Series News: Tavella, Verhagen and Leslie Dominate with Back-to-Back Wins in MMX Karting Challenge
Round Three of the MMX Karting Challenge at Mooresville Motorplex (MMX) wrapped up the two-day, doubleheader weekend for the club series. With the opportunity to win two races in a single weekend, several drivers saw back-to-back victories. Dylan Tavella, Neil Verhagen, Nick Neri, Jason Leslie, Kyle Kirkwood, Paolo Dal Cin and William Rivera all scored final wins in the third race of the 12-round series.
There were over 70 competitors entered for today’s races, with the biggest field in Rotax Senior with 20 karts, including the entry of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Kyle Larson, who finished fifth in the final.
Dylan Tavella had another perfect day, backing up his Round Two win by qualifying on the pole, winning the prefinal and final race for the Rotax Micro Max division. The three-way battle for second position behind Tavella allowed him to check out to a 6.798-second lead. Alex Verhagen, Luke Fineis and Hannah Greenemeier battled bumper-to-bumper for almost the entire 15-lap race. Alex Verhagen was able to bring it home in second and Greenemeier finished in third position.
In the Rotax Mini Max division, Neil Verhagen turned his pole-winning, 52.099-second qualifying lap into a prefinal and final victory, which was his second win of the weekend. Mathias Ramirez and Blake Hunt rounded out the top-three.
Even though Nick Neri was not able to secure the pole from Oliver Askew earlier in the day, Neri showed his race craft by winning both the prefinal and 20-lap final race. With five laps to go in the final race, Askew made a pass for the lead exiting the hairpin turn, but Neri passed him back on the same lap and went on to cross the line in first with a 0.812-second margin of victory. Askew placed second, while Sam Beasley finished in third.
It was a new face on top of the Rotax Junior category, as Kyle Kirkwood scored the win in the 20-lap final against a tough field of 16 drivers. However, it was Round Two winner, Ashley Rogero, who sat on the pole with a 49.057-second lap and Austin Garrison who won the prefinal. Garrison and Rogero finished second and third, respectively, in the final.
Jason Leslie returned to the podium in the Rotax Masters division and Rob Maier finished in second.
Paolo Dal Cin took the win in the TaG Senior division, followed by Justin Walker.
William Rivera scored the final victory in the Yamaha Senior category, while Sam Watson crossed the line in second position in the 15-lap final.
The MMX Karting Challenge will be back in action on May 12 for Round Four. Each segment of the MMX Karting Challenge consists of two rounds of practice, qualifying, prefinal and final races for all 13 classes.
There will be a $10 Facility Entrance Fee for all spectators and crew members. Individuals who have a MMX Membership and competitors will not be charged a Facility Entrance Fee. Kids 10 and under will be free.
Next Up at Mooresville Motorplex:
MMX will host Round One of the United States Pro Kart Series (USPKS) on April 26-28. This series features seven popular karting classes and drivers from across the country will make their way to MMX to compete. For more information on the USPKS series and event details, please visit: http://www.uspks.com