2017 Points Season Set To Kick Off This Weekend
The 2017 Outlaw Kart season kicked off with the Jim Shirley Memorial on April 1st. We saw Holly Shelton pick up the exciting victory in the premier Open Class. The points championship chase was then set to kick off on April 8th with Points Race #1 but Mother Nature had other ideas, as rain caused that race to be canceled.
The championship points season will now get underway with what will be dubbed as Points Race #2 this Saturday night April 15th. With 19 points races on the schedule, and some of the top outlaw kart drivers in the country racing week in and week out, the Cycleland Championship is one of the toughest Championships to win in Outlaw Karts. Drivers like Kyle Larson, Rico Abreu, Holly Shelton, Kalib Henry, and Tanner Carrick have all grown up competing at Cycleland and are now on to bigger and better things in racing. Some of the top racing drivers in the country cut their teeth at Cycleland. The 2017 season will be another great opportunity for a young driver to prove that they are the next great talent to come out of Cycleland Speedway.
Last years Track Champion in the Open Class was the #83jr of Tanner Carrick. Tanner has since been asked to drive one of the potent Keith Kunz Midgets this year on the USAC National Midget Tour. We may see Tanner a couple of times this season, but when he is not running the Midget he also now has a winged sprint car that he has already run a couple of times this season. Tanner's younger brother Blake Carrick is planning on competing for the Championship in the Open Class. Blake is currently recovering from a broken arm he suffered in a game of basketball. It looks as though he will miss this weekends race and one more before being able to climb back behind the wheel of his #21B kart. Subbing for Blake in the first two races of the season will be Red Bluff, CA driver Jake Park. Jake has had success at Cycleland as he won 3 Main Events in 2016 at the speedway.
The Ed Brown Trucking Race Team will be back once again in 2017. Garrett Brown will be piloting the #2 kart while Casey Schmitz will be back behind the wheel of his #35 kart. These teammates are sure to be contenders at the front of the field as they are both extremely exciting to watch on the racetrack. Ed Brown has done a great job with his race team and drivers over the years, they are welcoming a new driver to the team this year with Thomas “Tom” Rodgers moving from the pit crew and into a kart. Tom will be running in the Open Intermediate Class in 2017. He finished 7th in his first career Outlaw Kart start during the Jim Shirley Memorial two weeks ago. Tyler Matheny joined the Ed Brown Trucking Team during the Winter Series in Red Bluff. Matheny competes in the 250 intermediate class and had grown into a front runner by the end of the winter season. We will see how he stacks up on the bigger Cycleland surface during the summer. Michael Helwig is the final driver out of the Ed Brown Trucking stable. Helwig is a top contender in the Sportsman Class and recently picked up the big win at the Jim Shirley Memorial. Keep your eye on him this season as he will always be a threat.
The Victory Racing Chassis Team out of Paradise, CA will be back in full force in 2017 as they have been hard at work during the off season building brand new karts. The team is led by Justin Reinolds from Paradise, the Victory Racing Chassis karts are home built, and every kart is built around the driver to make for the best fit for each driver. Rudger Worley will be making his return to full time competition as he will be running for the Championship in the Open Class as well. Ariana Warf will be running a Victory Racing Chassis in the Open Intermediate Class. While Derek Larocca is one of the drivers in the Sportsman Class to be piloting a VRC. Keep an eye out for this team of drivers and karts as they will be a force in 2017 all across the board.
Taking a look at the Box Stock and 250 Intermediate Classes, there are a lot of changes happening as the drivers continue to grow and move up through the ranks. Two top Box Stock drivers have now made the transition into the 250 Intermediate Class. Chance Grasty is fresh off a dominant season at the Red Bluff Outlaws that saw him set Fast Time in Qualifying during every event of the season. He has made the full time move into the 250 class for 2017 in his Factory QRC kart. Preston Carr is another driver that has made the move into the 250's. Carr won back to back Championship's in the Box Stock Class at Cycleland in 2015 and 2016. Another big change for the Carr family is that they have taken over the reigns of RFC Karts here on the West Coast and will have the RFC parts trailer in the pit area each week. Tanner Pettit is fresh of his win at the West Coast Nationals and is back behind the wheel of the #24P kart again this season, while Kaiden Butler will split time between the 250 Class and the Open Intermediate Class this year. Kaiden was victorious in both classes at the Jim Shirley Memorial to begin the season.
The Box Stock class will be exciting to watch this season as well. Rylinn Renaud was dominant during the Jim Shirley Memorial as he was able to pick up the victory to kick off the season. Connor Grasty ran the Beginner Box Class in Red Bluff during the winter and now will compete full time in the Box Stock Class throughout the summer. Another driver to keep your eye on in the Box Stock Class will be Jennifer Osborne who finished a career best 2nd at the Jim Shirley Memorial, and has shown great improvement over the last season and a half.
The Sportsman Class will once again have the usual suspects contending for the Championship. Mike Moore, Leana Kenyon, Kody Hunderman, and Jason Throop make up some of the Moore Performance Engines team as they are all ready for another season of competition in the Sportsman Class. Mike Moore has put together quite a program as each of these drivers is a threat to win on any given Saturday night. Brian Seim is back in his one of a kind #20s kart. Brian does all of his own vinyl on his kart and always has one of the best looking karts on the racetrack. Alec Justeson is another driver who always finds his way to the front in the sportsman class, he will look to continue his success at the Cycleland Speedway in 2017.
As you can see there is no lack of talented drivers in every class each and every week at the Cycleland Speedway. At the end of the season we will find out who had not only the best kart and skillset, but the best luck, willpower, perseverance, and commitment as they will be crowned Champion at the end of a long race season.
Points Race #2 is scheduled to be kicked off at 4:30pm with Hot Laps and Qualifying. For ticket information and/or directions to the racetrack you can visit www.cyclelandspeedway.com. For updates from the racetrack you can also follow us on Facebook at “Cycleland Speedway – Chico, CA”. We hope to see you all out at the racetrack this weekend as we kick of the 2017 points season at the Cycleland Speedway.