Points Race #9 at the Cycleland Speedway featured some thrilling battles to the finish in more than one class. We had two last lap passes for the win (OI & 250) and some late race drama between title contenders in the Open Class. We are now right at the halfway point of the season and the intensity has risen among drivers competing for a Championship in 2020.
In the Box Stock Class we saw great battles throughout a race that had many ups and downs for the drivers at the front of the field. In the end though it was Racin Gramps who recovered from an early miscue to rebound and take his Fifth win of the season in his SRT Karts #8 machine. He was chased across the line by the #75 of Jaxon Hall who had a blazing fast kart all night. He too had to rebound from an early race spin and was able to do so in grand fashion, nearly stealing the win late in the race. Early race leader and Championship Points Leader, Jett Barnes faded back to third in the finishing order at the drop of the Checkered Flag. Jett still holds a massive lead in the Championship though as it is still up over 300 points between first and second.
The 250 Intermediate Class saw a first time winner steal the show in the closing laps. Evan Gularte led just two laps in the Main Event, the final two. He charged through the field from his 10th starting spot and late in the race he and Rowdy Gramps reeled in early race leader Samuel Harper from a deficit of 3.5 seconds. On the final lap it was Gularte and Gramps that would battle it out. Gularte ran a perfect final lap and got the win by .600 seconds over Rowdy Gramps at the line. Eric Botelho also snuck by Samuel Harper on the final lap to finish in the third position in his #2b entry. Gularte has never won an Outlaw Kart race at Cycleland and it has always been a bucket list item for the young driver from Nevada.
The Open Intermediate Main Event had the most incredible finish of the night. Carson Hammes jumped out to the lead early in the race and looked to be the kart to beat as he ran the bottom of the racetrack to perfection. Behind him though was Luke Hayes and Coletyn Hunderman, stalking him late in the race. When the White Flag flew you could have thrown a blanket over the top three. Hammes rolled the bottom once again while Hunderman did everything but knock the wall down on the top of the racetrack. They raced into the final set of corners, Hunderman tripped on the cushion on entry and looked to have no shot. Hammes raced off of turn four with a fist in the air ready to celebrate, when out of nowhere Coletyn Hunderman got an incredible drive off the top of the race track and snuck by Hammes in the final 10 feet before the finish line. The margin of victory .082 seconds. Carson Hammes would cross the line a bittersweet second. While Luke Hayes was right there as well finishing in the third position in his #9L entry.
In the Open Class, early in the race it was all Casey Schmitz in his Tri-C Machine #3c entry. Schmitz looked to be in control and on his way to his fourth win of the season. Landon Brooks though was on a mission, charging from his 5th starting spot He found his way to second by Lap 8. It was then that he began to stalk the #3c kart. The two raced nose to tail as close as you can run around the top of the racetrack. Brooks applying the pressure hoping to catch Schmitz in a mistake. Schmitz never put a wheel wrong and Brooks had to make a move to the bottom. The leaders were about two laps from catching the traffic at the rear of the field with five laps left in the race. Brooks decided it was now or never as they raced into Turn 3 with four to go. He dove to the inside and pulled the trigger on the slider. As he raced off the bottom of the racetrack Schmitz was still to the outside. The two karts came together on the exit of turn four, resulting in the #3c kart getting into the outside retaining wall and spinning to a stop ending his chances at victory. Brooks would go on to lead the final four laps en route to his third win of the season in the Factory QRC #60L entry. Garrett Brown found himself back on the podium as he piloted his Ed Brown Trucking #2 entry to a second place finish. Tanner Holmes charged from a B-Main Transfer into the top three and secured the third and final podium spot in his Factory QRC #18t entry.
The Sportsman Main Event saw Jojo Owens get out to the early lead in his #68b entry. Jojo would lead until Lap 6 when the #11vs of John-Michael Bunch would take over the top spot. From there it was all Bunch at the front of the field he would pull out to more than a two second advantage as he secured his 6th victory of the season in the Bunch Electric/Voltage Specialists #11vs. Jojo Owens completed his best night of the season with a second place effort in the #68b, while Mallorie McGahan made her first start of the year a good one with a third place finish in the #1m. With the win, John-Michael Bunch has now taken over the Points Lead in the Sportsman Class. He will carry a 15 point advantage into this weekend’s double header.
This weekend we will be racing both Friday August 7th and Saturday August 8th as Points Race’s 10 & 11 will take place. The Saturday night portion of the weekend will be the Annual QRC Cup Perpetual Trophy Night paying at least $1,000 to Win the Open Class. Jimmy Elledge and the folks at Factory QRC have been hard at work trying to secure extra purse money for Saturday night’s event. Friday Night Hot Laps are scheduled for 6:00pm while Saturday Night will be the normal time of 5:30pm