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Chappell Cruises to Victory at Salina

From John Rittenoure

SALINA, Ok. (June 24, 2017) – Just last week after a second place finish at Lawton Speedway Zach Chappell said he was looking forward to racing at the Salina Highbanks Speedway. After Saturday night one can see why.

Chappell looked very comfortable as he flew around the high-banked 3/8’s mile oval on the way to his first Ameri-Flex / OCRS sprint car feature victory of the season.

“I have always loved this racetrack,” said Chappell of the Salina track. “We have had a lot of seconds and thirds here and it feels good to finally get a win here.

“We were fortunate to start up front and we were there for the taking. It was a great track.”

Starting on the pole by virtue of a redraw that was done at intermission, Chappell jumped into the early lead and was chased by Whit Gastineau and Jamie Passmore. Gastineau and Passmore swapped positions for a lap then Alex Sewell joined battle moving around Passmore to third.

Gastineau could not catch Chappell but had one last chance when the yellow waved with three laps remaining but Chappell was too strong and pulled away on the restart and led the final three laps to victory. Gastineau and Sewell finished second and third.

“We had a good hotrod tonight. It was really hooked up,” Chappell said of his Ameri-Flex sponsored sprinter. “The guys really worked hard on this all week. They are the ones who won this for me. I have the easy work. I just sit, put my foot down, and drive.”

After finishing second to series points leader Shane Sellers in the third heat, Chappell’s crew went to work making changes to the Maxim chassis.

“We changed the whole car from the heat to the A feature,” explained Chappell. “The track was changing and you have to keep up with it.

“That is the good part of being in a traveling series. You see different tracks. You don’t get stuck seeing just one track.”

Chappell was also pleased with the horsepower he was getting from his DSO engine.

“David Stephenson builds a awesome power plant.,” he said. “He knows his stuff. I can’t give him enough credit.”

The victory moved Chappell within 16 points of series leader Sellers who settled for a seventh place finish. It was only the second time this season that Sellers has finished out of the top five.

Ameri-Flex / OCRS Results
Salina Highbanks Speedway
June 24, 2017
Car count: 17
Pos-Car-Driver-Start)

Drive Shafts, Inc. Heat (8 laps)
1, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale[1]. 2, 5L-Joe Bob Lee[2]. 3, 2W-Whit Gastineau[6]. 4, 31-Casey Wills[4]. 5, 15D-Andrew Deal[3]. 6, 55-Johnny Kent[5].

A1 Machine Shop Heat (8 laps)
1, 4J-Jamie Passmore[5]. 2, 8-Alex Sewell[6]. 3, 28-Zach Alley[1]. 4, 76S-Shayla Waddell[4]. 5, 22T-Frank Taft[2]. 6, 25-Noah Gass[3].

Car and Fleet Parts Heat (8 laps)
1, 4-Shane Sellers[2]. 2, 50Z-Zach Chappell[4]. 3, 2-Mickey Walker[5]. 4, 30-Joseph Miller[3]. 5, 007-Michael Bookout[1].

AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A Feature (25 laps)
1, 50Z-Zach Chappell[1]. 2, 2W-Whit Gastineau[5]. 3, 8-Alex Sewell[7]. 4, 5L-Joe Bob Lee[4]. 5, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale[6]. 6, 15D-Andrew Deal[13]. 7, 4-Shane Sellers[8]. 8, 4J-Jamie Passmore[2]. 9, 31-Casey Wills[10]. 10, 007-Michael Bookout[15]. 11, 28-Zach Alley[9]. 12, 30-Joseph Miller[12]. 13, 2-Mickey Walker[3]. 14, 55-Johnny Kent[16]. 15, 22T-Frank Taft[14]. 16, 76S-Shayla Waddell[11]. 17, 25-Noah Gass[17].

Lap Leaders: Chappell 1-25