend’s events has been canceled. Make sure to follow Oakshade Raceway on social media and our website at oakshaderaceway.com for the latest information.