MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

June 21, 2013

Sprints hope third time is a charm at Outlaw


Phoenix Staff Reports

— Is the third time a charm?

Weather has wrecked back-to-back dates at Outlaw Motorsports Park for the sprint cars of the Oil Capital Racing Series. On Saturday night they’ll try again.

John Lemon, the public relations director for OCRS, was unable to recall when a track has taken a double hit. Rain isn’t in Saturday’s forecast, so a three-peat appears unlikely.

On the track itself, OCRS has a streak of its own. The last four races have been won by separate drivers.

Chance Morton of Coweta won at Caney Valley Speedway May 25, taking his first career sprint car victory. Brian McCelland took the checkered flag at West Siloam Speedway in Colcord in a “non wing” event, breaking a 10-year skid for the Tulsan.

Then in back-to-back nights last weekend, Kacee Frazier of Tulsa scored her first career win with a victory at Monett Speedway in Missouri. Then, Alex DeCamp of Locust Grove fought off four-time OCRS champion Jamie Passmore at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola on Saturday.

It’s a much different pattern from Harli White’s early-season run. The Lindsay native won three of the first five events and with eight top 10 finishes and six coming in the top five, holds the points lead with 732 points. With one victory this season, McClelland is second with 643, seven points ahead of Danny Smith — the only member of the top five without a series win in 2013.

Parity is what the OCRS wanted — and got — with a changed lineup format this year.

Up to this season, a “pole dash” race following the heats shaped the first three rows of the A Feature. Now, the top 12 drivers from the heat are inverted based on points. For example, the top points can start no closer to the front than the 12th spot, the second 11, and so forth with the driver with the lowest points drawing the pole position. The rest of the 20-team field lines up as it always has, based on qualifying.

“It was for parity and that’s what is shaping up in recent weeks with first-time winners,” said John Lemon, public relations director for OCRS.  “But there was some early concern that the new system might penalize the top racing teams and that was dispelled on the second race of the season, the first time we used it, and Harli won from the 12th spot.”

As a primer for the sprints, the eighth-mile micro sprint track will be put to the test tonight for the first time with action beginning at 7:30 p.m. Regular points classes will join OCRS in a 7 p.m. start on Saturday. Tickets on Friday are $10, $5 for seniors and kids 6-12. Tickets for Saturday will go up $5.

DeCamp, Morton and his brother Kade and Johnny “Hotrod” Kent along with their cars will be at Applebee’s on West Shawnee Boulevard from 1-3 p.m. Saturday.

Division points leaders are Ken Hughey of Muskogee in Pure Stock, Cory Carter of Muskogee and Jarrett Arnold of Morris tied in Factory Stock, Dan Leatherman of Muskogee in Pro Stock and Andy Morris of Okay in Outlaw Modified.

Also, Jason Sperry of Porter leads in Late Models with Gary Dilbeck of Catoosa atop in Sport Modified and Muskogee’s Kregg Dobson in both IMCA Modified and 360 Modified.