By John Rittenoure
LAWTON, Okla. (Aug. 1, 2015) – A long dry spell came to an end for Cody Wampler on Saturday. Since climbing back into his OCRS-type sprint car last year, Wampler has been without a victory.
But the drought is over. And what a better place then winning on your home track.
Wampler started outside front row in Saturday’s AmeriFlex Hose and Accessories / Oil Capital Racing Series main event at the Lawton Speedway, grabbed the lead in turn four of lap one and went the 30-lap distance to win his first ever AmeriFlex / OCRS feature.
“It was definitely a good run for us even though we started up front,” Wampler said of his victory. “It was a relief. It has been a long time. Last year was my first year back in the car. It has been eight years since I was in one of these. I was running my ASCS car. My last feature win was 2003.”
Sometimes a win comes when you least expect it and that was the case Saturday.
“Going in we knew it was not our kind of track,” Wampler said. “We like it to be drier then it was. We run weekly here. The track is usually pretty slick, but the afternoon shower made the track quite a bit different.”
“I knew the top would be tough to make work. We loosened the car up and I was afraid we were going to be too loose. I knew all the fast guys were starting close to the front.”
Wampler decided to run the race on the bottom side of the track.
“I decided to guard the bottom and see what happens,” he said. “About halfway through the race, I figured we must be decent since I did not see anyone’s nose or anything yet.”
“Thirty laps is long and we were just trying to hang on. I expected to see someone buzz the top. I was going to stay low enough they would have to nudge me to get underneath.”
The plan worked to perfection. Early in the race, Zach Chappell worked into second but could not challenge Wampler. In the final laps, Chappell was pressured by series point leader Robert Sellers for second. Sellers muscled his way past Chappell in turn four of the last lap to earn the runner-up position. Gary Owens and Whit Gastineau finished in the fourth and fifth positions.
In the final laps Wampler was starting to hear noises and was hoping to hang on.
“I felt a little vibration the last 5 or 6 laps,” Wampler said. “I was hoping and praying that it (car) would hang on.
“We have had hard luck this year. We burned a motor up three times. Earlier in the year, we led the feature 18 of the 20 laps and dropped a motor. We should have had a couple by now. But it just was not our time.”
Robert Sellers earned $500 for the 2-day “Red River Shootout” bonus for having the highest total points for the weekend, which included Friday night’s action at the Red River Speedway in Wichita Falls Texas. Whit Gastineau had the second highest total for a $300 take, while Zach Chappell collected $200 for having the third highest points of the border state tracks.
Special thanks goes out to Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories for the $1,000 weekend bonus.
AmeriFlex / Oil Capital Racing Series
Lawton Speedway – Lawton, Okla.
Saturday August 1, 2015
Car count: 24
Boyd Racing Engines Heat (8 laps) – 1, 94F-Morgan Fletcher. 2, 22-Cody Wampler. 3, 53-Brett Wilson. 4, 98P-Ryan Padgett. 5, 21-Brandon Jennings. 6, 76H-TJ Honkomp. 7, P78-Perry Pickard. 8, 98-Jeff Garnett.
Shock Doc Heat (8 laps) – 1, 88S-Shayla Waddell. 2, 4-Shane Sellers. 3, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 4, 4X-Robert Sellers. 5, 35K-Chad Koch. 6, 5-Cameron Hagin. 7, 19-Justin Fisk. 8, 11-Nick Bates.
Drive Shafts Inc. Heat (8 laps) – 1, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 2, 33-Gary Owens. 3, 10K-Kyle Ezell. 4, 81W-Danny Wood. 5, 5L-Joe Bob Lee. 6, 17-Brent Bates. 7, 24-T.J. Herrell. 8, 31-Casey Wills.
AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A Feature (30 laps) – 1, 22-Cody Wampler. 2, 4X-Robert Sellers. 3, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 4, 33-Gary Owens. 5, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 6, 4-Shane Sellers. 7, 5L-Joe Bob Lee. 8, 53-Brett Wilson. 9, 88S-Shayla Waddell. 10, 94F-Morgan Fletcher. 11, 17-Brent Bates. 12, 35K-Chad Koch. 13, 10K-Kyle Ezell. 14, 24-T.J. Herrell. 15, 5-Cameron Hagin. 16, 11-Nick Bates. 17, 31-Casey Wills. 18, 21-Brandon Jennings. 19, 81W-Danny Wood. 20, 98-Jeff Garnett. 21, 19-Justin Fisk. DNS: 76H-TJ Honkomp, Perry Pickard, Ryan Padgett.
Lap Leaders: Cody Wampler 1-30
Margin of Victory: 2.752 seconds
Boyd’s Racing Engines Heat: Morgan Fletcher
Shock Doc Heat: Shayla Waddell.
Drive Shafts Inc Heat: Whit Gastineau
D&E Hard Luck Recipient: T.J. Honkomp
Action Auto Collision Hard Charger Recipient: Robert Sellers (+7)
Wesmar Power Parts Recipient: Brent Bates
M&W Aluminum Products Recipient: Chad Koch
Lightning Wings Recipient: Morgan Fletcher
Rod End Supply Recipients: Joe Bob Lee, Shayla Waddell, Cameron Hagin