Early in the morning on December 26, when most folks are sleeping in after too much Egg Nog and Christmas pudding, a pair of tractor-trailers will fire up and depart from the Hyper Racing shop in Lewisberry, PA and head west. They’ll be Tulsa-bound, as in Oklahoma and the 31st Annual Tulsa Shootout inside the spacious River Spirit Expo Center.
Those two trailers will be hauling a total of 18 race cars – both winged and non-winged 600cc Micro-Sprints, to be exact – as the Hyper Racing team makes an all out “Eastern Assault” at the biggest (in terms of car count) and arguably the most prestigious Micro/Mini Sprint event in the USA.
Tyler Walton will lead the team, in more ways than one. Walton, from Mifflintown, PA, has experienced several Shootouts and had a couple of top-notch runs in last year’s event. He is also driving one of the tractor-trailers to Tulsa and made arrangements to have the second rig available when the number of cars making up the Hyper team would not all fit into a single trailer.
Joining Walton as part of Team Hyper will be Smithsburg, MD’s Kameron Morral; Brian Carber and Jarid Kunkle from PA; Delaware’s Kyle Spence along with LaVar and Jerome Scott; Danny Knoll III, Ben and Tater Kysor, and Mike Austin from New York; North Carolina’s Matthew Riggs-carr and Jason Brown; and Michigan’s Brian Slusarski and Tim Neal.
Walton and Brown are each taking two cars, and most of the drivers intend to compete in more than one class, as the Shootout offers activity in nine different classes of Micro/Mini Sprints.
In addition to racing his own Hampton Inns/ Roy Morral No. 880 in the Winged and Non-Winged Outlaw classes for the 600cc powered Micros, Kameron Morral will also rent a Lightning Sprint in which he will enter both winged and wingless action.
“Yeah, I’ll be busy, but it’s gonna be a blast,” said Morral. “There’s a lot of sitting around out there when you only run one class, so this is way better…but I’ll definitely be wore out by the end of the weekend.”
This will be Morral’s second attempt at securing a coveted Golden Driller trophy at the Tulsa Shootout. “I’ll be much more comfortable and focused this time because the ‘ahhh’ factor is gone. The first time, you’re just in awe of the facility, the incredible talent that is there, and everything about the event. This year will be different and I’m ready to race.”
Morral and Walton will be counted on to mentor other members of the team because most of them are making their first attempts in the outrageously competitive Shootout.
“I don’t believe that motor wins the Shootout – in any class,” stated Morral. “It certainly helps to have a strong motor, but the track will slick off big-time. It’s all about chassis set up and the driver stepping up because you’re running against the very best 600 drivers in the country when you’re in Tulsa.”
And there is plenty of the stout competition, too, as a total of 1,048 entries had been received as of Saturday, December 19. More than 500 drivers make up those entries, meaning the Hyper Racing “Eastern Assault” team will have its collective hands full in the attempt to bring home one or more Golden Drillers.
Providing valuable resources, including parts and pieces, welding services, as well as knowledgeable advice, will be a quintet of Hyper Racing staff who will serve all of the company’s racers, no matter where they’re from, and those staff members will be 100% devoted to supporting their customers.
“We’ll have five people there who will not be racing themselves,” says Hyper Racing’s General Manager J.D. Esh. He’ll be one of the support team members, along with Ryan Greth, Jim Radney, Austin Quick, and Brian Erb.
“When you’re racing, you’re too busy focusing on your car to properly support customers. That won’t be the case with us this year. The five of us will be 100% committed to customer service at the Shootout. Here’s an example of what we can do for our racers: typically, there are five heats staged at a time; that’s how they keep the show rolling smoothly when there are over 1,000 entries at the Shootout.”
“The track can change dramatically while a driver is sitting in his or her car in the staging area. Our (staff) guys can watch the track and inform the drivers in the staging area as to how it’s changing so they can adjust their cars while they’re waiting to go out.”
It won’t be easy, but two tractor-trailers, 18 race cars, and 15 hungry and hopeful drivers will try to earn one of those much-wanted Golden Drillers. The goal is to bring several back to their home states, but even one would make Hyper Racing’s “Eastern Assault” a rousing success.
The 31st Annual Tulsa Shootout takes place from December 30, 2015 through January 2, 2016. To follow the action, log on to TulsaShootout.com or watch it live on RacinBoys.com. The features will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis by MAVTV on January 16.
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By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts