By John Rittenoure
Walker started on the pole by virtue of a redraw and led all 25 laps in his Sign and Stitches sponsored sprinter to pick up a $3,000 winners check from a purse that guaranteed the feature starters $1,000 just to start.
“I did not know what to expect,” Walker said of the race that carried a purse in excess of $20,000. “I came in with high hopes, got lucky and started on the pole, and went green to checkered. This is the biggest win I have had so far. It is hard to explain how everything went tonight.”
Walker let his sprint car do all the explaining. On the start Walker turned back outside front row starter Johnny Kent and set the pace. Robert Sellers passed Kent for second on lap eight and took over the chase around the high-banked 3/8’s mile oval. Alex Sewell was the next driver to try his luck with a run into second on lap 13.
But Walker had no trouble staying out front.
“My dad had the car pretty spot on,” Walker said. “I could go just about anywhere and put a slide job on anybody and move around.
“The last five laps I got kind of conservative getting into lapped traffic. I did not know where they were going to go.”
Being conservative played into Sewell’s hands. The two-time winner closed in on Walker and tried to make a run for the lead.
“I think I could hear him sneaking up a little bit, but was not really sure,” Walker said of Sewell. “I did not change anything. He was going to have to slide me to pass me and I could carry enough momentum down the race track to get back past him.”
With two laps remaining, Sewell tried to challenge but lapped traffic hindered his run.
“I kind of found the bottom there in (turns) 1 and 2 but kind of got caught up by some lapped cars there at the end,” explained Sewell of his run. “I just could not seem to pick the right lane.
“I feel like we gave it a pretty good run from fifth. We don’t usually get to finish the races here due to bad luck.”
With lapped traffic to deal with, Sewell settled for a second place finish just a half second behind Walker.
“Mickey ran a good race,” Sewell said. “I pulled him down at least a straightaway there at the end. I feel like if we had a green-white-checkered it would have been a different story.
“I got up behind him on a lapped car. I tried to slide up on Mickey. I backed off a little bit and on the white flag lap I got a good run on him then in turn one got slowed down again by a lapped car.
“We take it as we can get it and it was not our night tonight.”
At the finish, Walker came away with his second OCRS career victory and first of the season. Sewell was second with Sellers holding on to third. Points leader Zach Chappell was fourth last weeks winner, Whit Gastineau was fifth.
Ameri-Flex / OCRS Results
Salina Highbanks Speedway
August 26, 2017
Car count: 16
Drive Shafts, Inc. Heat (8 laps)
1, 4X-Robert Sellers. 2, 5L-Joe Bob Lee. 3, 8-Alex Sewell. 4, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 5, 55-Johnny Kent. 6, 2-Mickey Walker. 7, 22T-Frank Taft. 8, 8J-James Fabian.
A1 Machine Shop Heat (8 laps)
1, 25-Noah Gass. 2, 4-Shane Sellers. 3, 31-Casey Wills. 4, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 5, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 6, 76S-Shayla Waddell. 7, 5-Cameron Hagin. 8, 30-Joseph Miller.
Car & Fleet Qualifier
1, Johnny Kent. 2, Alex Sewell. 3, Shayla Waddell. 4, Shane Sellers. 5, Whit Gastineau. 6, Casey Wills. 7, Frank Taft. 8, James Fabian.
Wesmar Racing Engines Qualifier
1, Mickey Walker 2, Zach Chappell. 3, Robert Sellers. 4, Sheldon Barksdale. 5, Joe Bob Lee. 6, Cameron Hagin. 7, Noah Gass.
8, Joseph Miller
AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A Feature (25 laps)
1, 2-Mickey Walker. 2, 8-Alex Sewell. 3, 4X-Robert Sellers. 4, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 5, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 6, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 7, 5L-Joe Bob Lee. 8, 4-Shane Sellers. 9, 55-Johnny Kent. 10, 76S-Shayla Waddell. 11, 31-Casey Wills. 12, 5-Cameron Hagin. 13, 30-Joseph Miller. 14, 22T-Frank Taft. 15, 8J-James Fabian. 16, 25-Noah Gass.
Lap Leaders: Mickey Walker 1-25.