Race Report: 2023 Texas Sprint Racing Series – Spring Round-Up
Under the lights action at North Texas Kartway for second event of season
The second event of the 2023 season for the Texas Sprint Racing Series presented by Auctionetx took place over the Memorial Weekend at one of the more historic facilities in the United States. The ‘Spring Round-Up’ event at the North Texas Kartway welcomed over 160 entries in the 11 categories, racing under the lights over May 26-28 in Denton, Texas. Near perfect racing weather as competitors took part in a full day of practice on Friday before getting into qualifying and the opening two rounds of heat races on Saturday. The third and final round of heats opened up Sunday before diving into the main events under the lights!
The KA100 Senior by Exertech class welcomed an event high 28 drivers, led in qualifying by Adrian Cruz with a 37.257-lap time, quicker than last year’s class champion Alex Stanfield who was making his first start of 2023. Qualifying third was Round One winner Peyton Phillips, who edged out Stanfield for the win in the opening heat race. Stanfield got the advantage at the line in Heat #2 for the win while Phillips’ win in Heat #3 gave him the pole position for the main event. Phillips led early in the main event until an issue dropped him down to 20th in the order. This allowed Stanfield to control the point, driving away to over a six-second advantage for the victory. The show was watching Phillips climb his way up the order. Into the top-10 by the halfway point, he continued climbing and was able to slot himself into third at the checkered flag. A three-second penalty to provisional runner-up Aden Rudolph dropped him down to fifth in the final order, promoting Phillips to second. Cruz ended up in third ahead of Joey Friend.
A second first-time winner on the season was welcomed in the KA100 Junior by Woltjer Racing Engines class. David Ybarra was able to set fast time in qualifying with a 37.954-lap. Round One top qualifier Landon Skinner was fourth in the session but drove to the front of the field in Heat #1. Finishing second was Justin Music, who fought his way to the win in the second heat race. Music and Skinner finished first and second in the third heat, however, penalties to both for track limit violations dropped them down the order and gave the win to Matthew Dukette. Skinner was still able to retain the pole position for the main event with Santiago Duran on the outside of row one. At the front of the field in the Final, Skinner was joined by Music and Graham Trammell. All three led at one time with Skinner holding the position on the final circuit. During the last lap, Music was able to go from third to first, claiming his first series victory. Duran jumped to second with Dukette joining them on the podium in third, setting fast lap in the race. Skinner fell to fourth on the final lap with Trammell down to fifth.
It was a near sweep in the KA100 Master by Kart Racing Solutions class. Morgan LeBaron was able to edge out multi-time series champion Miguel Mier in qualifying by 12 thousandths with a 38.493 lap time. LeBaron won the opening two heat races to close out the action on Saturday. The possible sweep of Round Two came to an end in Heat #3 as LeBaron won the race on track, but was penalized for three seconds due to exceeding track limits. This put Andy Miller into the race win with Miguel Mier in second. LeBaron still held onto the pole position for the main event, but Mier jumped out to the lead at the start. Mier led the opening two laps until LeBaron took back the position, and from there drove away to a seven-second advantage for his first series victory. Mier settled for second while the battle for third went down to the wire. Last lap action allowed Ademar Calligaro to move up six spots to the third step on the podium ahead of Kyle Walther and Kyle Yuchinski.
The 206 Senior by Slipstream Racing division welcomed a boost in entries, featuring 27 drivers battling under the lights. Trey Arnzen, making his first TSRS start of 2023, posted a 41.782-lap to lead the way in the qualifying session. The top-five was separated by only 76 thousandths. In fifth was Drew Chappell, who drove his way up to the win in the opening heat race. Kelvin Xing was right there and stood out for the win in Heat #2. Round One winner Chappell came back to win the third heat and the pole position for the Final. It was Chappell and Xing, who started fifth, that set the tone in the main event. Each led during the 24-lap race with Xing able to secure the position for the final few laps, driving away to his second career TSRS victory and first of the season. Koen Summers was able to post best lap of the race and slip past Chappell for the runner-up spot. Alfred Alvarez del Castillo and Luke Waller, both advanced eight spots in the Final to round out the top-five.
The action in the 206 Junior by Saville Electric class produced an exciting two days of racing. Derek Wargo earned top qualifier honors with a 42.427 lap time to edge out Jenson Harrell by 10 thousandths. Round One winner Josey Chambers was third and came away with the win in Heat #1 and Heat #3 with Harrell taking the race win in the second heat. Chambers and Wargo started the main event from the front row. Ragan Saville started in the third spot and fought the top two throughout the first half of the 24-lap race. Saville, the defending series champion, took over during the second half of the race. On the final circuit, Harrell was able to work past and took the provisional win. The win was taken away following technical inspection, promoting Saville to the victory for his first of 2023. Wargo and Chambers joined him on the podium in second and third. Sawyer Roussel and Landen Welker completed the top-five.
It was a near sweep on the weekend in the 206 Cadet by Kept Clothing category. Emmett Eddolls landed the quick lap in the qualifying session, by only 17 thousandths quicker than Round One winner Aston Wyatt. It was Wyatt that took the win in the opening heat before Eddolls led the way in the other two heat races. The main event was all Eddolls, as he led all 25 laps to stretch out to a five-second advantage to claim his first TSRS victory. Tanner Barsch beat out Wyatt for the second spot with Tyrone Kemper Jr. in fourth and Chris Tracey placing fifth.
The 206 Heavy by Maxwell Paper Products category grew to 13 drivers for its second event under the TSRS banner. Ross Smith was one of two sweeps on the weekend, as he led the way over the two days of action. Smith set quick time of 42.731 to clear the field by over three tenths in qualifying. He would be challenged in all three heat races, coming away with the win in all three to retain the pole position for the Final. Mikayla Bradley challenged early to take the lead for a few laps, however, Smith reclaimed the position and drove away to a 10-second advantage for the victory. Bradley settled for second with Nick Miller winning the fight for third ahead of Noah Murphy and Richie Yosten.
The other sweep on the weekend at NTK was in Honda Kid Kart by Rimrock Raceway. Brennan Barsch was just off the podium at the opening round but made up for it with maximum points on the weekend. Barsch set fast time in qualifying, won all three heat races and led all 19 laps of the Final for his first TSRS victory. Kylian Short won the fight for second ahead of Beckham Lee and Benjamin Osborn with Bodhi Beyer in fifth.
The Mini Swift by Alan Rudolph Racing Academy class featured multiple drivers at the front of the 11-driver field. Louisiana driver Tyrone Kemper Jr. set the pace to begin the weekend with fast time in qualifying while the top-three including Carson Barry and Mason Barry separated by just 17 thousandths. Carson Barry took over in the heat races, as he was able to win all three to claim the pole position for the Final. A quick rain shower hit the area prior to the start of the main event, with competitors having the option for which tire they would run on, dry or wet. Barry fell down the order as Kemper and Emerson Laine took over lead when the race began. Eventually, Sawyer Chambers, who was running on dry Evinco tires, knifed his way forward and took over the lead. Chambers led the final third of the race under dry conditions to record his second victory on the season. Mason Barry ended up second with Laine in third. Kemper and Rodolfo Lavin Jr. completed the top-five.
The championship fight in the Micro Swift by Royal Electric category is shaping up to be a great season long battle. Aston Wyatt recorded his first top qualifier award of the season to clear the eight-driver field by over two tenths of a second. In the heat races, Colton Schniegenberg shined to close out Saturday with two wins. The start of Sunday began with Tanner Barsch beating the field to the checkered flag in Heat #3 for the race win to put himself on the outside of row one for the Final alongside Schniegenberg. Barsch was shuffled down to fourth as Schniegenberg and Wyatt fought for the lead early. By lap nine, Barsch was back to the lead and led the remainder of the 24-lap race to claim his first victory of the season. Wyatt was second with Schniegenberg completing the podium. Round One winner Kade Kaspar was fourth with Andrew Li Anastasio in fifth.
A second straight victory for Jordon Musser in the Open Shifter by Victor Racing division puts him at the top in the early championship hunt. Musser nearly pulled off the sweep with the fastest time in qualifying and winning the opening heat race. Chris Jennings stole the show in Heat #2 for the win, while Musser returned to the point in Heat #3. The two battled for the top spot in the Final until Musser secured the lead with 12 laps remaining, driving away to a 1.7-second victory. Rod Clinard ended up third in his 2023 debut with Landen Wilkins and Noah Zarsk rounding out the top-five.
The midway point of the 2023 season for the Texas Sprint Racing Series presented by Auctionetx takes teams and competitors to the newly renovated Amarillo Kart Complex in Panhandle, Texas during the June 30-July 2 for the Summer Shootout weekend. Be sure to follow TSRS on Facebook and Instagram, and get details on everything at www.texassprintseries.com. Those interested in supporting the 2022 program with sponsorship, please contact them via email at email@example.com.