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The Jeramiah Jam; CHAMP’s Cup Round 7 Recap

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The Jeramiah Jam; CHAMPs Cup Round 7 Recap - Going Green for Jeramiah


by Cody Morris, I-44 Riverside Speedway Public Relations

Oklaohma City, OK (May 17, 2014)

Oklahoma Citys Palace of Speed has had a sensational, wild start to the 2014 season. Record fields, late nights, multiple wind storms, the list could go on for several paragraphs. But on the eve of a Memorial Holiday Weekend layover, we celebrated one of our favorite shows of the season, in the honor of a fan closer to our hearts than any other.

Jeramiah Green is I-44 Riverside Speedways biggest fan. He very well may be racings biggest fan. At less than 1 year old, Jeramiah was diagnosed with a form of cancer as aggressive as it is rare. The outlook was very grim.

Last Saturday, he celebrated his 10th birthday at his favorite track, and tonight southwest Oklahoma City rallied around Jeramiah to celebrate the one year anniversary of the very first he ever attended and to lift racings champ on our shoulders and cheer his spirit and will in his fight against cancer.

Jeramiah has fought through over 100 surgeries and several years of chemotherapy to be here. He always wandered what that peculiar looking car on the speedway sign was for. Two days after his very first race last year, the infamous May 20th tornado bulldozed the speedway. He lives in nearby Bridge Creek. He said it made him really sad.

For the following ten weeks, the local and racing communities rallied behind speedway manager Mark Banister, and the speedway reopened with a furious roar at the 14th Annual Mini Sprint Nationals. Nearly 180 cars gathered for that show. This made Jeramiah very happy.

But as he shared tonight, Saturday, September 21st, 2013 was the happiest night of his life. That was the night that a racing community fought extremely hard for, that we celebrated for a remarkable young man who has overcome unimaginable hardship. That night, I-44 Riverside Speedway held our first event for Jeramiah Green, Champ as his parents Tracy and Keith so affectionately call him.

The events of that night have been well chronicled and will be remembered by hundreds for a long time to come. We couldnt wait to do it again for our #1 fan. To continue to put Champ on our shoulders and show him how much he means to all of us. To I-44 Riverside Speedway, to all regional mini sprint teams, and to all of racing.

And to double the fun too! As we will do this seasonally (in weather terms!), each spring and fall.

We will Go Green for Jeramiah once more on Saturday, September 6th. I shared this with Champ as we waited from the infield for the Non Wing A Feature to come onto the track and he was smiled with eyes bright. When I told him its a Lucas Oil POWRi West Midget event as well as Oklahoma vs. Texas Open Wheel Racing (which drew nearly 110 entries in just three classes back in April) - he smiled with jaw dropped and then fist pumped.

So with Champ alongside in the infield to assist this writer with The Rundown - he prefers it launched in order as well!


Connor Thompson moved up to the pole starting spot with Talon Haohwah alongside for this 15 lapper. Junior Sprint main events mean one thing - somewhat organized chaos - rugby comparisons have nothing on the first lap of a Junior Sprint A Main!

And it was Chickashas Brant Woods that battled up from the third row to take the early lead. An early incident forced two gallant young lads to an early exit when Noah Babb spun to collect Jacob Long, and while Woods led on the restart, a trio of 2014 feature winners were on the rise. Chris Wells and Dylan Pendergrass both race Team Green for Jeremiah - and this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, because all of the Junior Sprint racers do. They have rallied around Champ ever since the young fan talked his parents into taking him each week.

Bridge Creeks Christopher Wells was first amongst this trio to move on the leader, and battled past near the midway point.

The Rundown admits to being slightly distracted, thus not catching what removed Woods from the front of the field, but the young Chickasha racer ended up 12th in the running order, surely some bad luck involved. No problem for Brant Woods, who along with a rising contingency with Emme Johnson, Jacob Long, Kayden Cole, and Macy Roulain - an up and coming group all coiled and ready to strike for their first win.

Wells had a winning pace and a march about half a straightaway ahead of Laplante and Pendergrass, the latter pair putting on a sensational show in the late stages for second.

Wells was in winning form aboard the Has Wells Construction Team Green #72 and Laplante narrowly slithered past like a snake in the Pendergrass for the runner up spot on the final lap.

Fans could attest along with The Rundown that Emme Johnson is on the move each week, the young lady racing from 10th to fourth in Champs Cup Round 7.

Talon Hoahwah, whose name announcer David Foley will forever say with an emphatic and interesting resemblance to an Al Pacino movie quote - earned his first career top five finish.

Wells and Pendergrass slithered, hissed, and struck in heat races for the 15 car field.

Junior Sprint A Feature (15 laps): 1. 72 Christopher Wells (11); 2. 88 Ryder Laplante (9); 3. 22 Dylan Pendergrass (12); 4. 12E Emme Johnson (10); 5. 14 Talon Hoahwah (2); 6. 72c Kayden Cole (8); 7. 1 Bryce Barnett (13); 8. 12 Jessie Kelley (4); 9. 05c Jordan Williams (15); 10. 37 Jack Hall (14); 11. 28 Connor Thompson (1); 12. 16 Brant Woods (5); 13. 125 Macy Roulain (6); 14. 33 Noah Babb (3); 15. 007 Jacob Long (7)

Lap Leaders: Brant Woods 1-7, Chris Wells 8-15

Hard Charger: Chris Wells +10

The Rundown pauses in chronological order as the Junior main event sandwiched a couple of stock 600 B Features with intermission following all three.

Intermission usually means repose for the hundreds in attendance, but not tonight, not on Jeramiahs night. The ceremony to acknowledge last weeks winners was crowned by Jeramiahs heat race win last September as Wells and Pendergrass brought their cars out in support of their friend and Laplante to celebrate his first career win last week.

With David Foley on the call, Jeramiah toting winners plaques for the victorious racers the week before, and a sea of green swelling on the front straightaway, two brothers that swept headlining stock 600 bouts from the week before paced out along with Bethanys Matt Moore and Turf Tire winner Jared Morris.

This turned into a party of sorts, reigning Turf Tire champ brought down a nose wing for Champ, and ladies man / birthday boy extraordinaire Blake Scott (hes from Pauls Valley ladies, down there by the scenic Arbuckle Mountains) bringing out a a top wing that had been torn up a short time before.

Torn up wings are golden nuggets to young men. Actually they are worth far more in value, but still - whats not to love about a torn up top wing for a huge race fan like Jeramiah? It took two or three guys to bring out on the track - Jeramiah wanted to take it back on his own lol.

The occasion was highlighted by the awesome banner that Lawton racer Brandon Boggs made in conjunction with On Another Level Designs - all the racers in the pits signed it and we brought it out for Jeramiah and his fellow heroes to pose with. Special thanks to Brandon The Boss Boggs. Most 19 year olds spend their birthday nights doing far different things than making banners for racings biggest fan. Very thoughtful of the Non Wing 600 point leader. Thanks B2!

So this is a great time to pick back up on The Rundown with Jeramiah joining me in the infield for his favorite race - the Non Wing A Feature and to help out on The Rundown from the best view in the house!


The young 17 year old Bridge Creek racer Tyler Alexander is Jeramiahs best bud, his friendship with Champ is why Jeramiah fell in love with racing - as most young boys do when they see race cars!

And Tyler started pole position for the 20 lap main event with motor problems worked out and Jeramiah talking about His race last year when Tylers gear shifter broke and that he hoped that didnt happen again. With Champs blessing - it didnt.

A sprint car vet from Fletcher, Eddy Middleton started alongside, but Tyler grabbed the early lead despite a slew of stoppages, most notably a turn two tumble for Jimmy Smith and Josh Newell, both of whom restarted under their own power, but the incident eliminated last weeks winner Gage Robb - much to Jeramiahs chagrin.

Fletchers reigning winged 600 champ Blake Dacus powered past Tyler after restarting on another yellow and Dacus held this spot with authority for most of the race.

But Pauls Valleys Steven Shebester is to be feared in any race, regardless of how far back he starts. In this case he started 16th. Which meant he caught Dacus with four laps left and took the lead half the distance later.

Shebester won ahead of Dacus, with Jimmy Smith rebounding from the early lap 1 flip to finish third - which is extremely impressive!

Jeramiah was thrilled as Tyler Alexander earned a high quality fourth place finish just ahead of Brian Martins first career top five finish. Special nods must be extended as Preston Williams continues to mount impressive runs - coming from 15th to sixth, just ahead of Non Wing Champions Cup point leader Brandon Boggs who battled from 14th to seventh. El Renos Non Wing rookie and current runner up in Non Wing action, Tony Penick came from 18th to 8th with popular West-siders Dillon Laden and Shelby Burk completing the top ten finish.

Dacus, Gage Robb, Chris Kelly, and Dillon Laden took heat race wins over the 26 car field with Shelby Burk leading the first of four transfers out of the 12 lap Non Wing B Feature.

Non Wing B Feature (12 laps - top 4 advance to A Feature): 1. 50 Shelby Burk (4); 2. 88 Tony Penick (3); 3. 59 Josh Jewell (1); 4. 12s Drew Salisbury (7); 5. 57 Mark Frymire (5); 6. 4T Caleb Thompson (2); 7. 3 Cory Wiegart (6); DNS: 55 Josh Toho, 72 Mark Rogers, 00 Travis Weaver

Non Wing A Feature (25 laps): 1. 82 Steven Shebester (16); 2. 29 Blake Dacus (7); 3. 002 Jimmy Smith (12); 4. 11x Tyler Alexander (1); 5. 28x Brian Martin (6); 6. 26 Preston Williams (15); 7. 2B Brandon Boggs (14); 8. 88 Tony Penick (18); 9. 18 Dillon Laden (4); 10. 50 Shelby Burk (17); 11. 58 Philip Fessler (3); 12. 007 Cody Carter (9); 13. 898 Ryan Padgett (11); 14. 12s Drew Salisbury (20); 15. 24N Matt Nelson (5); 16. 02 Bobby Henning (13); 17. 32k Chris Kelly (10); 18. 21 Eddy Middleton (2); 19. 59 Josh Jewell (19); 20. 12 Gage Robb (8)

Lap Leaders: Tyler Alexander 1-2, Blake Dacus 3-18, Steven Shebester 19-20

Hard Charger: Steven Shebester +15


Jeramiah decided to take a stroll in the pace car for the 20 lap Restricted main event, but reminded me he would be back to resume Rundown assistance, and this McKenzie Laplante paced the pole with Kobe Simpson alongside, but it was Kyle Thompson who grabbed the early lead.

Bethanys Matt Moore has won 4 of 8 Restricted races contested at Riverside this year (8 in total counting Red Dirt Nationals - which doesnt count in Champions Cup points).

Moore started 10th, but was on the leaders bumper just a few laps in. Thompson out raced him a couple weeks ago, but Moores present assault was too much and a slick move put The Vapor Hut #9m into the lead.

Champ and I picked a couple drivers, a sacred form of legal betting amongst race fans, and my pick didnt get a lap in, but Jeramiah went with Kobe Simpson who decked his ride out proper in Jeramiah Green spirit and went on to a 10th place finish. However, Champ said the rule book stated I had to pick again when my guy went out - this will make sense because I picked Tanner Conn, last years Restricted champ who on two restarts dove under the leader both times.

Conn appeared to have the ripe challenge for Moore, but then from dead last came Tanner Johnson. If youve not heard of Tanner Johnson, its because he hails from Garden City, Kansas and races in those parts. Johnson came from 14th and cooly, step-by-step methodically worked his way through the field, battling past Conn and then engaging the leader with a few laps left.

Johnsons winning move came on the 18th round and the 13 year old scored one for west Kansas aboard the Dallas Quick Powered #86x Factor One. Champ and I went over to tell him great race - Conn and Moore are really hard to beat at Riverside!

Moore and Conn completed the podium, with Seth Shebester moving up a couple spots to claim fourth and another West Kansas racer Tracy Hill coming from 13th to complete the top five finish.

Moore and Layden Pearson took heat wins over the 16 car field.

Restricted A Feature (20 laps): 1. 86x Tanner Johnson (14); 2. 9m Matt Moore (10); 3. 78 Tanner Conn (9); 4. 82s Seth Shebester (6); 5. 28 Tracy Hill (13); 6. 57T Kyle Thompson (4); 7. 99 Nathan Rainey (8); 8. 72c Kaylee Cole (7); 9. 00 Coby Weaver (11); 10. 21k Kobe Simpson (2); 11. 13 Blake Scott (5); 12. 7m McKenzie Laplante (1); 13. 00R Ryan Anderson (12); 14. 11 Layden Pearson (3)

Lap Leaders: Kyle Thompson 1-7, Matt Moore 8-18, Tanner Johnson 19-20

Hard Charger: Tanner Johnson +13


Tempted to razz this bunch a little bit. Turf Tires looked to have rebounded strongly with something like 15 straight events with a double digit field, a great step in the resurgency of the class. But that streak ended on this night as only 8 checked in. Maybe a week off is what is needed and we start another streak on the 31st!!

Dusty Devine paced front row with El Renos Brian Penick, and it was Brain into the early lead of this 15 lap main event.

Snyders Josh Bigger was headhunting for his 2nd win of the year, be it 15 challengers or 7 - and he grabbed that spot with authority on the 4th round and dominated the remainder of the race aboard the 569 Motorsports, Moeller Customs, Ends Designs, and PFR Racing supported #21.

Reigning champ and current TT point leader Jeremy Penick came from last to 2nd - a position he thoroughly despises. Penick #3 of the Brian name earned third - and I project will win within the next 4 races.

Willie Vickman and Mike Daft rounded out the top five.

Turf Tire A Feature (15 laps): 1. 21 Josh Bigger (4); 2. 28 Jeremy Penick (8); 3. 33 Brian Penick (2); 4. 28v Junior Vickman (6); 5. 21D Mike Daft (4); 6. 93x Jared Morris (7); 7. 75 Willie Vickman (6); 8. 20x Dusty Devine (1)

Lap Leaders: Brian Penick 1-3, Josh Bigger 4-15

Hard Charger: Jeremy Penick +6


Back up top with Champ for the final race of the night, the winged 600 A Class main event. Jimmy Smith paced the pole with Lloyd Smith alongside.

Much of this race was determined in the first lap as Steven Shebester spun out of the 7th row. Epic runs from the back are harder with the wing, and Stevens bid for a stock 600 sweep became harder still with Newcastles Trey Robb going from 6th to lead lap 1.

Trey is a former United Sprint Car Series champion (based in the southeast) as well as multiple sprint winner at State Fair Speedway, Cowtown Speedway (Kennedale, TX) and ASCS, as well as competing in USAC 410s and other events in the Hoosier State (Indiana), and several Chili Bowl Midget races - dicing it up with Kasey Kahne for a top ten spot in a prelim night main event.

Hes one of the most talented shoes in the field, and proved it for the second consecutive week as he just mowed the field in the Select Coatings, Outlaw Wings, Awesome Racewear, and OK dent works backed #12T.

Champ and I were far removed from the tower, but I project that Trey lapped half the field as the main event went green to checks after the one yellow for Shebester. Trey has now led 40 consecutive A Class main event laps. Bryan Nebgen may have finished a distant second, but still his best result of the season. Reigning champ Blake Dacus scored two podiums in one night for the third time this season, coming from 12th to claim third.

Chickashaa Jim Woods made his debut and romped from 15th to finish 4th with Steven Shebester showing his mettle once more, coming from the back after his spin to finish fifth - all with no help of yellows.

Dacus, Trey Robb, Michael Hall, and Mike Matherly each scored wins over the 26 car field with Chance Terrell earning the lead transfer out of the 12 lap A Class B Feature.

A CLASS B Feature (12 laps - top 4 advance to A Feature): 1. 60x Chance Terrell (5); 2. 18 Dillon Laden (7); 3. 7s Todd Schwartz (1); 4. 00 Travis Weaver (8); 5. 58 Philip Fessler (4); 6. 67 Joe Martin (2); 7. 11 Michael Kearnes (3); DNS: 29d Blake Dewberry, 55 Josh Toho

A CLASS A Feature (20 laps): 1. 12T Trey Robb (6); 2. 60 Bryan Nebgen (5); 3. 29 Blake Dacus (12); 4. 83 Jim Woods (15); 5. 82 Steven Shebester (13); 6. 17m Mike Matherly (8); 7.002 Jimmy Smith (1); 8. 22 Teri Burk (9); 9. 2B Brandon Boggs (10); 10. 86x Tanner Johnson (14); 11. 95 Michael Hall (7); 12. 36 Lloyd Smith (2); 13. 00 Travis Weaver (20); 14. 18 Dillon Laden (18); 15. 7s Todd Schwartz (19); 16. 60x Chance Terrell (17); 17. 007 Cody Carter (16); 18. 25s Bobby Springer (11); 19. 32k Chris Kelly (4); DNS: 27D Jared Dunkin

Lap Leaders: Trey Robb 1-20

Hard Charger: Jim Woods +11

I-44 Riverside Speedway is off next week, Saturday, May 24th. We will be back with Champions Cup Round 8 on Saturday, May 31st and the Lucas Oil POWRi West Midgets and Champions Cup Round 9 on Saturday, June 7th.

Special note - we will be Going Green and racing for Jeramiah once more in the fall, on Saturday, September 6th - the Lucas Oil POWRi West Midgets will be on hand that night along with the Oklahoma vs. TOWR (Texas Open Wheel Racing) Series, as well as the Turf Tire and Junior Sprints that night.

Everyone enjoy your Memorial Holiday Weekend and stay tuned to I-44 Riverside outlets for all news and updates. And also stay tuned to both I-44 Riverside face book pages for many pictures that local patrons will be tagging into albums!

On behalf of I-44 Riverside Speedway and the Green family, thank you to all the racers and fans who took part in tonights race for Jeramiah.

We are on the eve of last years tornado that destroyed the speedway, and the homes of speedway promoters and several of the racers. A storm that killed 24 of our neighbors. This is an entire month loaded with dates of historic tornado outbreaks that destroyed lives. Please keep everyone in mind, not just the victims of the timeless disaster, but just keep your neighbors, your community, and your families in mind. We will have a special release on the 20th.

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