Route 66 Sprint Series Event Coverage
Mayer, Crepin and Ramsey Double at Route 66 Finale
The Margay/Bridgestone Route 66 Sprint Series presented by L&T Manufacturing and Russell Karting Specialties held the final event of the 2012 season at Mid-State Raceway near Springfield, Illinois on October 6th and 7th. The event was sponsored by B & B Electric. Cool and rainy weather limited practice on Friday with only a few drivers electing to practice on the damp track. Unseasonably cool weather settled in for the weekend with temperatures averaging 20 degrees below normal, however the racing was hot with very fast lap times and close competition all weekend.
Three drivers were able to capture double class wins over the weekend with Sam Mayer winning Yamaha Rookie Lite and Heavy, Adam Crepin winning Yamaha Supercan Lite and TaG I Senior and Colton Ramsey winning Yamaha Supercan Heavy and TaG II Senior.
The new slightly longer configuration of Mid-State Raceway, completed at the beginning of the season, added 660 feet of new pavement while replacing older sections of the track. Although the new configuration is slightly longer than the old track, record lap times were being set on this weekend where temperatures did not rise above 55 degrees. The 800 feet long back straightaway allowed for much drafting and close finishes in many classes, with the closest finish being the Yamaha Masters class where Brian Zirves edged Chad Kruger by just .017 seconds. Four other finals had margins of victory in the .090 second range.
The Yamaha Junior class was chosen to compete in the Mad Dog Dash for Cash race sponsored by CRG Mid-West at this event. A drawing was held to choose qualifiers six through nine to compete in a four lap dash for a $100 cash prize and event winner’s T-shirt. The inverted start had Killian Keaveny, Brooks Davis, Jeremy Klein and Robby McQuinn racing for the cash. Keaveny was able to pull out to a 1.3 second win over Davis to take the cash.
The first final racing Saturday was the Komet Senior class sponsored by Jet Karting. Michael Haggar and Jay Anderson paced the start with fast qualifier Brad Brittin starting last after throwing a chain in the pre-final. Haggar (Exprit) was able to pull out to a 4.9 second win followed by Brittin, Anderson and Andrea Crivello.
The next class racing on Saturday was the CKT Racing Engines Yamaha Rookie Lite class with eight entries. Pre-final winner and fast qualifier Sam Mayer pulled out to the front with Blake Bauman and Cohle Santiago in his draft. Mayer (Merlin) was able to hold off Bauman by .188 seconds at the finish with Santiago, Maks Kowalski and James Lynch rounding out the top five.
The Franklin Motorsports TAG I Senior class staged next with fast qualifier and pre-final winner Adam Crepin pacing the start alongside of Colton Ramsey. Crepin moved to the lead at the start and led for most of the race with Ramsey leading briefly at the mid-point, only to be quickly overtaken by Crepin. Crepin (Merlin) held off Ramsey at the finish by .091 seconds followed by Nicky DeFronzo, Michael Haggar and Drake Ostrom.
The next final racing on Saturday was the Hollywood Crane Service Kid Kart I Championship class. Fast qualifier and pre-final winner Tate Steinmann paced the start alongside of Mason Maine. The front three of Steinmann, Maine and Talan Drake were locked in a battle for the entire 12 lap final. Steinmann took the apparent win, however failed post-tech handing the win to Mason Maine. Talan Drake, Jena Rentmeister, Joey Varco and Mason Santiago rounded out the top five.
The Triple E Sales Yamaha Sportsman I class gridded next with a field of 16 entries. The front row of Brandon Lemke and Kaleb Allison paced the start. Lemke, David Malukas and Allison began to pull away from the field to battle for the win. Malukas moved to the lead next shuffling Lemke to third. On lap 12 Allison and Lemke drafted past Malukas to take the lead. Lemke (Merlin) took the lead on the white flag lap and held off Allison and Malukas by just .119 seconds at the finish. Alex Bertagnoli and Dillon Schwanbeck rounded out the top five about five seconds back.
The next final gridding was the Laukaitis Racing Yamaha Supercan Heavy class with 13 entries. The start was paced by Jimmy Clark and Mike Prokup. Clark led the first few laps until Colton Ramsey drafted by for the lead. The front pack of Ramsey, Clark, Prokup, Collin Griffin and Adam Crepin raced in a tight pack. Clark tried to make a move around Ramsey (Merlin) on the final lap but finished .09 seconds back at the finish. Prokup, Crepin and Griffin rounded out the top five.
The Yamaha Junior Lite class sponsored by Comet Kart Sales was up next with pre-final winner Anthony Granata and fast qualifier Kenlen Morse pacing the start. Granata led the first few laps until Morse moved to the point. Michael Geringer, Christian Ledesma and Robby McQuinn followed in a close pack. Granata tried to make a move by Morse on the final lap as Morse (Arrow) moved to the inside of the back straightaway but came up short by .090 seconds. Geringer, Ledesma and McQuinn rounded out the top five about one second back at the finish. Geringer set the fastest race lap at 31.862 which would shatter the Junior track qualifying record of 32.585.
The final class racing was a Clone Senior money race where Ryan Cassity (Coyote) pulled out to a huge 17 second win to take the $250 prize. Bobby Moffett and Al Burkett finished in the top three to claim the other cash prizes.
After the completion of racing on Saturday, Mid-State Kart Club members served a free barbeque dinner to all in attendance. A trophy presentation was done during the dinner where the top five in each class from Saturday’s races received their Eagle and gold cup awards. A fireworks show sponsored by the Mid-State Kart Club concluded the day’s activities after sunset.
At the Sunday driver’s meeting, a set of Bridgestone YLC tires was given away to Spike Kohlbecker in a drawing sponsored by Margay/Bridgestone. After one round of practice, eight classes of racing took place with 10-lap pre-finals and 16-lap finals.
The first final racing on Sunday was the Adkins Speed Center Yamaha Supercan Lite class with 12 entries. Pre-final winner and fast qualifier Collin Griffin paced the start alongside of Matthew Laukaitis. Laukaitis moved to the lead with the pack of Adam Crepin, Jimmy Clark, Griffin, Justin Vancil and Brad Brittin in his draft. Crepin moved to the point bringing Clark and Griffin with him about mid race. Crepin and Clark were able to pull out slightly from the pack to battle for the win on the last lap where Clark tried to draft by Crepin on the outside as Crepin took the low line down the long straightaway. Crepin (Merlin) held off Clark by .084 seconds at the finish followed closely by Griffin, Laukaitis, Brittin and Vancil.
The Streeter Super Stands Yamaha Masters class gridded next for their final along with a Clone Senior local option class. Chad Kruger and Brian Zirves swapped the lead four times in the Masters class with Zirves (PCR) making a last corner pass and taking the win by just .017 seconds over Kruger. In the Clone Senior class, Al Burkett and Tim Strawkas had a great battle for the lead going until Strawkas spun in turn three allowing Burkett (Margay) to pull away to a six second win.
The Yamaha Junior Heavy class sponsored by Woltjer Racing Engines was up next with 13 entries. Pre-final winner Anthony Granata lined up beside fast qualifier Kenlen Morse at the start. Granata took the lead at the start followed closely by Mike Geringer, Morse and Robby McQuinn. Morse, Geringer and McQuinn got together in turn six allowing Granata (Tony Kart) to pull out to a two second lead for the win. Morse held on for second place followed by Christian Ledesma, Killian Keaveny and Jeremy Klein at the finish.
Next up was the Express Karts & Parts Komet Sportsman class with 12 entries. Fast qualifier and pre-final winner Alec Evers paced the start alongside of David Malukas. Evers jumped out to a two second lead on the first lap with the pack of Malukas, Dillon Schwanbeck, Matthew Northrop, Thayne Chapin and Brandon Lemke battling for second. Malukas, Schwanbeck and Lemke worked together to run down Evers and Malukas took charge of the race at the mid-point. Schwanbeck moved to the point on lap ten and the top four were joined by Alex Bertagnoli making it a five kart battle. Lemke tried to make a pass on Malukas on the final lap which allowed Schwanbeck (Tony Kart) to pull out to a .6 second win with Malukas, Bertagnoli, Lemke and Evers rounding out the top five.
The Hollywood Crane Service Kid Kart II Championship class was racing next paced by pre-final winner Talan Drake and Mason Maine. Drake, Maine, Tate Steinmann and Jena Rentmeister formed a lead pack that pulled away from the rest of the field. Talan Drake was able to pull away from the lead pack by 3.247 seconds at the finish and take the win over Steinmann, Maine, Rentmeister and Joey Varco rounding out the top five.
Next up was the TAG II Senior class sponsored by Kart Lift paced by pre-final winner and fast qualifier Nicky DeFronzo along with Colton Ramsey. DeFronzo pulled out to an early lead until engine troubles forced him to retire on lap three. This left Ramsey and Adam Crepin in a tight battle for the win. Crepin was able to pass Ramsey a couple of times, however Ramsey (Merlin) quickly moved back to the point and held on for the win by .366 seconds over Crepin. Third through sixth positions had a race long battle with Michael Haggar, Jimmy Clark, Drake Ostrom and Brad Winkelmann finishing less than a second apart at the finish.
The next final racing on Sunday was the Yamaha Rookie Heavy class sponsored by Two Cycle Technology. Fast qualifier and pre-final winner Sam Mayer paced the start alongside of Blake Bauman. Mayer and Cohle Santiago worked together to pull out from the pack until Bauman and James Lynch worked together to join the lead group. Santiago, Bauman and Mayer took their turn leading the race. On the final lap it was Bauman holding off Mayer by just .004 seconds for the apparent win. However, post tech inspections would DQ Bauman handing the win to Sam Mayer (Merlin) with Santiago, Lynch, Maks Kowalski and Cameron Christ rounding out the top five.
The final class racing on Sunday was the Switch Racing Engines Yamaha Sportsman II class. The 12 kart field was paced by fast qualifier and pre-final winner Brandon Lemke along with Alex Bertagnoli. The lead pack of Lemke, Kaleb Allison, Dillon Schwanbeck and Bertagnoli raced in a tight group as they pulled away from the rest of the field. Schwanbeck was able to work his way to the lead and on the last lap moved to the low side of the long straightaway to hold his position, however he squeezed Lemeke into the grass dropping him to fourth at the finish. Schwanbeck held off Bertagnoli for the apparent win, however Schwanbeck was penalized three positions for blocking, handing the win to Bertagnoli (Merlin). Allison, Lemke, Schwanbeck and Brant Carter rounded out the top five.
Merlin chassis captured the most wins over the weekend with eight followed by Tony Kart (2) and Margay, Arrow, Exprit, Coyote and PCR with one win each. For the complete race results, visit the series web site or www.mylaps.com.
The 2012 Route 66 Sprint Series awards banquet will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Illinois on the evening of January 26th. Last year over $60,000 in awards and merchandise were awarded at the banquet. Banquet registration forms will soon be available on the series web site. The Winter Kart Show is scheduled for the same weekend at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Orr Building. For more information about the Route 66 Sprint Series awards banquet, visit www.route66kartracing.com. For more information about The Winter Kart Show visit www.WinterKartShow.com.