By John Rittenoure
PARK CITY, Kans. (May 27, 2018) – Zach Chappell has struggled to find the right setup that would take his DSO powered Maxim sprinter to the winners’ circle since the 2018 Ameri-Flex Hose and Accessories / OCRS season opened in March.
The defending Ameri-Flex / OCRS champion finished 16th in the season opener at Red Dirt Raceway then followed that up with a much better third place at Oklahoma Sports Park and a fifth place on Saturday at Caney Valley Speedway.
Sunday Chappell found the winning combination at 81 Speedway and it became more evident as the 25-lap feature wore on. By the time the checkered flag waved Chappell was nearly a half-a-lap ahead of second place Danny Smith.
It was Chappell’s fifth OCRS career victory.
“We were good,” Chappell said of his strong performance. “These guys have been doing small adjustments here and there trying to pick up some speed. They never disappoint. They keep going till we start winning. I just get to sit in it when it goes fast.”
Smith jumped into the early lead as the green dropped and put some distance between himself and second place Chappell. However, Chappell begins closing the gap catching Smith about the half-way point of the race. On lap 13 Chappell pulled to the highside of Smith in turn four and the two crossed the line side-by-side. Chappell pulled ahead on lap 14 and quickly put distance between himself and Smith.
Chappell’s sprinter seemed to get faster as the race wore on.
“We had so much fuel,” Chappell said of his cars rapid improvement late in the race. “I did not know if we would have a lot of cautions so we dumped a lot of fuel in it. Once it came off about half way through it just got faster and faster.”
It was just the opposite for Smith who started strong then had to hold to finish second ahead of Sheldon Barksdale who was third.
“I got around Danny in lapped traffic. He was having trouble with the cushion and filled his right front with mud,” explained Chappell. ” At that point, you can’t hold the wheel without your hands going numb. I got around him and set sail. We were just good.
“You just get lucky now and then. Some nights it’s yours and some nights it’s not.”
As the track changed Chappell changed his line.
“We ran the cushion about three-quarters of the race and it laid rubber about half a line off the cushion,” Chappell said. “That is when I started rolling through just trying to keep it smooth.”
Chappell likes the bigger tracks and hopes they have found something that will work when the Ameri-Flex / OCRS series travels to historic Thunderbird Speedway half-mile in Muskogee on June 22-23.
“I think we found something for the bigger tracks and our next track is Muskogee,” said Chappell.
After the race, Chappell praised his team and sponsors for their support.
“Ameriflex, Smiley’s, Hoosier, all of these guys, my dad (David Chappell), Chris and Todd they worked hard. I could not do it without them.”
Alex Sewell started 11th and charged to a fourth-place finish earning him the York Plumbing Hard Charger award.
Rookie Brendon Wiseley made his first appearance with the OCRS on Sunday and after a fifth place heat finish was not able to start the feature. Wiseley picked up the M&W Aluminum Hard Luck Award for his misfortune.
Ameri-flex / OCRS Results
81 Speedway, Park City, Kans.
May 27, 2018
Car count: 19
Drive Shafts, Inc. Heat 1 (8 laps)
1, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 2, 5L-Joe Bob Lee. 3, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 4, 76S-Shayla Waddell. 5, 62-James Shoun. 6, 88S-Alison Slaton. 7, 7D-David Baxter.
A1 Machine Shop Heat 2 (8 laps)
1, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 2, 5-Cameron Hagin. 3, 31-Casey Wills. 4, 8-Alex Sewell. 5, 721-Brendon Wiseley. 6, 20G-Noah Gass.
Car and Fleet Parts Heat 3 (8 laps)
1, P78-Perry Pickard. 2, 5$-Danny Smith. 3, 2-Mickey Walker. 4, 22-David Stephenson. 5, 22T-Frank Taft. DNS: 78-James Price.
AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A Feature (25 laps)
1, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 2, 5$-Danny Smith. 3, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 4, 8-Alex Sewell. 5, 2-Mickey Walker. 6, 5-Cameron Hagin. 7, 31-Casey Wills. 8, 5L-Joe Bob Lee. 9, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 10, 76S-Shayla Waddell. 11, 20G-Noah Gass. 12, P78-Perry Pickard. 13, 88S-Alison Slaton. 14, 22-David Stephenson. 15, 62-James Shoun. 16, 22T-Frank Taft. 17, 7D-David Baxter. 18, 78-James Price. DNS: 721-Brendon Wiseley.
Lap Leaders: Danny Smith 1-13, Zach Chappell 14-25.
Contingency Award Recipients:
Ameri-Flex Hose A Feature Winner: Zach Chappell.
Drive Shafts, Inc. Heat Award Recipients: Sheldon Barksdale, Joe Bob Lee, Whit Gastineau.
A-1 Machine Heat Award Recipients: Zach Chappell, Cameron Hagin, Casey Wills.
Car & Fleet Heat Award Recipients: Perry Pickard, Danny Smith, Mickey Walker.
York Plumbing Hard Charger Award: Alex Sewell +7.
Wesmar Racing Engines Recipient: Shayla Waddell.
M&W Aluminum Hard Luck Award: Brendon Wiseley.
Amsoil High Point Driver Award: Zach Chappell.
Rod End Supply Recipients: Noah Gass, Perry Pickard, Alison Slaton.
About the Ameri-Flex / OCRS Series –
Established in 2002, the Tulsa OK based Ameri-Flex / OCRS series sanctions dirt track sprint car racing in the southern region of the central plains. Fan appeal and quality race teams, combined with our solid core of supporting sponsors are the nucleus of the series. Thrilling competition providing the ultimate quality family entertainment is the essence of what the Ameri-Flex / OCRS series is all about.
About Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories –
Located in Tulsa OK, Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories is a family owned and operated company. From food grade hose to hoses for the petroleum industry, Ameri-Flex will strive to fill your needs. Ameri-Flex can build a hose to your specifications or we will assist you in creating what you have designed while you wait. Ameri-Flex has several hard to find items that some vendors can’t get or find. Product can be shipped quickly and efficiently. If we do not have what you are looking for, we will direct you on where to find it. Give us a try, after all…………..
Ameri-Flex Has The Stuff That Keeps You Going!
By John Rittenoure