OKC not lack­ing for an iden­tity Fast, ag­gres­sive de­fense has been team's strength in first half of the sea­son

Tulsa World - - Sports - By Erik Horne

OK­LA­HOMA CITY — About an hour after the Thun­der's win against the Spurs on Satur­day, Rus­sell West­brook emerged from the back of the locker room, ban­dana wrapped around his head, in a cooler mood.

Yes, his Dal­las Cow­boys had just lost a play­off game to the Los An­ge­les Rams, but the Thun­der had a vic­tory at the end of a win­less week. West­brook — be­spec­ta­cled, dressed in black — spoke to the me­dia about Den­nis Schroder's per­for­mance and the Thun­der's de­fen­sive stand. When his face turned up from his phone to an­swer each ques­tion, two red scratch marks stood out around his fore­head and the bridge of his nose.

At the sea­son's mid­way mark, what the Thun­der lacks in ar­guably At­lanta vs. Ok­la­homa City 6:30 p.m. Tues­day FSOK the NBA's most valu­able as­set, it doesn't lack in iden­tity.

If you were to make a movie poster to rep­re­sent this team through 42 games, it would look a lot like West­brook's bat­tle-scarred face and monochro­matic at­tire from Satur­day. This Thun­der team is bonded by a fast, ag­gres­sive and un­yield­ing style of de­fense de­spite depth is­sues, mid­dling num­bers on

qual­ity of cars keeps get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter.”

One of the keys to the show's suc­cess is the build­ing and up­keep of the dirt track, which has stayed con­sis­tent over the years.

“The guys have done a great

Chili Bowl sched­ule

Build­ing opens Prac­tice Trade show Grand­stand opens Hot laps Rac­ing be­gins

Paul White, Travis Ri­lat, Brad Sweet, Chris Rose­land, Andy Gage, Ryan Hall, Brett Becker, We­ston Gotham, Blake Bat­tles, Jake Neu­man, Ri­ley Kreisel, Tyler Seaver, War­ren John­son, Danny Frye III, Kyle Craker, Jesse Ver­mil­lion, Tyson Hall, Roy Entze II, Christo­pher Lar­son, Alex Sewell, Colin Dem­ing, Kade Mor­ton, An­ton Her­nan­dez, Timmy Thrash, Cale Cozad, Paul Nien­hiser, Bran­don Thomas, Ge­orge White, Gage Rucker, Justin Mel­ton, Jody Rosen­boom, Sean McClel­land, Jeremy Dock­ery, Dustin Golo­bic, Zac Moody, Nick O'Neal, Bran­don Long, Collin Rine­hart, Chris Dyson, Shon De­skins, Chase Briscoe, John Hey­den­re­ich, Joey Maughan, Trey Mar­cham, Zeb Wise, Austin Helt, Ray Seach, Nick Drake, Travis Young, Lo­gan Seavey, Tan­ner Car­rick, Luke Hall, Bill Jack­son, Zach Mer­ritt, Brady Ba­con, Cameron Ha­gen, Colten Cot­tle, Brad Thomp­son, David Can­field, Terry Babb, Jace Van­derWeerd, Dustin We­land, Hay­den Wil­liams, Ray Ste­vi­son, Scott Evans, Larry Bratti. Build­ing opens

Trade show Grand­stand opens

Hot laps

Rac­ing be­gins plus Vacu­worx Race of Cham­pi­ons

Tris­tan Lee, Kyle job on the race track last week,” Hahn said. “It is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent track from the Shootout. We loos­ened it up to get it a lit­tle tack­ier.

“Christo­pher Bell was on MRN this past week and said you al­ways know what the race track is go­ing to be. The burm is al­ways

Lar­son, Bray­ton Lynch, Matt Rossi, Ja­son Grady, Travis Scott, Wy­att Burke's, Andy Bradley, Dustin Gil­bert, Brian Shirley, Tay­lor Peter­son, Chad Fre­waldt, Tye Mi­hocko, Bobby Brewer, Zach Daum, Jeff Crook, Mark Cooper, Tyler Court­ney, Travis Ash­wood, Brody Roa, Kyle Jones, Jonathan Bea­son, Derek Hager, Doug Mc­Cune, John Hunt, Steve Davis, Harley Hol­lan, Car­son Garrett, Sam Hafer­tepe, Jr., Mer­ril Lamb, Jeff Wim­mer­nauer, Dono­van Wise, Blake Ed­wards, Devin Can­field, Tony Bruce, Jr., Noah Har­ris, Michelle Mel­ton, Billy Law­head, Frank Flud, A.J. Burns, Jake Bur­bank, Zane Hendricks, Tim Buck­wal­ter, Michael Fac­cinto, Gary Tay­lor, Ster­ling Cling, Brad Wy­att, Chris Cochran, Don Droud, Jr., Evan Turner, Wes­ley Smith, Roger Crock­ett, Kyle Ham­mer, Kennedy John­son, An­drew Layser, Slater Helt, Cur­tis Jones Alex Bow­man, Jesse Col­well, Adam Pier­son, Bryant Stan­fill, Chris Ur­ish, Jeremy Camp­bell, Alex De­Camp, Matt John­son, Andy Mich­ner, Tan­ner Ber­ry­hill, Chris An­drews, Christo­pher Polvo­orde, Joe Boyles Larry Wright, Dil­lon Welch. Build­ing opens Trade show Grand­stand opens Hot laps Rac­ing be­gins

Billy VanLn­we­gen, Jr. Randy Ster­ling, Sammy Swindell, Lan­don Si­mon, J.J. Ye­ley, Jeb Ses­sums, Joe Stor­netta, Jr., Ge­off En­sign, Jar­rett Soares, Bran­don Waelti, Robert Da­ley, J.J. Ercse, Grady Chan­dler, Purs­ley Trued­son, Heath Murry, Shawn Jack­son, Can­non McInosh, Robert Spino, Tim McCreadie, Frankie Guer­rini,Tom Har­ris, Tyler Shoe­maker, Chet Gehrke, Billy Wease, Den­nis Gile, Jake Neal, Clin­ton Boyles, Ja­son McDou­gal, Joey Parker, David Cam­field III, Tris­tan Guardino, Chris Win­dom, Michael in the same place, the track is the same width. You al­ways know what you are go­ing to get.”

It is a never-end­ing task keep­ing enough dirt on hand after each sea­son of rac­ing.

“A year ago we added about 50 trailer loads,' Hahn said. “When­ever we find some clay around,

Koontz, Matt Streeter, Lan­don Cas­sill, Conor Daly, Shane Ste­wart, Steven Shebester, Patrick Law­son, Kory Schudy, Da­ley Ray, Travis Ber­ry­hill, Tyler Rob­bins, Matt Mitchell, Justin Peck, Brian Beebe, An­thony Pope, Alex Bright, Jim Gard­ner, Daniel Adler, Zachary Madrid, Garet Wil­liamson, Blake Hahn, Josh Dyson, Matt West­fall, Cole Bo­dine, Daniel Robin­son, Hol­ley Hol­lan, Ryan Smith, Jake Swan­son, Tyler Ed­wards, Mike Grif­fiths, David Gravel, John Klobonde, Rob Caho, Colby Copeland, Johnny Kent, Jeff Stasa, Tyler Thomas, Aaron Reutzel, Cody Brewer, Rico Abreu, Mor­gan Fre­waldt. Build­ing opens Trade show Grand­stand opens Hot laps Rac­ing be­gins

Justin All­gaier, Kyle Cum­mins, Seth Carl­son, Matt Sher­rell, Kaleb Cur­rie, AJ Valim, Ryan Fos­ter, Bill Rose, Chris Malone, Michell Decker, JD Black, Chance Mor­ton, Thomas Me­ser­aull, Pat Schudy, Rick Shu­man, Dal­ton Cam­field, Tracy Hines, An­drew Felker, Dono­van Peter­son, An­drew Deal, Gavin Stout, Austin Brown, Ryan Bick­ett, Shane Golo­bic, Shel­don Hau­den­schild, Brett Ire­land, Jake Mor­gan, Justin Dick­er­son, Josh Lakatos, Troy Betts, Mike Hess, Bryan Sal­is­bury, Kyle Si­mon, Hunter Fis­cher, Jerry Coons, Jr., Casey Shu­man, Cody Ledger, Ryan Ber­nal, Jack Dover, Johnny Her­rera, LJ Lom­bardo, Danny Strat­ton, Tay­lor Forbes, Justin Fi­field, RJ John­son, Joe B Miller, CJ Leary, Mark Chisholm, Maria Cofer, Kyle O'Gara, Robby Josett, Robert Bell, Chase John­son, Zac Tay­lor, Christo­pher Bell, McKenna Haase, Craig Oakes, Sam John­son, Dy­lan Ito, Cole Mace­do­nian, Seth Bergman, Karsyn Elledge, Shaun Shapel, Bret Bar­ney, Josh we get it and add it to the stock pile. We have got­ten clay from Owasso, Creek County, Hill­crest Hos­pi­tal, 51st and Mingo. Any­place close we get it.”

It all adds up to an­other ex­cit­ing week of rac­ing that will have race fans count­ing the days un­til next year's event.

Most, Austin O'Dell, Kevin Bayer. Ryan Pad­gett, Broc Hun­nell, AJ Gil­bert, Chad Win­frey. Build­ing opens Trade show Grand­stand opens Hot laps Rac­ing be­gins

Johnny Mur­dock, Terry Nichols, AJ Flick, Cody Lampe, Brent Beauchamp, Steve Buck­wal­ter, Tan­ner Thor­son, Justin Grant, Tim Craw­ley, Brad Loyet, Jimmy Elledge, Shan­non McQueen, Jimmy Light, AJ John­son, Sean Do­den­hoff, Richard Van­derWeerd, Mike Good­man, Lan­don Pear­son, Danny Clark, AJ Hop­kins, Lance Ben­nett, Alex Schutte, Ricky Sten­house, Jr., Mike Mehl, Ethan Mitchell, Kevin Thomas, Jr., Pierce Ur­banosky, Todd Hol­li­man, Daryn Pittman, Ty Hulsey, Way­lon Weaver, Ste­vie Sus­sex, Andy Malpocker, Lee Len­gel, David Bu­dres, Tucker Klaas­meyer, Ace McCarthy, Kyle Bell­man, Dave Dar­land, Howard Moore, Car­son Short, Austin Liggett, Hunter Schueren­berg, Luke Icke, Nick Knep­per, Chase Jones, Dex Ea­ton, Kasey Kahne, Blain Peter­son, Lo­gan Scherb, Damion Gard­ner, Chris Tar­rant, Shane Cot­tle, Ray Allen Kul­hanek, Josh Hawkins, JB Gil­bert, Chad Boat, Mark Low­ery, Danny Smith, DJ Netto, Scot­tie McDon­ald, Chris An­drews, Bran­don Tubbs II, Spencer Bayston, Sky­lar Gee, Korey Weyant, Chuck mcGil­livray, Wayne Crow. Build­ing opens Trade show Rac­ing be­gins Open­ing cer­e­monies

SUE OGROCKI/AP

Thun­der guard Rus­sell West­brook (left) drives to the bas­ket past San An­to­nio for­ward Davis Ber­tans in the first half of Satur­day's game.

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