BY: ELIJAH JONES             

                The 2017/18 race season got off to a big start for the Beginner Box Stock Class. We saw 24 drivers sign into the pit area for Points Race #1. Everyone was a bit surprised at the turnout for this class, especially since only 23 drivers competed in Beginner Box all of last season total. Expect to see the car count to remain steady throughout the season as we have more young drivers getting their start in outlaw karts.

In Time Trials we saw Orland, CA’s Chevy Schroer lay down the fastest lap, with a time of 10.789 seconds. It marked his first career Fast Time with the Red Bluff Outlaws. Chevy is now in his second year of racing and has shown vast improvement since last season. Look for him to be a contender all season long.

With the increased car count we had four individual Heat Races each featuring six cars. Heat Race #1 saw Merced, CA youngster Aiden Larimer pick up his second career RBO Heat Race Win in dominating fashion. Heat Race #2 was claimed by second year driver Austin Anderson in his Party Dreams #2 kart. Austin is the nephew of National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Johnny Anderson and looks to have a bright future ahead of him in racing. Heat Race #3 saw a new face pick up the victory as Corbin Seay broke through for his first career Heat Race triumph in a near photo finish with Koen Irvin. The fourth and final Heat Race was claimed by Santa Rosa, CA’s Jake Myers in his #64J kart. Myers now has six career Heat Race wins with the Red Bluff Outlaws.

Trophy Dash competition saw Aiden Larimer pull into victory lane but not before some celebratory donuts on the infield. When asked what he was going to do with his trophy, his young face lit up as he stated, “I’m going to go home and put it in my room.”

It turns out he will have to make room for two trophies on the shelf as he would go on to win the Main Event in spectacular fashion. Coming to take the White Flag Aiden was running in the third position. The leaders though would tangle on the final lap, allowing him to drive by and pick up his first career Red Bluff Outlaws Main Event Victory. Koen Irvin had a solid night of competition as he came home in the second position in his #4K kart. Corbin Seay would come home in the third position in the #7C kart. Austin Anderson piloted his #2 to a fourth place effort. Sheilia Millen made her first start with the Red Bluff Outlaws a good one as she came home in fifth.

Jacob Nuxoll was victorious in both the C-Main Event and the B-Main Event, locking himself into the 12 car A-Main. It wasn’t easy for the rookie driver though as he had a hard crash in his Heat Race that saw him go head on into the turn four wall. He rebounded well though and showed some toughness getting back into the kart to complete the night.

Expect to see some more exciting action on track out of this class tonight during Points Race #2. Always keep an eye on this field of young drivers, as you never know which one could be the next big star to come out of Outlaw Kart racing.

BOX STOCK POINTS RACE #1             

                Points Race #1 for the Box Stock Class saw 19 drivers sign into the pit area. With many drivers moving up from the Beginner Box Stock Class and some returning drivers, this season we expect to see great racing all throughout the field as we have some great talent competing in 2017/18.

                In Time Trials it was Suisun City, CA driver Connor Grasty continuing the “Grasty Streak” in Box Stock Qualifying. Last season Connor’s older brother Chance set Fast Time at every race, and now Connor will look to do the same in his #21 kart.

                We would see three Heat Races take place for the Box Stocks with Evan Gunderson picking up the win in Heat Race #1. It was a neat win for Gunderson as he was celebrating his birthday at the racetrack. Heat Race #2 was claimed by the #22 of Garin McNary. McNary, a former Red Bluff Yamaha Perpetual Trophy winner showed great speed all night and might be one of the underdog drivers in the Championship chase this season. Heat Race #3 was claimed by Anderson, CA driver Tater Reich in his #49 kart wrenched by Crew Chief Tony Marshall.

                Trophy Dash competition saw Garin McNary score his first career Box Stock Trophy Dash Win. McNary was able to hold off a hard charging Seth Standley to score the win. McNary was nearly at a loss for words in Victory Lane. When asked where all the speed came from during the night he was quick to thank those that help him maintain the kart and get him onto the racetrack.

                Main Event competition saw Luke Hayes pick up his first career Box Stock Win with the Red Bluff Outlaws. Hayes does have one career Beginner Box Main Event Win as well at Red Bluff. He was able to hold off Rylinn Renaud in the closing laps of the race as Renaud followed right on the bumper of Hayes #9L across the line to the Checkered Flag. Rowdy Gramps would come home in the third position in his Whitchurch & Sons #14 kart. Tyler Fox would cross the stripe in the fourth position, while Tater Reich rounded out the top five finishers in the fifth position.

                The B-Main was claimed by Seth Standley who had quite the up and down night in his Evan’s Furniture #25 kart. Standley is fresh off a spectacular season at the Cycleland Speedway and will look to carry that momentum into the rest of the season with the Red Bluff Outlaws.

                Although Luke Hayes won the Main Event, Rowdy Gramps amassed the most points during Points Race #1 and will head into tonight’s Points Race #2 as the points leader. There will be plenty of moving and shaking though throughout the first few weeks of the season, and we very well could see a new points leader after tonight’s event.

250 INTERMEDIATE POINTS RACE #1               

                The intensity level in the 250 Intermediate Class always seems to be on high from the drop of the first green flag of the season all the way through the final Checkered Flag of the year. It looks as though that will be the case once again this season, as these young drivers are always full throttle.

                In Time Trials we saw the RFC Karts, #01 of Carson Sousa pace the field of 28 karts with a lap of 8.697 seconds. Carson was a top five contender last season in the 250 class and will be looking to do so once again in 2017/18. Quick Time during Points Race #1 is a good way to get that started.

                The #18C of Colby Fox scored the win in the first of four Heat Races. The win was his first career Heat Race triumph in the 250 Intermediate Class with the Red Bluff Outlaws. Heat Race #2 was claimed by the West Coast Concrete #97 of Mason Smith. Smith spent half the summer racing and the other half playing football. The multi-talented driver is one to watch this winter at RBO. Heat Race #3 was claimed by Cottonwood’s Trace Adams in his SGC #3 kart. Trace has been showing great improvement over the last year and looks to be a solid contender this season in the 250 Class. The fourth and final Heat Race saw the Nu-Way Market #35 of Carsen Perkins score the victory. Carsen just barely edged Carly Holmes at the line to get the Heat Race Victory.

                Trophy Dash competition saw Connor Mewhirter win his first career Trophy Dash in the 250 Intermediate Class. In Victory Lane he was very well spoken and thanked all of his sponsors, a true sign of a young driver with a bright future ahead of him.

                In the Main Event it was “Racin” Mason Smith who would cross the line first at the conclusion of the 25 Lap Main Event. Smith showed great speed all night long and it paid off in the Main Event. It was not only his first career win in the 250 Class at Red Bluff, but it was also his first career top five finish with the Red Bluff Outlaws in the 250 Class. Carson Sousa finished off a solid night with a second place effort in his #01 kart. He caught quite a break on the final lap as second and third tangled in turn four coming to the checkered flag. Sousa was able to avoid the melee and come home second. The Gary Perkins Racing #35 of Carsen Perkins would come across the line in the third position. He was followed across the line by Jacksonville, OR driver Carly Holmes in her “Talladega Nights” themed #22C kart. If we offered a best appearing kart award, she would be a front runner for sure. Connor Mewhirter would round out the top five as he came across the line in the fifth position in his Old Skool Barbershop #14 kart.

                Anissa Curtice was victorious in the B-Main Event. Anissa had a great summer of racing both at the Cycleland Speedway in Outlaw Karts, as well as at the Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka, CA behind the wheel of her Legend Car. She will look to continue her success this winter at Red Bluff.

                There are so many drivers capable of winning each week in the 250 Intermediate Class. This year’s class is truly one of the best all around, that we have seen in recent years. The Championship Chase is sure to come down to the final race of the season. We’ll see who parks it in Victory Lane tonight during Points Race #2 here with the Red Bluff Outlaws.

OPEN POINTS RACE #1               

                The Open Class at the Red Bluff Outlaws has been noted by many drivers as one of the most competitive classes they have ever raced in. It is so difficult to even just make the Main Event, let alone be the first to cross the finish line at the end of the night. Expect no different this season, as we are back in action at the Red Bluff Outlaws.

                We saw 35 drivers sign into the pit area for Points Race #1 of the 2017/18 race season. A somewhat low number compared to years past but 35 karts is still 35 karts. In Time Trials it was Casey McClain who set Fast Time with a lap of 8.703 seconds around the Pauline Davis Pavilion. McClain was not in his familiar #30 kart but was in fact subbing for Logan Seavey in the Factory QRC, Burris Racing #51 machine. Seavey could not make it to Red Bluff for Points Race #1 as he was competing in a POWRI Midget Event back east. They chose a pretty solid sub though and he did his job perfectly throughout the night.

                Heat Race competition at the Red Bluff Outlaws in the Open Class is always exciting, and some may say it is the best racing you will see all night long. With five Heat Races and only the top two transferring to the Main Event you are sure to see some great action. Heat Race #1 was claimed by none other than Cottonwood, CA hot shoe, Jesse Colwell in his Sal Calderon Racing #86J kart. The Sal Calderon Racing theme continued into Heat Race #2 as Chase Hill piloted his SCR #1C to victory. Chase is fresh off a multi win season at Cycleland Speedway and is hoping to duplicate that this winter in Red Bluff. Team SCR just kept plugging away in the Heat Races as Keith Bloom piloted the SCR #02K to victory in Heat Race #3. Sal Calderon has put together an impressive stable of racers for this season, and they are sure to be a factor week in and week out. Heat Race #4 belonged to the Ed Brown Trucking #35 of Casey Schmitz. Schmitz had an up and down summer at Cycleland but has already gotten the winter off to a good start, he will look to carry that momentum throughout the season. The fifth and final Heat Race of the night was claimed by Tyler Seavey, piloting the Amber Norman Racing #91 kart.

                Tyler Seavey would carry his momentum from the Heat Race win into the Trophy Dash, where he would cross the line first as well. Seavey has had a spectacular 2017 season all around. He has picked up multiple wins at the Cycleland Speedway in the Amber Norman Racing #91 kart. His biggest accomplishment though was winning his first career Sprint Car Main Event. Tyler ended up with 3 wins in the Bev & Rudy Warrington owned #18 sprint car in 2017.

                When Main Event time rolled around, we saw the #86J of Jesse Colwell line up on the Pole for the 25 Lap Season Opener. Colwell would jump out front at the drop of the green flag. He looked to have the best kart by a longshot. While everyone else sliced and diced for position, Colwell had clear sailing at the front of the field. That is until the caution would fly near the halfway point of the race. Under caution, Colwell’s kart would come to a stop and he would have to exit the racing surface. The crew went to work in the hot pit but were unable to make repairs, and he would go out of the race with a last place finish. A tough break for the driver who led the first half of the race. Casey McClain would move into the race lead in the Factory QRC #51 and that is where he would stay for the remainder of the event. For the second straight season, Casey McClain kicked off the year with a win in Points Race #1. Casey did some spectacular donuts post-race and tipped the kart over on its side. I spoke to him on track following the big win. “I’m really excited right now, two years in a row getting the win here. I can’t thank Jimmy Elledge and Factory QRC enough for the opportunity and the great racecar. Hopefully we can win some more races this season.” Stated McClain. Casey Schmitz would cross the line in second, some 2.3 seconds behind race winner McClain. Schmitz had an exciting battle throughout the race with Chase Hill who came home third. The two drivers exchanged sliders and traded paint a few times throughout the race, it made for great entertainment for the fans in the grandstands. Brian McGahan Jr. would come home in the fourth position in the McGahan Trucking #8JR kart. Brandon LaChance would quietly put together a solid night as he came across the line in the fifth position rounding out the top five finishers.

                Preliminary action saw Chase Majdic win the C-Main Event in the Mittry Construction #2X. Majdic, the defending Open Track Champion, had somewhat of an off night. He will hope to rebound tonight during Points Race #2. The B-Main Event was claimed by Rookie driver Tanner Holmes in his Durango RV Resort #18T kart. Holmes had a great night as he then charged to a 6th place finish in the A-Main Event.

                Heading into tonight’s Points Race #2, it is impossible to predict who may or may not be running up front by the end of the night. Each week can be so drastically different at the Red Bluff Outlaws, that it’s nearly impossible to make any kind of predictions. Especially for the Open Class. The best we can do is sit back and enjoy the show, and wait to see what happens.

SPORTSMAN POINTS RACE #1               

                A solid field of 28 karts signed into the pit area for Points Race #1 in the Sportsman Class. This class is always fun to watch as you never really know what to expect out of these guys/girls. The best part about this class is that 90% of the drivers out there are just regular guys/girls having fun on the weekend.  

                In Time Trials it was Tyler Ritcheson who would pace the field with a lap time of 8.879 seconds. He would just barely edge the #6 of Shawn Fogarty by .003 seconds. Tyler Ritcheson is always a threat to win when he gets behind the wheel. He is off to a great start early on this season.

                Heat Race Competition saw Tyler Ritcheson keep on rolling as he picked up the win in Heat Race #1. Michael Helwig didn’t miss a beat after dominating Cycleland Speedway all summer long. He would pick up the win in Heat Race #2 in the Ed Brown Trucking #28M kart. Heat Race #3 was claimed by Kris Renaud in the Beau Perkins owned #35 kart. Renaud plans to run for a Championship this season in the Sportsman Class. The fourth and final Heat Race was claimed by the #17 of Mallorie McGahan. McGahan scored one win in the Sportsman Class last season and would like to improve on that here in 2017/18.

                Trophy Dash competition saw Michael Helwig pick up the victory. In just six short laps, Helwig amassed a 3.3 second lead over second place finisher Shawn Fogarty. After the Heat Race and Trophy Dash, everyone had a pretty good idea that they might be in trouble come Main Event time.

                In trouble they were, as Michael Helwig got up front and pretty well dominated the Main Event for his 18th Outlaw Kart win in 2017. Michael has already made it clear that he doesn’t intend to run the full winter series with the Red Bluff Outlaws. We will see if he changes his tune after winning the opening Points Race. Paradise, CA driver Justin Reinolds kept it close throughout the Main Event, even challenging for the lead on a couple of occasions. Ultimately he would settle for a second place finish in his Victory Racing Chassis #21 kart. Tyler Ritcheson’s impressive night would conclude with a podium finish in the third spot. He was followed across the line by Donnie Ritcheson who had an excellent run and finish, as he came home fourth. The top five would be rounded out by the #17 of Mallorie McGahan.

                Justin Reinolds would also pick up the win in the B-Main Event. Reinolds did not race at all this summer at Cycleland as he took extra time to prepare his kart for the winter series at the Red Bluff Outlaws. Look for him to be a contender week in and week out this season in his Victory Racing Chassis.

                With Points Race #2 on tap , there is no telling what might happen. As always we hope to see a great show out of the Sportsman Class. It will be interesting to see who emerges as the driver to beat after the first few weeks of racing. Stay tuned this season to find out.