Nothing stops Gastineau from victory lane this time
CANEY, Kansas (July 27, 2019) - Mechanical issues and driver error has plagued Whit Gastineau in the past few Ameri-Flex / OCRS Sprint Car events. But that was not the case Saturday. This time nothing stopped the Moore, Oklahoma driver who led from start-to-finish in his Castrol Quick Lube sponsored Maxim sprinter and picked up his first victory of the season at Caney Valley Speedway.
The win ended several weeks of frustration.
"I gave one away at Humboldt, the car gave one away at Muskogee then the motor gave one away at Muskogee," recalled Gastineau. "A rocker arm broke last week at Muskogee and that kept us from passing Zach (Chappell) on that.
"I finally got one."
However, a first-lap crash Saturday nearly took Gastineau out of the race. Pole sitter Frank Taft flipped his sprinter down the front stretch on the opening lap and Gastineau, who started outside front row, was involved. Fortunately, Gastineau was able to continue, but he was minus a nose wing.
"It was a little squirrely without the nose wing getting into and out of the corner," Gastineau said.
"The track was pretty good. I think I could have run the top, but I stuck it on the bottom. If something broke I did not want to be up by the wall.
"If they were going to pass me they would have to go around us."
But no one got close enough. Gastineau was chased early on by Joe Bob Lee and Sheldon Barksdale. With Gastineau comfortably out front, Lee and Barksdale battled for second. On lap 17 Barksdale took second away for good, but could not close ground on the leader. Barksdale settled for second after 30 laps while Lee held on to third. Andrew Deal moved from 7th to 4th and earned the York Plumbing Hard Charger award. Three-time winner Zach Chappell was fifth.
With a broken rocker arm suffered last week in Muskogee, it was a race against the clock to get the engine ready for Saturday. It was a family affair getting the engine to WESMAR and back for repair.
"A special thanks to my mom and dad for driving back and forth to Tulsa this week to get the engine going," Gastineau said.
Ameri-Flex / OCRS Results
Caney Valley Speedway
Car count: 12
Drive Shafts, Inc. Heat 1 (8 Laps)
1, 8-Alex Sewell. 2, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 3, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 4, 88-Terry Easum. 5, 65L-Nick Lucito. 6, 18J-Cody Jarvis.
Bravado Wireless Heat 2 (8 Laps)
1, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 2, 5-Joe Bob Lee. 3, 22T-Frank Taft. 4, 15D-Andrew Deal. 5, 15-Jase Randolph. 6, 62-James Shoun.
Ameriflex Hose and Accessories A FEATURE (30 Laps)
1, 2W-Whit Gastineau. 2, 20S-Sheldon Barksdale. 3, 5-Joe Bob Lee. 4, 15D-Andrew Deal. 5, 50Z-Zach Chappell. 6, 8-Alex Sewell. 7, 88-Terry Easum. 8, 18J-Cody Jarvis. 9, 62-James Shoun. 10, 65L-Nick Lucito. 11, 15-Jase Randolph. 12, 22T-Frank Taft.
Contingency Award Recipients:
Ameri-Flex Hose A Feature Winner: Whit Gastineau.
Drive Shafts Inc. Heat Award Recipient: Alex Sewell.
Bravado Wireless Heat Award Recipient: Sheldon Barksdale
York Plumbing Hard Charger Award: Andrew Deal +3
M&W Aluminum Hard Luck Award: Frank Taft.
Amsoil High Point Driver Award: Sheldon Barksdale
Rod End Supply Recipients: Jase Randolph, Frank Taft.
Wesmar Racing Engines Recipient: Nick Lucito.