The 35th Annual Tulsa Shootout concluded Saturday night with 15-year-old Emerson Axsom holding off one of Oklahoma’s best to take the Golden Driller in the premier Winged Outlaw division. The Franklin, Indiana driver took the lead from Jonathan Beason with 16 laps to go and went on to score the biggest win of his young career.
Beason made Axsom work for it late with a charge through lapped traffic and a treacherous race track. Axsom stuck his No. 42 on the bottom for the last 10 laps and repelled any attempts at stealing the lead by the former Driller winner, beating him to the checkered flag by just over a car length after 55-laps.
“I guess I found a way around the ruts. I was watching the screen and I saw the bottom was coming back in and the top was getting too rough to go around,” Axsom said on the Racinboys.com broadcast. “I was just able to hug the bottom and make it work.”
Having been announced earlier Saturday night on the broadcast, Axsom will be driving a Midget full-time for Petry Motorsports in 2020, making it a magical day for him. After taking the checkered flag, even he wasn’t sure if he had won.
“I didn’t even know if I had won the race, honestly. I was just in shock. I’m speechless right now,” he said. “Everyone on the car, everyone that chips in, we wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”
Beason took the lead on Lap 19 and looked to be on cruise control before getting passed by Axsom. He would come up just short of adding a second Golden Driller to his collection.
“We were hellacious on the bottom and it was going away so I knew we were going to be in trouble, but I figured we were good enough to contain,” Beason said. “When you’re leading you just don’t know what to do. You’re looking at the screen trying to figure out what’s going on, you’ve got people telling you to change lanes and maybe I should’ve just stuck with what I was doing. I’m happy with second, the guys gave me a great car all week.”
Harley Hollan charged from ninth to take the final podium spot, while Layden Pearson and Blake Hahn rounded out the top five.
Tulsa Shootout Outlaw Winged Feature Results:
A Feature (55 Laps): 1. 42A-Emerson Axsom; 2. 721-Jonathan Beason; 3. 14H-Harley Hollan; 4. 11-Layden Pearson; 5. 10J-Blake Hahn; 6. 51B-Joe B Miller; 7. 01-Mitchel Moles; 8. 07X-Troy Morris; 9. 81-Frank Flud; 10. 98P-Miles Paulus; 11. 49-Michael Faccinto; 12. 12K-Frank Galusha; 13. 2B-Nathan Benson; 14. 21K-Thomas Kunsman; 15. 3-Cole Roberts; 16. 91-Jared Peterson; 17. 61-Eli Bookout; 18. 32-Anton Hernandez; 19. 59-Kyle Spence; 20. 1J-Ben Worth; 21. 141-Corey Day; 22. 91B-Kevin Bayer; 23. 8-Chris Andrews; 24. 21H-Brady Bacon
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Walkapedia