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SAPULPA, Okla. (May 3, 2022) – Elizabeth Phillips earned her first career winged sprint car feature victory last Friday night at The New Tulsa Speedway.
In fact, Phillips swept the night by also winning her heat race at the dirt oval in Tulsa, Okla., to kick off a career-best weekend that was capped on Friday with a charge from 10th to third in the A Main at Creek County Speedway.
“I wasn’t 100 percent sure how the weekend was going to go and I didn’t have super high expectations due to having a pretty bad weekend the week before,” she said.
Phillips was up in the air about her racing plans early last week following mechanical woes that ended the previous weekend early, but the decision to race paid off right away on Friday evening for the 17-year-old who is in her first full season of racing sprint cars.
“We had a pretty good start to the night,” she said. “After hot laps we made a couple of changes for the heat race and were able to pick up the win. That was a pretty big confidence booster to start on the pole for the feature. I knew there were some pretty good drivers starting behind me. It was a matter of figuring out where I was fastest on the track. It truly was my first night at The New Tulsa Speedway as the previous week we only ran a couple of laps in hot laps so we were learning as we were going.
“I had to make the right calls in traffic and navigate through it. We had a couple of cautions that made me a little nervous, but I had a really strong car and the engine was super strong. To bounce back from a somewhat rough start to the season was a confidence booster.
“It was so awesome. I was glad to be able to have my whole family and Shane there to watch it. Unfortunately, I’m losing my crew chief in a couple of weeks as he’s relocating to South Dakota. He’s been working with me to learn what I like in the car. Our communication has really stepped up. To be in the Winner’s Circle was huge. I had a bunch of family and friends and fans out there so that was special as well. Plus, it was really humbling being the only girl in the field and to come out on top.”
The weekend wrapped up on Saturday at Creek County Speedway, where Phillips placed third in both her heat race and the A Main.
“I didn’t get a great pill draw and the track was super heavy from all the rain so we finished third in the heat race,” she said. “There was a lot of tough competition. Before the feature I told my guys, ‘Let’s try to make it through this race and keep our nose clean. Let’s shoot for a top five and try to come out clean since we have a big week coming up.’
“We fell back a little on the start. Once I figured out a good line to run I was able to pick off a couple of cars. There were a couple of wrecks I was able to avoid. Surviving the night was one of the biggest things with the wrecks and tangle-ups. There was a huge pack of traffic that we were able to make it through cleanly. With about 10 laps to go we were sitting fifth or sixth and then there was a caution. After we restarted we missed a wreck that put us up to fourth. We got to third and had a couple more cautions before we finished with a green-white-checkered restart. We were right there with those guys in front so that meant a lot to back up our win on Friday with a podium on Saturday.”
Next up for Phillips is an AmeriFlex OCRS IMCA Sprint Cars event on Saturday at Caney Valley Speedway in Caney, Kan., before she makes her debut at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D., on Sunday.
QUICK RESULTS –
April 29 – The New Tulsa Speedway in Tulsa, Okla. – Heat race: 1 (2); Feature: 1 (1).
April 30 – Creek County Speedway in Sapulpa, Okla. – Heat race: 3 (3); Feature: 3 (10).
SEASON STATS –
9 races, 1 win, 2 top fives, 3 top 10s, 6 top 15s, 8 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Saturday at Caney Valley Speedway in Caney, Kan., with the AmeriFlex OCRS IMCA Sprint Cars and Sunday at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D.
MEDIA LINKS –
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Maxima USA
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Southern California, Maxima is recognized as one of the most coveted brands in the racing industry. Decades of active involvement in professional racing has led to powerful technology and a full array of market leading products. The company continues its heritage by playing an active role in the sport and racing communities. For more information, visit http://www.MaximaUSA.com.
“Maxima produces top-of-the-line oils, lubricants, sprays and cleaning products,” Phillips said. “We’re proud to work with such a distinguished company that provides reliable products that serve all endeavors within the racing industry.”
Phillips would also like to thank Rustic Cuff, Rib Crib, Classic Chevrolet Owasso, Tulsa Sod & Mulch, A1 Machine Shop, Dirt Crowd, Best Graphics, Hitch It, Sharp Advantage, Eaton Industrial Coatings, Racing Optics, Simpson Race Products, Speed Shack, Car & Fleet and Marshall Chiropractic for their continued support.