(by Cody Morris)
A series’ record 132 Lucas Oil American Small Car Series race teams checked into Cowtown Speedway confines for the 5th Annual Big Chill.
The 2012 season opener held much contrast to those in attendance. Friday’s frigid opening night of the two day event was but a preview to the Arctic blast that would meet patrons for a Saturday finale that saw daytime high temperature’s not escape the 30’s before devolving into painful nighttime wind chill values in the mid-teens.
But that was everywhere outside of the highbanked 1/4 mile racing surface, where nearly every painful movement of frozen air was met with a chess match of high speed and daring maneuvre. Such high quality racing has fast become signature for Cowtown Speedway.
A trio of preliminary night winners had opportunity for 5th Annual Big Chill sweeps, and as the adage goes, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
In headlining Lucas Oil ASCS2 Outlaw competition, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Scott Sawyer paced the field from the pole position for the 2nd night in a row, as well as leading the first of 20 main event laps before a red flag for Tennessee native Howard Moore’s turn 4 tumble stopped event progress entirely.
Sawyer led Missouri’s former ASCS2 and POWRi Outlaw Champion Andrew Felker with Osceola, Arkansas’ preliminary night winner Travis Senter up from his outside 2nd row starting spot. Senter would rocket into first challenger status immediately upon restart and offer duel to Sawyer by the 5th circuit, while an intense battle for 3rd developed between Felker and Pryor, Oklahoma’s “Legendary Blue Wazoo” Frank Flud.
Senter’s assault grew more progressive as the race steadily neared the halfway point, with Senter slipping by Sawyer as the duo drag raced out of turn 4 to take the halfway flag. Sawyer stayed within range until Senter reached lapped traffic on lap 13, which the crafty veteran then picked apart with clinical precision.
With no late race stoppages, Senter crossed the final stripe with nearly a half lap advantage en route to his 5th Annual Big Chill sweep of Lucas Oil ASCS2 Outlaw competition aboard the Wren Motorsports and Accurate Machine Works sponsored no. 4w.