Rob Nugent, Track Announcer/Social Media/PR
POCOLA, OK (March 30th & 31st, 2018) – The 39th Annual Cecil Harlan Memorial Kegger was a great way to kick off the first full season of racing at the mighty Tri-State Speedway under the new ownership of Michael and Jerri Hoover. With 107 entries from Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa, it was one of the largest Keggers from the last several years.
Mother Nature did try to interrupt, or postpone, the event with her bouts of moisture on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. Even with the many loads of new clay on the track, the track was able to be worked on Wednesday afternoon, but with more rain coming on Thursday morning, the scheduled practice from Thursday night was moved to early Friday morning. The added watering from the skies did provide for a “lumpy” track in places on Friday night, but the grader was on the track before that night’s trophies were handed out. With the added threat of more rain on Saturday night, the start time was moved back two hours.
75 degrees greeted race fans on Saturday evening and a very smooth track awaited the drivers, who were easily running three, and sometimes four, wide during the night’s feature racing.
The pre-race ceremonies started just after 5 PM on the final night, with the invocation and national anthem with several cars from the Ca$h Money SuperDirt Series Late Models presenting the American flag during a few parade laps, honoring the passing of several recent racing people. The first green flag of the night was waved by Tamyra Hannah, daughter of the late, long-time track owner, Cecil Harlan, for which the Kegger is now named after.
Heat races that were ran on Friday night for all classes competing were determined by the driver’s draw at sign in. The classes then advanced to their features via passing points. The B Features on Saturday night advanced the remaining cars to fill the remaining A feature positions.
At intermission both nights, everyone had a chance to grab themselves some food items from the newly reconfigured concession, an ice-cold Pepsi product and grab a Kegger T-shirt.
On Saturday night, kids were treated to free photos with the Easter Bunny before intermission. At intermission, 1,000 eggs filled with candy and prizes were distributed on the front straight for three different age groups to collect with one of the 120 free Easter baskets that were provided during the Easter Egg-stravaganza. Many of the eggs, didn’t contain candy, but a ticket for a free gift ranging from bicycles to power wheels. Also during intermission on Friday, the Ca$h Money SDS Late Models gave away a girls and boys bicycle to two lucky kids, just for coming to the race track. Several $100 gift cards were also given out to a “senior” fans in attendance. We would like to thank Harper Motorsports for the Easter baskets and Philpot’s Complete Care Center for the $100 gift cards, as well as Angela Bourland and Veronica Robins for putting together the whole Easter Egg-stravaganza. More individual names who donated money and/or prizes are listed on our social media channels.
TOP THREE – FRIDAY NIGHT
In the Mini-Stock A Feature, Chris Tuck (6T – Mulberry, AR) captured the win as Jerry Higgins (66) finished second over Bobby Mulkey (6).
The Front Wheel Drive A Feature had Aaron Dyer (48 – Sallisaw, OK) claim the trophy over Chelsie Jones (73CJ) and Gary Clark (221 – Hackett, AR).
TOP THREE – SATURDAY NIGHT
The Factory Stock A Feature saw Kris Vaughn (35 – Van Buren, AR) picking up the win. JR Owen (79 – Pocola, OK) finished in second and Chris Patterson (48Z - Muldrow, OK) finished in third.
Up next was the USRA B-Mod A Feature where Tate Cole (89 – Fort Gibson, OK) took home the “big check”. Dakota Foster (05 – Gardner, KS) took home second place over Brandon Wilson (4B – Fort Smith, AR).
The Super Stock A Feature was on track next and saw Brian Parker (210 – Owasso, OK) capture the win over Ray Phipps (L7 - Pocola, OK). Kyle Slader (19S - Muskogee, OK) crossed the finish line in third.
The USRA Modifieds took to the high banks next for their A Feature. Steve Holzkamper (5 – Gentry, AR) crossed the line first for the $2,000 pay check over Kyle Ledford (75 - Greenwood, AR) as Johnny Bone, Jr. (12 – Pea Ridge, AR) finished in third.
The Ca$h Money SuperDirt Series Late Model A Feature was the last feature for the event. Justin Wells (98 – Aurora, MO) took home the Kegger trophy. Brandon Hunter (1/4 – Alma, AR) took home second over Brandon Cheek (555).
Complete race results from the entire event can be found by clicking here.
The next event for Tri-State Speedway will be the first point racing of the season on April 7th. Watch for more information coming soon on the May 4th and 5th racing action at the mighty Tri-State Speedway.
We will see YOU soon!