It was a beautiful evening for Memorial Night at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night. Brian Ruhlman was able to pad his point lead after picking up his third UMP Late Model feature win of the year in a photo finish over Rusty Schlenk.
The first feature event of the night was the often rescheduled Bomber B Main from May 5. The beginning of the race was marred by multiple cautions including one for a hard crash into the backstretch wall by pole sitter Terry Bowers and Garrett McClain. That incident ended both drivers’ night. Once things finally got going, Steve Morris out of Sylvania, Ohio took command and led the entire distance to pick up his first feature win of the season. Scott Robertson held off Dylan Hough to finish second. Dan Shaffer and Jesse Lee Jones rounded out the rest of the top five finishers.
Chris Keller from Adrian, Michigan started on the outside of the front row of the Memorial Night UMP Late Model feature and led just about the entire race distance. Casey Noonan was running second until lap 14 when Ruhlman took the position away. Schlenk, in a borrowed car, took third with four laps to go and closed in on Ruhlman. With no caution flags during the entire race, Keller appeared to have things well in hand. That changed instantly as Keller slowed coming off turn four while coming to the white flag. Keller coasted to the infield leaving the battle for the lead to be settled between Ruhlman and Schlenk. On the final lap, the two drivers came off turn four side by side with Ruhlman narrowly edging out Schlenk for the win. Noonan held on to finish third followed by Devin Shiels and Rob Anderzack.
Bob Gregory took to the early lead of the Memorial Night UMP Sportsman feature event after starting on the pole. Point leader Bruce Stuart took the lead away from Gregory on lap seven, but Toledo, Ohio’s Jamie Grochowski made the move to get by Stuart with two laps to go and went on to pick up the victory which closed him to within 11 points of Stuart in the point standings. Dan Wallace finished third with Graeme Short fourth. Gregory slipped back to finish fifth.
A caution-filled Memorial Night Bomber A Main was next up with Jeff Foks taking the early lead. Chris Henry muscled his way into the lead for a bit until Gregg DeTray from Swanton became the third different leader. DeTray was able to open up a bit of a lead and kept ahead of the carnage behind that included a crash that took out point leader Chris Sands. The win was DeTray’s second of the season and moved him into a tie with Chris Henry for second in points, 17 behind Sands. Foks held off a hard-charging Craig Dippman for second. Skeet Reckner and Steve Morris finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Nathan Goodman opened up a big lead at the start of the Memorial Night Compact feature race. A lot of great racing action ensued behind him with a lot of three and four-wide racing. Dane Garvin from Lima, Ohio worked his way through the field and both he and Brogan Rehklau closed in on Goodman. Garvin took the lead with three laps to go and went on to pick up the checkered flag for the first time at Oakshade Raceway after starting deep in the field. Rehklau and Goodman fought all the way to the checkered flag with Rehklau taking the second finishing position. Goodman was third followed by Cody Stetten and Aaron Barrick.
Cody Laney got by Duane Fletcher to lead the first lap of the Bomber B Main with Amy Clair close behind. Clair pressured Laney for the lead for quite a few laps, but the Toledo driver could not make the pass. That is until Laney had a slow restart after a mid-race caution. Clair dove to inside and snatched the lead away and went on to pick up her second Bomber feature win of the year. Dan Shaffer was second with Laney slipping back to finish third. Scott Hammer and Duane Fletcher were the rest of the top five finishers.
The $10,000 to win 17th Annual Birthday Race/UMP Late Model Summer Nationals Finale takes place on Saturday July 11th along with the Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals and Compacts. Gates will open at 10 a.m. and the pits will be open for everyone until 4pm so fans may meet their favorite drivers and get autographs. After 4 p.m., a pit pass will be required to remain in the pits. Racing will begin at 7:45 p.m. For those wishing to camp out on Friday evening before the race, gates will be open between 11am and midnight. Everyone entering the grounds on Friday must purchase grandstand admission or pit pass for Saturday’s event. For more details, visit www.oakshaderaceway.com.