From John Rittenoure
Ada, OK — (May 7, 2016) — Last season Sheldon Barksdale came close to tasting victory in the Ameri-Flex Hose and Accessories / Oil Capital Racing Series before mechanical problems sidelined him after only eight events.
Barksdale had four top five finishes during that stretch.
Saturday Barksdale was once again running up front, but this time there was no stopping the Norman, Oklahoma racer from picking up a victory at the Oklahoma Sports Park.
“I thought I forgot how to win one of these things,” Barksdale said after leading all 25 laps. “It has been a while since I got a victory.”
It was actually his second victory of the season. Last month in Lawton, Barksdale was awarded his first OCRS career victory when the first two place cars were disqualified. This time Barksdale was first to the checkered flag and by a 3.783 second margin over defending champion Robert Sellers.
“Tonight everything just worked together and came together really good,” Barksdale said. “The car was running great. We were on a rail tonight. You can’t ask for anymore.”
Barksdale started on the pole due to the luck of a re-draw and jumped into the early lead. Matt Sherrell gave chase in the Paul Johnson owned 5X sprinter. On lap 15, Sellers was able to work his way past Sherrell into second but could not catch Barksdale. Sellers’ run from eighth starting position earned him the Action Auto Collision Hard Charger award. Sherrell remained in third and was chased across the line by Zach Chappell and series points leader Whit Gastineau.
The race went start-to-finish without a yellow or red flag restart.
Barksdale felt the win was a turnaround of his past luck.
“With OCRS we have had some bad luck in the past,” Recalled Barksdale. “We have been fast every time out and mechanical problems got in our way. But tonight we pulled it off.”
With no one to chase, Barksdale had to trust his judgement as to whether he was running the right line or not around the Oklahoma Sports Park oval.
“I ran the top in (turns) 3 and 4 for the first five laps or so,” Barksdale said. “It started going away so I moved down to the bottom in (turns) 1 and 2. It was pretty much good any where you could run down there. We adjusted to the race track and got around the lapped cars.
“I never heard anybody and that is a good feeling when you don’t feel pressured.”
Ameri-Flex / OCRS Official Results
Oklahoma Sports Park, Ada Okla.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Car count: 17
Drive Shafts Inc. Heat (8 laps)
1, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 2, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 3, 88S-Shayla Waddell. 4, P78-Perry Pickard. 5, 3-Brian Gramm. 6, 007-Michael Bookout.
A1 Machine Shop Heat (8 laps)
1, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 2, 4X-Robert Sellers. 3, 21J-Brandon Jennings. 4, 5-Cameron Hagin. 5, 8J-James Fabian. 6, 01-Mike Huard (DNS).
Car and Fleet Parts Heat (8 laps)
1, 5X-Matt Sherrell. 2, 79-Tim Kent. 3, 33-Gary Owens. 4, 55-Johnny Kent. 5, 3G-Jeff Garnett.
AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A Feature (25 laps)
1, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 2, 4X-Robert Sellers. 3, 5X-Matt Sherrell. 4, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 5, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 6, 79-Tim Kent. 7, 88S-Shayla Waddell. 8, 55-Johnny Kent. 9, 33-Gary Owens. 10, P78-Perry Pickard. 11, 5-Cameron Hagin. 12, 3-Brian Gramm. 13, 21J-Brandon Jennings. 14, 007-Michael Bookout. 15, 8J-James Fabian. 16, 3G-Jeff Garnett. 17, 01-Mike Huard (DNS).
Lap Leaders: Sheldon Barksdale 1-25.