By John Lemon
Longdale Oklahoma (April 12, 2014) – Heading towards the one year anniversary that took everything he owned except his precious family from the horrendous Moore Oklahoma tornado attack, Whit Gastineau returned to sprint car action with the Oil Capital Racing Series at the brand new Longdale Speedway and powered his way to victory lane, a feat he found himself accomplishing often prior to what nature’s wrath executed upon him.
Gastineau, who had earlier taken checkers in the AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories heat race, started the A-Feature on the pole and immediately jumped out to an early led over Bob Hurley Auto Family heat race victor, Danny Jennings. Chance Morton and Car & Fleet Parts heat race winner Harli White would follow the duo into turns one and two. White would waste no time improving her status as she went past Morton in turn three of the opening lap.
On lap four, Jennings, who was in the Maxim railed/ Jennings Engines / Butlerbuilt Seats / Momentum Shocks / F & K Rod Ends number 1j was applying heavy pressure on Gastineau’s Exterior Specialties, Shell Rapid Lube / Outlaw Wings / K&F Collision and Red Rock Racing Fuels number 2w while White and Sheldon Barksdale were slowing creeping towards the front runners themselves. All the while, seventh starter Danny Smith was behind the pack making the first of his efforts to become a player.
Smith would work his way around Barksdale a couple of laps later and White would then over take Jennings for second. Soon after those position changes, which were occurring with lapped traffic in play, Smith would pick up another spot by passing Jennings in turn two and a couple of laps later after, a yellow flag would slow racing action down while working the 11th lap when a large infield tire was clipped in turn one and rolled onto the track. The restart would see Gastineau on the point with 2013 OCRS champion White second, followed by Smith, Jennings, Barksdale and Andrew Deal in line.
The ‘Gasman’ would take the green to restart the race and the chase to knock him off the top of the mountain was on. While White was looking for an opportunity to snare the lead, Smith was hounding the young lady at every conceivable moment for her position. The top three were speeding around the Longdale track staying within feet of one another. Then on the 16th lap, White, who had been running the bottom of the track along with the others, came off the bottom just enough in turn one to allow Smith an opportunity to move his Tire Factory / Same Day Auto Repair sprinter into the runner-up spot and he took full advantage of the chance and executed the pass.
Another yellow would set up a three lap shootout when Shayla Waddell spun in turns one and two as the lead pack were all entering the same corner. Smith would give it all he had on the restart, but Gastineau held true to form and would win his first OCRS feature race since September 22, 2012 in the 6th Annual Oklahoma State Championship event. White crossed the stripe in third with Jennings fourth and Deal, in the Cagle Motorsports entry, rounding out the top five spots.
Gastineau was a proud winner while carrying a heavy heart at the same time. It was just a handful of weeks ago when tragedy hit the Gastineau’s again when their engine builder, Larry Allen passed away. “We worked hard this winter just trying to get all this stuff (racing operation) back together,” stated Gastineau. “I had to borrow a set of gears as we don’t have but a few sets now. Many of our parts are lost and some are just rusted. We were able to save this engine that Larry Allen built and I would like to give this win to him. I figured if I stayed on the bottom we would be OK. I just had to make sure I didn’t screw up.”
As for the runner-up Smith, he was one of three drivers to improve at least five positions (Brian McClelland and Ty Williams) and by virtue of being the highest finisher of the three, Smith was thus awarded the AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories “Hard Charger” and the $100 bill that goes with the honor. “This is a beautiful facility and they (Longdale staff) put on a good show, said Smith. “He (Gastineau) was protecting the bottom trying not to make any mistakes and I knew that. He was rolling into the corners gently to get good straight-a-way speeds and he did. I think if he would of ever seen me there, he would have stepped it up a notch.”
Gastineau and Smith had a common factor in that each would be in different chassis for 2014 than what each had been previously running. Gastineau took checkers in a Maxim while Smith has unveiled a new F5-Twister from its creator, Wayne Simmons, who also serves as Smith’s crew chief. Smith is powered by Dyno Services of Oklahoma Racing Engines. Third place White was in her formidable Maxim / Boyd Racing Engines with backing from Mesilla Valley Transportation, Lucas Oil and PXP Racewear.
Due to the 32 car field, there were twin Wesmar B-Features and they were won by Shayla Waddell and Brian Bishop. Stop number two on the 2014 OCRS tour will see the sprint cars head to Wainwright Oklahoma at the Outlaw Motorsports Park next Saturday night, April 19th. 2013 OCRS victors at OMP were: Smith and his teammate, Kyle Clark.
OCRS Race Results
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Car Count: 32
AmeriFlex Hose and Accessories Heat
1) Whit Gastineau / Gastineau Racing 2w . 2) Chance Morton / Morton Racing 7m . 3) Johnny Kent / Kent Motorsports 55 . 4) Casey Wills / Wills 31 . 5) Perry Pickard / Pickard 78 . 6) Shayla Waddell / Waddell 88s . DNS: Derek Cottrell / Cottrell 9, Brandon Jennings / Jennings Racing LLC 21.
Bob Hurley Auto Family Heat
1) Danny Jennings / Jennings Motorsports 1j . 2) Alex DeCamp / DeCamp 84 . 3) Kade Morton / Morton Racing 8m . 4) 4-Shane Sellers / Sellers 4 . 5) Brian McClelland / Fode 87F . 6) Robert Sellers / Coleman 4x . 7) Brian Bishop / Bishop 77 . 8) Frank Taft / Taft 22T .
Drive Shafts Inc. Heat
1) David Stephenson / Stephenson 22 . 2) Danny Smith / Same Day Auto Repair 5$ . 3) Sheldon Barksdale / Barksdale 20s . 4) Ty Williams / Elite Motorsports 1 . 5) Mike Huard / Ragsdale 01 . 6) Blake Edwards / Edwards 17E . 7) Cameron Hagin / Hagin Racing 5. 8) Dan Schnackenberg / Schnackenberg 94 .
Car and Fleet Parts Heat
1) Harli White / White 17W . 2) Andrew Deal / Cagle Motorsports 15D . 3) Fred Mattox / Mattox 26M . 4) Kyle Clark / Same Day Auto Repair 9$ . 5) Nigel Calvert / Stephenson 16 . 6) Michael Bookout / Bookout 007 . 7) Jeff Garnett / Garnett 98 . 8) 101-Dillon Ake / Ake Racing 101 .
Wesmar B Feature #1
1) Shayla Waddell / Waddell 88s . 2) Michael Bookout / Bookout 007 . 3) Cameron Hagin / Hagin Racing 5 . 4) Shane Sellers / Sellers 4 . DNS: Blake Edwards / Edwards 17E, Dan Schnackenberg / Schnackenberg 94, Mike Huard / Ragsdale 01, Derek Cottrell / Cottrell 9.
Wesmar B Feature #2
1) Brian Bishop/ Bishop 77 . 2) Perry Pickard / Pickard 78 . 3) Nigel Calvert / Stephenson 16 . 4) Frank Taft / Taft 22T . 5) Jeff Garnett / Garnett 98 . 6) Robert Sellers / Coleman 4x . DNS: Dillon Ake / Ake Racing 101 , Brandon Jennings / Jennings Racing LLC.
OCRS A Feature
1) Whit Gastineau / Gastineau Racing 2W . 2) Danny Smith/ Same Day Auto Repair 5$ . 3) Harli White / White 17W . 4) Danny Jennings / Jennings Motorsports 1J . 5) Andrew Deal / Cagle Motorsports 15D . 6) Sheldon Barksdale / Barksdale 20S . 7) Kyle Clark / Same Day Auto Repair 9$ . 8) David Stephenson / Stephenson 22 . 9) Fred Mattox / Mattox 26M . 10) Brian McClelland / Fode 87F . 11) Ty Williams / Elite Motorsports 1 . 12) Chance Morton / Morton Racing 7M . 13) 84-Alex DeCamp / DeCamp 84 . 14) Casey Wills / Wills 31 . 15) Brian Bishop / Bishop 77 . 16) Shayla Waddell / Waddell 88S . 17) Michael Bookout / Bookout 007 . 18) 55-Johnny Kent / Kent 55 . 19) Kade Morton / Morton Racing 8M . 20) Perry Pickard / Pickard 78 .
AmeriFlex Hose and Accessories Hard Charger: Danny Smith +5
D&E Supply Hard Luck Award: Dan Schnackenberg