CANEY, Kansas. – Alex Sewell used the element of surprise to drive around Sheldon Barksdale and win the Ameri-Flex/OCRS Sprint Car Series main event at Caney Valley Speedway on Saturday night.
The defending series champion took advantage of a lap-13 yellow to jump around Barksdale for the lead in his Action Auto Collision/Sewell Mechanical sponsored sprinter.
Sewell then stayed there for the remaining 17 laps to capture his first victory of the year.
“I think it was all about catching him by surprise,” Sewell said of his move around Barksdale for the lead.
Barksdale raced off the pole into the early lead over rookie front row starter Avery Goodman and Sewell in third. For 13 laps, Goodman and Sewell chased Barksdale.
On lap 11, Sewell was able to get around Goodman for second and started looking for a way to challenge Barksdale when the yellow waved.
“I was going to do the move on him, but luckily the yellow came out when it did, because he would have probably protected the line,” Sewell said of Barksdale.
Early in the race, Sewell was trying to figure out the track surface, which had dried out, and the yellow flag allowed him to make a move.
“I think I found the rubber a little earlier than the other guys off of (turn) two and I think that propelled me into a spot where Sheldon (Barksdale) was not ready for me,” Sewell said. “We took the lead after that restart and took Sheldon by surprise.
“I found it a little earlier by mistake when I got into turn one a little to sideways and came off the bottom. It felt like a lot of grip,” Sewell noted. “When I was in third, I made a move on Avery Goodman and got by him. Then I knew I was going to have to do something with Sheldon.”
Barksdale fell off the pace after the restart and Layne Himebaugh, who started 10th, worked his way up to his eventual second-place finishing position in the 30-lapper.
Travis Jenkins managed to finish third, ahead of Zach Chappell and Whit Gastineau.
Gastineau earned the York Plumbing Hard Charger award for coming from 17th position to fifth.
A Feature (30 laps): 1. 8-Alex Sewell , 2. 94L-Layne Himebaugh , 3. 4PM-Travis Jenkins , 4. 50Z-Zach Chappell , 5. 2W-Whit Gastineau , 6. 15D-Andrew Deal , 7. 15-Jase Randolph , 8. 88-Terry Easum , 9. 11-Avery Goodman , 10. 22T-Frank Taft , 11. 20S-Sheldon Barksdale , 12. 18J-Cody Jarvis , 13. 62-James Shoun , 14. 9-Kinzer Edwards , 15. 79-Tim Kent , 16. 51-Ryan Dean , 17. 5-Joe Bob Lee .
Lap Leaders: Sheldon Barksdale 1-13, Alex Sewell 14-30.
Margin of victory: 2.922 seconds.