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Robert Sellers ends drought with first Ameri-Flex / OCRS victory of the season

From John Rittenoure

Lawton, Okla. (June 4, 2016) – Defending Ameri-Flex / OCRS sprint car champion Robert Sellers got the monkey off his back on Saturday at Lawton Speedway.

A six-time winner in 2015, Sellers has been win-less through the first seven events in 2016. But now the drought is over.

“The first one is always the hardest,” Sellers said of his win. “Hopefully from here we can come on strong.”

With five top-five finishes coming into Lawton and sitting second in the Ameri-Flex / OCRS standings, Sellers has not exactly been having a bad season. But the wins were not coming.

“We have been trying some different stuff on the car this year,” He said. “We kind of moved some stuff around in the off season which kind of messed with our setup. We took some things back to what we were doing last year and you could tell it. It stabilized the car much more.”

The changes were evident in the final laps of the main event. Sellers moved around leader Alex Sewell in turns 1 and 2 on lap 21 and led the final five laps for the victory.

“The setup was dead on,” Sellers said of his Triple-X chassis. “That is where we have been struggling all year. We think we are getting closer to where we were back at last year.”

The 25-lapper took the green with Cameron Hagin on the pole next to series points leader Zach Chappell. Chappell jumped out front and set a strong pace until the end of lap 11 when he made contact with a lapped car on the front straightaway and did a 360 spin at the start-finish line. Chappell stood on the gas and continued on to avoid a yellow flag, but Sewell stormed past for the lead leaving Chappell hanging on to second.

Meanwhile Sellers, who started eighth to earn the Action Auto Collision Hard Charger award, had climbed into third. On lap 18 Sellers went around Chappell in his Checkered Flag Trucking sponsored sprinter for second then closed on Sewell three laps later.

“You really needed to be running up high,” Sellers said of his run toward the front. “I had to use the bottom in turn one because there was moisture there. But halfway through the apex it was gone so I would use it to dive in and try and do a slide job.”

At the finish Sewell held on to second, Chappell was third, Sheldon Barksdale finished fourth and Kyle Ezell was fifth.

Whit Gastineau earned the D&E Supply Hard Luck award after flipping his sprinter off the top of turns 1 and 2 on the opening lap. Gastineau was finished for the evening.

Shawn Bloomquist and Koby Barksdale won the the two Wesmar B mains to lead the fop four transfer positions into the A feature.

Ameri-Flex / OCRS Official Results
Lawton Speedway, Lawton, Okla.
Saturday June 4, 2016
Car count: 29

(Pos-Car-Driver-Start)

Drive Shafts, Inc. Heat (8 laps)
1, 5-Cameron Hagin[2]. 2, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale[3]. 3, 5L-Joe Bob Lee[4]. 4, 14-Shawn Bloomquist[5]. 5, 2W-Whit Gastineau[8]. 6, 17H-Brandon Haddad[7]. 7, F5-Darrell McGuire[6]. 8, 54-Michael Gossman[1].

A1 Machine Shop Heat (8 laps)
1, 88S-Shayla Waddell[1]. 2, 10K-Kyle Ezell[2]. 3, 33-Gary Owens[5]. 4, 22-Koby Barksdale[4]. 5, 94F-Morgan Fletcher[3]. 6, 24-T.J. Herrell[6]. 7, 24H-Lightfoot Hawkins[7].

Car and Fleet Parts Heat (8 laps)
1, 8-Alex Sewell[1]. 2, 911-Mike Baker[2]. 3, 32-Jerry Bruner[5]. 4, 4-Shane Sellers[6]. 5, 76H-TJ Honkomp[7]. 6, 3-Brian Gramm[3]. 7, 7-Doug Joyner[4].

Ameri-Flex OCRS Heat (8 laps)
1, 50Z-Zach Chappell[2]. 2, 4X-Robert Sellers[6]. 3, 11-Nick Bates[1]. 4, 23-Jimmy Taylor[4]. 5, 30-Joseph Miller[5]. 6, 3G-Jeff Garnett[3]. DNS: Derrick Gentilly.

Wesmar Racing Engines B Feature #1 (10 laps, top 4 transfer)
1, 14-Shawn Bloomquist[2]. 2, 4-Shane Sellers[1]. 3, 76H-TJ Honkomp[3]. 4, 94F-Morgan Fletcher[4]. 5, 17H-Brandon Haddad[5]. 6, 3-Brian Gramm[6]. 7, F5-Darrell McGuire[7]. 8, 7-Doug Joyner[8]. DNS: Derrick Gentilly.

Wesmar Racing Engines B Feature #2 (10 laps, top 4 transfer)
1, 22-Koby Barksdale[2]. 2, 24-T.J. Herrell[5]. 3, 11-Nick Bates[1]. 4, 23-Jimmy Taylor[3]. 5, 54-Michael Gossman[8]. 6, 30-Joseph Miller[4]. 7, 3G-Jeff Garnett[6]. 8, 24H-Lightfoot Hawkins[7].

AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A Feature (25 laps)
1, 4X-Robert Sellers[8]. 2, 8-Alex Sewell[3]. 3, 50Z-Zach Chappell[2]. 4, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale[4]. 5, 10K-Kyle Ezell[6]. 6, 5L-Joe Bob Lee[12]. 7, 33-Gary Owens[5]. 8, 14-Shawn Bloomquist[13]. 9, 4-Shane Sellers[15]. 10, 5-Cameron Hagin[1]. 11, 24-T.J. Herrell[16]. 12, 94F-Morgan Fletcher[19]. 13, 88S-Shayla Waddell[7]. 14, 76H-TJ Honkomp[17]. 15, 32-Jerry Bruner[10]. 16, 911-Mike Baker[9]. 17, 11-Nick Bates[18]. 18, 2W-Whit Gastineau[11]. 19, 23-Jimmy Taylor[20]. 20, 22-Koby Barksdale[14].

Lap Leaders: Zach Chappell 1-10; Alex Sewell 11-20; Robert Sellers 21-25.