From John Rittenoure – OCRS Web Editor
Ada, OK — (June 20, 2015) — The annual Harold Leep, Jr. Memorial race at Oklahoma Sports Park is a race Gary Owens looks forward to every year. The Pauls Valley native won the event in 2013 and again in 2014.
Saturday Owens defended his title winning for the third time in his Owens Sand and Gravel and Fields Pecan Pies sponsored sprinter. It was also Owens’ first AmeriFlex Hose and Accessories Oil Capital Racing Series victory of the season.
“I really like this place,” Owens said to the crowd in victory lane. “I like it and it likes me for some reason.
“I want to thank (promoter) George Welch. With all the rain they had he had a dry track tonight.”
Owens started the 25-lap feature on the pole after drawing the number one pill in the re-draw, but it took him nine trips around before he could lead his first lap on the 4/10 mile oval. Johnny Kent drove into the early lead from the outside front row and Owens ended up giving chase.
On lap 10 Owens got the break he needed passing Kent for the lead.
“That was my first challenge,” Owens said of taking the lead. “He (Kent) was pretty fast and I got pretty lucky. He got a little high and loose. I went to the bottom and got it to stick.”
AmeriFlex / OCRS points leader Robert Sellers also got around Kent one lap later and and went after Owens.
“I knew Robert (Sellers) was pretty fast,” Owens said.” We held on.”
Shane Sellers roared into third behind his dad on lap 15. It appeared the race might end with a third place finish, but a pair of yellow flags with two laps remaining proved to be beneficial. Shane put a move on dad after the final restart and shot into second, but could not run down Owens.
“I am pretty happy with second as loose as I was,” Shane Sellers said of his cars handling. “I was expecting to run the cushion so I left my car free then we got out there and there was not a top, we had to run the bottom. I was just too loose.
“With all the problems we have had this year I am just happy to get in 25 laps.”
The move around Robert for second was not expected.
“The front three cars, we were pretty much running the same speed,” Sellers recalled. “My dad went high to try and make something work and ended up getting in the marbles and I got by him. If not for that I probably would have been third.
“Had we been on the top we would have been better. Had I known we were going to run the bottom we could have made the car better.”
After a promising start Kent spun on the lap 23 restart while running fourth and ended the night two laps down in 14th.
“We got tagged on the restart and got turned around,” Kent said of the finish. “That was just racing. It was nobody’s fault.
“We just got the car a little free and it got looser as the race went. That is just part of it.
“I was struggling getting off turn two and giving up a lot of racetrack.”
At the checkered Robert Sellers finished in third behind Shane, Whit Gastineau climbed to fourth from an eighth place start and Danny Smith rounded out the top five from his 11th place starting position.
OCRS Race Results
Oklahoma Sports Park
Saturday June 20, 2015
Car count: 20
Boyd Racing Engines Heat (8 laps)
1, 55-Johnny Kent. 2, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 3, 31-Casey Wills. 4, 88S-Shayla Waddell. 5, P78-Perry Pickard. 6, 007-Michael Bookout. 7, 98-Jeff Garnett.
Shock Doc Heat (8 laps)
1, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 2, 33-Gary Owens. 3, 17-Brent Bates. 4, 4-Shane Sellers. 5, 30-Joseph Miller. 6, 53-Brett Wilson. 7, 94-Dan Schnackenberg.
Drive Shafts Inc. Heat (8 laps)
1, 4X-Robert Sellers. 2, 5-Cameron Hagin. 3, 03-Joe Wood Jr.. 4, 5$-Danny Smith. 5, 87F-Brian McClelland. DNS: 01-Mike Huard.
AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A Feature (25 laps)
1, 33-Gary Owens. 2, 4-Shane Sellers. 3, 4X-Robert Sellers. 4, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 5, 5$-Danny Smith. 6, 31-Casey Wills. 7, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 8, 5-Cameron Hagin. 9, 17-Brent Bates. 10, 87F-Brian McClelland. 11, 53-Brett Wilson. 12, 88S-Shayla Waddell. 13, 30-Joseph Miller. 14, 55-Johnny Kent. 15, 03-Joe Wood Jr.. 16, P78-Perry Pickard. 17, 007-Michael Bookout. 18, 94-Dan Schnackenberg. 19, 98-Jeff Garnett. DNS: 01-Mike Huard.
Lap Leaders: Kent 1-9; Owens 10-25.