Okie RAceway

"Sideshow" is Jason Copeland’s car, one he plans on racing Saturday at Okie Raceway Park at Hatbox.

Jason Copeland drives a dump truck for a living. 

A good, clean driving record is essential. 

So as illegal street racing is a modern-day craze, he looks at Okie Raceway Park as the ideal place to get a fix for a need for speed.

“It can’t be in a more perfect location,” he said. “Some tracks don’t have ambulances? There, you can basically get dragged to the hospital next door.”

It was in jest, even though there is a definite safety assurance in knowing it.

“And in the summer, if you get too hot there’s a water park next door,” he added. “I hope they have a lot of big events there. If they can, it will be great.”

The Tahlequah resident will be among a few recognizable names at the inaugural racing event Saturday, starting at noon. It’s located at the site of the old Hatbox air strip in Love-Hatbox Sports Complex.

He hopes to have Showtime and Sideshow, his Big Tire vehicles. Sideshow was part of several shows he was  in on “Street Outlaws,” the reality show that premiered on the Discovery Channel in 2013 and had its 19th season last year. 

“When I was in high school I started with a 1963 Chevy Nova I built and ran the 12-second quarter-mile at Tulsa and progressed from there,” he said.

Most recently, he raced among 100 cars at the “Clash on the Concrete” last month in Hartshorne and made it to the semifinals in both Small Tire and Big Tire. 

There’s scattered such tracks within a short drive in the state, but after getting his first look here in at a test-and-tune in September running his nitrous Small Tire Nova, he sees promise. About 120 cars of all likes drove that day.

“There’s several spots to race in the state but none of them like you guys,” he said. “It’s a tuner’s race. You have to take a bunch of power out to get through there and it’s in a controlled environment with paramedics and a concrete barrier to keep you safe. Whenever you’re on the street, you’re just out there. Y’all give people an opportunity to make a pass and have fun in their wife’s car, pickup or whatever they have. It makes it fun for everybody.”

The event will have Big Tire, Small Tire, True Street Class and Daily Driver divisions.

Jeff Lee, a fleet superintendent for the City of Muskogee and the facility’s promoter, told the Phoenix last month in an article that he’d “like to have 4-5 normal races a year and then 1-2 big races where we pay out a big amount — $10,000, $20,000, $25,000.” John Rosson is a partner with Lee.

Tickets can be bought online at thefoat.com (check the ticket tab for both tickets and sign-ups)  or there is a link on Okie Raceway Park’s Facebook page to get to “The Foat.” For other questions go to Okie Raceway Park’s Facebook page. A list of requirements per class are attached.

General admission will be $10, pit passes are $20 and 12-under will be admitted free of charge. The spectator parking lot is off Okmulgee Avenue at 40th Street — the VA parking lot. Handicapped parking will be available and trolley rides from the lot to the grandstands will be available.

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