(Photo credit: Mike Howard)
David Smith, Jr.
Sellers Earns Sprint Series of Oklahoma “Pat Suchy Memorial!”
Meeker, Oklahoma – September 8, 2017 - Robert Sellers took advantage of race-long leader Loyd Clevenger’s misfortune to claim victory as the Sprint Series of Oklahoma IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car Series presented by Smiley’s Racing Products made their final appearance of the season at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, Oklahoma for the running of the second annual “Pat Suchy Memorial.”
Clevenger and leading rookie contender Tristan Oakes started on the front row for the thirty-lap-feature with Clevenger briefly taking the lead on the initial green. Only one lap was complete when the first caution of the night fell when Justin Mowry and Eric Mathews tangled at the bottom of turn two.
The restart saw Clevenger motor out into the lead with Oakes, third-starting Robert Sellers, Steven Shebester and Tanner Conn the top five. Clevenger kept a comfortable advantage over the field and began reaching slower cars on lap seven.
At the races midway point it was still Clevenger holding on to a three-car-length advantage over Oakes with Sellers, Shebester and Gary Owens all giving chase. The caution would wave again on lap thirteen with Tanner Conn spinning in the middle of turn four.
With the front runners on Clevengers rear bumper on the restart, that didn’t detour the leader and he would open a half-stretch lead over Oakes before again encountering lapped traffic on lap sixteen. With ten laps to go his lead would shrink to three car lengths while behind him, tenth starting and reigning series champion Andy Shouse made his way into the fourth position.
The complexion of the race changed when Clevenger and the lapped car of Cody Jarvis got together entering turn three with Clevenger taking a tumble. Oakes was also involved with Clevenger, who was uninjured in the roll over, done for the night while Oakes entered the work area where he would return.
With Clevenger and Oakes misfortune Sellers, aboard the Michael Gossman #54 sprinter, found himself in the lead on the restart.
One lap later, the final caution of the night fell when Blake Dacus and series point leader Jake Martens got together in a battle for the sixth position in turn four with significant damage ending both drivers night. Clevenger would earn the races Allen Crawford “hard luck” $100 award.
Marten would be credited with a seventeenth-place finish and his season-long point lead coming to an end.
On the final restart, it was all Sellers as he would hold off a fast closing Shouse to take earn his first series victory in his first career start. Shebester would settle for third while Owens and fourteenth-starting Zach Blurton rounding out the top five.
Cody Whitworth, who earned the fourth and final transfer position out of the “B” feature, worked himself up through the field from his twentieth starting position to earn the races Jennings Garage “hard charger” award with a sixth-place finish.
The four, eight lap heat races for the twenty-five-car field were won by Conn, Clevenger, Owens and Shebester with Mowery topping the twelve-lap “B” feature.
Monty Ferriera of Fresno, California earned the Allen Crawford $100 “longest tow” award.
Next up for the SSO will be the 2017 season finale at Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore this coming Friday night.
Officials and staff with the SSO would like to thank the following for their support and contribution to the “Pat Suchy Memorial” purse, the largest in the tours two-year history: Red Dirt Raceway, Louis Boyd Racing Engines, Tim Young, Allen Crawford, Jennings Garage, Terry Coker, Carter Maxwell, Bobby Laden, Becca Ter Steege, Jerry Clifton Medlin, Martens Machine Shop, Wood Racing, Messmer Racing, Victory Motorsports, Bishop Racing Components, Pete Haskin, Sidney Long, Outlaw Wings, Gerald Brand Racing Engines, Danny Holloway, Mikes Machine Shop and David Stutkins, Jr. (Dirt Unlimited).
Sprint Series of Oklahoma
Red Dirt Raceway/Meeker, Oklahoma
September 8, 2017
Saldana Racing Products 1st Heat: 1) Tanner Conn, 2) Robert Sellers, 3) Blake Dacus, 4) Josh Toho, 5) Chris Kelly, 6) Cody Whitworth, 7) Chase Smith
Keizer Wheels 2nd Heat: 1) Loyd Clevenger, 2) Joe Wood, Jr. 3) Jake Martens, 4) Zach Blurton, 5) Justin Lowry, 6) Monty Ferrier
C.S.I. 3rd Heat: 1) Gary Owens, 2) Eric Matthews, 3) Tristan Oakes, 4) Mike Scott, 5) Sterling Hoff, 6) Dillon Laden
Pyrotech 4th Heat: 1) Steven Shebester, 2) Andy Shouse, 3) Warren Fields, 4) Cody Jarvis, 5) Jerry Jumper, 6) Justin Fisk
B Feature (top 4 transfer) 1) Justin Mowry, 2) Dillon Laden, 3) Jerry Jumper, 4) Cody Whitworth, 5) Monty Ferriera, 6) Chris Kelly, 7) Justin Fisk, 8) Chase Smith, 9) Sterling Hoff
A Feature (30 Laps) 1) Robert Sellers, 2) Andy Shouse, 3) Steven Shebester, 4) Gary Owens, 5) Joe Wood, Jr., 6) Zach Blurton, 7) Josh Toho, 8) Dillon Laden, 9) Tristan Oakes, 10) Tanner Conn, 11) Cody Whitworth, 12) Eric Matthews, 13) Warren Fields, 14) Cody Jarvis, 15) Jerry Jumper, 16) Blake Dacus, 17) Jake Martens, 18) Loyd Clevenger, 19) Mike Scott, 20) Justin Mowry
Lap Leaders: Clevenger 1-25; Sellers 26-30