Emerson Axsom defends the bottom to win his second Golden Driller; First in Stock Non-Wing
Photo by 357 Studios / 357's World of Dirt
By Lucas Halbert - Grassroots Racing News
Tulsa, Oklahoma (1/1/2022)... Emerson Axsom only goes back to his roots and hops in a Micro Sprint once a year, for the Tulsa Shootout. Since winning his first career Golden Driller in the Outlaw Wing class in 2020, Axsom has been labeled a contender in any race car he gets behind the wheel of, and that statement stood strong on New Years Day.
Axsom started on the pole of the Stock Non-Wing class with Pennsylvania native Alex Bright to his outside. Emerson jumped out to lead using the bottom as it was the place to be early.
Steven Snyder Jr. and Tyler Courtney were the first two drivers near the front to hit the high side. Both drivers were unable to advance and retreated to the bottom.
After a few pauses in racing, seventeen down and thirteen were left to go as Axsom had built up his lead to 2.1 seconds over Shawn Mahaffey. A red flag for Tyler Courtney and Kole Kirkman with nine to go ended the comfortable lead the Franklin, Indiana driver had.
On the ensuing restart, Bright stayed close to Emerson, waiting to make his move. Bright had to wait for just a little bit longer though, as a caution for Logan Rumsey flew with five to go.
Axsom made a mistake in turn one on the final restart, which allowed Bright to be on his tail tank. Bright followed Emerson closely around the bottom as the final four laps were rattled off.
Entering turns three and four for the final time, Alex made contact with Axsom, nearly spinning him, but Emerson was able to keep his Signing Day Sports, Ten-J Chassis #13A straight across the start-finish line to claim his second career Tulsa Shootout Golden Driller.
FloRacing pit reporter Conner Wade was able to catch up with second-place finisher Alex Bright about the last corner, “I went as far as I without taking him out. Congrats to Emerson. That’s just how the track was, around the bottom there at the end, I found that middle line in turns one and two, it was enough to get beside him, but not past him. That last lap there, I was doing everything I could do without taking him out. He’s on the stage and we’re not, hopefully, we can get it done in our other three chances.”
For Emerson this win leaves him a man without words, “I’ve wanted a Non-Wing driller for so long, I don’t know, I’m shocked, I’m speechless. I was speechless then (when he won his first Golden Driller in 2020) and I am speechless now. I can’t thank everyone enough who gave me this car, Dennis Giles,... my dad, Shaggy, ZMAX Racing Products, Driven2SaveLives, Clauson-Marshall Racing, Simpson Race Products, everyone who makes things go fast.”
Tulsa, Oklahoma’s own Shawn Mahaffey, placed third, while Ron Dennis and Thomas Kunsman filled up the Top 5. Tyler Smith was the race’s Hard Charger, traveling from twenty-third to tenth.
Feature Results (30 Laps):
(13A) Emerson Axsom, 2. (20R) Alex Bright, 3. (11S) Shawn Mahaffey, 4. (79) Ron Dennis, 5. (21K) Thomas Kunsman, 6. (195) Steven Snyder Jr., 7. (570) Prestyn Brown, 8. (3M) Collin Mitchell, 9. (14A) Braden Chiaramonte, 10. (14Y) Tyler Smith, 11. (10B) Brock Berreth, 12. (25A) Anton Hernandez, 13. (11C) Darren Brown, 14. (22R) Gage Laney, 15. (51K) Caleb Martin, 16. (17) Quinton Benson, 17. (6W) Colin White, 18. (2) Travis Sullivan, 19. (2W) Austin Wood, 20. (41) Logan Rumsey, 21. (14R) Jake Nail, 22. (4X) Tyler Courtney, 23. (10X) Kole Kirkman, DQ- Mitchel Moles