Wood finds spark for Sprint Series of Oklahoma win at Wichita

By David Smith Jr.

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (April 28) – Joe Wood Jr. held off a late race charge from Jake Martens to claim his first IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Series of Oklahoma feature of the season Friday at Wich­ita Speedway.

Chris Kelly and Wood started on the front row for the 20-lap feature with Wood taking the lead as the green flag fell. The race quickly went red when Brandon Long went for an easy tip over in turns three and four yet he would be able to restart at the tail of the field.

The restart saw Wood stay out front and fend off late race challenges from eighth-starting Jake Martens to claim his second career victory and first for 2017.

“The night started off kind of rough,” according to Wood. “In our heat race, the motor lost power with three laps to go and we were able to hang on to second place, which put us in the redraw. We ended up drawing number two spot and then went back to work on the car and found a spark plug wire had fallen off. We got that fixed and made very little changes to the car. We had a good start in the feature and the car worked perfectly.”

Martens came home a close second while fifth starting rookie Steven Shebester, making only his second start in sprint car competition, was third. Shouse and Kelly rounded out the top five.

After his tip over to start the feature, Long roared back through the field for an eighth place finish.

Chad Koch came into the night as the early-season point leader but lost oil pressure with two laps to go while running sixth, exited the field and ended up a disappointing 16th.

Next up for the SSO IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car Series presented by Smiley’s Racing Products will be Friday, May 5 at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, Okla.

Feature results – 1. Joe Wood Jr.; 2. Jake Martens; 3. Steven Shebester; 4. Andy Shouse; 5. Chris Kelly; 6. Shayla Waddell; 7. Michelle Melton; 8. Brandon Long; 9. Cody Whitworth; 10. Blake Dacus; 11. Justin Fisk; 12. Loyd Clevenger Sr.; 13. Morgan Fletcher; 14. Dillon Laden; 15. Warren Fields; 16. Chad Koch; 17. Sterling Huff; 18. Cody Scherb; 19. Logan Scherb; 20. Mike Scott.