Lemke and Lindley Double at New Castle Motorsports Park Route 66 Sprint Series Event
The MG Tire / L & T Manufacturing Route 66 Sprint Series held rounds seven and eight at the popular New Castle Motorsports Park (NCMP) on August 2nd and 3rd with a nice turnout of over 260 entries. The event was sponsored by Verde Speed Resources. Rain was predicted for Saturday but never materialized as all of the races were completed under dry conditions on both days. Only two drivers were able to take double wins over the weekend. Brandon Lemke won the Saturday Leopard Junior final and the Saturday Yamaha Junior final and Aiden Lindley won the Yamaha Rookie final on both days. Very unique helmet shaped trophies were awarded to the top five in each class along with pole position medals going to the fast qualifier of each class.
At the Saturday morning driver’s meeting, Adam Taylor and Matthew Northrop won a free set of MG tires. PKT gift certificates were also given away to Alex Grapsas, Delaney Keaveny, Trevor Johnson and Ryan Weyer.
The first final racing both days was the Haddock Limited/Comet Kart Sales Komet class. Kyle Gluth qualified on pole Saturday and Alexander Kardashian set quick time Sunday. Ryan Weyer (Merlin) won the pre-final and final on Saturday as he pulled away to a big four second lead in the final. On Sunday it was Christian Besasie (Merlin) taking the final win over Kardashian. Gluth finished third on both days and Delaney Keavany and Roman Padans rounded out the top five.
The Hollywood Crane Service Kid Kart class was racing next with Elliot Cox setting the fast qualifying time and taking the pre-final win on both days. Cox pulled away to a three second win in the final on Saturday with Trevor Johnson, Dylan Julien, Logan Julien and Cooper Christ finishing in the top five. On Sunday Dylan Julien (Merlin) pulled away to a huge 14 second win in the final over Elliot Cox with Cooper Christ, Logan Julian and Trevor Johnson rounding out the top five.
The next class racing was the Haddock Limited/Express Karts & Parts Komet Cadet class. On Saturday, Sam Mayer (Merlin) would sweep the day by setting fast time and winning both the pre-final and final. He was followed closely at the finish by Alex Bertagnoli, Austin Schaff and James Lynch with Stephen Dial rounding out the top five. On Sunday James Lynch was the fast qualifier however Alex Bertagnoli (Merlin) took the pre-final and final wins pulling out to 1.787 second lead. Sam Mayer, Riley Yates, Austin Schaff and Stephen Dial finished in the top five when Lynch failed post-tech inspections.
Next up was the RLV Yamaha 100 Senior class with a big field of 20 entries. Brad Brittin captured the fast qualifying award on Saturday and Dan Corcoran set quick time on Sunday. Collin Griffin won the Saturday pre-final and swapped the lead in the final with Christain Ledesma. At the finish Griffin (Tony Kart) held off the pack of Brad Brittin, Killian Keaveny, Ledesma, Corcoran, Eric Bartsch and Kyle Gluth separated by only .45 seconds at the finish line. On Sunday Killian Keaveny (Top Kart) won the pre-final and pulled away in the final to a three second win over Griffin, Scott Kopp, Trevor Delong (in a self-built chassis) and Cal Stewart rounding out the top five.
The CKT Leopard 125 Junior class was up next. Brandon Lemke continued his hot streak in this class by setting fast time on Saturday. Mike McAndrews took the pre-final win by just .08 seconds over Lemke. In the final Saturday Lemke (Merlin) took the win over McAndrews with Nicholas Nufer, Emily Hurlbert and Max Nufer rounding out the top five. On Sunday Zach Holden joined the class and set fast qyalifying time. Lemeke captured the pre-final but McAndrews (Birel) prevailed in the final over Lemke in a hotly contested battle that saw the rolled black flag pointed at the top two. Holden, Hurlbert and Max Nufer also finished in the top five on Sunday.
The next class racing was the Triple E Sales Yamaha 100 Rookie class where Aiden Lindley (Birel) swept the weekend by setting fast time both days and by winning both the pre-finals and finals. He pulled away to a five second win on both days. The race for second was won by Mason Main on Saturday and by Cameron Christ on Sunday. Rounding out the top five on Saturday were Christ, Taylor Maas and Conner Churchill. Rounding out the top five on Sunday were Mason Maine, Aidan Hinds and Tate Steinmann.
The Franklin Motorsports Leopard 125 Senior class staged next with 20 entries. Five different drivers claimed fast times, pre-final wins and final wins over the two days in this very competitive class. On Saturday, Cal Stewart set the fast qualifying time but Elliot Finlayson (Tony Kart) would take the pre-final and final wins in a close battle over Michael Gerringer, Tommy Anderson, Mick Gabriel and Darin Marcus. On Sunday, Sam Cate joined the class and set fast qualifying time. Elliot Finlayson would continue his hot streak by winning the pre-final. In the Sunday final, contact at the start would take Finlayson out of contention and Tommy Anderson (Tony Kart) raced his way to the front to take the win by 2.1 seconds over Cal Stewart, Gerringer, Troy Hottmann and Josh Hotz in the top five. Collin Griffin, Kindra Hurlbert, Darin Marcus, Adam Crepin and Austin Erickson also had good runs finishing in the top 10 on Sunday.
The Yamaha 100 Junior class sponsored by Woltjer Racing Engines was up next. On Saturday, Brandon Lemke (Merlin) would sweep the day taking fast time, pre-final and final wins. Dillon Schwanbeck and Thayne Chapin had a great battle for second place with Schwanbeck prevailing by just .029 seconds. Jeremy Fierke and Alec Evers rounded out the top five on Saturday. On Sunday Zach Holden joined the class and set fast qualifying time. Dillon Schwanbeck would take the pre-final win. In the Sunday final, Holden (Top Kart) took the win over Lemke by .164 seconds after Becker Reardon led early in the race. Schwanbeck, Reardon and Chapin rounded out the top five.
The Briggs and Stratton LO-206 class staged next where Matthew Bartling and Brandon Klein had a great battle the entire race with Bartling (Birel) taking the win by just .03 seconds on Saturday. On Sunday Bartling dropped out with engine problems on lap 10 handing the win to Klein (Birel). George Wilson, Jeremy Roche, AJ Collins and Mike Riemer finished in the top five on Sunday.
The Switch Racing EnginesYamaha 100 Cadet class was the last class racing with a large field of 21 entries. Stephen Dial set fast qualifying time on Saturday but Austin Schaff (Merlin) would take both the pre-final and final wins. Sam Mayer finished just .026 seconds back at the finish with Drew Lindley finishing third in the grass at the finish line on Saturday. Alex Bertagnoli and Stephen Dial rounded out the top five finishing just .411 seconds back. On Sunday the front five of Drew Lindley (Birel), Jason Welage, Sam Mayer, Stephen Dial and Connor Cass finished just .53 seconds apart in a photo finish.
Merlin chassis captured the most final wins over the weekend with eight victories. Birel was second with six wins followed by Tony Kart with three wins and Top Kart with two wins.
The final two rounds of the Route 66 Sprint Series will be held at the historic Mid-State Raceway near Springfield, IL on September 6th and 7th. Mid-State Kart Club (MSKC) is expanding the pits again for this event and have recently done track repairs to make it smoother. MSKC also plans on having Race Monitor data available for this event. Bonus points will be awarded at this event for competitors who have raced at each event this season. Practice will be available at the track on Thursday and Friday before the event. Pre-entries can be done on-line at www.motorpsortreg.com up until midnight September 2nd.