From John Lemon
TULSA, Ok. (March 6, 2018) – The racing off-season is but a distant memory and now race teams find themselves thrashing hour by hour, minute by minute and second by second to prepare their war machines for another season with the Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories / Oil Capital Racing Series sprint car tour for 2018.
The 17th year of racing for the series will see familiar faces, places and programs. There will also be new faces and programs that will be part of a season that is shaping up to be an adventurous race tour. Talala Oklahoma’s Zach Chappell will look to defend his crown and he will need to combat some of the same foes as last year. Driver such as: Whit Gastineau, Sheldon Barksdale, Alex Sewell, Mickey Walker, Andrew Deal, Johnny Kent, Shayla Waddell, Joe Bob Lee, Noah Gass and Shane Sellers will all stand in Chappell’s way. Frank Taft, Perry Pickard and Joseph Miller will be back and all three will be series namesakes once more.
Cameron Hagin, Casey Wills, Tim Kent, Sean McClelland and Gary Owens are quality pilots that will see action during the season. Lawton Oklahoma’s Morgan Fletcher announced earlier in the off-season that he would become a full time participant in 2018. Terry Easum, a former regular from a few seasons back, will be returning to frequent activity. Nick Lucito is also looking to collect a few pit passes at multiple locations in his quest to run the gauntlet.
Joe Wood Jr. of Newcastle (OK) will be a formidable challenger as his team entry flashes a 75% ratio of the events to attend in 2018. Layne Himebuagh, who has run selected events here and there in the Kevin & Dena Risley sprinter the past couple of seasons has developed his own sprint car team and will be looking to run the circuit this summer. Jimmy Taylor is another shoe who is ‘all-in’ for the AMERI-FLEX / OCRS season for the first time in his career. Matt Cash will also experience what traveling around the highways of the central plains will be all about as well.
There are multiple women partaking in the series as well this season. In addition to Shayla Waddell, the Hughes sisters, Bailey & Jaiden, will be competing in several more races in the series this go around after getting acclimated to their sprint cars last year. In addition, Alison Slaton will be joining the series for a handful of races. Slaton will wheel a car that is a combined effort between Waddell Motorsports & (Duane) Baker Motorsports. The most number of females to start a main event in the history of the series is three. That could possibly be broken in 2018.
At press time, there are five drivers who are qualified to compete for the Brodix 2018 Rookie of the Year honors. Those drivers include: Cody Jarvis, Larry Bratti, Noah Harris, Alison Slaton and Donovan Wise, who will be in a second Taylor Motorsports entry. While the series does not have all the records from prior series ownership, this is believed to be a record number of eligible rookie drivers to begin a season.
There are some very interesting and exciting events that dot the schedule. The most profound event is the “Big One” otherwise known as the “Ameri-Flex Challenge III presented by Grand National Trailer”. The Salina Highbanks Speedway will once again host the event with a $3,000 winners take along with a $1,000 payday for qualified drivers just to start the A-Feature. In 2017, teams had to meet a minimum number of races to participate. For 2018, the gates are open to one and all. There is a qualification process to earn full pay for the race and that information can be found on the OCRS website. This huge purse for the AMERI-FLEX / OCRS sprinters is structured to pay out over $24,000!!! It all takes place on Saturday September 29th. Do not miss this one!
Prior to this event, the Salina Highbanks will also be hosting “Truck Lungs Night” for the AMERI-FLEX / OCRS sprinters with that race taking place on Saturday July 21st.
Another highlight will be the 4th Annual Harold Leep Classic presented by Carter – Maxwell at the Thunderbird Speedway in Muskogee (OK), the only 1/2-mile track remaining in Oklahoma. This years version will pay more money than previous Leep Classics and will take place over 2 days, June 22-23. There will be something extra special as for the first time in the existence of the series, the event will involve… TIME TRIALS!
On night one, Drivers will race against the clock, compete in heat races and qualifiers. Points will be assessed for all three to qualify into the $2,000 to win / $400 to start feature. Night two will consist of last chance races and the main event. For those drivers who find the going a bit tough, the first ten non-feature transfers will earn a minimum of $250 for their efforts. In addition, over $2500 in lap money will be doled out making for a total purse of over $16,000!!!
Another event to note on your planner will be the Friday & Saturday of Labor Day weekend (August 31 & September 1). The Caney Valley Speedway in Caney Kansas will present the inaugural “Sprint Spectacular Summer Shootout”. This event is similar to the Leep Classic event in that Time Trials, heat races and qualifiers will be held to determine feature lineups. One different aspect than the Leep Classic is that the qualifiers will be held on night two with the last chance races and main event instead of night one. To go with the Time Trials & Heat Races on Friday, there will be the “Grand National Trailer Dash For Cash”. Ten cars will compete for a winners take of $500 with $100 available to start. The Saturday feature is set to pay $1500 win / $400 start. Total purse is currently at $12,050. Sponsors are being sought for this inaugural event to boost the purse up further. Contact John Lemon at 918 850.5341 for details.
Caney Valley Speedway will also open their gates for the winged warriors on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (May 26th) and on Saturday June 30th. There is going to be lot of laps turned in southern Kansas in 2018 with good payouts!
Speaking of Kansas….
There will be two trips to the central part of the state as the famed 81 Speedway in Park City will host two events. The first will be the 2nd running of “Sprint Car Maynia” on Sunday May 27th with the NCRA and the URSS sprint car series also on the card. All three series will be running independent programs. Last year, 93 sprint cars overflowed the pits and spilled into the infield. If you need a double dose of “All Sprint Cars All The Time”, the same three groups are set to do it again on October the 13th. Pending any added dates or date changes, this would be the season finale for the AMERI-FLEX / OCRS sprints.
Red Dirt Raceway will host the season opener with the “Oklahoma Sprint Cup” on Saturday March 17th and then its back to the bullring on Sunday October 7th for the 2nd annual 40-lap “Salute to State Fair Speedway” which will also include a legends car show prior to the days racing activities. Last years car show & racing was fantastic!
Other events on the schedule include:
May 12- Oklahoma Sports Park / Ada Oklahoma: 10th Annual Harold Leep Jr. Memorial
June 2- Enid Speedway / Enid Oklahoma
September 15- Oklahoma Sports Park / Ada Oklahoma:12th Annual Oklahoma State Championship
The AMERI-FLEX / OCRS series would like to say thank you to these returning sponsors for 2018:
Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories
Hoosier Tire Southwest
Smiley’s Racing Products
Grand National Trailer
Carter – Maxwell
Drive Shafts Inc.
Car & Fleet
Wesmar Racing Engines
M&W Aluminum Products
Rod End Supply
The AMERI-FLEX / OCRS sprint car series welcomes Tulsa’s ‘York Plumbing’ as the newest sponsor as York Plumbing will be awarding the “Hard Charger” of each feature event $100 in cash. Welcome to the team York Plumbing!
This is it folks. The time is here to get the season started. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker Oklahoma on Saturday March 17th with a start time of 4pm (hot laps at 3:30pm).
2018 AMERI-FLEX / OCRS RACING SCHEDULE
March 17: Red Dirt Raceway / Meeker OK – Oklahoma Sprint Cup
May 5: No Racing (World of Outlaws @ Salina Highbanks)
May 12: Oklahoma Sports Park / Ada OK – 10th Annual Harold Leep Jr. Memorial
May 26: Caney Valley Speedway / Caney KS
May 27: 81 Speedway / Park City KS – Sprint Car Maynia II (with NCRA & URSS sprint series)
June 2: Enid Speedway / Enid OK
June 22-23: Thunderbird Speedway / Muskogee OK – 4th Annual Harold Leep Classic presented by Carter – Maxwell
Over $16,000 purse* ($2500 lap money / $2000 Win / $400 Start / $250 to first ten non-qualifiers)
June 30: Caney Valley Speedway / Caney KS
July 21: Salina Highbanks Speedway / Salina OK – Truck Lungs Night
August 2-11: No Racing (Knoxville 360 & 410 Nationals)
August 31: Caney Valley Speedway / Caney KS – Sprint Spectacular Summer Showdown Day 1
(Featuring Grand National Trailer Dash for Cash )
September 1: Caney Valley Speedway / Caney KS – Sprint Spectacular Summer Showdown Day 2
Over $12,000 Purse* ($1500 Win / $400 Start)
September 15: Oklahoma Sports Park / Ada OK – 12th Annual Oklahoma State Championship
September 29: Salina Highbanks Speedway / Salina OK -Ameri-Flex Challenge III presented by Grand National Trailer
Over $24,000 Purse* ($3,000 Win / $1,000 Start)
October 7: Red Dirt Raceway / Meeker OK – 2nd Annual Salute to State Fair Speedway & Car Show (40 Laps)
October 13: 81 Speedway / Park City KS – (With NCRA & URSS Sprints)
*For teams that qualified for full purse. Contact OCRS for details if needed.
OCRS reserves the right to modify the schedule and/or purses as needed.