Sean McClelland Snares Last Lap ASCS Sooner Win at Creek County! SAPULPA, Okla. (June 7, 2008) -- Rallying from a ninth row starting position, past series champion Sean McClelland shot past Nick Smith in the final corner to steal the ...
Sean McClelland Snares Last Lap ASCS Sooner Win at Creek County!
SAPULPA, Okla. (June 7, 2008) -- Rallying from a ninth row starting position, past series champion Sean McClelland shot past Nick Smith in the final corner to steal the victory in Saturday night's 25-lap American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region feature at Creek County Speedway.
McClelland's last-corner heroics put an exclamation point on a feature event that was up for grabs throughout, with Smith and Gary Taylor dicing wheel-to-wheel for the point for the opening 15 laps.
Smith finally broke away from Taylor only to have the victory snatched from his grasp with the checkered flag in sight by 17th-starter McClelland.
"I was pissed off enough after that heat race to do it," McClelland explained of the stellar drive, referring to a heat miscue that placed him three rows deep in the "B" Main. "I just messed up there in the heat. We got going in the feature, I wasn't sure if we could get to Nick though."
McClelland reached second by the 19th lap and had one last shot when a late caution set up a green-white-checkered dash to the stripe.
"I was trying to set him up, and he went into three so slow on the last lap I had to try it," McClelland explained of the winning pass. "The worst that could have happened is I would have slid up and he would have got back by and I'd still been second. We got the win though."
McClelland's triumph aboard the Wesmar-powered No. 1 machine came in just the third ASCS Sooner Region start of the season for the 2005 series champion.
"I really have to thank Aaron Berryhill, Mike and Megan Eubanks, Wesmar, Maxwell Oil and Kevin Hefley. Without all their help, we wouldn't have even been out here tonight."
With McClelland mired nine rows deep, Taylor led the feature field to the green flag with Rafe Essary alongside. Taylor gunned into the lead in the opening pair of corners, but it was third-starting Smith surging into the lead upon the completion of the first lap.
Swapping lines and positions repeatedly, Smith and Taylor proceeded to dazzle the crowd for more than half the race as they diced for the point in wheel-to-wheel fashion until a caution after 15 laps changed the complexion of the race.
Smith took off on the restart, as Taylor struggled to keep pace with a right rear tire that had sealed over under the caution.While Smith and Taylor had contested the lead, McClelland had been on the move, cracking the top ten by the time a caution flew after six laps for a Sherman Davis spin in turn two. And when the caution appeared after 15 laps, McClelland had just taken fourth away from Zach Chappell.
With Taylor struggling on the lap 16 restart, Jamie Passmore and McClelland both made their move with the leader in sight. And by the time the caution flew with six laps to go for Danny Smith's disabled mount in turn three, McClelland had battled past Passmore for second.
Smith held strong on the restart, leading the way past the white flag only to have a final caution fly for Kolt Walker's turn two spin, setting up a two-lap dash to the stripe.
McClelland kept pace with Smith on the final restart, pressuring high and low for a lap, then challenging high in turns one and two before diving underneath Smith for the lead entering turn three on the final round to take the lead before scurrying to Will Hale's checkered flag with a three car-length advantage.
"That last caution killed us," Smith surmised. "I hate losing like that, but our car kept getting worse the longer we went. I was hoping we could hang on."
After slipping back to fourth, Taylor found new life on the bottom side of the track and surged back to third at the finish, with Passmore and ninth-starter Brian McClelland rounding out the top five.
With his fifth place finish, Brian McClelland moved atop the ASCS Sooner Region point charts by overtaking 15th-place finisher Kolt Walker.
Chappell crossed the stripe sixth, with Essary, Roy Larkin, Kenneth Walker and 16th-starter Cody Branchcomb completing the top ten.
Smith, Matt Covington, Joe Wood, Jr., and Chappell topped heat race action, with Sean McClelland making a white-flag lap pass of Michael Brown to win the 12-lap "B" Main.
American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Results from Creek County Speedway:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 72-Sherman Davis, 3. 2-Kenneth Walker, 4. 52-Roy Larkin, 5. 45k-Kolt Walker, 6. 1-Sean McClelland, 7. 85s-Forrest Sutherland.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, 2. 4-Jamie Passmore, 3. 20-Rick Barksdale, 4. 11J-Jonathan Beason, 5. 7F-Frank Sudduth, 6. 11-Justin Melton, 7. 20s-Sheldon Barksdale.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 2. 29a-Jason Botsford, 3. 26-Rafe Essary, 4. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 5. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 6. 65au-Jonathan Halford, 7. 5$-Danny Smith.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 92-Zach Chappell, 2. 5*-Gary Taylor, 3. 87-Brian McClelland, 4. 15b-Michael Brown, 5. 4am-Travis Jenkins, 6. 80-Brett Thompson. DNS: 97-Tom Cummings.
"B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 1-Sean McClelland, 2. 15b-Michael Brown, 3. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 4. 5$-Danny Smith, 5. 4am-Travis Jenkins, 6. 7F-Frank Sudduth, 7. 11-Justin Melton, 8. 20s-Sheldon Barksdale, 9. 65au-Jonathan Halford, 10. 80-Brett Thompson, 11. 85s-Forrest Sutherland. DNS: 97-Tom Cummings.
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 1-Sean McClelland, 2. 15s-Nick Smith, 3. 5*-Gary Taylor, 4. 4-Jamie Passmore, 5. 87-Brian McClelland, 6. 92-Zach Chappell, 7. 26-Rafe Essary, 8. 52-Roy Larkin, 9. 2-Kenneth Walker, 10. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 11. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 12. 15b-Michael Brown, 13. 29a-Jason Botsford, 14. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 15. 45k-Kolt Walker, 16. 20-Rick Barksdale, 17. 11J-Jonathan Beason, 18. 5$-Danny Smith, 19. 95-Matt Covington, 20. 72-Sherman Davis.
American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Brian McClelland 1,075, 2. Kolt Walker 1,058, 3. Gary Taylor 972, 4. Sherman Davis 943, 5. Joe Wood, Jr. 934, 6. Matt Covington 902, 7. Michael Brown 833, 8. Justin Melton 817, 9. Eric Baldaccini 733, 10. Travis Rilat 558.