eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month: April 2022 – Eli Warren
Kentucky driver the latest young name added to winning list at historic Route 66 Sprint Series
Eli Warren doubled up for his first two career wins at the Route 66 Sprint Series in KA100 Junior (Photo: AG Digital Content)
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.
One of the longest running regional programs in the United States is the Route 66 Sprint Series. This year marks the 22nd season for the traveling series, promoted by Mark Coats and his staff. Throughout the decades of the program, the series has helped to produce some of the best karting talent in the country. It remains true looking back at the recent champions to emerge from the series, moving up to the national level and into other ranks of motorsports. One of the new drivers to add his name to the winner’s list is Eli Warren.
The 2022 Route 66 Sprint Series opened on the April 8-10 weekend at the New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, Indiana. The first round of racing on Saturday featured extremely colder weather, including some mixed rain and snow during qualifying before clearing up for the Prefinal and main events. Warren, making only his second start in the KA100 Junior division at the Route 66 program, began the first round by qualifying P1 in the challenging conditions. The track was closer to normal conditions despite the cold winds for the Prefinal when Warren fell back to fifth early before coming up just short with Junior rookie Ava Hanssen taking the win. Hanssen slipped back on the opening lap with Charlie Stines taking the lead for the opening three laps. Then, Warren took control and posted fast laps of the race to drive away to a five-second advantage at the checkered flag to record his first series victory.
Sunday began with Warren near the front once again, edged out for the fast time in qualifying by Austin Olds. Both Luke Powers and Charlie Stines worked by Warren with Olds falling down the order, putting Eli in third at the end of the Prefinal. In the Final, Powers led the opening 11 laps with Warren on his bumper for most of the time. On the final lap, Warren worked past Powers to secure the lead and take a second victory on the weekend to sweep the KA100 Junior feature wins.
Warren was pulling double duty on the weekend, also competing in the Briggs 206 Junior division where he was toward the front of the field all weekend. Eli qualified third in the damp, cold timed session and held that position through both the Prefinal and Final to land on the podium in Round One. Sunday for Round Two began very similar with him setting the third quickest time in qualifying. He led in the middle portion of the Prefinal but was shuffled back to fourth. After falling back to sixth on the opening lap of the Final, Eli advanced back to the third position to earn a fourth podium finish on the weekend. It was also the fourth straight podium result at NCMP for Route 66 in the category after placing second and third last year.
For the remainder of the 2022 season, Warren is focused on racing for championships at the Route 66 Sprint Series, the Cup Karts North America North Division and the Stars Championship Series. He is currently third in the Briggs 206 Junior standings after one event for CKNA while placing runner-up at the Stars opener at New Castle. Eli is scheduled to compete at selected SKUSA Pro Tour and United States Pro Kart Series events along with the CKNA Grand Nationals 6 and IAME Grand Nationals Championship.
April 2022 EKN Driver of the Month – Eli Warren
Born: June 19, 2008
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Parents: Keith & Carrie Warren
Siblings: Alexis (20), Hannah (18) and Maddie (15)
Height/Weight: 5’7” / 125lbs
Education: 8th Grade
Chassis: Redspeed (2-Cycle) / Nitro Lefty (4-Cycle)
Engine/Engine Builder: Allison Racing Engines (2-Cycle) / Lawson Speed Shop (4-Cycle)
Sponsors: Fern Creek Software, RaceSelect
Series You Compete In: Cup Karts North America, Route 66 Sprint Series, Stars Championship Series, Superkarts! USA and United States Pro Kart Series
Years Karting: 4.5
How did you get started in karting? Started at an indoor track in Kentucky and a couple years later I started racing outdoors
What has been the high point in your racing career? Winning Daytona KartWeek (2021 – Briggs 206 Junior – Final 2)
What are your goals in racing? Win a USPKS or SKUSA race and be the best racer who does both 2 and 4 cycle
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Calm and strategic
Funniest moment at the race track? Watching Jimmy Simpson climb onto the roof at New Castle to get a dog toy.
Favorite Track: Whiteland Raceway Park – Whiteland, Indiana
Favorite form of professional motorsports: F1
Favorite karting driver: Jimmy Simpson
Favorite professional driver: Ben Rhodes
Favorite website: YouTube
Favorite movie: Independence Day
Favorite actor/actress: None
Favorite music/group: Country
Favorite vacation/activity spot: Cruises
Favorite food: Cracker Barrel Pancakes
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? iRacing and school
What are your goals outside of karting? Move into car racing
What app or game do you play right now? Subway Surfers
What type of street car would you like to drive? Corvette
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? Blocking on first few laps
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? More night racing, different layouts each day of a race weekend
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? The pack racing in 4-Cycle is really fun, high speed racing and passes in 2-Cycle.
April 2022 Driver of the Month – Honorable Mention:
* Kyle Drysdale: US Rotax Trophy Series West – 2 Wins (Mini Max)
* Jeremy Fletcher: SKUSA Pro Tour WinterNationals – 2 Wins (X30 Senior / KA100 Senior)
* Mick Gabriel: Route 66 Sprint Series – 2 Wins (Briggs 206 Medium)
* Marijn Kremers: SKUSA Pro Tour WinterNationals – 2 Wins (Pro Shifter)
* Laurentiu Mardan: Route 66 Sprint Series – 2 Wins (KA100 Masters)
* Michael McGaughy: California ProKart Challenge – 1 Win (Mini Swift)
* Frankie Mossman: California ProKart Challenge – 1 Win (KA100 Senior)
* Cooper O’Clair: US Rotax Trophy Series West – 2 Wins (Junior Max)
* Danillo Ramalho: SKUSA Pro Tour WinterNationals – 2 Wins (X30 Master)
* William Rasmussen: California ProKart Challenge – 1 Win (KA100 Junior)
* Derek Wang: US Rotax Trophy Series West – 2 Wins (Masters Max)