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Justin Oates Grabs First Career Win

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by Marc Roy & Debbie Williams


First Career Sportsman Feature Victory for Oates on July 12


On a wild and crazy night of racing, 16-year-old Justin Oates (#0) notched his first career feature win as he took the checkered flag last Saturday night.


With a full field of 16 cars, George Reyes (#00) and Oscar Solis (#5) led the field around to green for the 25-lap Sportsman feature. For the first few laps, Reyes was the driver to beat, pulling away from the rest of the field. On Lap 3, a cut tire pushed Reyes’ car into the Turn 2 wall. In the meantime, Oates (#0) was whittling away positions, and he had worked his way up to 3rd place prior to Reyes’ incident.


After Reyes’ car was removed from the track, Garfield Shanklin (#6) led the field to green, with Charlie Earnhardt (#33) in second. Once the race went green again, Oates kept pounding away and trying to pass the two leaders. He was finally able to take the lead on Lap 6.


Oates, a La Vernia High School junior, took the lead for the remainder of the race and left the rest of the field in his wake. When asked about how the track felt, Oates said, “For some reason the track was very fast for me tonight, and since I was running a lower line than everyone else, I had an easy time getting to the front.” While Oates paced the field, most of the battles were going on deep inside the pack among the Top 4 contenders in the Sportsman points’ race - Marcus Bellino (20), Tator Mason (#12), Tommy Casey (#15) and Greg Rohmer (#21). Rohmer was driving his brother in law’s car in his battle for position.


On Lap 13, Mason (#12) retired for the evening after a wheel bearing broke on his car. The racing was fast and furious until Lap 22 when Rodney Rodriguez (#22) hit the wall head-on after a spin. Once again, like all the other previous incidents, thankfully Rodriguez was not injured. But his car was heavily damaged, and he was unable to complete the race.


When the track went green once again, the field lined up in the following order – 1st Justin Oates (#0), 2nd Garfield Shanklin (#6), 3rd Marcus Bellino (#20), 4th Greg Rohmer (#21) and 5th Billy Becka (#29). Oates did his best to keep from being too nervous in his attempt at his first feature win. Oates feels he owes a lot of his success to his father, Jason (former SAS Late Model champion), for keeping him calm throughout the race over the radio. “During the last ten laps of the race, dad kept telling to relax and hold my line and that there was no pressure from the other cars,” commented Oates.


Near the end of the race, Garfield (#6) started having a problem with his motor, just barely missing a Top 3 finish on his birthday. Oates crossed the finish line in the lead, and he was followed by Bellino (#20) and Greg Rohmer (#21).


Affordable Trailers and Ultimate Truck Accessories sponsor Justin Oates. He runs a Kotzur Racing Engine. Following the race, Oates lit up the front stretch with a burnout display that few have equaled. Oh, the wonderful smell of burning rubber . . . .


Comments Welcomed

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Hey Jason, congrats!!


Hey Marc and Deb, great job on the writing part...


Just a little heads-up and question...Does this story--and TQ's in this forum---maybe, better fit the posts in the Press Release forum..This good story seems to fit the criteria for that forum, in my most humble media-type opinion..


And again...my opinion, Nick's smell and $2.50 will buy you a piece of pepperoni pizza!! :D:rolleyes:B):lol::blink::ph34r:

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Marc really did all of the writing part. I helped him with the recordings, notes and editing. We also owe our thanks to Steve Jung for helping us with some of the errors and missing information in my notes. Maybe you realize the difficulty of a scorer's job, but I don't think I had a clue about the challenges of keeping track of all of the details in a race. It's pretty easy to watch your favorite car and know what's happening, but it's much more difficult to keep track of the entire field. Simply put . . . if I made my living from being a scorer, I would already be out of a job! LOL


As always, thanks for your support, bud!



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Thanks for catching the error on the finishing positions for Rohmer & Bellino. We will correct it on the original article that will be published in Saturday's progam.


Guess you can blame the editor for that one! LOL



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