Race Report: IKF Northern California Sprint Kart Series – Medford
The IKF NorCal Sprint Kart Series (NCSKS) took a trip north of the California state line for round #3 this past weekend, visiting the greenery that is the Jackson County Sports Park in Medford, Oregon June 24-25. The scenery was fantastic, and the on-track product proved that the twists and turns of the 3/4-mile Medford Kart Track is an absolutely great place to host a race.
Boasting a strong 80cc shifter community in Medford, the NCSKS added a special option for the category for round #3 and the action on track did not disappoint. It also gave the chance for a couple of series regulars to do double duty, with Seth Huntley and Jesse Gwin doing well in the class’ one-off run. In fact, Huntley proved to be the class of the field, sweeping the weekend, and adding another NCSKS 1st place trophy to the mantle. Behind him was a battle royal however, with Chris Rahall and Adam Booker leading the bulk of the time on the weekend, before the aforementioned Gwin entered the convo on Sunday. Gwin would be good enough to snag P2 in the final, with Rahall settling for third.
It would be the second podium on the weekend for Jesse Gwin, as he was also able to lead the way in the Masters 206 class presented by Unleashed Power, bringing home his third win in as many events, with Zach Sanborn locking in P2, but seemingly narrowing the gap to Gwin in the process. Masters would share the track with the Legends class presented by Step Up Karting, and it was round #2 winner Paul Booher in command from the drop of the green in qualifying. Booher made a statement with an absolute flier in the timed session, and then backed it up with a solid win in Heat 1, before issues saw him out early in Heat 2. Chris Britton and Frank Chavez put on the show in that race, with Britton coming out on top, carrying the top starting spot coming into Sunday. Booher would not be denied however and would work through the field to not only take the PreFinal win, but then cap off the weekend with his second win in a row in the Final. Britton had his best finish of the season with a 2nd, holding off Mike VanMuyden, who brought home his second podium of the year, while Chavez saw issues keep him from fighting for hardware.
In Jr 1 206 presented by Speedsense Motorsports it would be a fight between the championship contenders all weekend long, with Aiden go striking first with his second pole position of the season. He would back that up with a solid win in heat 1, before fellow title hopeful Kayden Williams took down heat 2. Round 1 winner Floyd Frisby bounced back from last place credit in Heat 1 with a 3rd in heat 2, battling with Luka Rommeck-Kornbluth to the line. Williams would hold off a charge from Go in the PreFinal come Sunday, while Rommeck also came out on top of his battle with Frisby, setting the stage for an exciting 22 lap Final that did not disappoint. After being mostly a two-horse race between Williams and Go, Frisby took the fight to the top two, trading the lead with Williams on multiple occasions. Williams would eventually find his way by and hold onto the spot, with Go following suit in the process as well. After coming close in the first two events, Williams would finally seal the deal, bringing home his first win of the season, with Go continuing his podium streak at three in 2nd, and Frisby holding off Rommeck for 3rd.
Jr 2 206 presented by Cole Nelson Racing/Invader would also see the primary title hopefuls vye for the top spot in the category, with some familiar names filling out the hardware positions. It was arguably the strongest weekend yet for Jameson Gwinup, going fastest in qualifying before bringing home the win in heat 1, while Nate Spitz locked in P2 over round #1 winner Derek Dimandja. Derek struck back in Heat 2 however, getting to the lead and holding off Gwinup as the pair pulled on Spitz. Things would go south for Gwinup in the PreFinal however, and would be done after just 4 laps, with Dimandja holding off a hard charging Lewis Dilley to carry the pole position into the Final. The story was Gwinup in the Final though, working his way through the field and into second, cutting fast lap along the way for a very strong podium finish. Nate Spitz would settle for 3rd -albeit his 3rd podium in a row- while Derek Dimandja brought home his second win of the season, and the point lead as we head into round #4.
Coming into the weekend Senior 206 presented by GFC was guaranteed a different winner, as round #1 winner and point leader Kade Godbehere, as well as round #2 winner David Vasquez would both be absent. William Wallis took full advantage and looked to carry momentum from a near-podium finish last month at Buttonwillow, and struck first in qualifying, nipping Colby Romero by just .004 seconds. In the first heat, however it would be P3 driver in the points Travis Mitchell working up from 5th for the win, backing it up with a sweep of the racing on Saturday with a win in heat 2 as well. In the first Heat it was Wallis in second, and Heat 2 it was Trenton Helie; come Sunday and the PreFinal a third name was added in the fight to knock Mitchell off the top, and that was Jonathan Endrizzi, slotting in third and with fastest lap in the 15-lap fight to set the grid for the main. But then in the Final, Wallis put it all together, this time fending off a charging Colby Romero -who returned to his qualifying form- the pair driving out to a commanding lead. It was win #1 for Wallis, and podium #1 for Romero, with Travis Mitchell settling for third (his return after a podium at the opener) albeit a very strong points day for the championship.
The IKF NorCal Sprint Kart Series heads back down south to Santa Maria July 15-16 for the penultimate round of the 2023 season, with registration opening Thursday, June 29! For more info on the series, championship points, full results and more, check out norcalsks.com!
Full Round #3 Results: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Sessions/7675660
Championship Standings: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Organizations/54390/Championships