From John Rittenoure
CANEY, Kan. (September 3, 2016) – It has been awhile since Danny Smith last visited victory lane with the Ameri-Flex / OCRS series. But the drought came to an end Saturday at Caney Valley Speedway.
Smith’s last OCRS victory came on June 27, 2014 at South Coffeyville Speedway in a sanctioned non-wing event. But Saturday there was no stopping the veteran who came from 9th starting position in his Twister chassis powered by a DSO engine to take the lead with two laps remaining for the win.
Smith earned his eighth OCRS career victory and became the ninth different winner in 2016.
“I guess the old man has still got it,” laughed the 2014 OCRS non-wing champion.
Last week Smith picked up a top five finish at the Salina Highbanks Speedway and felt good about his chances coming into the Caney race. ”We had not run with these guys (OCRS) in a while and came out last week and ran fourth,” recalled Smith. “I was feeling pretty good about myself.”
“The guys in this series are tough. You are only as good as your competition.”
Smith relied on his experience to read the track and find a line to the front.
“They had a two groove race track and as a racer you can never ask for anything better then that,” Smith said.
“The guys in front were committed to a line and I found a different line. They were sitting ducks. That was a good thing for me.”
Running up high for the most part, Smith worked his way into third behind race-long leader Whit Gastineau and second place Zach Chappell on lap 19. Smith passed Chappell for second on lap 22 then got a break on lap 27 when Gastineau tangled with a lapped car out of turn four to bring out a yellow flag. Smith assumed the lead and led the final three laps to win by a 1.352 second margin over hard charging Sean McClelland.
“I could have run the top in (turns) 1 and 2 but there was not a need because I had so much going for me in 3 and 4,” Smith said. “It was everything I needed it to be.”
McClelland was less then a second and a half away from picking up a second victory after winning the historic $5,000-to-win Ameri-Flex Challenge feature run at intermission.
McClelland, who started 7th, had worked his way up to fourth by lap 7 when he topped the cushion in turn two hitting the tire wall.
The spin brought out a yellow and McClelland restarted 16th. The veteran resumed his hard charging run on the cushion and worked his way into 5th when the race restarted on lap 28. McClelland then stood on the gas driving around Robert Sellers and Zach Chappell into second on lap 29. Chappell and Sellers ended up with third and fourth respectively, and Sheldon Barksdale picked up fifth.
Ameri-Flex / OCRS Official Results
Caney Valley Speedway – Caney, Kans.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Car count: 21
Drive Shafts Inc. Heat (8 laps)
1, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 2, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 3, 30-Joseph Miller. 4, 31-Casey Wills. 5, P78-Perry Pickard. 6, 22-David Stephenson. 7, 55-Johnny Kent.
A1 Machine Shop Heat (8 laps)
1, 4X-Robert Sellers. 2, 4-Shane Sellers. 3, 5$-Danny Smith. 4, 8-Alex Sewell. 5, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 6, 84-Alex DeCamp. 7, 007-Michael Bookout.
Car and Fleet Parts Heat (8 laps)
1, 1-Sean McClelland. 2, 88S-Shayla Waddell. 3, 5-Cameron Hagin. 4, 79-Tim Kent. 5, 9$-Kyle Clark. 6, 15D-Andrew Deal. 7, 01-Lee Wade.
Ameri-Flex Challenge – $5,000-to-win (15 laps)
1, Sean McClelland. 2, Cameron Hagin. 3, Shane Sellers. 4, Whit Gastineau. 5, Zach Chappell. 6, Sheldon Barksdale. 7, Alex Sewell. 8, Tim Kent. 9, Andrew Deal. 10, Johnny Kent. 11, Perry Pickard. 12, Casey Wills. 13, Shayla Waddell. 14, Robert Sellers.
Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories A Feature 30 laps)
1, 5$-Danny Smith. 2, 1-Sean McClelland. 3, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 4, 4X-Robert Sellers. 5, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 6, 55-Johnny Kent. 7, 84-Alex DeCamp. 8, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 9, 88S-Shayla Waddell. 10, 007-Michael Bookout. 11, 30-Joseph Miller. 12, 79-Tim Kent. 13, 4-Shane Sellers. 14, 01-Lee Wade. 15, 15D-Andrew Deal. 16, 9$-Kyle Clark. 17, 22-David Stephenson. 18, 5-Cameron Hagin. 19, P78-Perry Pickard. 20, 8-Alex Sewell. 21, 31-Casey Wills.
Lap Leaders: Whit Gastineau 1-27; Danny Smith 28-30.
Drive Shaft Inc. Heat: Zach Chappell
A1 Machine Heat: Robert Sellers
Car and Fleet Parts Heat: Sean McClelland
D&E Supply Hard Luck Recipient: Alex Sewell
Action Auto Collision Hard Charger Recipient: Johnny Kent
Wesmar Power Parts Recipient: Joseph Miller
M&W Aluminum Products Recipient: Tim Kent
Rod End Supply Recipients: Sheldon Barksdale, Shayla Waddell, Andrew Deal