From John Rittenoure
CANEY, KS (October 19, 2019) – Winning the AmeriFlex / OCRS Sprint Car season finale at Caney Valley Speedway on Saturday was the perfect ending to what has been a tough year for Mickey Walker and his family.
Walker led the final 11 laps of Saturday’s 30-lapper to notch his first win of the season. And the victory was much needed. On May 24 Mickey’s dad, Kenneth, took a hard ride at the AmeriFlex / OCRS event at Creek County Speedway. The crash resulted in a neck and spine injury and time of rehab. Mickey also was involved in a crash the next night but was not hurt. The weeks that followed were a time of soul searching.
“It has been a rough year with dad hurting his neck and being down awhile,” Walker said. “It was a really tough time. Once he got better we got the car back together.
“I decided to come back and just have fun. “I am ok with just finishing fourth, fifth or sixth. Since then we have been meshing together really well and it kind of shows. We went from eighth to seventh then sixth and finished fourth at the AmeriFlex Challenge. Tonight we put it in the winner’s circle.”
When the green flag dropped on the A feature Walker jumped into the early lead in his Sign and Stitches sponsored sprinter only to give way to rookie Kinzer Edwards on lap 3. Edwards begins to pull away until he pulled to the infield on lap 18 bringing out a yellow. Walker returned to the lead on the restart and raced unchallenged to the checkered.
“He showed the line and where to run,” Walker said of Edwards. “Once I changed it I started to catch him.”
In the closing laps, Terry Easum tried to reel Walker in but could not get close enough to challenge before time ran out. 2019 AmeriFlex / OCRS champion Zach Chappell followed Easum to finish third, Sheldon Barksdale and Andrew Deal rounded out the top five.
Chappell had the 2019 championship wrapped up prior to the night’s program and was honored at intermission with a large poster.
The rear end problems suffered by Edwards came on his first week back in competition after sitting out some six weeks due to a blown engine.
“The reared cable came unhooked and it jumped out of gear,” Edwards said of his sudden misfortune. “Thank God it was not the motor. It took me six weeks to save up for that.
“I am just glad to be back and be competitive. The whole field knew I was here. That was my goal. I wanted to come here and win in front of my home crowd.”
Edwards came from the modified ranks and is in his first season wheeling an open wheel sprinter.
“I came out of modifieds and this is a whole different world,” Edwards said. “But I have been doing my homework figuring these things out.”
AmeriFlex / OCRS Results
Caney Valley Speedway
October 19, 2019
Car count: 23
Drive Shafts, Inc. Heat 1 (8 Laps)
1, 9-Kinzer Edwards. 2, 5-Joe Bob Lee. 3, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 4, 3C-Roy
Larkin. 5, 7F-Noah Harris. 6, 13$-Len Larkin. 7, 6-Alison Slaton. 8, 11-Lane
Bravado Wireless Heat 2 (8 Laps)
1, 88-Terry Easum. 2, 2-Mickey Walker. 3, 21P-Phillip Davis. 4, 65L-Brock
Barreth. 5, 87F-Brian McClelland. 6, 62-James Shoun. 7, 2L-Brandon Leland. 8,
Car and Fleet Parts Heat 3 (8 Laps)
1, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 2, 30-Joseph Miller. 3, 55-Johnny Kent. 4, 31-Casey Wills.
5, 15D-Andrew Deal. 6, 4AM-Kilton Gariss. 7, 22T-Frank Taft.
Ameriflex Hose and Accessories A FEATURE (30 Laps)
1, 2-Mickey Walker. 2, 88-Terry Easum. 3, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 4, 20S-Sheldon
Barksdale. 5, 15D-Andrew Deal. 6, 31-Casey Wills. 7, 11-Lane Goodman. 8,
5-Joe Bob Lee. 9, 30-Joseph Miller. 10, 6-Alison Slaton. 11, 87F-Brian
McClelland. 12, 21P-Phillip Davis. 13, 22T-Frank Taft. 14, 2L-Brandon Leland.
15, 13$-Len Larkin. 16, 3C-Roy Larkin. 17, 22C-Charlie Crumpton. 18, 4AM-
Kilton Gariss. 19, 7F-Noah Harris. 20, 9-Kinzer Edwards. 21, 62-James
Shoun. 22, 55-Johnny Kent. 23, 65L-Brock Barreth.
Lap Leaders: Mickey Walker 1-2, Kinzer Edwards 3-18, Mickey Walker 19-30.
Margin of Victory: 1.636.