By John Rittenoure
Ada, Oklahoma (June 9, 2012) – The Oil Capital Racing Series East vs. West Challenge has historically brought some of the best sprint car teams together from across the state of Oklahoma. Since 2007, the challenge has made the Oklahoma Sports Park home and the Western drivers have protected their turf with seven wins to six for their Eastern counterparts. Saturday a visitor from the North tried to pull off an upset.
Veteran Mike Peters of Wichita entered the fray and came within one lap of winning the 14th edition of the rivalry, but Jamie Passmore came to the rescue with a turn four pass that gave him the lead and the win to even the series at seven wins apiece. It was the fourth win of the season for Passmore and enabled him to widen his series points lead over Danny Smith.
Peters was trying to put distance between himself and Passmore as they threaded their way through lapped traffic over the last half of the 25-lap main event. As Peters entered turn four heading for the white flag, he had to pass one more lapped car. A slight hesitation was all Passmore needed to charge past in the low groove and lead the final lap for the victory. “It worked out,” said Passmore of his move in lapped traffic. “We got that traffic and he (Peters) chose the top and I chose the bottom and it worked out for us thank goodness.”
Peters gave Passmore a window of opportunity and he returned the move Peters made on him earlier in the race. “I thought we might be able to stay ahead of him, but I hesitated too much on a lapped car and it cost me,” explained Peters. “He was going good.”
Jamie Passmore wins OCRS East vs. West Shootout @ OSP Mike Spivey Photo
The race got underway with Passmore driving off the pole and outrunning outside front row starter Whit Gastineau into the first turn. The three-time champion led the field down the backstretch and before he could complete the lap, Jeremy Allen took a wild ride down the backstretch into turn three. Allen flipped hard end over end totaling his race car. Fortunately, Allen climbed from his sprinter unhurt, but the sprint car has seen its last race.
The race restarted only to see the yellow wave as Whit Gastineau and Shayla Waddell came together and spun in turn one. The front-end was down on Waddell’s number 88s and she was done for the night. Gastineau was able to restart. On the second restart, Passmore resumed the lead with Peters and Gary Taylor giving chase. Within a few laps, Joe Wood, Jr. moved into fourth and the pace continued that way until the halfway point when Passmore slipped in turn four. Peters was right there and shot underneath to take away the lead.
“I kind of got comfortable,” Passmore said. “When you are out front you don’t know where everyone else is at and kind of slowed down a little bit there and it almost cost me. “I missed my line down there and I ran off the track.” It was the opportunity Peters was waiting for. “He made a mistake in (turn) four and left me a spot to get by him,” said Peters.
Peters led the way through lapped traffic and put a little distance between himself and Passmore until the end of lap 24 when Peters handed the lead back. At the finish it was Passmore, Peters and Taylor with Wood, Jr. in fourth and last years winner Gary Owens fifth. However, as the top five crossed scales following the race, Taylor was found to be underweight and was disqualified. That moved Wood, Jr. to third and Owens to fourth. Tim Kent rounded out the top five.
Mike Peters almost won his first OCRS feature Saturday night / Mike Spivey Photo
The condition of the 4/10’s mile oval was a hit for the fans who like to two-wide racing and the drivers could not ask for more. “It was a two groove track,” Passmore said. “It was a very racy track. “I hope it was fun to watch. That is what it is all about.” Peters echoed Passmore’s comments. “You could run the top or the bottom,” said Peters. “You could move around. It was not one lane. That is all you can ask for.”
Beau Gastineau won the B main and led Colton Brewer, Frank Dittman and Waddell to the finish. The four earned starting positions at the back of the main event however Brewer was unable to start leaving just 19 to take the green flag.
OCRS is off to it’s third doubleheader of the season next weekend as the winged warriors will visit Tri-State Speedway in Pocola Oklahoma on Saturday June 16th then on Sunday night, OCRS will make it’s first ever appearance at the Monett Speedway in Monett Missouri.
3 wide salute to a stacked house at Oklahoma Sports Park / Mike Spivey Photo
Oklahoma Sports Park
Race date: June 9, 2012 – Event 7
M&W Aluminum Heat:
1, Whit Gastineau. 2, Gary Taylor. 3, Kerry McAlister. 4, Rafe Essary. 5, Casey Wills. 6, Alex Sewell. 7, Shayla Waddell. 8, David Lambert. 9, Kyle Clark.
Bob Hurley Auto Family Heat:
1, Mike Peters. 2, Jamie Passmore. 3, Fred Mattox. 4, Danny Smith. 5, Danny Jennings. 6, Colton Brewer. 7, Beau Gastineau. 8, Jeff Garnett.
Drive Shafts Inc. Heat:
1, Tim Kent. 2, Jeremy Allen. 3, Gary Owens. 4, Johnny Kent. 5, Joe Wood, Jr. 6, Michael Bookout. 7, Frank Dittman. 8, Russell Boren.
1, Jamie Passmore. 2, Whit Gastineau. 3, Mike Peters. 4, Tim Kent. 5, Jeremy Allen. 6, Gary Taylor.
Wesmar Racing Engines B Feature: 1, Beau Gastineau. 2, Colton Brewer. 3, Frank Dittman. 4, Shayla Waddell. 5, David Lambert. 6, Michael Bookout. 7, Russell Boren. 8, Jeff Garnett. 9, Kyle Clark.
OCRS A Feature:
1, Jamie Passmore. 2, Mike Peters. 3, Joe Wood, Jr. 4, Gary Owens. 5, Tim Kent. 6, Danny Smith. 7, Alex Sewell. 8, Rafe Essary. 9, Whit Gastineau. 10, Beau Gastineau. 11, Fred Mattox. 12, Johnny Kent. 13, Frank Dittman. 14, Danny Jennings. 15, Kerry McAlister. 16, Casey Wills. 17, Shayla Waddell. 18, Jeremy Allen. 19, Colton Brewer (DNS) 20, Gary Taylor (DQ).
Car Count: 25.
AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories Hard Charger: Alex Sewell.