Richard Bales photo
By John Rittenoure - MEEKER, Okla. (March 7, 2021) - It has been a long time in coming for Joe Bob Lee.
One of the most loyal followers of the AmeriFlex / OCRS IMCA series, Lee has spent the past four years traveling to each race on the OCRS schedule from his home in the far southwest Oklahoma town of Cache hoping to pick up a main event win.
Sunday it finally happened. Lee took over the lead just a few laps before the halfway point in the 30-lap A Feature of the Spring Nationals at Red Dirt Raceway and raced unchallenged for his first career AmeriFlex / OCRS IMCA Sprint Car victory.
“It is going on four years straight I have been running with the series,” Lee said thinking back to when he started running with OCRS. “It is finally good to get the monkey off my shoulders“
Lee credited the work of his family, crew and sponsors for his success.
“We have had a lot of top 5 and top 10’s. A lot of good runs,” Lee recalled. “It all starts in the shop. I have good crew behind me and my family. I have good sponsors behind me with AmeriFlex, Lupe Construction, Davis Air Conditioning, Lawton Auto Parts and all the major players that make this happen.”
When the green flag dropped on the 2021 seasons second show, Tanner Conn raced into the lead using the high groove while Lee committed to the low groove in the runner-up position. Lee stayed with his groove choice and caught Conn just a few laps before halfway and drove into the lead.
The car setup for the feature was aided by what Lee learned before the race.
“My nephew raced earlier in restrictors and we got looking at his tires,” Lee said. “We noticed they started taking rubber and that is what we set up for. It worked out for the good.
“I had to be patient and let the rubber come to us. Right as we went out they watered the track.
“It was all in the rubber. You had to make sure you were in the rubber and the track was a little spotty. We had to hit our marks and stay in the groove. I knew I had to hit my marks and I would be ok. There were a lot of heavy hitters here.”
The win was a complete turnaround from Saturday where Lee ran 12th in the second B main.
“Last night we struggled and did not make the show,” Lee said. “We ran the B. I had some trouble there. Tonight was a 180 degree flip.”
Lee also had to get use to driving with a bigger win on top of the car after the OCRS dropped the smaller 3x5 wing at the end of last season.
“It was the overall balance of the car,” Lee said of driving with the bigger win. “Getting use to the big wins with the horsepower we got and getting everything balanced in.”
Conn continued chasing Lee until lap 20 when Conn came to a stop on the track to bring out a yellow flag. On the restart Terry Easum moved into second until the red waved for Andrew Deal who got upside down in turn two.
Another yellow waved on the restart for Austin Saunders who spun in turn three. The next restart was not good for Easum who gave up second to Jason Martin of Lincoln, Nebraska on lap 23. Martin was not able to close on Lee and finished second. Whit Gastineau came from ninth starting to finish third dropping Easum to fourth. Casey Wills finished fifth.
Tyler Drueke of Eagle, Nebraska was the hard charger of the night coming from 18th to finish seventh behind sixth place and Saturday winner Johnny Kent.
About the AmeriFlex / OCRS Series -
Established in 2002, the Tulsa OK based AmeriFlex / 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 AmeriFlex / OCRS series is all about.
About Ameri-Flex Hose & Accessories -
Located in Tulsa OK, AmeriFlex 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. AmeriFlex 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…………..
AmeriFlex Has The Stuff That Keeps You Going!
AmeriFlex / OCRS IMCA Results
Red Dirt Raceway
March 7, 2021
AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories A-Main 30 Laps | 00:26:50.336 |
1. 5-Joe Bob Lee; 2. 5X-Jason Martin; 3. 2C-Whit Gastineau; 4. 88-Terry Easum; 5. 31-Casey Wills; 6. 55-Johnny Kent; 7. 12-Tyler Drueke; 8. 55W-Danny Wood; 9. 79-Tim Kent; 10. 08X-Joshua Tyre; 11. 82-Austin Saunders; 12. 50Z-Zach Chappell; 13. 6-Alison Slaton; 14. 22M-Rees Moran; 15. 78-Tanner Conn; 16. 15D-Andrew Deal; 17. 13-Ty Hanten; 18. 32K-Chris Kelly; 19. 11-Zach Blurton; 20. 21-Brandon Jennings
Hoosier Racing Tire B-Main 1 12 Laps | 00:10:37.180 |
1. 55W-Danny Wood; 2. 79-Tim Kent; 3. 08X-Joshua Tyre; 4. 77-Dean Drake Jr; 5. 29S-Blake Scott; 6. 30J-Larry Bratti; 7. P78-Perry Pickard; 8. 14-Matt Cash; 9. 5H-Jesse Graham; 10. 32G-Kolton Gariss; 11. 08-Bobby McIntosh
Hoosier Racing Tire B-Main 2 12 Laps | 00:11:04.661 |
1. 13-Ty Hanten; 2. 12-Tyler Drueke; 3. 22M-Rees Moran; 4. 20S-Sheldon Barksdale; 5. 22T-Frank Taft; 6. 8X-Austin Shores; 7. 15-Jase Randolph; 8. 33K-JT Kelly; 9. 08E-Elizabeth Phillips; 10. 911-Ty Williams; 11. 25-Kyle Admire
Schure Built Suspensions Heat 1 (8 Laps) | 00:03:59.000 |
1. 78-Tanner Conn; 2. 32K-Chris Kelly; 3. 11-Zach Blurton; 4. 911-Ty Williams; 5. 15-Jase Randolph; 6. 22M-Rees Moran; 7. 79-Tim Kent; 8. 29S-Blake Scott; 9. 30J-Larry Bratti
Lightning Wings & Powder Coating Heat 2 (8 Laps) | 00:04:41.000 |
1. 15D-Andrew Deal; 2. 88-Terry Easum; 3. 50Z-Zach Chappell; 4. 21-Brandon Jennings; 5. 08X-Joshua Tyre; 6. 5H-Jesse Graham; 7. 32G-Kolton Gariss; 8. 33K-JT Kelly; 9. 08E-Elizabeth Phillips
Smith Titanium Heat 3 (8 Laps) | 00:09:06.000 |
1. 31-Casey Wills; 2. 6-Alison Slaton; 3. 2C-Whit Gastineau; 4. 55W-Danny Wood; 5. 12-Tyler Drueke; 6. 13-Ty Hanten; 7. P78-Perry Pickard; 8. 14-Matt Cash; 9. 25-Kyle Admire
Car and Fleet Parts Heat 4 (8 Laps) | 00:07:52.000 |
1. 5-Joe Bob Lee; 2. 55-Johnny Kent; 3. 5X-Jason Martin; 4. 82-Austin Saunders; 5. 77-Dean Drake Jr; 6. 20S-Sheldon Barksdale; 7. 22T-Frank Taft; 8. 8X-Austin Shores; 9. 08-Bobby McIntosh
Next AmeriFlex / OCRS IMCA event: March 19, Caney Valley Speedway; March 20, Creek County Speedway.