BEGINNER BOX STOCK POINTS RACE #12
BY: ELIJAH JONES
The Beginner Box Stock Class continues to improve as a whole as we move into the final race of the 2017-18 race season. We saw yet another first time winner this past Saturday night as Chevy Schroer finally broke through for his first career win. Schroer has been so fast all season long, and was able to put it all together for the first time as he pulled his Panthera Motorsports #29 kart into Victory Lane.
When the Green Flag dropped on the 20 Lap Beginner Box Stock A-Main Event it was the #04 of Braiden McKenzie who would jump out front early on. The yellow flag would quickly wave though as there was a pileup in turn two. Racing back to the yellow flag McKenzie spun around in turn four thus losing the race lead and handing it over to the #84 of Jaxon Coughlin. Coughlin would continue to show the way after the restart but he had the #5 of Aiden Larimer and the #57 of Jacob Nuxoll hot on his tracks in 2nd and 3rd. Eventually Coughlin would make a mistake in turn four and spin the kart to a stop, handing the race lead over to Larimer. A couple more yellows would halt the race and bring forth a great battle up front as Chevy Schroer had methodically been working his way to the front in his #29 kart. Schroer would restart second behind Larimer with not many laps remaining. On the restart Schroer would make his move. He got a great restart and pressured Larimer all the way down the back stretch. Entering turn three he dove to the bottom and slid up into the side of Larimer and gave him a nudge up the racetrack. That was all the #29 kart needed as he got up front and drove away from the field to score the victory; the first in his young career. Points Leader Aiden Larimer would come across the line in second, he is still yet to finish out of the top five this season. Corbin Seay had another good run in his #7C kart. Corbin has now finished in the top five on three occasions this season. Jack Kegg made his first appearance of the year a good one in his #7J kart. Kegg had a great night all around, capped off by a fourth place effort in the main event. The top five was rounded out by Points Race #11 winner Jacob Nuxoll in his #57 kart.
As we head into the season finale the Championship is just about wrapped up for the #5 of Aiden Larimer. He heads into the final race of the season holding a 56-point advantage over new second place driver Chevy Schroer. To keep it simple, all Larimer has to do is have a 55-point or more advantage after qualifying to lock up the Championship. With a solid performance last Saturday night, Schroer put himself solidly into second in the standings. Third and Fourth in points are up for grabs right now though. Jaxon Coughlin is currently third in the standings, but Austin Anderson is a mere 7-points behind him for that position. Koen Irvin currently rounds out the top five in the standings.
Despite where these young drivers finish in the Points or on the racetrack, it is important to note the improvement made by all in this class. Early in the year we had one driver that absolutely dominated the class, had some that showed flashes of speed but lack of experience, and some that were just logging laps. By the end of the season the whole field was competitive. Some drivers that were multiple laps down early in the year are now competing inside the top five. That’s what makes this class so great, is the visible improvement you can see out of these drivers. I look forward to seeing them continue to improve and grow into the next generation of Outlaw Kart drivers.
BOX STOCK POINTS RACE #12
Over the past few races, the kart count in the Box Stock Class has gotten smaller. We have seen some drivers move up into the 250 Class and had others come and go. The one thing that has been consistent though has been the great competition at the front of the field. This week we saw Rylinn Renaud score his second win of the season but it did not come easy for him.
When the Green Flag flew on the Main Event, Rylinn Renaud would make quick work of getting to the front of the field after starting in the fourth position. He would lead the opening lap before disaster would strike. Second place running Blake Martin got into the first turn too hot and climbed up on top of the back of Renaud’s kart causing both of them to come to a stop and draw the yellow flag. They would have to rejoin at the rear of the field. Renaud would quickly go to work trying to pass as many karts as possible and in no time was back up front contending for the race lead. He would eventually build up a big enough run on race leader Seth Standley to take over the top spot. He would go on to pick up his second win by just .383 seconds over second place finish Seth Standley. Chance Grasty subbed for the #17M of Evan Gularte on Saturday night and brought his kart home with a third place effort. Garin McNary let it all hang out throughout the 25 Lap Main Event and came away with a fourth place effort in his #22 kart. Luke Hayes would come across the line in the fifth position in his Hayes Farms #9L kart.
With just one race remaining, Seth Standley has virtually clinched the Championship. He currently holds a 66 marker advantage over second place driver Luke Hayes. If Standley can make it through Time Trials with at least a 55 point advantage he will clinch the Championship. He already picked up the Lakeport Winter Indoor Series Championship this season and is looking to add a Red Bluff Outlaws Championship to his resume as well. Connor Grasty sits solidly in the third position as he is 92-points behind Standley for the top spot. Rylinn Renaud and Tater Reich round out the current top five in the standings.
The Box Stock Class is probably the most continuously changing class we have in Outlaw Karts. We constantly have drivers moving up from the Beginner Box Class, and drivers moving out to the 250 Intermediate Class. That is part of what makes this class so competitive. You always have new faces and up and coming drivers trying to throw their names in the hat. This season has been great to watch even with the lower kart count, and we should see the kart count improve next season as we had more than 20 karts every race this season in the Beginner Box Class. Many of those drivers will be transitioning to the Box Stock Class next season and we will have a whole new batch of competitors to follow.
250 INTERMEDIATE POINTS RACE #12
The 250 Intermediate Championship Chase is Wide Open as we head into the final race of the season. Heading into the season finale there are five drivers still in contention for the Championship. Carsen Perkins extended his points lead a little bit last Saturday night, while Daniel Whitley scored his class leading fifth Main Event win of the season in his #57 kart.
The Main Event began with Trace Adams alongside Daniel Whitley on the front row. Adams would get a good start and looked like he might have the advantage but Whitley got it wound up on the top side of the racetrack to lead lap number one. He would actually go on to lead all 25 Laps of the Main Event while the rest of the field did all of the moving and shaking. The win marks five on the season for Whitley. Trace Adams had his best run of the season as he hung onto second for nearly the entire race before getting passed by the #22K of Kaiden Butler late in the running. Butler would cross the line in second for his fifth top five of the season. Trace Adams would finish third, his third top five of the year. Tyler Matheny scored another top five finish as well, as the Nevada City, CA driver crossed the line in the fourth position. The #24P of Tanner Pettit would round out the top five with his sixth top five effort of the season in fifth.
As you can see, none of the top three in points finished in the top five, which opened the door for Daniel Whitley and Tanner Pettit to both have at least an outside shot at the Championship in the final race of the season. Carsen Perkins came into the night as the points leader, he would run as high as third in the Main Event before eventually fading to finish in the sixth position. Carson Sousa has struggled in the Main Events the last three races now. This week he just didn’t quite have the speed he needed to compete up front. He would cross the finish line in the 9th position. Preston Carr had a really fast kart early in the race but spun out while running third. That caused him to go to the rear of the field. He was unable to rebound as he crossed the line in the 11th position.
A really cool moment that flew under the radar last weekend was between two of the Championship contenders. After heat races, Carson Sousa’s team realized they had blown an engine and did not have another to put on the kart. In stepped Chris Carr, father of championship contender Preston Carr. He not only loaned Sousa an engine but helped them to get it on the kart and fired off. Even in the moments leading up to the Main Event with Preston’s #46 in staging already, the #01 of Sousa could not get the kart to fire. Chris Carr worked with the #01 team to get the kart fired off and ready to roll onto the racetrack. This is a great example of the camaraderie that we have in the racing world. These two drivers are competing for a Championship against each other but they want to win or lose it on the track and not by mechanical failure. This is something we could use a whole lot more of in racing. Kudos to those involved in that great display of sportsmanship.
Heading into the season finale Carsen Perkins leads the way in his Gary Perkins Racing #35 kart. Perkins holds a 20-point advantage over second place driver Carson Sousa. Preston Carr is right there as well. He sits one point behind Sousa for second, and 21 back of Perkins for the top spot. Those three drivers have the best chance at coming away the Champion this year. There are two other drivers though that mathematically have a shot at it. Tanner Pettit is fourth in points and sits 50 markers back of Perkins for the lead. Daniel Whitley’s five Main Event wins have not been enough to propel him to the top of the standings. He heads into the finale fifth in points just 55 points out of the top spot. Those are the five Championship contenders as we head into Championship night. Pick out a favorite and cheer them on as they compete to become a Red Bluff Outlaws Champion.
OPEN POINTS RACE #12
One of the big topics of conversation in the Open Class this year has been an up and coming driver from Jacksonville, Oregon. This driver is no stranger to the Red Bluff Outlaws. He is already a Two-Time Champion (Box Stock & Intermediate) and owned 32 career wins at the Red Bluff Outlaws at just 15 years of age heading into last Saturday night’s Points Race #12. Tanner Holmes is that driver, and he improved his overall win total to 33 career Red Bluff Outlaws Victories by way of scoring his first career Open Main Event Win. Holmes has been behind the wheel of one of the Factory QRC house karts the last three races now and has made the most of it as his name is now forever etched into the record books.
The night began with Time Trials for the 25 kart field. Casey McClain has begun to once again show the speed he had at the beginning of the season. He piloted the Factory QRC #51 kart to Fast Time this week with a lap time of 8.392 seconds. This was his third Fast Time of the season but his first since Points Race #2. He set Fast Time in each of the first two races before going on a dry spell through the middle of the season.
Heat Race competition had a little different look this week. Instead of the traditional five heat format we had four heat races taking the top three finishers to the Main Event. With only 25 karts signed in, it didn’t make sense to run with five heat races. Heat Race #1 was claimed by Chico, CA driver Casey Schmitz in his Ed Brown Trucking #35 entry. The victory was his fifth of the season in heat race competition. Heat Race #2 saw Jacksonville, OR driver Tanner Holmes wheel his way to his third Heat Race win of the season in the Factory QRC #18T kart. Heat Race #3 was claimed by the Truck Shop Motors #9B of Brandon LaChance. The win was Lachance’s fourth of the season in heat race competition. The fourth and final heat race saw Corning, CA driver Brian McGahan Jr. pick up the win in his #8JR kart. The win marked his fourth of the season in heat race competition.
With Qualifying and Heat Races completed, the stage was set for the Main Events. The 20-Lap B-Main Event was up first. This race would feature thirteen drivers vying for the final four positions in the upcoming A-Main Event. Despite setting Fast Time earlier in the evening, Casey McClain (51) found himself in the B-Main. He would score the victory, transferring himself into the Main Event along with Amanda Moore (63A), Nate Lynch (56), and Tyler Seavey (91).
The Trophy Dash featuring the top six qualifiers from earlier in the night, saw the SALCO Better Energy #1C of Chase Hill score the win. The win marked Hill’s third Trophy Dash triumph of the season. It also helped him to gain a couple of points in the Championship Chase.
When the Green Flag went in the air for the 25 Lap Main Event it was Tanner Holmes on the Pole with Casey Schmitz to his outside. Entering turn one, Holmes threw a slider on Schmitz and battled for the lead down the backstretch. Schmitz would return the favor in turn four as he slid up in front of Holmes to lead the opening lap of the race. Casey would protect the bottom in turn one which allowed the #18T of Holmes to get a run on the top side. He would edge ahead into turn three and cut to the bottom of the racetrack to slow the momentum of the #35 of Schmitz. Holmes would then show the way with ease until the race was slowed on Lap 9. On the ensuing restart, Holmes would choose the outside lane, giving the bottom to the #35 of Schmitz. A pileup would occur in turn one and the race to the yellow flag was on. Schmitz threw a slider into turn three but did not completely clear the #18T of Holmes. They got together just a bit in turn four but Schmitz would come away as the new race leader with 15 to go. The next restart, Holmes got an excellent restart on the bottom of the racetrack, he attempted a slider in turn one but could only get alongside the #35 of Schmitz. He would lean on him through the corner before racing side by side once again down the backstretch. He would take over the race lead just as Chase Hill showed his nose in the battle as well. Heading into turn one the next lap, Casey Schmitz would see his run at the front of the field come to an end and he over rotated in the corner and spun in front of the field also collecting the #9B of Brandon LaChance. That would now put the #77X of Jake Park alongside Holmes for the next restart. Park got a great restart and took the lead for a moment in turn two. Holmes was able to turn the kart on a dime and drive back to his inside to retain the top spot. Another yellow would bunch the field up with 11 to go. Park got another pretty good restart on the bottom but Holmes proved to be too strong on the top side and powered around him. After surviving that restart Holmes would show the way in the final ten laps. A great battle for second ensued between Chase Hill and Jake Park. That battle allowed Holmes to drive away from the field. With the white flag in the air it looked to be clear skies ahead for Holmes. That was not exactly the case though as about 6 karts had crashed in turn two. Holmes had to drop to the very bottom of the racetrack to sneak by. From there he worked the back straight and the final set of corners to perfection for his first career Open Main Event Victory. He had been so close on a couple of occasions early in the season, but he was finally able to seal the deal. The battle for second waged all the way to the Checkered Flag as Jake Park edged Chase Hill by just .001 seconds at the stripe. Klint Simpson made his first start of the year a good one behind the wheel of the #84DB as he came across the line in the fourth position. Brian McGahan Jr. would round out the top five with a fifth place effort in his #8JR kart.
Tyler Seavey continues to show the way in the Points Standings as he carries an 18 point advantage into the Season Finale. This Championship is far from decided, Chase Hill sits second in the standings and is as hungry as ever to score this Championship. Both drivers are in search of their first Open Championship with the Red Bluff Outlaws. While those are the two favorites heading into the finale, Casey McClain does still mathematically have a shot at the Championship as he sits 56-markers out of the top spot. He will need a lot of help in order to steal this one away though. Amanda Moore sits fourth in the standings but is 119 markers out of the lead. Jake Park rounds out the top five in the standings heading into the finale. Stay tuned to see how this one plays out.
SPORTSMAN POINTS RACE #12
The best Championship Battle we have had all season has been in the Sportsman Class. Heading into Points Race #12 Kris Renaud led Tyler Ritcheson by one point in the standings. Now heading into the finale the roles have been reversed as Ritcheson leads it by one point over Renaud. Neither driver had a great night during Race #12. Zachary Kavert had a great night though as he was victorious in the Trophy Dash and the Main Event.
The Main Event would see Shawn Fogarty and Mallorie McGahan on the front row for the second straight week. Mcgahan would get the jump in her #17 kart. She would go on to lead the opening nine laps before the #45 of Tyler Ritcheson came roaring onto the scene. Ritcheson took over the race lead on Lap 10 and controlled the remainder of the race until a couple late race restarts. The final restart of the race came with one lap remaining. Ritcheson chose the bottom as he had been the whole race. He had the #2K of Zachary Kavert to his outside. A one lap dash would ensue to determine the winner. The green and white flag went in the air, and before they even go to the start/finish line the two were hitting door to door down the straightaway. In the first set of corners they continued to make contact before Kavert edged ahead and drove away to his second victory of the season in his #2K kart. Mallorie McGahan would be scored second for her 8th top five of the season. Kris Renaud rebounded from an absolutely awful night to finish third in the #35 kart. Tyler Ritcheson actually crossed the line in second but was docked two positions for multiple “rough driving” offenses on the restarts throughout the race. He would eventually be scored as the fourth place finisher. Wyatt Brown quietly wheeled his Ed Brown Trucking #2 kart to another top five finish, his seventh of the season.
Heading into the season finale it is a two horse race at the top of the standings. It is anyone’s guess as to which driver will come away as the Champion. Both of these drivers have called the Red Bluff Outlaws home during the winter for most of their lives. They grew up racing each other and now will battle it out for the Sportsman Championship. Just one point is the difference. One position on the racetrack is all the difference right now. This Championship will be extremely exciting to follow. Regardless of who comes out on top, both drivers have put together great seasons, and have excited the fans in the crowd on many occasions. I am looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.