BY: ELIJAH JONES               

                With four races now in the books at the Red Bluff Outlaws, we are well into the season and the Championship battle is really beginning to take shape. We have seen great battles throughout the Beginner Box Stock field, but one driver has taken control and won the opening four points races.

In Time Trials this year it has been all about the Panthera Motorsports #29 of Chevy Schroer. Schroer now has four straight Fast Times to start the season. This week he paced the 22 kart field with a lap time of 10.543 seconds, which is the fastest lap we have seen yet this year in the Beginner Box Class.

Four individual Heat Races would follow and we would see the #29 of Chevy Schroer pick up his first Heat Race win of the season with an impressive run late in Heat Race #1. Heat Race #2 would see the #5 kart of Aiden Larimer pick up yet another Heat Race victory. The win marks his fourth in as many races. He is now the only driver in the Beginner Box Class to win every Heat Race he has competed in so far this season. Heat Race #3 saw the Spiderman themed #3T of Tyler Carlson win his first Heat Race of the season. He was able to just barely hold off the #2 of Austin Anderson at the finish. The fourth and final Heat Race saw the #91 of Charlie Seavey score his second straight Heat Race victory. Seavey is beginning to really get the handle of his kart and will be a driver to watch as the season continues.

Trophy Dash competition saw Aiden Larimer pick up his third Trophy Dash Win of the season. Larimer just barely made it into the Trophy Dash as he qualified in the sixth spot in Time Trials. He was able to make the most of it though and did his traditional donut celebration on the infield after the Checkered Flag flew.

When the Green Flag flew on the Main Event it was the #3T of Tyler Carlson who would jump out front and lead the opening three laps. He would lead until the #5 of Aiden Larimer got on the scene on Lap 4. That is when Larimer would take over the race lead and would never relinquish it as he picked up his fourth straight win to begin the 2017/18 season. The #84 of Jaxon Coughlin scored his third top five of the season with a second place effort. He was able to challenge Larimer for the race lead on multiple occasions but could never quite get to the bumper. Chevy Schroer closed out a great night of competition for himself with a third place run in his #29 kart. Koen Irvin would pilot his #4K kart to a fourth place finish, his second top five of the season. The #77C of Carson Stephens picked up his first top five finish of 2017 with a fifth place effort.

Preliminary action saw Racin Gramps pilot his #8 machine to the win in the C-Main Event. While Carson Stephens was victorious in B-Main Event competition.

Aiden Larimer now holds a commanding 23 point advantage over Jaxon Coughlin who sits second in the points standings. With only a 16 point spread between first and last in the Main Event, Larimer is pretty comfortable after four points races. The rest of the field will have to work extra hard if they want to knock the #5 kart off of his streak. There are multiple drivers who are on the verge of breaking through for their first career wins, we will have to wait and see who has the right formula to get it done.


                The 250 Intermediate Class was randomly selected to race for an extra $500 as part of Kevin Sharrah Designs Night during Points Race #4. We have already seen some intense battles this season, and with the added incentive everyone expected to see even more exciting racing as everyone wanted a piece of the action at the front of the field.                

                In Time Trials we saw the RFC Factory Karts #46 of Preston Carr score his first career 250 Intermediate Fast Time with the Red Bluff Outlaws with a lap time of 8.497 seconds. Carr is fresh off a Championship in his Rookie Season at Cycleland in the 250 Class and is hoping to do the same this winter in Red Bluff.

                Compared to last week’s Heat Race action, this week’s Heat Races were somewhat mellow. Heat Race #1 saw Chico, CA driver Tanner Pettit pilot his #24P kart to his third Heat Race win of the season. In Heat Race #2 Connor MeWhirter scored his first Heat Race win of the season in his Old Skool Barbershop #14 machine. Drake Standley was victorious in Heat Race #3 behind the wheel of his Evan’s Furniture Center #21 kart. Standley had a frustrating season at Cycleland and so far has been having a better start to the winter series in Red Bluff.  The fourth and final Heat Race was claimed by Suisun City, CA driver Chance Grasty in his Factory QRC #1 kart. The win was his first career 250 Intermediate Heat Race victory.

                Trophy Dash competition saw Carson Sousa jump out front early on, with Raymond Baldez in the second spot. These two got together racing for the lead during Points Race #3 in the Main Event and it seemed as though the #68B of Baldez had not forgotten about that. He got into the back of the #01 on two occasions in the opening laps of the Dash, prompting the officials to make the call to Black Flag him off of the racing surface. Sousa would hang on and pick up his first Trophy Dash win of the season in his RFC Karts #01 kart.

                When the Main Event came around it was fairly uneventful as far as racing for the Lead. Kaiden Butler got out front on the opening lap and never relinquished it as he cruised to his second straight win in the 250 Intermediate Class. He would also pocket the $500 bonus money from Kevin Sharrah Designs. The action throughout the rest of the pack was hard to follow at times as positions continued to change each and every lap. Eventually Raymond Baldez would slot himself into second and that is where he would cross the stripe. A great rebound after an early race yellow flag sent him to the rear of the field. For the second week in a row, Trace Adams would finish in the second position in his #3 kart. Carson Sousa and Preston Carr initially crossed the line in second and third on the racetrack but officials docked both drivers two positions for rough driving, thus relegating them to fourth and fifth in the finishing order.

                Through four Points Races now, Carson Sousa is atop the points standings. He currently holds a 20 point advantage over Rookie Standout Preston Carr in second. These two drivers battled each other hard throughout the Main Event and will have to continue to do so as they battle for the Championship.

OPEN POINTS RACE #4               

                The Open Class this season has seen some great battles at the front of the field. Points Race #3 was filled with drama racing for the lead. Points Race #4 was far less dramatic, and saw one driver break a long winless drought with the Red Bluff Outlaws.

                The car count for the Open Class was back into the 30’s as we had 31 karts sign into the pit aread for Points Race #4. Rookie Sensation Tanner Holmes would pace the field in Time Trials with a blistering lap of 8.324 seconds, the fastest lap we have seen yet this season in the Open Class.

                Heat Race competition saw the Amber Norman Racing #91 of Tyler Seavey pick up the win in Heat Race #1. Heat Race #2 was claimed by Corning, CA driver Brian McGahan Jr. in his #8JR kart. Heat Race #3 saw the #25S of Morgan Sandhagen pick up her first Heat Race win of 2017. Casey McClain came into the night as the Points Leader, and helped his cause with a victory in Heat Race #4 for his first Heat Race win of the season. The fifth and final heat race saw the Ed Brown Trucking #2 kart of Garrett Brown score his first Heat Race win with the Red Bluff Outlaws in the Open Division.

                The Trophy Dash was thrilling in the Open Class as Chase Majdic and Jesse Colwell battled for the win at the front of the field. These two drivers have had some history between them, so everyone was on the edge of their seat as they watched and waited to see how it all played out. They exchanged sliders for a couple of laps but ultimately Majdic would win the battle in the Mittry Construction #2X, scoring his first Trophy Dash win of the season.

                For the second straight week, Tyler Seavey would start on the front row and jump out front early on. Unlike last week when he was challenged for the lead the entire race, he made it look pretty easy as he led from the drop of the Green Flag until the drop of the Checkered Flag. It was a great rebound from last week’s disappointing finish for Seavey. Ren Eberhart and Logan Seavey traded paint multiple times over the closing laps. Eberhart would come across the line in second with Logan Seavey finishing in the third spot. Chase Hill is the only driver to finish in the top five in every race so far this season as he came across in the fourth position. Casey Schmitz picked up his second top five of the season as he finished in the fifth position. After the cars took the checkered flag tempers flared a little as Logan Seavey showed his displeasure with Ren Eberhart. At the same time, Chase Hill was expressing his displeasure with Logan Seavey. That made for an interesting three car exchange during the cool down lap.              

                Preliminary action saw Chase Majdic win the C-Main Event. Majdic would go on to transfer out of the B-Main as well. He ultimately would finish 7th in the Main Event, by far his best run of the 2017 season to date. The B-Main Event was won by Jesse Colwell in the Sal Calderon Racing #86J. Colwell would never take the Green Flag though in the Main Event as he had problems with the left front of the car during the pace laps.

                With four races now in the books, the Championship battle is starting to take shape. Casey McClain is still the Points Leader. McClain took over the reigns of the Factory QRC #51 kart this winter and so far has shown that he is every bit deserving with two Main Event wins. He currently holds a seven point advantage over Chase Hill. Tyler Seavey closed the gap on both of them with his first win of the season on Saturday night as he is now just 22 points back of McClain for the top spot. Anything can happen though and all it takes is one mistake to completely change the complexion of this Championship battle. We will see how the next chapter plays out when we return to the bullring this Saturday night for Points Race #5.


                The Sportsman Class in 2017 has been fun to watch as we have now seen four different winners in as many races. We have seen great close quarters racing, and a little bit of drama mixed in as well.  

                Time Trials for Points Race #4 saw Kris Renaud lay down the fastest lap in the Gary Perkins Racing #35 kart. Renaud has had an up and down start to the season, as he has shown a bunch of speed but has also been tangled up in a few accidents early in the season.

                Heat Race action saw the Panthera Motorsports #29 of Adam Schroer pick up the win in Heat Race #1, his first Heat Race win of the season. Heat Race #2 saw the McGahan Trucking #17 of Mallorie McGahan pick up her third Heat Race win of the year. “Pistol” Pete Johnston climbed back behind the wheel of his #98 kart and was fun to watch every time he hit the racetrack. He picked up the win in Heat Race #3 in a great battle with the #1B of Bubba Hill.  The fourth and final Heat Race was claimed by Tyler Ritcheson, who came into the night as the Points Leader. He needed a good night in order to hang on to the Points Lead. That would not happen however as he ended up finishing 16th later in the Main Event.

                Trophy Dash competition saw the #2X of Demo Mittry get to the front early in the race and was able to hold off a hard charge by Shawn Fogarty to score his first Trophy Dash win of the season. It has been great to see Demo back behind the wheel full time this season, and he is a serious contender for the Championship.

                When the Main Event went Green it was the #2M of BJ Martin taking the early race lead. Martin has been really impressive this season behind the wheel as he has been a contender up front over the last few weeks. Martin would show the way until about Lap 14 when Pete Johnston came storming onto the scene. Johnston started the race in the 12th position, got a break as he missed a big wreck early on, and quickly took over the race lead from BJ Martin. Once he got the #98 kart to the front of the field it was all over for everyone else. Pete Johnston would win his first race of the season in his first start of the season by just over two seconds over second place finisher BJ Martin. For the second week in a row the Ed Brown Trucking #2 of Wyatt Brown would keep his nose clean and pick up a third place finish. Brown failed to qualify for the first two Main Events of the season, but now has back to back top five finishes. Bubba Hill would pilot his I-80 Forklift #1B to a fourth place finish, while the #35 of Kris Renaud would finish in the fifth position.

                Preliminary action would see the #6 of Shawn Fogarty pick up the win in the B-Main Event. He would go on to finish 8th in the Main Event after being involved in a couple of accidents.

                Coming into Points Race #4, Kris Renaud was second in the Points Standings behind Tyler Ritcheson. Ritcheson had an off night as he finished last in the Main Event. That was just enough to give the Points Lead over to Renaud. He will head into Points Race #5 with a seven point advantage now over the #45 of Ritcheson. It’s still anybody’s guess though as to who will win the Championship as there is still a long way to go and anything can happen. Especially in the Sportsman Class.