Zack Dohm Wins Summer Nationals Finale at Oakshade Raceway
WAUSEON, OH (July 14) — Zack Dohm of Cross Lanes, WV., settled into second place at the start of Saturday night’s 20th annual Birthday Race at Oakshade Raceway and, with the 3/8-mile oval’s surface already taking rubber along the inside groove, thought there was a good chance he would stay there for the duration of the 60-lap feature.
“I knew it was gonna be tough to pass anybody,” Dohm analyzed.
But opportunity knocked for Dohm on lap 11 when race-long pacesetter Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., slipped high rounding turns one and two and he seized the moment, surging threw the open door to take the lead and march on to a $10,000 victory that gave him a shocking sweep of the track’s doubleheader that concluded the 2018 DIRTcar Summer Nationals.
For a 29-year-old driver who had never even seen Oakshade before pulling in the pit gate, winning Friday’s $5,000 Prelude to the Birthday Race 40-lapper and Saturday’s headliner was an absolute thrill.
“It’s an awesome weekend,” Dohm said after completing his $15,000 Oakshade debut. “I figured we’d come up here and run up front, but I never dreamed we’d win ‘em both.”
Robinson, 31, spent the remainder of the distance chasing Dohm, even drawing right up to the leader’s back bumper midway through the race when Dohm’s slowed behind lapped traffic. But K-Rob was unable to catch the same break he presented Dohm earlier in the event and couldn’t stay with Dohm following the A-main’s lone restart on lap 46, leaving the defending Birthday Race champion to settle for runner-up money, 1.628 seconds in arrears of Dohm.
Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, IL, finished third, hot on Robinson’s tail at the checkered flag. It was the 30-year-old’s sixth consecutive top-five finish to close the Summer Nationals and gave him both the $2,000 Champions’ Week presented by VP Race Fuels points title and a career-best second-place finish in the Hell Tour’s overall points standings.
Brian Shirley of Chatham, IL, placed fourth, capping his run to the 2018 Summer Nationals championship driving for Wisconsin car owner Bob Cullen. Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, IL, completed the top five.
Feature Finish: Zack Dohm, Kent Robinson, Frank Heckenast Jr, Brian Shirley, Ryan Unzicker, Matt Miller, Rusty Schlenk, Devin Shiels, Billy Moyer, Ryan Missler, Dona Marcoullier, Travis Stemler, Corey Conley, Jake Rendel, Jason Feger, Steve Kester, Chuck Hummer, Jon Henry, Matt Shipley, Dan Wallace, Brian Ruhlman, Brandon Thirlby
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals has concluded for the 2018 season. Follow @SummerNationals on Twitter or Facebook for updates during the off season. The DIRTcar Late Models has been joined this season by the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds as the Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals which will conclude it’s season at Fairbury American Legion Speedway on July 27 & 28. Information on the Modifieds can be found at modifiednationals.com.