Mason Smith Shakes The Monkey, Breaks Through For First Win Of 2017
Mason Smith has been one of the top drivers in the 250 Intermediate Class this season at the Cycleland Speedway. He has been so close the last 4 weeks to picking up his first win of the season. He has had everything from mechanical gremlins in the closing laps to a last lap pass to take away wins this year. That would not be the case this time as he was finally able to break through and get the exciting victory. The Main Event began with Evan Burrola jumping out front in his #21E kart. Burrola, who was victorious during Points Race #3, would lead much of the first 15 laps of the race. He had a really strong kart but in the closing laps Kaiden Butler closed in and we had a battle up front for the win. Butler, never afraid to exchange sliders with anyone would slide in front of Burrola, only to have Burrola cross over and drive back by. The two put on a great show all while the #97 of Mason Smith waited in the wings as he had moved into the third spot. Butler and Smith would eventually get by Evan Burrola. With two laps to go the yellow flag came out, bunching up the field and allowing for a thrilling final lap between these three drivers. On the restart Butler was up front with Smith in second and Burrola third Butler and Smith got through one and two clean and both went to the bottom of the racetrack in three and four. Burrola let it all hang out on the high scary side and got a huge run down the front straightaway. As the leaders crossed under the white flag Burrola had made it by Mason Smith and was alongside Butler going into turn one. Butler saw him and moved to the middle of the racetrack to try and slow Burrola’s momentum up top. That’s when Smith made his move to the bottom of the racetrack. He drove by both Butler and Burrola who were together at the top of the racetrack. Smith went to the bottom again in the final set of corners while Burrola railed the top. At the line Mason Smith got the win by just .035 seconds over Burrola who once again had a full head of steam down the straightaway. Kaiden Butler who took the white flag as the leader would have to settle for a third place finish in the #22K. Carson Sousa had a solid night in his #01 kart as he would cross the line in the fourth spot. Raymond Baldez rounded out the top five with a fifth place finish in the #68B kart. Madison Clymens scored was the Hard Charger in the 250 Main Event as she advanced six positions from her 20th place starting spot to finish 14th.
The night began with the #18P of Jack Phillips scoring his second Fast Time of the season. He bested the field of 20 karts with a lap time of 10.761 seconds. Jack has been getting back into form the last few weeks at the speedway as we have seen him running up front and being a strong competitor near the front of the field each week.
Heat race action saw Kaiden Butler pick up his third heat race win of the 2017 race season in heat race #1. Evan Burrola also picked up his third heat race win of the season in heat race #2. Those two drivers utilized front row starting spots in the Main Event to contend for the race win.
Trophy dash competition saw the Nu Way Market #35 of Carsen Perkins make his way to victory lane as he picked up his first dash win of the season. Carsen hasn’t been running full time this season at Cycleland, but the times we have seen him compete he has been a strong contender. He would go on to finish in the 7th position in the Main Event.
The Championship battle in the 250 class is a good one so far early in the season. Raymond Baldez leads the charge at the front of the field. The RFC Karts #46 of Preston Carr sits second in the standings just 40 points back of the lead. Third spot in the standings belongs to Mason Smith fresh off his first win of the season, he sits just 47 markers out of first. Kaiden Butler is fourth in the standings, he is 54 points out of the lead. Jack Phillips is fifth in the standings 112 points out of first. The 250 Championship battle is a great one we have yet to see one driver distance themselves from the field.
We will be back in action this Saturday night with Points Race #7 on tap. Action is set to kick off at 5:30pm with Open karts hitting the track for Hot Laps. With Qualifying and Heat Races to follow for all classes. For ticket information and/or directions to the racetrack please visit www.cyclelandspeedway.com or call the track phone at 530-342-0063.