Deal Drives His Way to a Hard Earned Victory at Lawton

Ameri-Flex / OCRS Sprint Cars at Caney Valley Speedway. (Kent Bergman Photo)
Andrew Deal in victory lane with father Mike (far right) & mechanic Rob Forehand. (Mike Howard photo)

From John Rittenoure

LAWTON, Ok. (July 29, 2017) – It is probably safe to say that no one logged more miles making their way to Lawton Speedway on Saturday than Caney, Kansas driver Andrew Deal. But the effort paid off with a $1,500 victory in the Ameri-Flex / OCRS 30-lap main event.

Driving the family owned 21R Productions sponsored number 15D sprinter, Deal led all but the first lap to pick up his first victory of the season.

“I was in Texas last night and was going to run Greenville tonight then decided not too,” said Deal of his round trip drive from Kansas to Texas and then to Lawton. “We drove home last night and got home about 6 (a.m,). We got this car ready and headed here about 1. We drove about 18 hours.”

Starting second row inside by luck of the redraw, Deal followed pole sitter Johnny Kent to the front on the start and passed him for the lead on lap two. For the next 29 laps, Deal had to contend with lapped traffic and keep Alex Sewell from over taking him.

Sewell won the last two Ameri-Flex / OCRS shows at Lawton earlier this season and was looking for the opportunity to make it a three-race sweep.

“You never know where they are going to go so I just try and be safe and not put myself through any bad situations,” Deal said of the lapped traffic he had to negotiate. “I knew Alex (Sewell) was behind me so I knew nobody was going to take me out. I knew he would drive me clean.”

Sewell caught Deal in lapped traffic but a couple of yellow flags gave Deal a clean track for the restarts and he was able to pull away from Sewell when he needed it most.

“Everybody was so tight I knew that if I slowed down he would slow down,” Deal said of Sewell. “He was going to slow down. I like the clean air better so I can drive.”

It was a strong run for Sewell who worked his way to fourth on lap two then moved into second on lap four. At the finish Sewell was 1.5 seconds behind in second.

“When you start 8th you can only do so much,” said Sewell of his run toward the front. “Andrew did a good job getting to the lead on the start. If he had not gone to the middle like I did, it would have been a different story.

“I don’t think I could have done anything with him as long as he came off the bottom,” Sewell said. “But if he had made a wrong decision I probably would have been able to sneak by him. Andrew has been racing long enough to not make mistakes. He ran 30 consistent laps tonight.”

“Hats off to them. They run their own team, father and son. So it is exciting to see them come out here and get a win.”

It was a 1-2 finish for engine builder Rob Forehand of Forehand Racing Engines.

“What is really cool is seeing Rob Forehand come out here and putting engines in both of these cars,” Sewell said. “We went one and two with these engines. These engines have less then $10,000 in them if anyone would like to know and that says a lot. It is all about who puts them together and who is tuning them. Rob is on top of his game.”

Lap one leader Kent held on to third at the finish followed by Sheldon Barksdale and Zach Chappell to round out the top five.

Chappell was able to move into the Ameri-Flex / OCRS points lead with his finish. Shane Sellers came into the night with a 12 point lead but suffered rear-end problems in his heat race and was unable to start the B feature.

Whit Gastineau led the way to victory in the Wesmar B Feature then worked his way to a seventh place finish in the A Feature.

Ameri-Flex / OCRS Results
Lawton Speedway
July 29, 2017
Car count: 26


Drive Shafts, Inc. Heat (8 laps)

1, 31-Casey Wills[1]. 2, 911-Mike Baker[2]. 3, 8-Alex Sewell[6]. 4, 24-T.J. Herrell[3]. 5, 17H-Brandon Haddad[7]. 6, 8J-James Fabian[5]. 7, 91-Derrick Gentilly[4].

A1 Machine Shop Heat (8 laps)

1, 50Z-Zach Chappell[3]. 2, 10K-Kyle Ezell[1]. 3, 76S-Shayla Waddell[4]. 4, 2W-Whit Gastineau[5]. 5, 29-Duane Baker[2]. 6, 4-Shane Sellers[6]. 7, 5X-Paul Johnson[7].

Car and Fleet Parts Heat (8 laps)

1, 55-Johnny Kent[2]. 2, 14-Shawn Bloomquist[3]. 3, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale[5]. 4, 5L-Joe Bob Lee[4]. 5, 18J-Brandon Jennings[1]. 6, 30-Joseph Miller[6].

Car and Fleet Part Heat (8 laps)

1, 5-Cameron Hagin[3]. 2, 15D-Andrew Deal[6]. 3, 4X-Robert Sellers[4]. 4, 94F-Morgan Fletcher[1]. 5, P78-Perry Pickard[5]. 6, 22T-Frank Taft[2].

Wesmar Racing Engines B Feature (12 laps, top 8 transfer)

1, 2W-Whit Gastineau[2]. 2, 24-T.J. Herrell[3]. 3, 5L-Joe Bob Lee[4]. 4, 94F-Morgan Fletcher[5].5, 8J-James Fabian[9]. 6, 18J-Brandon Jennings[7]. 7, 29-Duane Baker[6]. 8, 17H-Brandon Haddad[1]. / 9, 22T-Frank Taft[12]. 10, 91-Derrick Gentilly[13]. 11, P78-Perry Pickard[8]. 12, 5X-Paul Johnson[14]. DNS: 4-Shane Sellers[10], 14, 30-Joseph Miller[11].

AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A Feature (30 laps)

1, 15D-Andrew Deal[3]. 2, 8-Alex Sewell[8]. 3, 55-Johnny Kent[1]. 4, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale[10]. 5, 50Z-Zach Chappell[5]. 6, 5L-Joe Bob Lee[15]. 7, 2W-Whit Gastineau[13]. 8, 24-T.J. Herrell[14]. 9, 5-Cameron Hagin[7]. 10, 94F-Morgan Fletcher[16]. 11, 76S-Shayla Waddell[11]. 12, 29-Duane Baker[19]. 13, 8J-James Fabian[17]. 14, 14-Shawn Bloomquist[2]. 15, 31-Casey Wills[6]. 16, 911-Mike Baker[4]. 17, 17H-Brandon Haddad[20]. 18, 10K-Kyle Ezell[9]. 19, 4X-Robert Sellers[12]. 20, 18J-Brandon Jennings[18].

Lap Leaders: Johnny Kent 1; Andrew Deal 2-30.