So Cal Oval Karters August Results From Perris Auto Speedway

Nick Argo, Mike Demello, Lauren Bishop, Chris Southern, Tyler Rose Bohle and Bradley Brink were the winners when the So Cal Oval Karters visited Perris Auto Speedway in early August.  After sizzling temperatures prevailed in the July race at the Riverside County Speed Plant, SCOK officials moved the race to a late afternoon, twilight show that finished under the lights.

After point leader Luis Calderon of Whittier and Temecula’s Art Laski Jr. won the heats in the YOA Racing KT100 class, Gardena’s Nick Argo stole the show in the main event.  Making his first appearance at the famous Riverside County facility since 2019, Argo scored a convincing win in the 16-lap main event.   The karter, who used to run a Woods Rotax Engine in the Open Class in years gone by, was on the pole for the main event by virtue of top scoring the heat races.  Calderon was alongside on the front row.  Laski and two-time 2021 winner Bryan Drollinger made up row two.  When starter Chris Fulton waved the green flag to begin the main event, Argo surged into the lead.  While he got a great start, Calderon, who was wearing the Kart Racer TV Go Pro, did not.  In fact, he initially slipped back to fifth.  Laski was second on the start with Drollinger third.  Argo, the nephew of Rodney Argo, who won the 1998 Oval Nationals Sprint Car race at Perris, was moving away by the end of the second circuit.  By that time, Calderon had pulled to the rear end of Drollinger who was inches behind second-place Laski. At the halfway point Argo had stretched his lead to close to a half straight.  At the same time, the battle for second raged on.  Laski, Drollinger and Calderon were literally running on a string and a minor slip up by any of them was going to alter the finish of the race.  That slip up came when Laski went wide out of turn four at the races ¾ mark.  Both Calderon and Drollinger took full advantage and raced by for second and third. However, by that time it was too late. Argo was a half straightaway in front in barring mechanical failure or a yellow flag, nobody was going to catch him. Neither of the two scenarios happened and it was Argo for his first SCOK win of the year with room to spare. Calderon finished second and was followed by Drollinger, Laski and  Scotty Bassett from Van Nuys. Riverside’s Tyson Talkington, who is a stock car driver at Perris Auto Speedway, dropped out early and finished sixth.

When it comes to the Rogue Specialties Open Class in the SCOK, two words can sum up the 2021 season. Those two words are Chris Southern!  The Hesperia, California driver has won four of the first five main events of the year. The only time he did not win was in July when a faux pas with two laps to go cost him the victory.  In August he was in his usual form and his GM motor again propelled him to the victory.  Being the high point driver after the two heat races placed Southern on the pole for the 16-lap main event.  Alongside was Brian Pusey of San Diego.  Row two was made up of Scott Rogers and Scott Smith, who was making his first start with the SCOK.  Predictably when the green flag started the race, Southern immediately jumped into the lead ahead of Pusey and Rogers.  Surprisingly, Pusey and Rogers stayed close to Southern in the early portions of the race but on lap 6 the multi time victor started to pull away.  While Southern was pulling away, Pusey had managed to stay in second until coming off turn four on the 10th lap when he drifted wide allowing El Cajon’s Marty Wolf and winner of the last race, Jason Bishop of San Diego, into second and third.  However they, like everyone else in the field, had nothing for the affable Southern who won by over a full straightaway.  Rogers, Bishop, Wolf and Lake Forest’s “Hubcap” Mike Collins rounded out the top five.

Only one driver managed to win two main events on the day and that was San Diego’s Lauren Bishop.  The teen topped Whittier’s Tristan Juillerat in the Junior Clones.  She did likewise in the Uncle Frank’s SR L206 class when she outdistanced point leader Tyler Rose Bohle of Fountain Valley and El Cajon’s George Wolf .

Bohle, who is trying to win titles in both the SR L206 and Burris Racing F200s, emerged victorious again in the F200s.  As she had just raced in the SR L206, Bohle had to jump from one kart to another to assume her position on the outside of row one for the main.  Bryan Erickson, who captured one of the heat races, was on the pole.  Row two featured soon to be combatants Norm Reynolds of San Marcos and Banning’s Scott Gaynor.  At the start, Bohle was the first driver to turn one with Erickson, Reynolds, and Gaynor in tow.  Bohle methodically put this one away. She slowly pulled away from the field and had a sizable lead when the race reached the halfway point. Erickson was in second with Reynolds glued to his rear.  At the same time, Gaynor was inches behind Reynolds.  With Bohle checked out and oblivious to what was going on behind her, she missed the fireworks that began in turn 3 on lap 11.  Fourth place Gaynor tagged Reynolds, knocking him out of the way and taking over third.  One lap later in the exact same spot, Reynolds returned the favor by clobbering Gaynor, sending him across the track and over the white line on the outside (the crashwall line).   Once a kart crosses that line it is out of the race.  Gaynor continued but received a black flag prompting him to pull a 180 in turn one, go the wrong way on the track and speed back to the pits.  After Gaynor exited the track, the attention went back to the hockey playing leader.  She did not make an error the entire race and won the main event by a full straight over Erickson and Reynolds.  It was her second victory of the year and it tied her for the class lead with Reynolds, who also has two wins.

The almost unbeatable Mike Demello of Wildomar won again in the Caymus Vineyards Senior Clones.  This time he won by beating Perris Auto Speedway Senior Sprint and California Lightning Sprint Car driver Dale Gamer of Anaheim to the checkers.

Back again with their biggest turnout so far was the Mini Dwarf Class.  Ventura’s Bradley Brink was the first to the checkers again when he bested a seven-car field.  Emerson Akutagawa, Brody Stewart, Jared Roe and Sadie Talkington rounded out the top five.

The SCOK is off until returning to Perris Auto Speedway on Sunday, September 26, at Perris Auto Speedway.

2021 Membership forms are available now on the club Facebook page at the following link https://www.facebook.com/socal.ovalkarters or they can be picked at the track upon sign in.

The spec station where all fuel is to be bought is the 76 station located in Perris at 19248 Harvill Avenue (92570).

To keep up with the So Cal Oval Karters on Facebook, please use the following link:  https://www.facebook.com/search/str/so+cal+oval+karters/keywords_search

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