Race at the Beach Round #2

Helgason Triples - Fields, Fitzgerald, Beville, Stratton, Neibert and Kelly Doubled

Animal Heavy-#26-Nick Helgason - #99 Zach Bullis (Photo: Bruce C. Walls/Action Sports Photos)

Saturday May 2, 2015 was a beautiful day on the Delmarva Peninsula. Temperatures were in the mid 70’s, a warm breeze blew and the sun played hid and seek behind puffy white clouds.  Perfect conditions for the surface of US-13 Kartway’s 1/5-mile dirt oval.  The sun was just warm enough to heat it a tad without drying it out for round #2 of the ‘Maxxis Tires Race At The Beach’ five-race series.  This one sponsored by Chip’s Repair and Towing.

The track was wicked fast that day and so was Rhodesdale, MD driver Nick Helgason.  Helgason was not only a triple winner; he took the top purse of $1,500, and on his way to winning Animal Heavy he turned the fastest lap ever recorded at the Delmar, DE dirt oval. Helgason blistered the 1/5-mile track with 10.166 seconds on the mid-race lap beating his former record of 10.40 seconds.

“I don’t know man. I don’t know if I could get much faster then that,” Helgason laughed after crossing the scale. “That’s got me excited. I didn’t know I ran a 0.166. I thought maybe a 2.  It felt great. Either the track’s getting faster or I drove her a little faster.”

It all started with Helgason hitting his marks for Animal Heavy Warm Up’s top starting spot. His fast time of 10.372 seconds in qualifying was just 0.066-seconds faster than legendary engine builder and racer fellow Marylander Kevin Colburn.

With a ton of talent behind them Helgason and Colburn led the field to the green flag.   Helgason hustled into the early led.  Colburn surrendered second to Stony Creek, VA based Adam Beville who took after Helgason, but it was too late, Helgason’s Hustler Racing Engines powered Millenum kart was at the stripe with a comfortable 1.260 seconds advantage.

“The leader kind of gave it to me and I set sail. I don’t know if I got lucky or not getting ahead like that,” Helgason described.  “The kart drove its self basically.”

Beville finished a distant second, 1.260 seconds later.  Colburn crossed third, Ritchie Hornsby was fourth and White capped the top five.

Dustin Pleasanton dominated Animal Heavy’s qualifying with a 10.615 seconds trip.  Stephanie Lambert turned an 11.051 seconds lap for the outside pole. Behind them Zack Bullis, of Millsboro, DE and Dillion Adams lined up in row two.  Further back Richie Hornsby and Helgason occupied row three.

Pleasanton and Lambert rocketed off front row while Helgason and White worked their way through traffic.  Helgason got there first while White had more real estate to cover coming from a tenth place start.  Helgason reached Pleasanton and took the lead while White continued working his way through the field.  In the final laps White reached second and was quickly closing in on Helgason.  But time and distance were his enemies.

“I saw my brother over there giving me the hurry up signal,” Helgason added. “I was giving it all I could, but I didn’t want to overdrive it either.”

White finished 0.799 seconds behind Helgason.  Beville blasted by Pleasanton and Bullis for third fourth and fifth.

Beville earned four poles and two wins. He earned Pro Animal’s win with a blistering 10.348 seconds rounding. Kevin Colburn was a close second at 10.436 seconds.  Behind them in row two were Helgason and White with times of 10.440 and 10.468 seconds.

Beville blasted into the early lead with Helgason and White coming after him. White quickly advanced to second with Helgason locked on his tailpipe.  White took the lead and then surrendered it to Helgason.  Beville made it back to second, but was 0.478 seconds late at the stripe.

Colburn came in third Midlothian, VA based Jason ‘Higgy’ Higginbotham following in fourth, Hornsby in fifth.

Beville did better in the clone classes capturing checkers in Clone Heavy where he battled his way from sixth for the win and H.P. Speed Shop sponsored PRO Stock Clone.  Evan Dennis dominated Clone Heavy’s qualifying spinning an 11.582 seconds lap that was almost 2 seconds quicker then the outside pole winner Chris Grier’s fast time of 11.443 seconds.  Beville started sixth, but was there when it counted with fifth fastest qualifier Chris Stelljes following 1.400 seconds later.  Beville’s CKE Racing Engines powered Charger Racing Chassis took charge of the field just before mid race and never relinquished it.

“The Chassis Charger Chassis has been pretty good, pretty strong all day. The Tires worked great, I’ve got to thank X-Factor Preps for that.  I also want to thank Shane Bass he and the crew worked hard on the kart all day to get us qualified and to this win for us today.

“The Phantom Racing Chassis Charger Chassis has been pretty strong all day worked pretty good they’ve been pretty strong all day. The tires were good all day, I’ve got to thank X-Factor Preps for that they’ve been working hard all day to get us qualified to win this race,” Beville said adding, “I also have to thank Shane Bass he’s been working hard on the kart all day.”

Dennis crossed third, Bullis stayed where he started in fourth followed by Lewes, DE driver J.P. Gates who finished fifth.

Beville blasted around the track in 10.661 seconds for Pro Stock Clone’s top starting spot. Colburn was 0.042 seconds off that pace for the outside pole.  Stellijes and White were behind them in row two followed by White and Bullis.

Beville took a never surrendered lead from the start with Colburn challenging him the entire trip.  Other than a lap five caution nothing slowed Beville who took the win just 0.210 seconds ahead of Colburn.  White was a close third 0.991 seconds behind Beville.  Further back Stelljes and Bullis rounded out the top five.

Milford, Delaware based Mike Stratton is a veteran kart racer who’s earned many local, regional and national championships. Saturday he was in victory lane twice.  He led Animal Super Heavy and PRO Super Heavy wire-to-wire. In both races the battle was for second.

Stratton blistered the track with a 10.791seconds rounding for Animal Super Heavy’s pole.   Alec Conklin claimed the outside pole with an 11.077 seconds trip.  Behind them Andrew White and Nicholas Brost sat in row two.

Stratton broke away from the field as soon as the race started.  That left Brost and Conklin battling for second letting Stratton get away from them.  Brost finally captured second, tried to run down Stratton who reached the stripe with a comfortable 1.110 seconds win margin.  Conklin and White were third and fourth.

“We ran 10.600’s in that one.  I’ve never won Super Heavy here,” Stratton beamed after his first win. “The Triton kart was great, the tires were great, and the Higgy’s house of Power motor was great.  I want to say a special thanks to Bryan Bradford of Bryan Bradford Racing for all of his help in getting us this win.”

A 10.851 seconds lap put Stratton on Pro Super’s pole.  He finished the race 3.7l0 seconds ahead of Brost.  White was third across the stripe.

Jayden Johnson spun Junior 1 Heavy’s fastest qualifying lap in 11.25l seconds. Phantom Icon pilot Brandon Kelly, of Lincoln, DE, earned the outside front row starting position with an 11.365 seconds lap.  Johnson led the field around five times before the caution flag waved for a spinner in turn 2.  Johnson led the restart with Kelly close behind.  Several laps later Kelly slipped by Johnson for the lead that he took to the stripe.

“It wasn’t that hard,” said the 10-year-old winner of taking the lead.  “The Icon kart worked good and Tod Miller’s motor ran good.  I want to thank my sponsors Rick Avello and Dynamic Preps.”

Ryan McKinney raced his way from a fifth place start to a second place finish trailing Kelly by 1.866 seconds. Fourth fastest qualifier Gage Fitchett advanced to third and Colin James, the third fastest qualifier crossed fifth.

An 11.104 seconds qualifying lap earned Kelly PRO Junior 1’s pole.  McKinney shared front row with a 9.267 seconds lap.  Johnson and James were behind them in row two.

Kelly jumped into the early lead.  He built a huge over the rest of the field by halfway.  Then, without warning, the caution flag flew erasing that lead. When racing resumed Kelly went back to work building a huge lead in the second half.  Fitchett tried in vein to catch him, but trailed 4.233 seconds at the end.

Following Fitchett in the top five were Johnson, McKinney and James.

“The track’s getting faster,” Kelly, described adding, “The caution didn’t worry me.  The kart was good, it was really quick.”

Zach Fields and Jacob King finished Junior 1 Heavy the way they started. Fields, of Camden, DE, earned the pole with an 11.001 seconds rounding and King’s top qualifying lap took 11.186 seconds, he was off the pace by 0.188 seconds.

The race was only five laps old when the caution waved followed by the red flag.  When green flag racing returned Fields and King continued their battle down to a narrow 0.083 seconds difference at the stripe.  Behind King in the top five were Liam Garrison, Spencer Warren and Olivia Powell.

Fields was just as quick in Pro Junior-2.  He flew around the track in 10.847 seconds.  Rounding it in 11.138 seconds put Carter Sylvester on the outside pole.  Brock Vincent and Warren were third and fourth fastest qualifiers.

Fields led the field to the green flag and left them behind running his own race to the finish.  “I feel good this time,” Fields said, “I’ve got to thank my dad, X-Factor Preps, Double Nickel Motorsports, and everybody else who comes to the track every week to help me.  I want to say congratulations to my brother he just had his first kid on April 30th and this is to her.”

Cole Neibert collected a pair of wins that Saturday.  The 14-year-old Greenwood, DE native led the event’s first race Junior 3 then later showed Bryan Bradford Racing/Phantom Racing sponsored Pro Junior 3’s field across the finish line.

Garrett Himmighoerfer grabbed Junior 3’s pole with a 10.747 seconds lap.  Denton, MD driver Trent Reed won the outside pole with a 10.774 seconds trip. Jake Tucker and Neibert turned lap times of 10.780 and 10.876 seconds for row two.

The first green flag of the day flew and so did Neibert who shot by Tucker and Reed before going after Himmighoerfer.  Neibert kept his Finish Line Performance powered Charger chassis rolling passing Himmighoerfer with Reed in tow.

“The kart felt pretty good it was a little tight, but Shane had the tires figured out and we went on and did our thing,” Neibert said after his first win.

Reed held onto second but couldn’t catch Neibert who owned a second and a half lead at the stripe.  Himmighoerfer finished a distant third followed in the top five by Cody Oliver and Jim Tyre.

Himmighoerfer recorded his second pole with a 10.558 seconds run in Pro Junior 3. Reed was second fastest at 10.709.  This time Neibert started third. Himmighoerfer hustled into the early lead with Reed and Neibert battling to get by.  They drafted by him.  The led swapping battle continued until the end where hundredths of a second separated them.

Himmighoerfer was just 0.401 seconds behind Neibert Reed finished 0.996 seconds later.  Tucker and Oliver were fourth and fifth.

“I hope we can keep these runs going on. I knew I had him (Himmighoerfer) up off the turn pulling.  I’m just glad I made the move when I did and went on and did my thing,” Neibert said after his second win. “Shane (Bass) and X-Factor Preps have had this kart on a rail. The CKE Power is just carrying us off the turns like crazy.  I can’t thank these guys enough.”

Jeffery Allaband and Matt Fitzgerald earned Animal Senior Stock front row starting positions.  Allaband rounded the dirt oval in 10.807 seconds for the pole and Fitzgerald grabbed the outside pole with a 10.905 seconds fast time.

Fitzgerald grabbed the early going with Chris Scholtz and Allaband all over him fighting for the lead.  Once his kart settled in Fitzgerald ran away with it finishing comfortably 2.822 seconds before Scholtz.

“The Phantom Icon handled pretty good.  My crew chief Chad Reed from Super Speed Motorsports did pretty good with it.  We just had it dialed in pretty good for that race,” explained Fitzgerald of Milford, DE.

Beville captured Clone Heavy’s win.  By mid race he’d opened over a second lead over the field.  Stelljes tried to catch him but was 1.400 seconds late at the stripe. Dennis, Bullis and J.P. Gates grabbed the remaining top five spots.

Logan Shockley, of Snow hill, MD led the way in Junior 1 Rookie.  Shockley piloting a Tod miller Racing Engines powered Titan kart was third fastest qualifier cranking out an 11.541 seconds effort.  Pole winner Michael Southard shot into the early lead.  Behind him Shockley worked by Chandler Wisseman for second.  Once securely in second, 7-year-old Shockley went after Southard.  Shockley powered past Wisseman for the lead while Clayton Peters climbed from fourth to second.  Peters almost beat Shockley to the stripe turning his fastest lap on the 19th time around.  He almost made it, but Shockley beat him out in a door-to-door battle to the finish where they were separated by a mire 0.085 seconds.  Southard and Wisseman scored third and fourth.

Peters produced the Junior 1 Trophy win.  Shockley was second and Southard was third. Six-year-old Taz Power Racing Engines powered Falcon Kart pilot Ivan Godwin, of Dagsboro, DE, soloed the Junior Stars.

Macey Thompson did it all in Junior Unrestricted.  She set the pole time in a track blistering10.844 seconds.  From there she beat second place challenger Neibert.  Jacob Maske was third.

Veteran kart racer Mike Ellerbusch dialed in the Outlaw pole time of 10.689 seconds. Chris Simonson shared front row with a 10.720 seconds lap for a 0.031 seconds difference.  Later he would be part of the finish line fray.

Ellerbusch quickly took the early led.  Three laps into it the caution flag flew for the first of three times keeping the leaders from breaking away.  Ellerbusch and the others barely got their karts rolling again when caution flags flew again.  Another lap later they were forced to restart again.

Finally they got real racing underway.  The top three were nose to tail all trying a shot at the lead.  Then in the final laps Ellerbusch broke away building a comfortable 2.169 seconds lead over third fastest qualifier Cody Rose.  Simonson was third followed by the father/son team of Clarence Edgens and Clarence Edgens IV.

“It was a little tricky, but we got her done,” Ellerbusch, of Willow Grove, DE, smiled after clearing the scales.  “We just had to wait about halfway through for the track to come in. After that the Millenium kart was fine and we went on with it. Once I got the kart back underneath me I could drive it. During the first half we had a little oil out there in the beginning. After that it was pretty smooth sailing.”

Jacob King was crowned Pro Junior 2 winner.  It wasn’t easy, double winner Zack Fields was on his tailpipe the entire trip finishing only 0.046 seconds later.  Spencer Warren was third, Brock Vincent followed in fourth ahead of Ricky Johnson who capped the top five.

Alex White topped one of the days dicier battles beating Pikesville, N.C. based Ty Bass to the stripe.  Trent Vanvorst was top qualifier turning an 11.137 seconds lap for the pole.   White was second fastest at11.019.  Bass struggled in qualifying with a 11.032 seconds trip.

When the initial green flag flew Vanvorst and White began battling for the lead while Bass was battling through the field.  Bass fought his way to second and began challenging White for the lead.  Behind Bass were Kenny Brown, Taylor Pleasanton, who won the first race of the season, and Davis who started third.

“It was fun we had a great race,” said the 18-year-old Tod Miller Racing Engines powered Phantom Triton kart pilot.  “I got spun out in the beginning, but it came right back.  The cautions helped me and the kart was really good, the Triton’s working good today and so is Tod’s motor.”

Bullis did it all in Semi-Pro Clone.  He spun the pole-winning lap in 10.542 seconds then fended off outside pole winner Evan Dennis who trailed him 1.628 seconds. Third, fourth and fifth fastest qualifiers finished in their starting positions.  They were Jordan Cropper, Zach Stair and Gates.

Ty Bass made Stock Flat Head one of the day’s most exciting races.  Bass was eighth fastest qualifier.  In the 20-lap feature Bass blasted by seven faster qualifiers for the lead and the win over third fastest qualifier Kyle Ayers. John Davis, the fourth fastest qualifier finished third, pole winner Kenny Brown Jr. crossed fourth and Taylor Pleasanton started where she started in fifth.

Racers in the Maxxis Race at the Beach will return to U.S. 13 Kartway Saturday June 27th 2010.  On July 17th and 18th the Big Dogs will be in town to challenge local racers with U.S. 13 Kartway’s hosting of the Dyno Cam Tri-State/Mid-Atlantic Northeast Tour presented by Maxxis (JR. MAXX DADDY).  This will be the area’s largest kart race since the club hosted a World Karting Association (WKA)/Briggs & Stratton National Dirt Series race in the mid 1990’s.

Race #4 of the Maxxis Battle @ The Beach will be held August 29th and the series will end October 10th with the fifth and final Battle At The Beach. Later that month the U.S.-13 Kart Club will hold it’s 8th Annual Diamond State 550 Shoot-Out.

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