(Dylan Duvall Photography)
Tulsa, OK | December 22, 2017 – When someone earns back-to-back 50+ win seasons it is hard to believe they can go above and beyond to extend that absurd number even further. But, in the case of the “Legendary” Frank Flud, his 2017 season did just that as he finalized his year with a whopping 64 victories to his name. With another incredibly dominating season in the books, the Pryor, Oklahoma native now has his sights set on winning a historic fifth Golden Driller. Tackling quadruple duty at next week’s Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout, Flud has the opportunity to tie or even surpass the likes of Donnie Ray Crawford and Kevin Bayer with five titles to their name. After his record-breaking year around the midwest and considering his impressive track record inside the Tulsa Expo, Flud and his Driven Midwest machines are no doubt a heavy favorite in all four classes.
Making his 12th appearance at the Tulsa Shootout, Flud has created a massive stat sheet since his debut back in 2007. Earning 22 feature starts, Flud has recorded a top five finish in exactly 50% of his starts with 11 such results. Along with the four Golden Drillers, he has claimed an impressive tally of 11 heat race victories and seven qualifier wins.
Becoming an acclaimed nationally-known figure more so in 2014 and recent years, most are unaware of Flud’s striking presence in the earlier days. His earliest moment of significance at the Tulsa Shootout came at the 24th annual event in 2009, when the Pryor native capped off an impressive 17th-to-fourth charge in his first-career start in the Winged Outlaw division. The following year at the 25th annual race, Flud’s challenge truly came to fruition as he fell one spot short of a special Silver Driller with a second-place result in Winged Outlaw to Ryan Reeves. The 26th annual running proved to be another successful week for Flud, but was arguably his most heartbreaking year as one Driller slipped through his grasp. He earned a solid sixth-place run in Winged Outlaw, but the moment of despair came in the A-Class feature. After sweeping preliminary action, Flud started on the pole of the main event and led the opening 18 laps before faltering as Andrew Deal took the point with seven laps left and handed Flud another second-place score.
Moving onto his time with Mike Ross and Sawyer Chassis, Flud’s crowning achievement came at the 2014 event. Outside of stealing a strong fifth-place run in A-Class, Flud would go on to not only win his first Golden Driller, but he would head home with two that night. Coming from the B-Main and LCQ in both classes, Flud charged from 17th-to-first in the Stock Non-Wing and Winged Outlaw main events, turning in one of the most impressive Shootout runs in recent history. Earning only one top-ten finish in micros across 2015 and 2016, Flud still found room for success as he triumphed for a third Golden Driller in the 1200cc Mini Sprint division.
Transitioning to a management role with Driven Midwest and adapting to a new D1 Chassis, Flud secured another record-breaking event at last year’s 32nd running. Becoming one of only seven drivers to ever start all four Stock/Outlaw features on the same night, Flud made the most of his situation while earning his fourth Golden Driller with a victory in the Stock Non-Wing class. He would go on to earn the best average-finish of those seven drivers as he finished second in A-Class, fourth in Outlaw Non-Wing, and suffered a controversial DNF in Winged Outlaw.
With his attention now turned to next week’s 33rd annual event, Flud will once again attempt all four Stock/Outlaw classes with the hopes of adding some more history to his name. He will tackle the Winged Outlaw, Stock Non-Wing and A-Class divisions in his own Driven Midwest, D1 Chassis, Outlaw Wings, Metric Cycles, Harley Hollan Companies, Infinity Shocks No. 81. Also competing in the Outlaw Non-Wing class, Flud will take on that 200+ car field with the help of a longtime friend, Bobby Springer, in his newly-built D1 No. 25 machine.
Beginning on Thursday, December 28th with practice and heat races, the 33rd edition of the Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout will run through Sunday, December 31st when a new batch of Golden Driller winners are crowned. Walkapedia will continue our Tulsa Shootout coverage all week long with countless previews leading up to the race as we highlight this year’s contenders.