ARDMORE, Okla. — Johnny Scott’s winning move at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore, Okla., Friday night likely came on the first lap of the race as he cruised to his second victory of the season on night two of the 5th Annual Sooner Showdown presented by Production Jars.
Normally, the top eight drivers in heat race passing points redraw for their starting positions in the main event, but Friday night’s order was determined by the top eight walking through the grandstands with helmets in hand and collecting donations for Ryan Veal.
At just 11 years of age, Ryan was diagnosed with leukemia on March 1, and recently began treatment. He is the son of USMTS and USRA Modified racer Wesley Veal and his wife, Angel.
The effort was to raise money to help the family with the added expenses of Ryan’s fight, and the driver who collected the most money got the Sybesma Graphics Pole Award.
Jason Hughes topped the list and started on the pole after pulling in $602 from the generous fans, but on this night he may have wanted a higher slot.
Hughes took off at the drop of the green flag and paced the first lap by hugging the low line around the semi-banked 3/8-mile dirt oval, but the high side quickly became the fast way around and Scott was the first to get there.
The 27-year-old from Las Cruces, N.M., powered around Hughes to lead the third lap, and by the time two more cars went by, Hughes knew it was time to get in line around the top.
Scott’s only challenge over the remaining 37 laps was taking care of his right rear tire as the surface took rubber early on.
The first to get bit was Rodney Sanders, who blew a tire with 11 laps remaining while running second behind Scott, but the rest of the top five were able to nurse their machines to the finish line.
After winning Thursday night, Ricky Thornton Jr. followed Scott in the runner-up position Friday with Zack VanderBeek, Hughes and Cade Dillard completing the top five.
Stormy Scott was sixth, Jake Hartung finished seventh, Ryan Gustin held on for eighth, Kenny Gaddis nabbed the ninth spot and Dereck Ramirez rounded out the top ten.
After grabbing just one feature win last year, Johnny Scott’s second triumph of the year was the 30th of his USMTS career, and his early-race efforts earned him the Wehrs Machine & Racing Products “Trick Move” of the Race Award.
Racing from 23rd on the starting grid to 12th at the checkered flag, Bryan Rowland earned the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger in just his second start of the 2017 campaign.
The 5th Annual Sooner Showdown presented by Production Jars wraps up Saturday at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway with a $4,000 top prize earmarked for the feature winner.
On Saturday, gates open at 12 noon, hot laps start at 2:40 and racing begins at 3 p.m. General admission is $20, youth ages 11-16 are $10 and kids ages 10 and under get in free all three days. Pit passes are $40 each. Econo Mods, Limited Mods and the $4,000-to-win USMTS finale make-up the program.
If you can’t be there in person, every lap every race every division will be broadcast live at www.RacinDirt.com/Live.
The Southern Oklahoma Speedway is located 0.7 mile east of I-35 (exit 29) on US 70, then 1.8 miles south on US 77. For more information, call 405-627-1766 or click www.southernoklahomaspeedway.com to visit the track’s official website.
-USMTS Press Release
-Photo Credit: USMTS