TULSA, Okla. — It has been a long time since Fred Mattox visited the winners circle with the Oil Capital Racing Series. In fact, the last time was 2014.
But the drought ended Saturday at Tulsa Speedway with Mattox picking up his second career AmeriFlex Hose & Accessories OCRS Sprint Car victory on a cold night with temperatures in the mid 30’s and fans wrapped in heavy blankets.
“I think the last one was at Caney (Valley Speedway). It has been a long time,” recalled Mattox of his last OCRS win. “We’ve had a lot of 2-barrel, ASCS and NCRA wins since. It is good to be back in the seat of an OCRS car again.”
Mattox moved from third to second on lap 11 and chased after early leader Terry Easum. On lap 16 lap traffic came into play for the leaders. Mattox tried to make a move inside of Easum and there was contact. Easum spun to the infield and the yellow flag came out.
Mattox restarted the race with the lead while Easum was placed on the rear.
“From my point of view the leader left the bottom open trying to go around a lapped car,” Mattox said of his attempt to pass Easum. “Tulsa is not the best place to drive around cars. You have to get underneath them coming off the corner and out drag race them to the other end.
“I feel like he (Easum) got into the back of the lapped car (Elizabeth Phillips) and turned her across in front of me. I made contact with her and I feel sorry for her. I know their situation and am going to make it right this week.”
Mattox recalled another unfortunate incident with Easum that resulted in a suspension.
“With that said this is not the first time me and him had issues,” Mattox said. “I got suspended way back when for the same kind of deal. (This time) In (turns) three and four we were wheel-to-wheel behind the lapped car, he left the bottom open and I filled it.”
On the restart Johnny Kent took over second but could not close on Mattox and finished 0.525 seconds behind him. Lane Goodman advanced from 4th to 3rd, Ryker Pace was fourth and 2021 champion Joe Bob Lee rounded out the top five.
Easum was not happy with the incident that took him out of the lead 15 laps into the race.
“It was just some lapped cars and it was pretty one lane and you have some guys who have raced for 20 years that want to race like it is there first night,” Easum said. “That is just part of it. He got underneath us and was still part way on the throttle when he hit me.”
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 26M-Fred Mattox; 2. 55-Johnny Kent; 3. 29-Lane Goodman; 4. 8R-Ryker Pace; 5. 5-Joe Bob Lee; 6. 31-Casey Wills; 7. 55W-Danny Wood; 8. 22M-Rees Moran; 9. 38-Jimmy Forrester; 10. 20S-Sheldon Barksdale; 11. 7T-Landon Thompson; 12. 88-Terry Easum; 13. 22T-Frank Taft; 14. 39-Kimberly Tyre; 15. (DNF) 938-Bradley Fezard; 16. (DNF) 55M-Corey McGehee; 17. (DNF) 22C-Alex DeCamp; 18. (DNF) 50Z-Zach Chappell; 19. (DNF) 08E-Elizabeth Phillips; 20. (DNF) 22RL-Gage Laney