Route 66 Sprint Series Event Coverage
Malukas, Jens and Marcus Score Double Wins at NCMP
The Margay/Bridgestone Route 66 Sprint Series presented by L&T Manufacturing and Russell Karting Specialties invaded New Castle Motorsports Park for round six on September 8th and 9th in New Castle, IN. The event was sponsored by Bestway Drywall, Inc. 254 entries competed over the weekend under much cooler weather with highs only reaching to near 70 degrees. Three drivers were able to capture double class wins over the weekend with Darin Marcus winning Yamaha Supercan Heavy and Komet Senior, Joel Jens winning Yamaha Junior Lite and Komet Junior, and David Malukas winning Yamaha Sportsman I and II.
The state-of-the-art New Castle Motorsports Park (NCMP) continues to make improvements and upgrades to their facility. A giant scoring and timing screen has been installed inside of turn 13 that is visible from much of the pit and paddock area. More picnic tables have been placed along the start-finish line viewing area. A big thank you goes out to Mike Adams and the Dismore family for hosting the Route 66 series at their remarkable facility.
The Yamaha Supercan Heavy class was chosen to compete in the Mad Dog Dash for Cash sponsored by CRG Mid-West at this event. The top four qualifiers in this class competed in a four lap dash for a $100 cash prize and event winner’s T-shirt. The inverted start had Cody Robinson and Matthew Laukaitis starting on the front row and Collin Griffin and Billy Lewis in row two. When it came down to the last lap, as usual, leading was not the place to be. Griffin and Robinson entered the final turn in first in second place and finished in third and fourth place as Laukaitis slipped by for the win with Lewis on his tail.
The first final racing Saturday was the Komet Senior class sponsored by Jet Karting. Fast qualifier Darin Marcus and pre-final winner Christian Besasie paced the start. The top three of Besasie, Marcus and Brad Brittin took turns leading the 10 lap race. On the final lap, with Brittin leading the trio down the long straightaway, Marcus (Merlin) and Besasie drafted by to claim the top two spots at the finish.
The Yamaha Junior Lite class sponsored by Comet Kart Sales was up next with a large field of 27 entries. The final was paced by pre-final winner Joel Jens and Kyle Tilley. The front trio of Jens, Tilley and Emerson Reed pulled away from the field by about five seconds. Kody Evans and Camden Speth were having their own battle for fourth and the next pack of Kilean Keaveny, Michael Geringer, Kenlan Morse, Sam Cate and Robby McQuinn were battling for top 10 positions. On the final lap, Jens and Tilley went through the final corner side-by-side with Jens (Tony Kart) pulling off the win by just .04 seconds. Camden Speth, Kody Evans and Sam Cate rounded out the top five.
The Triple E Sales Yamaha Sportsman I class gridded next with a field of 21 entries. The front row of Leonardo Stoia and David Malukas paced the start. Stoia grabbed the lead into turn one bringing Zach Holden with him into turn two. The front four of Stoia, Malukas, Holden and Dillon Schwanbeck began to distance themselves from the rest of the field. A large pack of eight karts led by Thayne Chapin were battling for the fifth spot. Malukas and Holden broke away to settle for the win with Malukas (Birel) holding off Holden by .114 seconds. Schwanbeck, Stoia and Chapin rounded out the top five.
The Franklin Motorsports TAG I Senior class staged next with fast qualifier and pre-final winner Jimmy Simpson pacing the start alongside of Michael Goodyear. Goodyear led the first two laps until Simpson moved to the point. Simpson gradually stretched out his lead as a big pack was battling for third place. Robby Seward, Billy Lewis and TJ Koyen worked their way toward through the pack into the top five. Simpson (DR Kart) pulled away to a 3.158 second win over Robby Seward with Lewis, Koyen and Zach Hawley finishing in the top five.
The next final racing on Saturday was the Hollywood Crane Service Kid Kart I Championship class. Fast qualifier and pre-final winner Mason Maine and Tate Steinman paced the start. Steinman dropped out on lap four leaving Maine and Talan Drake battling for the win. Maine was able to hold off Drake by .336 seconds at the finish with Jena Rentmeister, Joey Varco and Mason Santiago rounding out the top five.
The next final gridding was the Laukaitis Racing Yamaha Supercan Heavy class with 23 entries. Collin Griffin and Cody Robinson paced the start of the field. Robinson took the early lead followed by Matthew Laukaitis and Colton Ramsey. Billy Lewis worked his way to the lead bringing Griffin and Darin Marcus into the front pack. Jimmy Clark and Justin Vancil would join the lead pack next. Griffin, Lewis and Marcus were up front on the final lap where Marcus (Merlin) was able to draft by the leaders and take the win by just .122 seconds over Griffin with Lewis, Ramsey and Robinson rounding out the top five.
The last class racing on Saturday was the CKT Racing Engines Yamaha Rookie Lite class with 14 entries. Pre-final winner and fast qualifier Sam Mayer lined up alongside of Grayson Shankleton at the start. Shankleton took the early lead followed by Mayer and Max Kaeser. Mayer and Kaeser moved to the front and worked together to pull away from Shankleton. Mayer (Merlin) held off Kaeser by .2 seconds at the finish with Shankleton, Blake Bauman and James Lynch rounding out the top five.
After the completion of racing on Saturday, a free chicken dinner was served to all in attendance sponsored by the Branscum family and Comet Kart Sales. A trophy presentation was done during the dinner where the top five in each class from Saturday’s races received their gold cup awards.
At the Sunday driver’s meeting, a set of Bridgestone YLC tires was given away
to Sam Cate in a drawing sponsored by Margay/Bridgestone. After one round of practice, eight classes of racing took place with 6-lap pre-finals and 10-lap finals.
The first final racing on Sunday was the Adkins Speed Center Yamaha Supercan Lite class with 25 entries. The Streeter Super Stands Yamaha Masters group also lined up at the back of this race with six more entries. Pre-final winner and fast qualifier Jimmy Clark and Colton Ramsey paced the start. Ramsey, Clark, Collin Griffin, Brad Brittin and Darin Marcus were locked in a race long battle up front. Nick Stagl, Billy Lewis and Christian Besasie were battling in the next pack. On the final lap, the front four went through the final corner side-by-side with Marcus leading Griffin on the inside and Ramsey leading Clark on the outside line. Ramsey (Merlin) took the win by .12 seconds over Marcus with Clark in third place hanging his wheels in the grass, followed by Griffin in fourth. The race for fifth was just as exciting with Brittin, Lewis and Stagl going three wide as they approached the final corner. Lewis captured the fifth spot followed by Brittin and Stagl. In the Masters division, George Wilson held off Dave Timmerman for the win.
The Komet Junior class raced next with Sam Cate, Kody Evans, Killian Keaveny and Joel Jens putting on a good battle up front. Jens (Tony Kart) was able to pull out to a 2.221 second win over Cate followed by Evans, Keaveny and Derek Dignan.
Next up was the Express Karts & Parts Komet Sportsman class with 17 entries. Pre-final winner Leo Stoia paced the start alongside of Alex Bertagnoli. David Malukas quickly worked his way to the front followed by Stoia and Bertagnoli. Meanwhile, Brandon Lemke was working his way toward the front from his 8th place starting position. Lemke worked his way to the front pack bringing Alec Evers with him. Lemke (Merlin) made his move past Malukas on the final lap going into the final corner and took the win by just .124 seconds over Malukas. Leo Stoia, Alex Bertagnoli and Alec Evers rounded out the top five.
The Hollywood Crane Service Kid Kart II Championship class was racing next paced by pre-final winner Mason Maine and Talan Drake. Much like Saturday, the battle up front was between Maine, Tate Steinman and Talan Drake as they pulled out to a huge 17 second lead over Jena Rentmeister and Joey Varco. After running in third for much of the race, Drake turned up the pressure on the final two laps and took the win by .29 seconds over Steinmann and Maine.
Next up was the TAG II Senior class sponsored by Kart Lift paced by pre-final winner Adam Crepin and Nicky DeFronzo. The front trio of Crepin, DeFronzo and fast qualifier Zach Hawley battled for the lead pulling away from the pack. DeFronzo (CRG) took command of the race and was able to hold off Hawley and Crepin by .266 seconds at the finish. Robby Seward and TJ Koyen rounded out the top five. Koyen set the fastest race lap at 1:05.982.
The Yamaha Junior Heavy class sponsored by Woltjer Racing Engines was up next with 25 entries. Fast qualifier and pre-final winner Sam Cate and Joel Jens paced the start. Jens went to the lead on lap one followed closely by Kyle Tilley and Sam Cate as the front trio began to pull away from the field. The next pack of Becker Reardon, Camden Speth, Michael Geringer, Anthony Granata and Robby McQuinn were battling for a top five position. On the final lap, the front three headed three-wide toward the final corner with Cate on the inside and Tilley on the outside of Jens. Tilley (Arrow) dropped back and crossed under the pair taking the win on the inside by .042 seconds over Jens and Cate in a three-wide photo finish. Becker Reardon and Michael Geringer rounded out the top five in another side-by-side finish at the stripe.
The next final racing on Sunday was the Yamaha Rookie Heavy class sponsored by Two Cycle Technology. Fast qualifier and pre-final winner Max Kaeser paced the start alongside of Gage Rodgers. A good battled ensued up front between Kaeser, Rodgers, Cohle Santiago, Sam Mayer and Grayson Shankleton. On the final lap, Mayer took the apparent win over Kaeser but was penalized one position for blocking, handing the win to Kaeser (PCR). Gage Rodgers, Maks Kowalski and Cohle Santiago rounded out the top five.
The final class racing on Sunday was the Switch Racing Engines Yamaha Sportsman II class. The 17 kart field was paced by David Malukas and Zach Holden. A tangle in turn two at the start dropped Thayne Chapin and Brendan Trent to the rear of the field. The front group of Malukas, Brandon Lemke, Leonardo Stoia, Dillon Schwanbeck and Holden began to break away from the field. Eventually Malukas, Lemke and Stoia would pull away to settle for the win. Malukas (Birel) held off Stoia at the finish by just .083 seconds for the win with Lemke a close third in another side-by-side finish. Schawnbeck and Holden rounded out the top five about four seconds back.
Merlin chassis captured the most wins over the weekend with five followed by Tony Kart (3), Birel (2) and Margay, Arrow, DR, CRG and PCR with one win each. For the complete race results, visit www.mylaps.com.
The final round of the 2012 Route 66 Series will be held at Mid-State Raceway on October 6th and 7th. Pre-entries must be post marked by September 14 to receive the discount. Friday practice will be available. All entrants will have a chance to win a set of Bridgestone YLC tires in a drawing held at the Sunday morning driver’s meeting. For more information about Mid-State Raceway, visit www.midstatekartclub.com.