Donnie Ray Crawford Memorial Begins
TULSA, Okla. – The first half the six divisions vying for second annual Donnie Ray Crawford Memorial titles opened the three day mini sprint bonanza on Thursday night at Port City Raceway.
The Non Wing, Sportsman, and Restricted divisions produced 11 heats that were then accompanied by a second set of inverted heats before five consolation features formed the field for the first round of DRC Memorial main events.
With Bob Hurley Ford presenting the opening night of the 2nd Annual Donnie Ray Crawford Memorial, the prestige and loot stayed within the Tulsa area in all three divisions. And two racers have decisions to make come Saturday night.
Jordan Herrman joined Tulsa native Jeffrey Newell on the front row of a 25 lap Non Wing main event that would guarantee the top 8 finishers a spot in Saturday’s 2nd Annual DRC Memorial Finale.
Newell seized command immediately, gaining distance in each turn over Herrman and Chris Cochran. The majority of the field played Port City’s battleground low, with the exception of Cyril’s Cord Dodson, who fell from his outside third row starting spot toward the tail of the field.
While Dodson began an unofficial Hard Charger run, Newell stretched his lead each lap, reaching lapped traffic at the halfway point , before the first and only caution of the race flew as Tulsan Ty Hulsey idled in the infield.
What seemed an opportunity for Herrman, Cochran, and Oklahoma City’s Trey Marcham as the field was bunched up one more became was voided by the savvy veteran Newell, who pulled away once more.
PCR kingpin Chris Andrews was joined by Cord Dodson as the race lit up once more. Both took to the vaunted cushion in their pursuit of the top four and began making decisive headway.
While Newell was whistling to a widening lead, Andrews and Dodson were high above Herrman and Marcham, creating the sort of classic Port City duel that has earned the eighth-mile bullring fame throughout the national racing community.
Newell went unchallenged in scoring the 2nd Annual DRC Memorial preliminary win aboard the WCI Inc., Risley’s Trash Service, Bob Hurley Ford, Fenton Graphics, and Metric Cycles sponsored No. 1.
Ever a favorite whenever he pulls onto the track, Andrews bested Herrman late for the runner up spot. Both Newell and Andrews now greet Saturday with the option of accepting the Non Wing Front Row Challenge presented by Port City Raceway, should the duo opt to tag the final row of Saturday’s Non Wing A Main – they would be eligible for an extra $500 should they make it back to the top spot. Should they accept the Non Wing Challenge, the pair would be paid $25 for each position they improve in Saturday’s main event.
Jordan Herrman makes a feast of the field most weeks in blitzkrieg fashion (inverted point averages line up weekly sorties), storming from the tail of the field to the podium with great regularity. Starting from the pole position on the opening night of the 2nd Annual DRC Memorial, Herrman uncharacteristically fell to the three spot at the conclusion, a testament to the deeply talented group of Non Wing 600’s on hand.
Frank “The Legendary” Flud continued Non Wing success. Locked in a virtual tie in 2013 Non Wing points headed into the non-point special, Flud used a late move to nab fourth with Chris Cochran completing the top five finishing order.
Falling to the rear column early, Cord Dodson thrashed away at the famous Port City cushion and earned back each of the 8 spots he lost in the early going, bringing in a sixth place finish with multiple PCR track champ Harlan Hulsey and Oklahoma City’s coast to coast gasser Trey Marcham completing the eight competitors that are locked into Saturday night’s second annual Donnie Ray Crawford Non Wing Main Event.
Jason Tracy, Jordan Herrman, Cody Cordell and Harlan Hulsey earned heat race victories over the 36 car field, with Trey Marcham, Herrman, Chris Cochran, and Jeffrey Newell speeding to qualifier scores.
Josh Marcham earned first transfer status out of the 12 lap C Feature, while Jarrett Crouch led a four way exodus out of the 20 lap B Feature.
Brendon Wiseley paced the pole of the 25 lap 2nd Annual DRC Memorial Restricted preliminary A Feature with Restricted point leader and five time 2013 winner Bailey Hughes alongside.