From John Rittenoure
Muskogee, OK — (August 5, 2011) – Lady luck made Friday night’s OCRS Sprint Car main event at Outlaw Motor Speedway one to remember for Jamie Passmore and Sean McClelland.
McClelland was only one turn away from victory when his right rear tire let go. Passmore roared past and raced under the checkered flag to record his first victory of the season.
Passmore was stunned by the sudden turn of events.
“I was real surprised at that last corner,” grinned Passmore. “He had us beat all night and had the better car. We just got lucky.”
McClelland led from the start and it was all Passmore could do to keep up. In fact the former OCRS champion was not sure how many laps he had left in his right rear tire.
“It was pretty hard on tires and there was not much passing,” Passmore said of the rubbered over track surface. “My tire is already flat. One more lap and I would have been done.”
The win ended a drought for Passmore who is use to having several wins this late into the season.
“Now I just hope I can carry on,” said Passmore of his hopes of winning again. “Sean and Whitt (Gastineau) are going to be hard to beat.”
For McClelland it was the best bad luck you could have. After his right rear tire blew McClelland gassed his sprinter just missing the wall and limped to a second place finish over a fast closing Whit Gastineau. Had the flat come a lap earlier McClelland would have finished near the rear of the 19-car field.
“That is just the way it is,” commented McClelland of his luck. “We will take our second and go on down the road. You have to race till the checkered flag. I got a hole in the tire. I cut it or something. It could have been a lot worse.”
McClelland was surprised the tire did not make it to the finish.
“I was easy on them,” McClelland said of his tires. “I was cruising and never did see anybody so I was not pushing it very hard.
“In the last turn I got back on the gas and it would not turn.”
The second place finish allowed McClelland to retain his points lead over third place finisher Gastineau. The two came into the night just four points apart. Both won their respective heat races and the second place main event finish allowed McClelland to increase his lead to seven over Gastineau.
However McClelland feels the points will take care of themselves if he runs well.
“I am not watching them,” he said. “I am coming out here and trying to win every race that I can. I don’t even look at it. All these people want to tell me what it is and I tell them to just leave it. If just go win races and it will take care of itself.”
The 25-lap feature got underway with McClelland driving off the pole and into the lead followed by Passmore and Andrew Deal. Just two laps in the first yellow came out when Fred Mattox spun in turn two. On the restart brake checking forced Kevin Cummings to turn sideways into the infield out of turn four and the yellow came back out.
When racing resumed Shayla Waddell held down third with Gastineau in fourth. Lap five saw Gastineau zip past Waddell for third just before the yellow waved again, this time for Rob Hooper who spun between turns 1-2.
The feature only got in one more lap before Alex Sewell got out of shape in turn one. The race restarted with Mike Goodman charging his way into third ahead of Gastineau and Waddell. But on lap 16 Goodman pulled off the front straightaway into the infield giving third back to Gastineau. The race stayed that way with McClelland out front until the final lap incident. Waddell started closing on Gastineau in the final laps but settled for a season best fourth place. Fellow Oklahoma City area driver Larry Neighbors rounded out the top five.
The next OCRS event will be Saturday, August 13, at Caney Valley Speedway.
Outlaw Motor Speedway
Race date: August 5, 2011 – Event 13
HEAT 1: 1, Whit Gastineau. 2, Tim Kent. 3, Matt Sherrell. 4, Mike Goodman. 5, Rafe Essary. 6, Fred Mattox. 7, Kyle Clark.
HEAT 2: 1, Sean McClelland. 2, Andrew Deal. 3, Beau Gastineau. 4, Rob Hooper. 5, Kevin Cummings. 6, Danny Smith.
HEAT 3: 1, Jamie Passmore. 2, Larry Neighbors. 3, Shayla Waddell. 4, Brady Demeree. 5, Casey Wills. 6, Alex Sewell.
DASH: 1, Sean McClelland. 2, Andrew Deal. 3, Jamie Passmore. 4, Whit Gastineau. 5, Shayla Waddell. 6, Tim Kent.
A FEATURE: 1, Jamie Passmore. 2, Sean McClelland. 3, Whit Gastineau. 4, Shayla Waddell. 5, Larry Neighbors. 6, Matt Sherrell. 7, Rafe Essary. 8, Johnny “Hotrod” Kent. 9, Kyle Clark. 10, Alex Sewell. 11, Kevin Cummings. 12, Tim Kent. 13, Brady Demeree. 14, Mike Goodman. 15, Andrew Deal. 16, Fred Mattox. 17, Rob Hooper. 18, Beau Gastineau. 19, Casey Wills. DNS: Danny Smith.