Race Report: 2017 Texas Sprint Racing Series – Round One
The first race of the year for the Texas Sprint Racing Series (TSRS) presented by TYCA Karting & EVINCO Tires was held on April 22 & 23 at Gulf Coast Karters in Katy, Texas. The event proved the series continued growth from 2016 with a record number of 70 entries in both the 2-stroke and 4-stroke classes for this first event of the year. TSRS had a stellar LO206 field once again, along with the World Formula Pro, TaGs and Shifters, all providing very close and exciting racing around the challenging .7-mile layout.
Briggs – World Formula Pro Light presented by Ribtect
The World Formula Pro Light class sponsored by Ribtect provided some great racing with close battles on track. Robert Schneider (Rpm RaceKarts/Margay) scored the pole in qualifying, but Brendan Baker (CRG Nordam/Core Karting/Rpm RaceKarts) scored the overall victory on the new CRG FS4 chassis. Baker had close battles with Jerry Rhodes (Rpm RaceKarts /Margay; TSRS 2015 WF Champion) & Schneider in all three heats. Rhodes won heat one by .055 seconds over Baker, and Baker returned the favor in heat two by winning over Rhodes by a similar margin. Heat three and the main event were all Baker, as he took the lead and never looked back. Jerry Rhodes finished second, Robert Schneider third, Justin Upchurch (Damz Inc / Alpha Karts Exos) fourth, and Bob Simmons (Iconic Edge) fifth.
Briggs – World Formula Pro Heavy presented by Fast Auto Transport
The World Formula Pro Heavy class sponsored by Fast Auto Transport is new to TSRS in 2017, due to increased popularity of this engine package. The weekend saw former S4 shifter kart driver Jean-Michel Gaston (Damz Inc /Alpha Kart Exos) dominate, taking the pole in qualifying, and winning two of the three heat races. Mark Cresswell (Trackside Karting Services/Comp Kart) took the win in heat one, but was unable to compete on Sunday due to personal issues. BJ Hodge (Rpm RaceKarts /CRG) ran consistent all weekend. In the main event, Jean-Michel Gaston took home the win and points lead, with BJ Hodge following in second, and Mark Cresswell third.
Briggs LO206 Light presented by Margay Racing
The LO206 Senior Light Class sponsored by Margay Racing had tough competition throughout the weekend, with the out-of-town racers fighting for the top positions. The LO206 Light qualifying started off with HCKC racer Taylor Ross (Eagle Kart) taking the pole position. He showed himself capable of winning all weekend with an average first place finish for the three heat races. Riley Dickinson (DKC Sodi Shifter Pilot) decided to take a weekend off from shifter karts and run LO206 with Texas Karts. Dickinson battled up front all weekend and took the overall win in the LO206 Light Class for the weekend. Taylor Ross scored a close second place, with his uncle Shawn Ross (Eagle Kart) in third. Louisiana drivers Shane Burkett (Coyote) and Greg LaCoste (Coyote), finishing fourth and seventh, proved that the Louisiana racers are a serious threat for the championship. Tommy Muth (Texas Karts/Intrepid) finished fifthoverall, and Blair Hosie (Damz Inc /Alpha Karts Exos) was sixth. Taylor Ross is the points leader going into the second event, with Riley Dickinson sits five points back in second.
Briggs LO206 Heavy presented by Texas Karts
The LO206 Heavy Class sponsored by Texas Karts saw Dale Ross (Eagle Kart) dominate the field all weekend with a perfect sweep in all heats and the final. Brad Holly (CRG) was a perfect second, and HOTKC racer Tommy Sutton a near perfect third for the weekend. Defending series champion Chris Crosley (Intrepid) secured a fourth place finish. Paul Gonzalez (Intrepid) finished fifth, Bryan Luyster (Margay) sixth, and Shane Leggott (Birel) seventh overall. Ross leads the points, with Holly and Sutton following close behind.
Briggs LO206 Cadet presented by LiMi Makeup
The LO206 Cadet class sponsored by LiMi Makeup provided great driving by the young field. Newcomer Ragan Saville (Merlin) was on fire, dominating the weekend with a perfect first place sweep in all three heats and main event. Jerry (Bubbie) Rhodes (Rpm RaceKarts /Margay) took the second spot. Austin Roy (Rpm RaceKarts /CRG) finished a close third, both Rhodes & Roy battling for the second spot all weekend. Newcomer James Moss (Birel) had some exciting heat races, and finished fourth overall in his first ever regional series event. The points lead belongs to Saville with a 45-point lead. Rhodes follows in second, and Roy in third, with only ten points separating the two. Moss sits in fourth, 15 points out from third.
TaG Cadet presented by Wilson Fire Equipment
The TaG Cadet class sponsored by Wilson Fire Equipment brought eventful racing all weekend. With fifteen drivers entered in the class, no driver was able to pull off a perfect weekend. Ryan Shehan (Trackside Karting Services/Comp Kart) and Caiden Mitchell (Sodi Kart) showed they were the ones to beat in the opening round. Both Shehan and Mitchell would take heat race wins, but Shehan took home the main event win, with Mitchell crossing the line in a close second. Santiago Robles (Benik) had a solid weekend with a third place finish. Other standouts in the class include Artie Flores (Birel) finishing fourth, Miles Hewitt (MPH Racing/Comp Kart) fifth, Noah Baker (Benik) in sixth, and Kaden Trotter (Benik) coming home in seventh. Shehan & Mitchell are now tied in the points battle, with Robles a close third.
TaG Junior presented by Trackside Karting Services
The TaG Junior Class sponsored by Trackside Karting Services showed strong racing all weekend. Ethan Arndt (CompKart/Trackside Karting Services) showed his dominance with a perfect sweep of the weekend taking the pole, three heat wins, and the main event win. Maxwell Waithman (Tony/Iron Rock Motorsports) chased Arndt all weekend, and would score a perfect second overall in the class. Kaden Gray (Core Karting/CRG) ran a solid third to round out the podium. Jett Morton (Damz Inc/Alpha Karts) finished in the fourth spot, Gunner Bellehumeur (Tony) following in fifth, Robert Warren Jr. (Core Karting/Formula K) in sixth, and Adrian Cruz (Sodi) seventh. Arndt leads the points after round one, with Waithman & Gray close behind.
TaG Light presented by CRG Nordam
The CRG Nordam TaG Light Class enjoyed some hard-fought battles with Brett Mitchell (Tony), Max Hewitt (MPH Racing/Comp Kart), and John Berry (Damz, Inc/Alpha Kart) chasing the win. In the end, Mitchell would take the top spot and the points lead with Hewitt a close second. Berry ran third, with Jeffery Collins (Trackside Karting Services/CompKart) in fourth. Dough Foxworth (Intrepid) finished in the fifth spot, and Nathan Gardener (Praga) ended his day in sixth.
Shifter Light presented by Alpha Karts USA
The Alpha Karts USA Shifter Light class brought some of the most exciting racing of the weekend. Billy Auffenberg (Rpm Racekarts/Energy/DDR) was a dominant force, setting the pace on his DDR Honda-powered Energy Kart and never looked back, taking home the win for the weekend. The remainder of the field battled over the remaining top-five finishing positions. Carson Mueller (Rpm RaceKarts/CRG /SwedeTech) ran strong throughout the heats, and took a second place finish in the final. Marcellus Dukes (Sodi) ended up third in the main event, followed by Billy Smith (Core Karting/Formula K) in fourth. Garrett Ramirez (Damz Inc/Alpha Karts) rounded out the top-five, with Liam Snyder (Core Karting/Formula K) in sixth, Mark Snyder (Core Karting/Formula K) came home seventh, and defending 2016 champion Randy Burnett (Aluminos) followed in eighth. Consistency will be the key in this class for the season. The points chase will heat up at round two.
Race #2 for the Texas Sprint Racing Series will be held at the North Texas Karter’s (NTK) track in Denton, Texas, May 20-21st. There is an expected attendance of 65-70 racers for the next round. Race #3 will be held at Hill Country Kart Club (HCKC), June 24 & 25. Race #4, the final race of the season and championship, will be held at the newly-completed SpeedSportz Racing Complex in New Caney, Texas, on September 30 & October 1.
The Texas Sprint Racing Series presented by TYCA Karting & Evinco Tires would like to thank all partners including Aim, Alan Rudolph Racing Academy, Alpha Kart USA, Beta Tools, Briggs & Stratton Racing, Core Karting, CRG Nordam, DDR Racing, Evinco, Fast Auto Transport, Fastech Racing, Hilliard Clutches, Honda Racing (HPD), LiMi Makeup, Margay Racing, Pin It Sprocket Carriers, Ribtect, RLV, Rpm RaceKarts, SRS, Texas Karts, Trackside Karting Services, Trailer Alarms, Tyca Karting, VP Fuels, Wilson Fire Equipment & Zija. We would also like to thank our Texas Area Tracks for their support including GCKI, HCKC, HOTKC, NTK, LKA, WTKA & SpeedSportz.