Lawton Speedway gets the call to fire the 2017 starting gun on April 15th. It will be the first time Lawton Speedway has hosted the season opener since April 16th, 2011 where Kyle Cobb took checkers. The opening event will also mark the first time the series has performed at the speedway since the recent passing of Lawton’s long-time and most successful owner/promoter, Lanny Edwards. Heavy hearts still loom and the night is expected to be conducted with plenty of emotion. It is the desire of the series to make Lanny and the Edwards family proud. Lawton Speedway will also host dates on June 3rd & July 29th.
Biggest Series Event Purse Ever Awaits Race Teams
The Ameri-Flex / OCRS series has set numerous pay out records over the past few years. Last year, a record was set for a single payout to a race winner when Sean McClelland won $5,000 in the Ameri-Flex Challenge at the Caney Valley Speedway. This season will see the largest single event total purse by way of the Ameri-Flex Challenge II presented by Grand National Trailer. The event will be held at the Salina Highbanks Speedway on Saturday August 26th and is already the talk of the region.
Unlike 2016 where the Ameri-Flex Challenge was a dash style race, the entire program for the Ameri-Flex / OCRS teams will be all about the 2017 edition. Thanks in large part to Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories, Salina Highbanks Speedway & the newest sponsor for the series, Tulsa Oklahoma based Grand National Trailer, the race is set to pay over $23,000 in cash and will award the winner with $3,000 while paying an all-time high in the state of $1,000 to start! There is no known record of a racing event of any kind paying $1000 to start a 20-car feature. This August at the Highbanks, it will be done.
“Oklahoma Thunder Nationals” is the overall event name as the Red River Region arm of the ASCS series and the Kansas Antique Racers will also be on tap with the AFC II event. On June 24th, promoter David Edwards will host the Ameri-Flex / OCRS series for the first time in 2017 thus making two tour stops at the Highbanks for the season.
The Harold Leep Classic presented by Carter / Maxwell moves northward to the state of Kansas this year. Caney Valley Speedway will be the destination as the former host track, Outlaw Motor Speedway, announced their facility would not open for 2017. A Memorial Day weekend date of May 27th has been set. The Leep Classic will pay over $3000 in lap money (between top 3 drivers per lap) as 1/4-mile tracks like Caney Valley are 30 lap affairs vs. 25 laps for the larger sized tracks.
This is another calendar marker for the Ameri-Flex / OCRS teams as pockets stuffed with cash are typically the end result of the event. Starting pay will be increased by 33% as well. Caney Valley will also hold two other dates for the series, April 29th and September 2nd are bookmarked. Special thanks the promoter Kerry Gorby for taking on the Harold Leep Classic presented by Carter / Maxwell.
The 11th Annual Oklahoma State Championship will once again be held at the Oklahoma Sports Park. A sponsor for the event is pending at press time and the purse will be announced at a later date so stay tuned. The 9th Annual Harold Leep Jr. Memorial will be on May 6th at OSP with a third date on George Welch’s 4/10-mile track set for July 22nd. Action is fast and furious in the land of sand.
The Ameri-Flex / OCRS series is excited that for the first time since 2009, the series treks northward to C-Ray Hall’s 81 Speedway in Park City Kansas for two dates this season. The first will be the night after the Harold Leep Classic (May 28th) for a program billed as “Sprint Car Mania”. In addition to the Ameri-Flex / OCRS sprints, the sprint cars of the National Championship Racing Association (NCRA) and the 305 sprints from the URSS and SSO series will also compete. The Ameri-Flex / OCRS series is scheduled to end the season on October 14th at C-Ray’s Joint. Hall has applied new clay to the racing surface during the off-season making for more anticipation to see what is in store for the speed demons.
The third Kansas track on the schedule is “The Hummer” aka Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt Kansas. The July 14th event will be the 8th consecutive season that the series has been scheduled to showcase their talents on the 3/8-mile oval. The Hummer is always an exciting tour stop for the teams of the series and Ryan & Rhenda Whitworth run a fantastic program. Fans have long appreciated the confines of the speedway with its detail to show well. Dont miss this one.
A former and yet new track is set for a Sunday October 8th date. Red Dirt Raceway, formerly Brill Motor Speedway in Meeker Oklahoma has been taken over by Ken and Cody Brewer and their families. The racetrack has been reconfigured from 3/8-mile to a 1/4-mile. Fans will see newer main grandstands and a viewing option off turns one and two where personal vehicles will be allowed to park while viewing the racing action. Racers will not only find a different sized track, but the backstretch has been modified and the pit area has been graded and shaped to be more user friendly. The Autumn event will be a salute to State Fair Speedway, the former Oklahoma City racetrack. The Ameri-Flex / OCRS sprints are scheduled for a 40-lap affair for this special visit.
Fans can expect to see several of the regulars that have traveled with the series as of late including but not limited to:
Robert Sellers (2-time defending champion)
Whit Gastineau (leader in Feature wins since 2009 with 27)
Sheldon Barksdale (leader in feature wins in 2016 with 7)
A few drivers that have indicated they will race with the series more often in 2017 are:
Morgan Fletcher, Mickey Walker, Steve Smith, Joe Bob Lee.
In addition, there are some rookies that will vie for the Brodix Rookie of the Year Honors. Chris Jensen and Brayden Voigt have indicated such intentions and there are others waiting in the wings that are looking to run with the series some in 2017 after testing other waters to hone their skills. More on this crop of drivers during the season as their statuses become known.
As always, the sponsor line up is one of great importance and the Ameri-Flex / OCRS series is quite blessed to have these great companies on board. The sponsors at press time are:
Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories (Title Sponsor)
Grand National Trailer (Presenting sponsor of Ameri-Flex Challenge II)
Hoosier Tire Southwest (Point Fund Sponsor)
Bob Hurley Ford
Drive Shaft Inc.
Car & Fleet Parts
Rod End Supply
Also new for 2017 is a brand new website: ocrsracing.net
Previously a .com site, the new and fresh .net site has more vibrant colors with an easier to follow layout. The new site is much more cell phone friendly making navigation more pleasing.
It’s going to be another fantastic year on tour. Fans and racers can expect the very best effort from the Ameri-Flex / OCRS series as we continue an upward climb in being a racing series that offers the best overall value in the southern plains.
Another record breaking season starts on Saturday April 15th at the Lawton Speedway. We welcome everyone to join us for a great ride! The Ameri-Flex / OCRS sprint car series: “Where you can FEEL the thunder!