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Barksdale ends drought with Leep Classic victory

Barksdale ends drought with Leep Classic victory

By John Rittenoure (Muskogee, OK) -- In 2016 Sheldon Barksdale was a frequent visitor to the Ameri-Flex / OCRS winners circle. The Norman resident posted seven victories that season. However, that success did not carry forward to 2017. Barksdale did not post a victory during the 13-race season.

But the drought ended Friday night at Thunderbird Speedway as Barksdale led all 25-laps around the historic half-mile to win the 4th annual Harold Leep Classic presented by Carter-Maxwell. Barksdale pocketed $2,000 for his victory plus an additional $625 in lap money for a $2625 payday.

PHOTO: Sheldon Barksdale with Crew & Representatives from Ameri-Flex in victory lane--CREDIT: Top Row Photos

The Leep Classic was originally scheduled as a two-day show with the feature events to run on Saturday. Due to the weather forecast and rain moving toward Muskogee, it was decided during the show Friday to go ahead and complete the program as a one-day event.

"Last year was tough," Barksdale said of the 2017 season. "Coming off 2016 and winning seven races we had a lot of confidence going into 2017. To not win any we kind of struggled with that. We did not do anything different from the year before and it was frustrating. We had the speed, we just did not have the results.

"It was nice to get back in victory lane. It is tough to win when you have guys like (Zach) Chappell, Whit (Gastineau) and (Alex) Sewell and guys like that. You have to take them every way you can get them."

Barksdale roared off the pole into the early lead and never looked back in his Barksdale Overhead Door Maxim sprinter to pick up his eighth OCRS career victory. Whit Gastineau, who set fast time with a clocking of 18.954 to begin the night's festivities, gave chase but settled for second at the finish. Alex Sewell ran third till Zach Chappell charged past. Chappell challenged Gastineau for second several times even briefly getting by, but Gastineau always charged back into the runner-up position. Chappell remained in third while Sewell finished fourth.

Starting up front was a key to getting a jump on the field for Barksdale.

"We started the night pretty good setting second fast time," Barksdale said. "We put ourselves in a good spot in the heat race finishing second there then came from the back to fifth in the qualifier which put us third in points.

"I got the lead on the start early and did not know where everyone was at. You just have to drive a smart race and set a good pace through lap traffic."

Barksdale enjoyed racing on the half-mile.

"That track is a lot of fun," he said. "You are going really fast there and you carry a lot of speed."


Ameri-Flex / OCRS Results

Thunderbird Speedway, Muskogee, Okla.

June 22, 2018

Car count: 26

Time Trials

1, Whit Gastineau, 18.954 (94.965 mph). 2, Sheldon Barksdale, 18.988. 3, Zach Chappell, 19.014. 4, Alex Sewell, 19.017. 5, Matt Sherrell, 19.142. 6, Jaiden Hughes, 19.242. 7, Johnny Kent, 19.335. 8, Layne Himebaugh, 19.365. 9, Shayla Waddell, 19.391. 10, Noah Gass, 19.395. 11, Andrew Deal, 19.399. 12, Mickey Walker, 19.432. 13, Casey Wills, 19.637. 14, Perry Pickard, 19.640. 15, Bailey Hughes, 19.684. 16, Cameron Hagin, 19.728. 17, Joseph Miller, 19.740. 18, Joe Bob Lee, 19.745. 19, Kenneth Walker, 19.786. 20, Brett Wilson, 19.818. 21, Tim Kent, 19.853. 22, Keith Bolton, 20.032. 23, Terry Easum, 20.125. 24, Alison Slaton, 20.226. 25, Frank Taft, 20.326. 26, David Baxter (NT).

Drive Shaft, Inc. Heat (8 laps)

1, Johnny Kent. 2, Alex Sewell. 3, Kenneth Walker. 4, Whit Gastineau. 5, Noah Gass. 6, Casey Wills. 7, Keith Bolton. 8, Cameron Hagin. 9, Frank Taft.

A1 Machine Shop Heat 2 (8 laps)

1, Layne Himebaugh. 2, Sheldon Barksdale. 3, Andrew Deal. 4, Matt Sherrell. 5, Terry Easum. 6, Brett Wilson. 7, Perry Pickard. 8, Joseph Miller. DNS: Bailey Hughes.

Car and Fleet Parts Heat 3 (8 laps)

1, Zach Chappell. 2, Mickey Walker. 3, Jaiden Hughes. 4, Shayla Waddell. 5, Joe Bob Lee. 6, Tim Kent. 7, Alison Slaton. DNS: David Baxter.

Qualifier 1 (6 laps)

1, Joe Bob Lee. 2, Layne Himebaugh. 3, Andrew Deal. 4, Matt Sherrell. 5, Sheldon Barksdale. 6, Alison Slaton. 7, Perry Pickard. 8, Tim Kent. DNS: David Baxter.

Qualifier 2 (6 laps)

1, Noah Gass. 2, Brett Wilson. 3, Alex Sewell. 4, Whit Gastineau. 5, Casey Wills. 6, Johnny Kent. 7, Keith Bolton. 8, DNS: Bailey Hughes, Kenneth Walker.

Qualifier 3 (6 laps)

1, Cameron Hagin. 2, Zach Chappell. 3, Terry Easum. 4, Jaiden Hughes. 5, Shayla Waddell. 6, Joseph Miller. 7, Frank Taft. DNS: Mickey Walker.

Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories A Feature (25 laps)

1, Sheldon Barksdale 2, Whit Gastineau. 3, Zach Chappell. 4, Alex Sewell. 5, Andrew Deal. 6, Layne Himebaugh. 7, Noah Gass. 8, Johnny Kent. 9, Jaiden Hughes. 10, Cameron Hagin. 11, Matt Sherrell. 12, Mickey Walker. 13, Shayla Waddell. 14, Joe Bob Lee. 15, Casey Wills. 16, Terry Easum. 17, Brett Wilson. 18, Joseph Miller. 19, Alison Slaton. 20, Perry Pickard. 21, Frank Taft. 22, Keith Bolton. 23, Bailey Hughes. DNS: David Baxter, Tim Kent, Kenneth Walker.

Lap Leaders: Sheldon Barksdale 1-25.

Margin of victory: 1.142 seconds

The AMERI-FLEX / OCRS series is grateful to all of the 2018 lap sponsors that assisted in making this a fantastic event. Each and every one of you is highly appreciated.

Contingency Award Recipients:

Ameri-Flex Hose A Feature Winner: Sheldon Barksdale

Drive Shafts Inc. Heat: Johnny Kent

A-1 Machine Heat: Layne Himebaugh

Car & Fleet Heat: Zach Chappell

York Plumbing Hard Charger Award: Mickey Walker +10

Wesmar Racing Engines Recipient: Cameron Hagin

M&W Aluminum Hard Luck Award: David Baxter

Amsoil High Point Driver Award: Zach Chappell.

Rod End Supply Recipients: Matt Sherrell, Mickey Walker, Shayla Waddell

Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories Quick Time Qualifier: Whit Gastineau

On Deck:

June 30
Caney Valley Speedway / Caney Kansas

About Carter - Maxwell -
Carter - Maxwell started as an independent automotive repair business in the mid 1950's and the company was officially incorporated in 1965. Carter - Maxwell became a Goodyear racing tire dealer in the early 70's providing racing tires for several major racing events. The NASCAR racing series was added to the list of clients to service in the late 1990's. In 2015, Carter - Maxwell joined forces with Carroll Shelby Enterprises to form Shelby & Carter - Maxwell with a new facility constructed in High Point North Carolina. The company continues to be heavily involved with NASCAR, NHRA, and other major racing organizations today.

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!