From John Lemon
TULSA (October 11, 2016) – Spring is long gone and fall has arrived and with that, the 15th year of Ameri-Flex / OCRS sprint car racing is facing a conclusion. The final chapter of this years version for the encyclopedia collection will be written this Saturday night at the Caney Valley Speedway in Caney Kansas where title fighters determine who gets tricked and who gets treats.
After 20 events in the books, a paltry 30 points is all that separates defending title holder Robert Sellers from the challenger, Whit Gastineau. A maximum total of 105 points is available for the night and anything can happen. For Sellers, the strategy is simple, go into the night keeping Gastineau in sight and go for the win if it feels right. For Gastineau, his strategy is a simple one as well. Drive like hell and let the chips fall where they may without having any regrets.
For the rest of the field with night fliers such as: Sheldon Barksdale, Zach Chappell, Tim & Johnny Kent, Casey Wills and more,
their goals are simple as well. With a last shot at glory before the Great Pumpkin disappears for winter hibernation, these dirt demons just need to let it all hang out for the almighty win while not impacting any of the two warlocks vying for the ultimate treasure. The speedway will have a special start time for the season finale as hot laps will begin at 5:30pm with racing set to get underway at 6pm.
NUTZ n’ BOLTZ
Not In The Bag Yet
Robert Sellers doesnt need to be told that the title isnt in the bag yet. However, it is his to loose and he is aware of that fact. Sellers had an engine fail on him while leading at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway last month. If that wasnt enough to get his attention that this title chase isnt put to bed, Sellers had another engine failure at the non-sanctioned Lawton Winter Nationals the week after after the SOS event. Two races, two black cats in his path. The valve covers are going to get a vigorous good luck style rubbing this weekend.
Troubles Of His Own
On the other hand, Whit Gastineau is going to be rubbing his valve covers, engine block, air cleaner, fuel pump, radiator cap and whatever else he can touch for good luck. There isnt a sole that will be in the pits that needs engine luck more than Gastineau (although Sellers comes close). After suffering through multiple engine failures since the last lap of the Harold Leep Classic in August, Gastineau has been going through different engines like Clint Eastwood goes through .357 hollow points. Seems as if Pastor Hagin might be summoned to the 2w pit before hot laps commence for a few blessed words.
Cant Script This Stuff
The 30 points separating the 2 title contenders is the narrowest margin going into the last event in series history. The previous record? We dont have to go to far back. In 2014, Andrew Deal went into the last event only 45 markers ahead of Danny Smith. Deal won by 50. With Sellers and Gastineau each blowing motors at the last event, with a solid finish, third place Zach Chappell would have emerged as the new point leader but a pre set commitment kept the previous point leader from making the show. There has never been a point leader losing the title in the last race of the season……. at least not yet.
Nothing Like Saving The Best For Last
Over the years, there have been a few drivers who have won their first feature of the season in the very last race of the season. Just last year, it was Zach Chappell earning his career first Ameri-Flex / OCRS feature in the final event. In 2014, Kenneth Walker did the trick at Caney Valley. In 2013, it was Kyle Clark at Outlaw Motor Speedway. 2012 saw Jeremy Allen stand tall in victory lane before the final curtain fell. Rafe Essary won $3,000 at the Enid Speedway for his only win of the year in 2009. Matt Sherrell saved his best for last in 2008 with a $2000 score and Essary did the same again in 2006. So if you think you know who will win this Saturday night…….. No you dont.
2016 Ameri-Flex / OCRS Awards Banquet
This years awards banquet will be in a fantastic setting and everyone is welcomed to attend and we do mean everyone! The venue will be the “Signs of the Times” Event Center in Sapulpa Oklahoma. The date will be Saturday November 19th. Tickets will be $20 at the door. For your portrait of President Jackson, the package will include: Dinner, Awards Ceremony & Entertainment. Door prizes will be in effect for both attendees and racers.
To view the venue, checkout the YouTube video at: http://www.signsofthetimessapulpa.com/youtube.html
Signs of the Times Website is: http://www.signsofthetimessapulpa.com/home.html