Drake sweeps Sooner Series double header at Crawford County
Updated: Jul 5
by John Rittenoure - VAN BUREN, Ark. (July 3, 2021) - Winged sprint cars and the Sooner Sprint Series made their first appearance ever at Crawford County Speedway on Saturday and Dean Drake, Jr. celebrated with a pair of victories before a capacity holiday crowd.
Drake raced to his first Sooner Series victory in the 20-lap main event then returned to win in a special non-point wingless feature later in the evening.
Drake enjoyed his first visit to the Arkansas quarter mile located in the scenic hills surrounding Van Buren, Arkansas.
“This is an awesome place from the fans to the way the Crawford County crew run the place,” Drake, Jr. said of the night. “It was an enjoyable evening all the way around.”
In the first feature Drake, who started on the pole, was chased for much of the race by Alison Slaton. However, Joseph Miller was able to drive his ford powered sprinter around Slaton midway through the 20-lapper, but could not reel in Drake. Slaton settled for third.
“We got lucky and hit it just right,” Drake said of his run. “The car was spot on all night.”
Afterwards Drake and his crew consisting of dad Dean, and former racer and engine builder Bubba Hunt, reset the car for the non-wing feature.
“We really just pulled the wing off,” Drake said of his car setup. “We should have changed the gear, but we just made little adjustments to the nose and rear end. We left the same rear tire stagger.”
The changes were enough as Drake once again paced the field. Slaton gave chase and pulled up close enough to challenge, but could not get around Drake.
“I was entering too low,” Slaton said of her line through the corners. “One time I really caught up when I entered higher. I don’t know why I kept doing that.”
Sooner Sprint Series Results
Crawford County Speedway, Van Buren, Ark.
July 3, 2021
Heat 1 ( 8 laps) - 1. 77-Dean Drake, Jr.; 2. 30-Joseph Miller; 3. 6-Alison Slaton; 4. 30X-Larry Bratti; 5. 5X-Paul Johnson.
Qualifier (8 laps) - 1. 6-Alison Slaton; 2. 77-Dean Drake, Jr.; 3. 30X-Larry Bratti; 4. 30-Joseph Miller; 5. 5X-Paul Johnson.
A Feature (20 laps) - 1. 77-Dean Drake, Jr.; 2. 30-Joseph Miller; 3. 6-Alison Slaton; 4. 30X-Larry Bratti; 5. 5X-Paul Johnson.