Brian Ruhlman becomes fifth different late model feature winner


By Scott Hammer - Oakshade Correspondent



Clarklake, Michigan’s Brian Ruhlman became the fifth different UMP Late Model feature winner in as many races this season at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night after a slight rain delay.

A brief downpour just before the start of hot laps put the night’s racing program in jeopardy. However, track crews and drivers worked hard to run the track in, getting it back in racing shape. Thanks to those efforts, the racing program was only a little more than an hour delayed in starting. It also made for some very fast lap times, with many late model drivers turning sub 15 second laps.

Come feature time, it was Casey Noonan who led the first part of the 25-lap UMP Late Model feature after starting from the pole. Devin Shiels and Ryan Missler were battling for second on lap three when it appeared the two drivers had some contact which resulted in Missler spinning out to bring out the caution flag. Missler would retire to the pits soon after and Shiels continued on. Five laps later, Ruhlman muscled his way to the front, getting past Noonan. Noonan was able to stay relatively close, but could not reel Ruhlman’s 49 car back in. A late debris caution on lap 21 would tighten the field one last time, but no one was going to catch Ruhlman. Noonan settled for a second place finish followed by Shiels, Steve Kester and Ken Hahn.

Jerry Signor out of Jackson, Michigan, led from flag-to-flag in the UMP Sportsman feature event. Signor started on the pole and had third place starter and last week’s feature winner Mike Jessen putting on the pressure for most of the race. Jessen was unable to make it two feature wins in a row as Signor held on for his first win of the season. Josh Robertson, Garrett McClain and Brandon Gregory were the rest of the top five finishers.

Holland, Ohio’s Terry Rushlow started on the pole of the Hot Rod Welding & Engineering Bomber A Main and went on to pick up his second consecutive A Main win, his third of the year, which further increased his point lead. Adam Lantz finished second with Adam Noonan gaining nine positions to end up third. Donnie Ringman and Jeff Foks Jr. were the rest of the top five finishers of the caution-free A Main.

Cory Gumm picked up his third consecutive Napa of Swanton Compact feature win, it was the driver’s fourth win of the season. Brogan Rehklau finished second followed by Nathan Goodman, Eric Carr and Cameron Tusing.

The final race of the night, the Hot Rod Welding & Engineering Bomber B Main had some last lap drama. Jarrett Rendel led every single lap, but cut a tire on the final lap put Rendel in the wall and allowed Steve Reeves of Sherwood to get by and pick up the win. Scott Hammer finished a close second followed by Shane Estes, Tony Tolles and Shane Nofziger.

The Vintage American Race Cars also put on some exhibition racing in their classic racing vehicles. Eighty-two year old Hank Lower drove his way to an exciting feature race win.

Oakshade Raceway will host the final two nights of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals this Friday and Saturday. Available to win is $5,000 on Friday and the $10,000 to win Birthday Race on Saturday for the DIRTcar UMP Late Models. The Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds will also be in action both nights with the Hot Rod Welding & Engineering Bombers added to Saturday night’s program.

Gates open at noon on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday with racing at 8 p.m. on both nights. Fans will be allowed in the pits Saturday until 4 p.m. without a pit pass to meet their favorite drivers. After 4 p.m., a pit pass will be required to remain in the pits.

By Scott Hammer

Oakshade Correspondent