From John Lemon
Tulsa, Oklahoma (April 16, 2011)- Choctaw Oklahoma’s Kyle Cobb broke in the 2011 Oil Capital Racing Series season opener in grand style by conquering the initial 25 lap sprint car A Feature at Lawton Speedway. Cobb started on the inside of the second row in his Schnee chassis / Brand Racing Engines machine mounted with Goodyear tread and immediately positioned himself into the third position behind pole starter Rafe Essary and fellow front row starter Matt Sherrell at the start. The race would go yellow before a lap was completed when Jeremy Allen would come to a halt on the track. On the ensuing complete restart, Shayla Waddell and Dean Drake Jr. got into a skirmish on the front stretch with both stopping and bringing out a second yellow before a lap would be filed. Both would be able to continue, but from the rear.
Essary would pace the field to green on the restart and took command early with Sherrell then Cobb in tow. Within a couple of laps, all eyes were locked onto Whit “The Gasman” Gastineau as he was making an immediate charge from his tenth starting position by moving up to fourth. The yellow would then fly again on lap three when Gary Owens came to a stop in turn two after contact with an infield tire. Owens suffered suspension damage and he would not be able to rejoin the field. Shortly after returning to racing action, Cobb would go on a charge disposing of Sherrell and then overtaking Essary for the top spot. Gastineau was still on a run and was seeking to move into the third position on the fourth circuit when he collected an infield tire marker himself between turns three and four thus bringing out the nights fourth yellow. Gastineau would restart at the tail end of the field only spin the Shell Rapid Lube sponsored mount in turn one on lap eight. Gastineau would be done for the night by virtue of the unassisted ‘2-spin’ rule.
The top ten on the last restart of the feature would see Cobb at the point with Danny Smith, Essary, Sherrell, Jamie Passmore (from 16th), Josh Toho, Seam Mc Clelland (from 20th), Fred Mattox, Casey Wills and Chris Lloyd in line. Passmore would continue his charge forward by maneuvering around Sherrell for third in his Schnee chassis / Wesmar powered / G.A.P. Roofing sponsored sprinter. The field would remain in check through the half way point with several positions being contested on the dry slick conditions due to the 25-30 mph sustained winds that persisted throughout the night. McClelland, who was fighting a car he determined was difficult to figure out, got by 2011 OCRS Rookie of the Year contender Toho on lap 14. Sherrell would begin to fade front the front runners as he would lose positions over the next few laps.
As the laps wound down, Smith, in his Same Day Auto Repair number 5$ racer, couldn’t quite get enough steam to get a decent pass attempt for the lead but he got all he wanted from Passmore who was still digging. With three laps to go, Passmore got into the back of Smith going into turn one. Passmore’s front end rolled up Smith’s rear tires which hiked his front end several feet off the ground. Passmore then went into a spin where he executed a perfect 360 and wound up losing only a single position to Essary. As Smith tried in vain to overtake Cobb, Passmore, the three time defending OCRS champion, would slowly reel in Essary and on the last lap, Passmore would execute a move on the outside of turn four that would allow him to just nip Essary for third at the wire. McClelland would cross the line in the fifth position.
When asked about his victory Cobb stated: “ I really have to thank these Goodyear tires. This is the first time I’ve tried them and they did the job tonight.” OCRS has entered into an agreement with Goodyear to be the official tire supplier beginning in 2011. That agreement includes allowing teams to race previous brands in inventory for the first seven scheduled events to deplete inventory already in stock. Cobb could have used makes he had from last year however; he elected to apply Goodyear’s for the night. “Because this is our first time to be able to run Goodyear tires, we didn’t want to wait for later (to have competitors run them first). We wanted to get ahead of everyone else (on experiencing the tires) so we decided to run them now and boy am I glad we did” exclaimed the happy victor. “I want to thank my sponsor, Four Generations Roofing, along with my parents. They are the reason I’m out here.”
Smith was pleased with his run in the Same Day Auto Repair car that is utilizing a XXX chassis with a BMS power plant. “I just couldn’t get to him (Cobb) the way I needed to. The track took rubber in three and four and was slick in one and two. We had a good run all the same.” When asked about the incident where Passmore ran up his backside, “From the impact, I thought for sure I was going to get turned around. It probably cost me the race for sure because what momentum I had built up was gone by that deal.” Passmore’s run from 16th – 3rd had a lot to do with his passing of cars from the outside where most were running the low portion of the track. “Running that top in turn four was the key to the whole thing” said the OCRS champ. “With everybody else taking up space on the bottom, the top was where you had to pass and it just worked out for us.”
OCRS would like to thank Lawton Speedway and the Edwards families for hosting the 2011 season opener and to their racing partners: Goodyear Tire and Rubber, John Boy Racing Products, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Schoenfeld Mufflers, Grand Prix Auto Center, Keizer Aluminum Wheels and Same Day Auto Repair. The next event for the OCRS tour will be at the historic half-mile oval of the Thunderbird Speedway in Muskogee Oklahoma on Friday night April 29th.
Visit OCRS on-line at: www.ocrsracing.com
OCRS Results for Lawton Speedway (4/16/11) Event #1
HEAT 1: 1) Matt Sherrell. 2) Brandon Jennings. 3) Joe Bob Lee. 4) Jamie Passmore. 5) Tim Kent. 6) Kyle Clark. 7) Terry Holland. 8) Nick Bates.
HEAT 2: 1) Rafe Essary. 2,) T.J. Herrell. 3) Casey Wills. 4) Chuck Bellefeuille. 5) Johnny Kent. 6) Chris Lloyd. 7) Danny Jennings. DNS: Harli White.
HEAT 3: 1) Fred Mattox. 2) Glen Owens. 3) Jeremy Allen. 4) Terry Easum. 5) Jeff Leep. 6) John James. 7) Brent Swift. DNS: Beau Gastineau.
HEAT 4: 1) Josh Toho. 2) Kyle Cobb. 3) Danny Smith. 4) Jeff Taft. 5) Brandon Long. 6) Kody Barksdale. 7) Kacee Frazier. 8) Rob Hooper.
HEAT 5: 1) Shayla Waddell. 2) Whit Gastineau. 3) Dean Drake, Jr. 4) Sean McClelland. 5) Kerry McAlister. 6) Andrew Deal. 7) Frank Dittman. 8) Strike Hill.
DASH: 1) Rafe Essary. 2) Matt Sherrell. 3) Kyle Cobb. 4) Glen Owens. 5) Josh Toho. 6) Fred Mattox.
B FEATURE 1: ,1)Tim Kent. 2) Chris Lloyd. 3) Jeff Leep. 4) Frank Dittman. 5) Jeff Taft. 6) Chuck Bellefeuille. 7) Rob Hooper. 8) Kerry McAlister 9) Kody Barksdale 10) Kyle Clark. DNS: Brent Swift, Harli White.
B FEATURE 2: 1) Terry Easum. 2) Sean McClelland. 3,) Andrew Deal. 4) Danny Jennings. 5) Johnny Kent. 6) Brandon Long. 7) Kacee Frazier. 8) Terry Holland. 9) John James. 10) Strike Hill. 11) Nick Bates. DNS: Beau Gastineau.
A FEATURE: 1) Kyle Cobb. 2) Danny Smith. 3) Jamie Passmore. 4) Rafe Essary. 5) Sean McClelland. 6) Chris Lloyd. 7) Joe Bob Lee. 8) Matt Sherrell. 9) Tim Kent. 10) Josh Toho. 11) Brandon Jennings. 12) Terry Easum. 13) Shayla Waddell. 14) Fred Mattox. 15,) T.J. Herrell. 16) Casey Wills. 17,) Whit Gastineau. 18,) Dean Drake, Jr. 19) Glen Owens. 20) Jeremy Allen.