Race Report: Red Line Oil Karting Championship – Season Finale
Scott Ripslinger dominates the GoPro Feature Race at Red Line Oil Series Season Finale
The 2013 racing season came to an end with a strong turnout of eighty four drivers and some exciting racing in several classes, especially in the Pro Stock Honda, Junior Rotax and Micro Max races. The race day was the first day of Standard time, so a one heat format was used at this race to make sure all ten race groups would be able to finish their Mains before darkness set in. Two classes still had championships on the line and Rotax Masters was the last GoPro featured class for the year. Several new drivers came out for their first race of the year in the Red Line Series, in spite of it being the last race of the year!
GoPro Feature: Rotax Masters
Ten drivers took to the track for the GoPro feature race. Scott Ripslinger, who had clinched the class championship, took the Pole followed by James Dix, Billy Scott and John Breidinger. In the heat race, Ripslinger took the lead out of turn one followed by Dix with Scott falling back a few positions. Scott put on a charge and worked his way back into 3rd by the end of the twelve lap race, with Breidinger 4th. At the start of the Main, Ripslinger took the lead again with Scott sneaking under Dix going into turn one to take over 2nd. Ripslinger held the lead throughout the race with Scott close behind. Scott posted the fastest lap of the race but he did not see the opportunity to make a clean pass and in the end settled for the runner up position. At the checker, Ripslinger crossed the line in 1st, taking home the GoPro Hero3. Ripslinger was followed by Scott, Dix, Breidinger and Kelly Heil.
Stock Honda 125 Masters
The Stock Honda 125 Masters class was one of two classes where the class championship was still on the line. Patrick O’Neill took the pole over points leader Jim Kidd, David Arnstein and number two in championship points, Jim Inglebright. The race started out clean with O’Neill taking the lead at the drop of the green followed by Kidd and Inglebright. Things went wrong as the field entered turn five with Kidd braking too late and getting into the back of O’Neill and spinning out the leader. Kidd took over the lead and went on to take the checkered but was assessed a penalty after the race for the contact with O’Neill. The win thus went to Inglebright followed by Arnstein, Chris Francis and Travis Bowles. In the Main, Inglebright took the lead followed by Arnstein, Kidd and Francis. To win the championship all Kidd needed to do was finish behind Inglebright, but luck was not on Kidd’s side this day as his engine blew up on the 7th lap and his championship aspirations went up in smoke. Now it was Inglebright’s turn to sweat it out as he finishes in the top three spots and wins the championship. O’Neill was also charging through the field from last place on the grid, posting the fastest lap of the race.
O’Neill passed Francis for 3rd, and then tried an aggressive move on Arnstein that he did complete. The two karts made heavy contact; Arnstein went off track and through the dirt while O’Neill stalled. Francis took over 2nd, Arnstein fell back to 3rd and O’Neill rejoined the race in last. In the end, Inglebright took home the win and a consecutive Championship, Francis finished 2nd in his best drive of the year, Arnstein 3rd, Alex Keith 4th and Travis Bowles 5th.
IAME TaG and Junior TaG
The spec gear IAME TaG class was the other class that had a championship on the line. Maxx Marian had a slim lead over Bryson Guzman in the point’s race with the championship most likely coming down to who wins this race. Things did not start out well for Guzman in Qualifying as his timing transponder fell off after the third lap of the five lap Qualifying session. Marian took the pole followed by Tazio Ottis, Josh Buttafoco, Guzman and the Junior Tag of Joe Morton. In the first heat, Marian was well on his way to the win when his kart broke and he pulled off. Guzman got by Josh and took 2nd behind Ottis with Marian getting the 4th place points. In the Main, Ottis took the initial lead with Guzman falling back to 5th place. Marian then worked his way back to the front and passed Josh to take over the lead in the race. Guzman got by Morton then moved into 3rd when Ottis’s engine went away and he pitted on lap thirteen. At the finish, Marian took the win and the Championship. Josh was 2nd, Guzman 3rd and Morton 4th overall. Morton also took the Junior TaG class win.
With the class championship wrapped up, champ Dustin Saleverria took this race off. Garrett Randolph Jr took the pole ahead of Gino Sandoval and Tait Blum. In the heat race, Gino took the initial lead closely followed by Garrett and Tait. The three ran “nose to tail” the entire race. Garrett squeezed by Gino near the end of the race as the two entered turn five with Tait also slipping by Gino to take over the 2nd spot. Garrett took the win, Tait 2nd, Gino 3rd and Ethan Tavares 4th. In the Main, it turned into a Garrett and Gino duel for the entire way. Tait slipped off the pace and Aiden O’Neill moved up to challenge Tait for 3rd, but the focus was on Garrett and Gino. Garrett lead most of the laps, Gino would make a pass on the straightaway, then Garrett would get right back by. This went on for 15 laps. As the battling duo went into the white flag lap, Gino made a pass on the straightaway and came out of turn one in the lead. Garrett was right on Gino’s back bumper looking for an opportunity to make a clean pass. Exiting the last turn, it was Gino in the lead, Garrett looking to see if he could sling shot past Gino. Gino held the right line and Garrett’s attempt was not enough. Gino took the win, Garrett just one tenth of a second back in 2nd, O’Neill 3rd, Blum 4th and Race Godeloson 5th.
EVO Electric karts
This event the EVO karts were a part of the Sunday show, the class numbers are growing and the karts have shown to be very quick and reliable. Zac Rubensen took the pole ahead of class champ Marcos Ramirez and Richard Hillemann. In the heat race, Marcos took the early lead with Hillemann moving into 2nd and Horsely 3rd. Going into the last lap, Hillemann had more juice left in the tank (actually batteries) and was able to power by Marcos to take the win with Marcos 2nd and Horsley 3rd. In the Main, Marcos again took the early lead with Hillemann running a conservative race pace. Marcos tried to smooth out his driving to preserve his batteries, but on the last lap of the eleven lap race Hillemann again had more left in reserve and was able to catch Marcos to go onto the win, Marcos hanging on to 2nd with Horsley 3rd and Rubensen 4th.
With the class championship wrapped up, Horatio Fitz-Simon took this race off. Tomas Mejia took the pole followed by Matteo Sandoval and Colin Mullan. In the heat race, Mejia took the initial lead and was pressed the entire race by Sandoval. In the end, Mejia took the win by just one tenth of a second ahead of Sandoval with Mullan another one and a half seconds back with Bryson Lew just edging out Nick Persing for the 4th place spot. In the Main, Sandoval got into the lead early and opened up a small lead over Mejia with Mullan in 3rd. The best race was for the 4th spot with Lew ahead but being pressured by Nick for the first ten laps. On the eleventh lap, the field had to get around a slower driver which went smoothly for the top three drivers, but when Lew came up to the slower driver, it was tough to choose which side to make a pass on and he went off track to avoid a collision thus ending his race. In the end, Sandoval drove on to a two second win over Mejia, Mullan in 3rd followed by Persing 4th and Valdemar Eriksen in the 5th spot.
80 Honda Masters and DD2 Masters
A strong turnout of eleven 80 Masters karts took the track with the DD2 kart class. Reno’s Mark Nason took the pole ahead of Charles Hastings, Roger Cornwall and class Champion Tom Nelson. In the heat race, Nason took the early lead and never looked back to come home three seconds ahead of Nelson followed by Cornwall, Hastings and Geoff Provo. As they lined up for the Main, Hastings kart would not start and he had to sit out this last race of the year. Nason took the early lead but was hounded by Nelson the entire way. At the end Nason took the win, Nelson 2nd, Cornwall 3rd, newcomer Jerome Abshire 4th and Provo 5th. Abshire’s day was a good story in just getting faster as the day went along, he showed up in the morning with no practice on the National track layout. He got the gear set up the night before from Nelson; he started the heat race in last due to Qualifying problems but came home 7th. Abshire then moved up three more spots in the Main; a good days work for one with no practice.
Jarrett Lile had the Championship wrapped up and so he took the day off from the driving, but was at the track helping out another racer with his kart. A light but fast field saw Zach Pettinicchi taking the pole ahead of Pablo Carbelledo and Carlos Calderon. In the heat race, Zach controlled the front of the race with Pablo right on his heals the entire way, Zach winning by just .025 of a second, Calderon taking 3rd, Ali Manning 4th. At the start of the Main, Zach went into the early lead with Calderon slipping into 2nd ahead of Pablo. On the second lap, Pablo was able to get by Caldron and start to chase down Zach. By mid race, Pablo had caught and made a good pass on Zach. Pablo was then able to pull out a small lead, keeping Zach from mounting a challenge. In the end, Pablo took his first Main event win by just three tenths of second ahead of Zach, Ali Manning coming home a great 3rd, while Calderon parked his kart on lap ten.
Pro Stock Honda
With the Super Nationals just around the corner, this Pro Stock race turned into a driver prep race with the addition of Tom Dyer, Ron White and Brett Buckwalter to the field. In Qualifying, Dyer took the pole ahead of Jason Toft and Buckwalter. In the heat race, Ron White got in the mix of these drivers that took turns leading the race. At the end, he came home 1st just one tenth of a second ahead of Buckwalter with Dyer less than a second back; Alex Keyes took 4th with Toft pulling off on lap 7. The Main started clean, but midway through the first lap Keyes and Dyer exchanged some bumping with both of them spinning and having to rejoin the race in last. The run up front was a two way battle between White and Buckwalter with Toft slicing his way through the field. Right behind them Hunter Pickett and Will Preston were battling for 4th until Hunter had to pull off with mechanical problems. By lap thirteen, Toft had hooked onto the end of the battle for the lead by way of posting numerous fastest laps of the race. On the last lap, Toft forced White wide exiting tic-tac-toe to take over 2nd with White getting back under Toft on the next corner forcing Toft wide to take back the spot. This action allowed Buckwalter to take the lead on the last lap and come across the finish line the winner followed by White, Toft, Preston and Tom Dyer.
JMJ Motorsports Junior Rotax
It is fitting that the last race recap of the year is the Junior Rotax race. With a strong field of karts, this turned into one of the most competitive races of the year. With the class championship locked up, Michael Avansino also sat out this race. In Qualifying, Annie Breidinger took the pole followed by Mason Cohen, Jaden Conwright and Michael Michoff. At the start of the heat race, the field all tried to push through turn one together and inevitably they did not make it. The results were three karts spinning with Mason flipping causing the race to be Red Flagged. Mason walked away feeling a bit beat up but his day was over. On the restart, Annie got tagged and spun entering turn one with the field getting by and Annie having to chase the field. Carter Herrera came out in front after all the karts scattered to avoid Annie. Lots of back and forth racing went on for the tweleve lap heat and at the end Carter took the win followed by Conwright, Corrie Hiatt, Michoff and Enzo Pervost. At the start of the Main, Carter lead the field as they came out of turn one. He held point in the race the entire way, but a four kart battle for 2nd place went on right behind him the entire race. As a kart got into 2nd place and in a position to challenge Carter for the lead, someone else would make a pass to get into 2nd place. During the race, Conwright, Prevost, Hiatt and Michoff all took turns to be the lead driver only to get repassed within a few turns. In the end, Carter held on to take his first feature win of the year followed by Conwright less than one tenth of a second behind with Hiatt and Prevost a few tenths of a second behind in 3rd and 4th. Michoff came home in 5th followed by Annie and Toni Breidinger. The top seven karts in this race all finished within 1.2 seconds of each other. The 2013 Junior Rotax class has been the most competitive class in series history with 10 different drivers taking podium positions during the year. With Conwright as the only driver needing to move up to Senior Rotax next year, the 2014 season could see an even stronger Junior Rotax field.
The 2013 racing season has now come to an end and the champions have been crowned. Look for the upcoming article and photos from the RLOKC Awards Banquet!
For more information about the Red Line Oil Karting Championships, go to www.redlineoilkarting.com