From David Smith Jr.
MEEKER, Ok. (July 14, 2017) – Joe Wood, Jr. survived a mid-race battle with Jake Martens and worked lapped traffic to perfection in the latter portion of the race to claim the “Freedom 40” Sprint Series of Oklahoma IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car Series presented by Smiley’s Racing Products feature finale Friday night at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, Oklahoma.
Sheldon Barksdale and Martens started on the front row for the forty-lap feature and after the initial start went yellow when Justin Fisk and Gary Owens tangled in turn two.
Barksdale would take the lead on the complete restart with Martens, Josh Toho, Loyd Clevenger and Steven Shebester the top five after the first lap was complete. Lap two the caution would wave once more for a Brandon Anderson spin on the front stretch.
Once race action resumed, Barksdale found the bottom of the track to his liking while Martens was working the top side of the quarter-mile, red-clay oval and would open a five-car length advantage.
By lap eight Martens, aboard the Myers Racing Engines powered Eagle Chassis, would close to within one car length of the leader and would drive around Barksdale coming out of turn four to take the lead one lap later.
With ten laps in the books the running order was Martens, followed by Barksdale, Shebester, eighth starting Andy Shouse and Wood as the field would encounter slower cars two laps later. It was at this time Wood had his Myers Racing Engines powered Triple X chassis working good as he passed Shebester for third on lap twelve and disposed of Barksdale for the runner-up position one lap later.
The leaders continued working their way through slower cars and by the races midway point, Wood began to pressure Martens for the lead. Exiting turn four at the races midway point saw Wood get a strong run around Martens and would take the lead. The Martens Machine Shop/Erwin and Winnie Bartel/Blake and Robin Stocking/Randell and LaVonda White sponsored #48 sprinter would retake the lead on lap twenty-two from Wood before the caution would wave for Mike Scott’s spin in turn two.
One lap was completed before the night’s final caution fell when Clevenger came to a stop at the top of turns one and two.
The running order on the final restart was Martens, followed by Wood, Shouse, Shebester and thirteenth starting Blake Dacus as Martens would open a five-car length lead with fifteen laps to go. Two laps later Wood began making his move as the Wood family owned, Young Tool/Mud-X/Danny Holloway/Southwest AC Electric/Outlaw Wings sponsored #03 got a run coming out of turn four to take the lead on lap twenty-seven.
Not even encountering slower cars on lap thirty-two could slow his pace as he would go on to claim the half-stretch $1000 victory, his second on the season and third career with the series.
Martens held off Shouse for the runner-up position while rookie Shebester had his best performance of the season, bringing the Pete Haskins owned, Boyds Racing powered GF1 chassis home fourth. Dacus’s strong run ended with a fifth-place finish.
The four, eight lap heat races for the twenty-four-car field were won by Clevenger, Barksdale, Wood and Owens while Scott claimed the twelve-lap “B” feature.
Officials with the Sprint Series of Oklahoma IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car Series presented by Smiley’s Racing Products would like to thank the following for contributing to the purse for this event: Tim Young at Young Tool and Equipment; Paul Martens and Martens Machine Shop in Fairview; Bishop Racing Components; Victory Motorsports and Messmer Racing LLC.
Don’t forget our regular race contingency partners Smiley’s Racing Products; Keizer Wheels; Saldana Racing Products; Pyrotech Fuel Cells; Competition Suspension and partners Danny Holloway, Bishop Racing Components, Martens Machine Shop, Outlaw Wings and Messmer Racing LLC.
Next up for the Sprint Series of Oklahoma IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car Series presented by Smiley’s Racing Product will be this coming Saturday night, July 22, at Elk City Speedway in Elk City, Oklahoma for their second and final appearance of the season.
Sprint Series of Oklahoma
Red Dirt Raceway/Meeker, Oklahoma
July 21, 2017
1st Heat: 1) Loyd Clevenger, 2) Andy Shouse, 3) Steven Shebester, 4) Noah Glass, 5) Cody Jarvis, 6) Brandon Anderson, 7) Cody Cole
2nd Heat: 1) Sheldon Barksdale, 2) Tristan Oakes, 3) Josh Toho, 4) Blake Dacus, 5) Jerry Jumper, 6) Dillon Laden, 7) Chase Smith
3rd Heat: 1) Joe Wood, Jr., 2) Blake Scott, 3) Justin Fisk, 4) Tanner Conn, 5) Chris Kelly, 6) Warren Fields, 7) Stan Constant
4th Heat: 1) Gary Owens, 2) Jake Martens, 3) Chad Koch, 4) Michael Gossman, 5) Shayla Waddell, 6) Mike Scott
B Feature: 1) Mike Scott, 2) Brandon Anderson, 3) Dillon Laden, 4) Warren Fields, 5) Jerry Jumper, 6) Cody Jarvis, 7) Cody Cole, 8) Shayla Waddell, 9) Stan Constant, 9) Noah Glass, 10) Chase Smith
A Feature: 1) Joe Wood Jr., 2) Jake Martens, 3) Andy Shouse, 4) Steven Shebester, 5) Blake Dacus, 6) Sheldon Barksdale, 7) Gary Owens, 8) Tristan Oakes, 9) Chris Kelly, 10) Chas Koch, 11) Dillon Laden, 12) Loyd Clevenger, 13) Michael Gossman, 14) Justin Fisk, 15) Warren Fields, 16) Blake Scott, 17) Josh Toho, 18) Mike Scott, 19) Tanner Conn, 20) Blake Anderson
Lap Leaders: Sheldon Barksdale 1-9; Martens 10-19, 22-26; Wood 20-21, 26-40