eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month: May 2017 – Braden Eves
Three different chassis brands, three victories at two events for Ohio driver
Eves scored his first victory of the month at the SKUSA Pro Tour SpringNationals aboard the Vemme Kart (Photo: EKN)
In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.
The month of May has passed us once again. For many, it means a new journey, be it advancing to a new grade in school for the upcoming year, graduating from high school, or receiving the college degree. For us racers, it’s the greatest month of the year as we enjoy the thrills and excitement of the Indianapolis 500. The 101st running was among the most dramatic once again, and at kart tracks all over the country and around the world, young karters dream of having that one chance to cross the yard of bricks on Memorial Day weekend.
For Braden Eves, the path to the Indy 500 is progressing well with a solid month of karting, including victories aboard three different chassis brands at different events. First was the trip to Simraceway Performance Karting Center in Sonoma, California for the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour SpringNationals. Eves made his debut aboard the Vemme Kart, the mastermind of the Mandarino family. Saturday was a tough outing, finding himself outside the top-10 all day, finishing up with a 12th place performance in the Final. Sunday began in roughly the same position, able to race his way forward in the Prefinal to finish fourth. Braden found himself trailing the lead group until the final few laps, and ending a wild last lap with the lead and scoring his second SKUSA Pro Tour victory, duplicating the same feat achieved last year. It was the first triumph for Vemme at the SKUSA Pro Tour as well (see the EKN TV OnBoard footage HERE).
Two weeks later, Eves was back trackside at the familiar Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania for the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series. Competing in two categories – Pro IAME Senior and Yamaha Senior – Eves utilized the Kosmic and FA Kart models for the weekend. The first win came in the Zero Error Racing FA Kart on Saturday, sweeping the Yamaha Senior division. Eves drove away from the competition in both heat races, leading wire-to-wire. After a quick battle with Dakota Pesek, Eves drove off for a three-second advantage to claim his first victory on the season in the category.
The second victory came Sunday in the wet aboard his MDD Kosmic machine in the Pro IAME Senior division. Eves was edged out for fast time in qualifying by 29 thousandths of a second to former WKA Triple Crown winner Brandon Lemke. Eves came up just short of the win in the Prefinal, posting fast lap of the race as the clouds moved in with the rain. With the Bridgestone wet tires on, Eves went untouched in the Final, going green-to-checkered with the lead and securing his first victory of the season in the class.
Adding to his resume, Eves drove from 12th to fourth in the wet for the Yamaha Senior main event on Sunday after retiring early in the Prefinal from a mechanical issue, helping to put him at the top of the point standings. Fast time in qualifying on Saturday in Pro IAME Senior with a runner-up finish has him leading the championship chase in that class. Braden is currently sixth in the SKUSA Pro Tour X30 Senior standings. His karting schedule continues on July 14-16 with the third stop of the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series at the New Castle Motorsports Park in Indiana before returning there on August 11-13 for the SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals.
This past weekend, Eves took part in his first car race, joining the MDD operation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda. Braden was able to cross the yard of bricks in the Indy GP configuration, driving to finishes of second, third, and fourth. Eves will continue to compete at the WKA and SKUSA Pro Tour programs this season, while working to extend his F4 opportunities.
May 2017 EKN Driver of the Month – Braden Eves
Born: May 3, 1999
Hometown: Gahanna, Ohio
Parents: Greyson Eves and Shannon Johnson
Siblings: Blaine Eves and Tristian Johnson
Height/Weight: 5’9” / 130 lbs
Education: Senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School
Job: Karting mechanic and coach
Chassis: Vemme Kart
Engine/Engine Builder: Allison Racing Engines X30 / Yamaha
Sponsors: Jay Howard’s Motorsport Driver Development, Allison Racing Engines, Zero Error Racing
Series You Compete In: SKUSA Pro Tour, WKA Manufacturers Cup
Years Karting: 12
How did you get started in karting? My dad went indoor karting and thought it would be a fun family activity, so we all got our own karts and started practicing at Circleville Raceway Park, fast forward 12 years and here we are!
What has been the high point in your racing career? Winning the SKUSA SpringNationals twice
What are your goals in racing? To be a professional driver in IndyCar
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Smooth
Funniest moment at the race track? Rental karting at PITT WKA this year with everyone
Favorite Track: Pittsburgh International Race Complex
Favorite form of professional motorsports: IndyCar
Favorite karting driver: Jacob Abel
Favorite professional driver: Jay Howard
Favorite website: www.BradenEves.com
Favorite movie: The Martian
Favorite actor/actress: Matthew McConaughey
Favorite music/group: Linkin Park
Favorite vacation/activity spot: Florida
Favorite food: Any pasta
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? Practice on my simulator
What are your goals outside of karting? Compete in the whole season in F4 US Championship for 2018
What type of street car do you drive? E46 BMW 323i
What type of street car would you like to drive? BMW M3
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? When people think that the pushback bumper will fix all driving standards in karting…
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? Get a faster engine package for the premier classes in national level racing
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? The amount of experience you receive for relatively low cost
May 2017 Driver of the Month – Honorable Mention:
– Colin Gasparini: Gearup F-Series – Three Heat Wins (Formula Junior)
– Carson Morgan: SKUSA Pro Tour SpringNationals – Mini Swift Double Winner
– Sebastian Ng: SKUSA Pro Tour SpringNationals – Micro Swift Double Winner
– Jess Peterson: SKUSA Pro Tour SpringNationals – X30 Master Double Winner
– Ryan Raffa: Gearup F-Series – Three Heat Wins (Formula TaG)
– Mateo Rubio-Luengo: WKA Manufacturers Cup Series – Two Wins (Yamaha Sportsman / Mini Swift)
– Connor Zilisch: WKA Manufacturers Cup Series – Two Wins (Yamaha Sportsman / Pro Swift Sportsman)