OCRS Returns to Salina High Banks

From John Lemon

Tulsa, OK — (August 30, 2011) — One hundred and twenty nine years ago, the first observance of the Labor Day holiday was recognized. Labor Day is all about giving recognition to the hard working individuals that put their very heart and soul into their craft. In the circles of sprint car racing, one would be hard pressed to find a harder working group of racing teams as that of the Oil Capital Racing Series. Likewise, the promoters of the Salina Highbanks Speedway in Salina Oklahoma, a track that many call  “Eldora Jr.”, are also a hard core of working proprietors that have revived “Eldora Jr.” into one of the regions finest auto racing facilities. Of the two sprint car events held at the “Highbanks” this season, Salina has produced some of their best crowds as race fans flock to the Highbanks in numbers to witness racing action on a very unique track that produces some of the fastest and closest action the region can muster.

Among the stars of the OCRS sprint series that will compete for Labor Day victory laurels is Whit “The Gasman” Gastineau who was victorious at the Highbanks on June 18th. That win is one of six the Gasman has amassed during the 2011 season. Local race fans will get to see a couple of their favorite drivers from the area as well. Three time defending OCRS champion Jamie Passmore and his brother Glen are very popular with the racing community in the Salina / Pryor area and they will have their G.A.P. Roofing mounts ready for the challenges ahead.

With three podium finishes in the last six events, Rafe Essary is hitting his stride and is looking for his first win of the season and has the Highbanks marked as a track where he would like to accomplish that feat. It has been five years (2006) since OCRS held a Labor Day racing event at the Highbanks and Essary walked away with the winning loot then. With his second place run in last weeks outing at Thunderbird Speedway, Essary has closed to within 23 points of the Gasman for second place in the chase for the 2011 OCRS championship. Tulsa’s Sean McClelland has a hold of that precious top spot with his fourth win of the year last week and stretched his point lead to 58 points when Gastineau had problems last Saturday. In his last four outings, McClelland has two wins, a second and a third. With a record   year end points fund available to the OCRS teams due to the generous participation of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co; the battles for both the overall championship and other top level positions are becoming more heated by the week.

OCRS bolsters a solid crop of rookies that are making an impact in 2011 and are coming off one of their best weekends to date. In only his fourth night in a sprint car, Alex Sewell, a veteran of micro sprint racing, earned a seventh place finish in a field of twenty starters in the Kenneth Walker black widow duce. Josh Toho, another micro sprint ringer, leads the 2011 OCRS ‘Rookie of the Year’ honors and finished in the top ten last Saturday and Layne Himebaugh, yet another micro sprint vet driving for Kevin and Deana Risley, qualified for his first OCRS main event in only his second attempt and finished a respectable 13th.  In addition, while not rookies by any means, there are the Kent boys (Johnny and Tim) who also had their best 2011 runs with a third and a fourth respectively. In all, OCRS will bring a contingent of highly competitive racing teams to the Highbanks for a night of extremely turbulent racing action in what will be the final OCRS sprint car stop this year. For this occasion, this is absolutely a DO NOT MISS event!

What: Oil Capital Racing Series sprint cars

Where: Salina Highbanks Speedway / Salina Oklahoma

When: Saturday September 3, 2011 / Gates open at 4pm / Racing begins at 7pm

The track is easy to locate as it sits directly on Highway 20 between Pryor and Salina with a lakeside view of Hudson Lake in the background.

Track Phone: (918) 434-RACE (7223)

Track website: www.salinahighbanksspeedway.com

After the races, race fans are welcome to the Finish Line Bar and Grill free of charge located in the VIP suite section on the upper level. VIP admission is available for the bar and grill suites during the races for a fee. Contact the track for additional information.

Additional info on the OCRS series can be viewed at: www.ocrsracing.com