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News

Shebester wins OCRS main at Thunderbird with final lap pass

Shebester wins OCRS main at Thunderbird with final lap pass

By John Rittenoure (Muskogee, OK) -- Steven Shebester capped off a perfect weekend with his second consecutive AmeriFlex / OCRS IMCA Sprint Car victory Sunday at Thunderbird Speedway, and it came in dramatic fashion.

Shebester came charging through the field like a fast moving freight train in the closing laps, coming from tenth starting position, and roared into second on lap 20. Shebester then quickly closed the gap between himself and first place Jake Martens. On the final lap Shebester flew past Martens for his third OCRS victory of the season.

PHOTO CREDIT: Richard Bales

“It takes me a little while to get going, especially going from quarters to the half,” Shebester said of the transition from the quarter mile track at Creek County to the Muskogee half-mile. “Big tracks are not my cup of tea. But we had a really good car and it really came in at the end.”

Shebester seemed to get faster with each passing lap in the last half of the race.

“I was kind of being cautious in 3 and 4 and 1 and 2,” Shebester explained. “We picked off a couple of cars and I figured then it is now or never. This is a big track so you get stretched out you can’t catch them. I just held it on the floor and hoped for the best. It worked out.”

However, the win may have come at a cost. A few more laps and Shebester might not have finished.

“I was losing a little water,” Shebester said of the smoke pouring from under the hood. “I think it got as hot as she can get. Hopefully we did not hurt the motor too bad. It was pegged on the temperature gauge.”

Running a different line around the half-mile from everyone else was key to passing cars.

“They were running the top and you have to have a different line to make it work,” Shebester said. “Once I figured out the bottom, and they were on the top, I was good.”

The race started with Danny Wood and Jake Martens on the front row, but it was fourth starting Whit Gastineau that grabbed the lead over Martens at the end of lap one. Gastineau was opening up a lead when he jumped the cushion on lap 9 and glanced into the turn one wall to bring out the yellow. Martens assumed the lead until Shebester showed up on the final lap.

Pole sitter Danny Wood finished third pulling within four points of points leader Casey Wills who finished fourth. Defending champion Zach Chappell climbed to fifth after winning the B-Main and starting 15th in the A-Feature.

AmeriFlex / OCRS IMCA Results
Thunderbird Speedway
May 30, 2021

AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A-Main (25 Laps): 1. 16S-Steven Shebester[10]; 2. 91-Jake Martens[2]; 3. 55W-Danny Wood[1]; 4. 31-Casey Wills[5]; 5. 50Z-Zach Chappell[15]; 6. 55-Johnny Kent[7]; 7. 5-Joe Bob Lee[18]; 8. 911-Ty Williams[11]; 9. 88-Terry Easum[9]; 10. 32K-Chris Kelly[16]; 11. 5R-John Ricketts[13]; 12. 15-Jase Randolph[8]; 13. 4X-Heath Nestrick[6]; 14. 6-Alison Slaton[12]; 15. 26M-Fred Mattox[19]; 16. 4-Austin Mundie[17]; 17. 20-Shawn Wicker[14]; 18. 2C-Whit Gastineau[4]; 19. 38-Jimmy Forrester[20]; 20. (DQ) 77-Dean Drake Jr[3]

B-Main (12 Laps) Top 6 Transfer: 1. 50Z-Zach Chappell[1]; 2. 32K-Chris Kelly[10]; 3. 4-Austin Mundie[8]; 4. 5-Joe Bob Lee[5]; 5. 26M-Fred Mattox[7]; 6. 38-Jimmy Forrester[4]; 7. 79-Tim Kent[11]; 8. 15P-Jack Potter[9]; 9. 94F-Morgan Fletcher[3]; 10. 22T-Frank Taft[12]; 11. 14-Matt Cash[6]; 12. 30X-Larry Bratti[2]

Schure Built Suspension Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 2C-Whit Gastineau[3]; 2. 77-Dean Drake Jr[4]; 3. 5R-John Ricketts[2]; 4. 911-Ty Williams[6]; 5. 16S-Steven Shebester[9]; 6. 50Z-Zach Chappell[7]; 7. 5-Joe Bob Lee[8]; 8. 4-Austin Mundie[5]; 9. 22T-Frank Taft[1]

Lightning Wings Powder Coating Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 55W-Danny Wood[7]; 2. 55-Johnny Kent[2]; 3. 15-Jase Randolph[5]; 4. 6-Alison Slaton[6]; 5. 30X-Larry Bratti[1]; 6. 20-Shawn Wicker[9]; 7. 14-Matt Cash[8]; 8. 32K-Chris Kelly[3]; 9. 79-Tim Kent[4]

Smith Titanium Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 91-Jake Martens[3]; 2. 88-Terry Easum[2]; 3. 31-Casey Wills[6]; 4. 4X-Heath Nestrick[7]; 5. 94F-Morgan Fletcher[1]; 6. 38-Jimmy Forrester[5]; 7. 26M-Fred Mattox[8]; 8. 15P-Jack Potter[4]