Warren Wins Four at 2017 AKRA Sprint Cup Grand Nationals
Racers from both the Northern and Southern tours of the American Kart Racing Association’s (AKRA) American Sprint Cup Series, Presented by TS Racing, came together October 27-29 at Jacksonville, FL’s 103rd Street Sports Complex for Grand Nationals. In addition to Grand National racing national champions were crowned and a new Senior PRO Gas Series kicked off with a Saturday night money race.
Once again Naples, FL native Colin Warren won four of the weekend’s scheduled 19 classes offered. Warren swept everything both days in VEGA USA TaG Senior and TS Racing.com 206 CIK Senior Medium. Piloting a VLR chassis powered by a TS Racing built motor he topped qualifying and followed with wins in the Pre-Finals and Final races.
“TaG Senior was fun. I love the long straights here, (the longest 1,000 foot) Jacksonville is great because you can get so much speed here,” said the 20-year-old triple winner. “It was fun racing everybody this weekend. I had some hiccups in the Pre-Final races, but it all came together for a great weekend.”
Saturday Warren won TaG Senior’s pole with a 34.325 seconds rounding of the .545 mile, nine-turn track that boasts sections of 150 degree curved banking. Collin Cornell was second fastest at 34.748 seconds, which was 0.423 seconds off Warren’s time.
Saturday’s Pre-Final was a blow out with Warren taking the checkered flag by a huge 12.612 seconds margin over third fastest qualifier Alex Amiridis. Cornell was third across the stripe 14.135 seconds off pace. In the Final the top three relined up as they were off the Pre-Final grid. Warren won the Final by a much narrower margin. This time Cornell was across the stripe by 3.795 seconds. Holding on to third, Amiridis was 10.315 seconds behind Warren.
Sunday Warren produced a fast time of 34.479 seconds for TaG Senior’s top starting position. Cornell’s top time was 34.738 seconds, which earned him the outside pole. Amiridis was third again this time with a 35,005 seconds fast lap.
Warren won the Pre-Final with a 2.452 advantage over Cornell. Amiridis was further off down three laps when it was over. Later, when it counted, Warren took the final flag with an 8.890 seconds advantage over Cornell. Amiridis was third again this time crossing 17.759 seconds after the checkered flag flew.
Saturday Warren won TSracing.com 206 Senior Medium’s pole with a fast time of 40.393. From there Warren beat second fastest qualifier Jacob Duvall (41.291 seconds) in the Pre Final and Final. Warren was 5.719 seconds ahead of Duvall in the Pre Final and 5.328 seconds ahead of him in the final.
“Senior Medium was fun. I think the (Briggs & Stratton) 206 Motor really shines in the Medium class, less weight and all and the VR chassis ran great this weekend.”
Sunday he clocked a fast time lap of 40.538 for the pole from where he went wire-to-wire in the Pre-Final and Final.
Warren also entered Saturday’s Razor Chassis/Robert’s Kart Shop 206 Senior Heavy where he won the pole and Pre-Final. Warren zipped around the track in 40.520 for the pole and won the Pre-Final over third fastest qualifier, Jason Yarbrough (40.690, by 0.222 seconds. Fifth fastest qualifier, Sean Meier (40.847 seconds), beat Warren to the Final’s stripe by 0.222 seconds.
Meier, of Jacksonville, FL, was driving a Coyote Kart package powered by a Kart City sealed motor. Meier said, “ It was a beautiful package. It was a great package with the Vega tires. It was our first time on the Vega tires. We has some work to do today. We qualified fifth and then we made the right adjustments and moved it to the front. It was tough. I was working with Colin Warren and Aren Lloyd and they were keeping things pretty straight. We were trying to get past halfway before we started battling each other. I want to thank Jim and Mark Lipari from Coyote Karts, Rob Smith from Kart City, Brad Farmer and my dad and Barry Hastings.”
Tyler Lloyd finished third, Yarbrough and Patrick Neal followed in fourth and fifth.
Richfield, OH racer JT Novosielski turned a hat trick that weekend. Saturday the nine-year-old Top Kart pilot notched wins in 2-Cycle Rookie and Yamaha Cadet. Sunday he was first under Yamaha Cadet’s checkered flag
Saturday a 40.267 seconds run through the course earned him 2-Cycle Rookie’s pole. It took him 5:22.809 minutes to round the track eight times for the Pre-Final win and 8:09.079 minutes for the Final’s 12-laps.
Sunday Novosielski was again perfect in Yamaha Cadet. He earned the pole with a 40.553 seconds run then completed the Pre Final in 5:22.809 minutes for the win and won the Final with a time of 8:09.079.
According to Novosielski, “The secret is that on the starts you have to be right on their bumper and push and then pass them on the last lap.” Novosielski thanked his parents, Top Karts and his mechanic Marsh.
Six entries were double weekend winners. Owen Lloyd won Saturday’s Kart City Performance 206 Cadet 265# and backed it up with a Sunday win in ICONIC Edge Chassis PRO Gas Cadet. Lloyd was second fastest of nine entries who qualified for 206 Cadet with a 40.770 seconds lap that was 0.103 seconds slower then Tanner Carter’s 40.667 seconds.
Lanie Buice battled his way from a fourth place start to the top of the field when the Heat race’s checkered flag flew. Fifth fastest qualifier Camryn Reed was on Buice tailpipe the entire trip finishing just 0.228 seconds behind Brice. Floridian Brently Miller was third across the stripe followed by Lloyd and Carter in fourth and fifth.
Lloyd struggled in qualifying for Sunday’s PRO Gas Cadet and was forced to start at the rear of the four-racer field. Buice dialed in the pole lap breaking into the 30 seconds bracket with a 39.905 seconds run. Reed earned the outside pole with a 40.098 seconds lap. Lloyd finished one position higher in the Heat race then blew away the competition in the Feature race. When the final flag waved Lloyd was 0.199 seconds ahead of Carter. Trailing Carter for the Feature’s field were Brice and Reed.
Carter, an 11-year-old Roberts Kart Shop powered Razor Kart pilot from Monroe, GA, took it all in ICONIC Edge Chassis. Carter captured the pole with a 39.975 seconds lap. Reed earned the outside pole with a trip was 0.165 seconds shy of Carter’s time. Behind them Lloyd and Brice filled out the field.
Carter claimed the Heat race over Reed and then beat Lloyd to the Feature’s finish with a 0.743 seconds edge. Buice and Reed completed the Feature’s field.
“On the start I pulled out into the lead,” Carter described. “The guy behind me was beating and banging on me so on the last lap I pulled down to block and they didn’t pull out and they just kept pushing me so we came back around for the win. The Razor kart handled pretty good and the Roberts Kart Shop motor was fast. I want to thank Stevie, Stacey Roberts Kart Shop my mom and dad my Pop Pop and Mi Mi.”
Coyote Kart pilot Elmer Edmonson, of Ft. Myers, FL earned two wins that Sunday starting with Boon & Sons 206 Junior. Macon Moore turned the fastest qualifying lap in 40.936 seconds. Ryan Rogers was a mire 0.008 seconds slower at 40.944 seconds. Edmonson was 0.038 seconds off the pole time for the third place starting position.
When the Heat race’s green flag flew Moore shot out into the early lead with Rogers glued to his tailpipe. Edmonson hung with the leaders and when he saw an opening he roared into the lead and beat Moore to the stripe by 0.167 seconds. Rogers dropped back to third crossing 2.323 seconds behind. Further back in the top five were Dylan Amundsen and Alexander Searle.
“We started third in the Heat race, “ said 13-year-old Edmonson, “I won the Heat race and started first in the Feature and I just held on.”
Edmonson led the Feature wire-to-wire and after 12-laps he finished 0.145 seconds ahead of Rogers. Searle was third, Amundsen followed in fourth and Moore capped the top five.
Amundsen beat Moore by 0.920 seconds in M&M Chassis Pro-Gas Junior. Edmonson was third across the stripe. He started third in the Feature and battled his way to the front. When the checkered flag flew Edmonson switched spots with 0.287 seconds separating them. Moore followed them in third.
“I started third in Pro-Gas and just drove my way to the front,” Edmonson described adding that it takes a good attitude to win two Grand Nationals in one day.
Saturday Moore led the way in Pro Gas Junior. Moore was the fastest qualifier with a 390.608 seconds effort. He won the Heat race beating Amundsen to the stripe with a 0.280 seconds cushion and then stopped Edmonson from scoring a hat trick beating him to the Feature’s finish line by 1.401 seconds.
Atkins Speed Center powered PRC Racing Chassis pilot Roger Myers, of Pittsburgh, PA, won both days Yamaha Senior races. Charley Ayers did the same in TaG Junior.
R/T Leathers 206 Kid Karters got some seat time on a shortened course. Following in his well-known parents karting tire tracks, five-year-old Taylon Gaylord, of Monroe, NC, spun a 24.657 second qualifying lap Saturday. His times in the Heat (9 laps) and Feature (3 laps) were 3:24.479 and 1:12.161.
Coming from three generations of kart racers Gaylord’s a natural. HIs father, Tony, is a dirt oval legend whose won many races along with divisional and national championships. His mother, Marsha (Barnes) Gaylord, is known for racing dirt and pavement ovals and as a standout in National Sprint Cup competition. His grandparents Bill and Lennie McCutcheon have also been known to turn a lap or two in a kart.
In one of the weekend’s closest contests Comet Kart pilot Ryan Rogers, of Hernando, FL nipped Saturday’s Diversified Plumbing 206 Masters pole and Heat winner Macon Moore by just 0.089 seconds. Moore turned a 40.709 seconds lap for the pole. Rogers best qualifying lap was 40.939 seconds, just 0.230 seconds slower than Moore. Despite turning the Heat race’s fastest lap time, Rogers lost to Moore by 0.715 seconds.
Determined not to loose the Feature Rogers hung tighter to Moore’s back bumper. Then when the opportunity presented its self in the final laps Rogers made his move. Moore tried desperately to recapture the lead, but his efforts failed.
“It was a good race. I got shuffled back to third in the beginning. I waited my turn and made a last lap pass for the win, so that was good, the kart was good, it was a little tight in the beginning and then loosed up at the end. I want to thank my dad a lot for tuning the kart and my sponsors Kart City Motors, Golf Lake Marine and Subway, my mom and my grandparents” said 16-year-old Rogers.
Saturday Timothy Clark took everything 206 Masters offered. He was fastest qualifier turning a 41.308 seconds trip. He had plenty of competition next to and behind were the VanDer Zee brothers James and Justin whose qualifying laps of 41.
Saturday Dover, DE based John Anderson and Wellington Barron split the TaG Masters Features with perfection. Anderson, a TS Racing powered DR Chassis pilot was Saturday’s fastest qualifier producing a pole time of 36.420 seconds. Vernon Sparks was second fastest at 36.613 seconds. Anderson beat Sparks to the stripe with a comfortable 6.789 seconds cushion over Sparks. Anderson ruled the Feature race, this time beating Sparks by1.208 seconds.
“The DR kart handled well, real well and the TS Racing motor was strong all weekend,” said Anderson, who was last year’s TaG Masters national champion. “I want to thank my wife for letting me race and hats off to AKRA for putting on a good show.”
Sunday Barron led the field from qualifying through the Feature. Barron blasted through the course in 34.952 seconds for the pole. From there Barron built a huge 5.482 seconds advantage over Anderson. Derek Grebinger and Sparks finished third and fourth.
Barron rocketed away from the Feature’s field with Anderson chasing him. With each lap Barron built his lead over Anderson. When the checkered flag Barron owned a 5.133 seconds edge over Anderson. Grebinger and Sparks followed.
That ends the seasons for the Northern and Southern American Sprint Cup Series. Next year’s 2018 schedule will be out soon. In 2018 AKRA is mixing things up. Instead of holding the season opening North/South Shootout at Carolina Motorsports Park it will be held at Jacksonville, FL’s 103rd Street Sports Complex April 20-22. Then on the weekend of October 19-21 Grand Nationals will be held at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC.