Thinking back on this past weekend, the only way I can describe the end of another West Coast Nationals event is: The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
Drivers and spectators travel from all corners of the United States to try to tame the 1/10 mile track, which we affectionately call ‘The Bull Ring.’ For those who tasted victory it was a wonderful weekend, and yet most drivers who qualified, unfortunately, were drinking from the challis of defeat. Only one driver per class goes home with the coveted eagle. In the past years it was Carsen and Beau Perkins who managed to take home an eagle, in the same year. This year it was the Grasty brothers, who race in Beginner Box and Box Stock, taking home the prize.
One resounding sentiment I heard in the stands was, the amount of red flags waving and the lack of the use of the black flag.
With all the racing action, spread over three days, I am not able to fit all events into this post. Friday began with a short practice for all the drivers, then the first round of qualifying, a second chance was held on Saturday.
The top five qualifiers in the Beginner Box class were: Connor Grasty, Rowdy Gramps, Chevy Schroer, Austin Anderson, and Jake Myers.
There were a total of 16 drivers who qualified for the A Main. On lap one Grasty and Aiden Larimer, who were both on the front row and side by side coming out of turn 2, got together and had to restart at the back of the field. Lap 2, Jack Kegg, hit the outside wall, taking a ride through the air when he attempting to come out of turn 1. His kart had some damage, forcing him to enter the hot pits. Lap 8 the yellow came out when Zachary Risch, Kiley Grimes, and Luke Hayes all hit the outside wall, coming out of turn 3, bouncing off of each other. During this time Kegg’s crew continued to work on his kart, and under the yellow he was able to come back on to the track, 6 laps down.
Several laps later, Jake Myers, slapped the outside wall, coming out of turn 2, and rolled side over side, but continued, with no caution coming out. Risch was coming out of turn 1 when he got upside down, bringing out the red. Grimes and Anderson got together going into turn 2, bringing out the caution. As the laps ticked down the final caution came out when Myers spun coming out of turn 2.
In the end, it was Connor Grasty getting the win. The finishing order behind Grasty was: Luke Hayes, Chevy Schroer, Rowdy Gramps, Aiden Larimer, Trey Daniels, Austin Anderson, Jackson Coughlin, Jake Myers, Arron Slightom, Malia Owens, Mason Smith, Kiley Grimes, Zachary Risch, Jack Kegg, and Bently Ritcheson.
Chance Grasty qualified on top in the Box Stock class. Followed by; Preston Carr, Alan Pyszora, Carly Holmes, and Joel Myers, Jr. Twenty drivers qualified for 16 spots in the A Main.
Transferring out of the B Main into the A was: Rylinn Renaud, Carly Holmes, Eddy Avila, and Jace Lafferty.
To begin the A Main; Renaud stalled coming out of turn 2, bringing out the first caution of the race, he entered the hot pits. After s short time in the hot pits, he reentered the race, but he stalled, once again. After re-entering the hot pits he left the track, ending his chances of a win. The next caution was for Eddy Avila, who spun between turns 1 and 2, into the inside wall. Joel Myers, Jr. brought the drivers back to the green, but due to a tire issue the caution came out and he was asked to enter the hot pits for repairs. Once he was back on track the race resumed, and then Lafferty, Evan Gunderson, McNary, Seth Standley, and Avila all got tangled up in turn 2, bringing out another caution.
Gunderson and Standley got into the outside wall in turn 1, bringing out another caution. Tater Reich and Jackson O’Ferrall hit the outside wall in 2, caution was thrown. Avila got into the marbles, between turns 1 and 2, hitting the outside wall, ending his night and bringing out the caution. Tyler Fox was slammed from behind, sending him into the outside wall, on the back stretch. He stalled, moving him from a solid third place position, sending him into the hot pits and any chances of a win. This was the final caution.
Grabbing the win was Chance Grasty. The finishing order from second through sixth was: Trevor Grimes, Joel Myers, Jr., Preston Carr, Alan Pyszora, Garrin McNary, Seth Standley, Tater Reich, Braydon Williams, Carly Holmes, Jace Lafferty, Jackson O’Ferrall, Evan Gunderson, Tyler Fox, Eddy Avila, and Rylinn Renaud.
The top five qualifiers in the 250/Intermediate Class were: Raymond Baldez, Maximos Mittry, Kaiden Butler, Mason Smith, and Carson Souza. There were 36 drivers who qualified for the 16 A Main spots.
Transferring out of the C Main, into the B was: Tanner Holmes, Brenden McMaster, Enrique Jaime, and Jaidan Curfman-Levy.
Transferring out of the B Main, into the A was: Kinden Peacock, Tanner Holmes, Jaidan Curfman-Levy, and Brenden Bartlett.
The first caution was in the air, in the A Main, when Tyler Driever stalled coming out of turn 3. Another caution came when Daniel Whitley was hit from behind, on the back stretch, sending him off track as he stalled and rolled into the area of the roll up door in turn 3. Brenden Bartlett was tagged, from behind coming out of turn 2, getting into the outside wall, for another caution. Mason Smith spun coming out of turn 4, and with nowhere to go, Jaidan Curfman-Levy got into him, bringing out the caution. Tyler Driever, hit the outside wall coming into turn 3, Bartlett spun trying to get around him, bringing out the caution. Driever entered the hot pits as did Smith. Back under racing action, Bartlett, Smith, Curfman-Levy, Standley, Devon Borden, and Driever all got together on the back stretch with Bartlett flipped, bringing out the only red flag situation of the race. Curfman-Levy, Borden, and Driever all went to the hot pits with Curfman-Levy, Smith, Borden, and Driever off track.
When the checkered flag flew it was Tanner Pettit grabbing the win, Sousa, Butler, Mittry, and Holmes, were the top five finishers. Sixth through sixteenth was: Tyler Matheny, Kinden Peacock, Trace Adams, Daniel Whitley, Skyler Cole, Drake Standley, Brenden Bartlett, Tyler Driver, Devon Borden, Mason Smith, and Jaidan Curfman-Levy.
Top five qualifiers in the Open Class were: Michael Tarter, Tyler Seavey, Amanda Moore, Scotty Fox, and Mike Wheeler. There were 59 drivers who qualified for 16 positions.
Transferring out of the F Main into the E was: Casey Starr, Dustin Heath, Destiny Smith, Talyn Roberts, Chloe Grasty, and Aaron Moser.
Transferring out of the E Main into the D was: Bennett Gooch, III., Dayne Amyx, Duke Johnson, Tyler Driever, Talyn Roberts, and Kaleb Johnson.
Transferring out of the D into the C was: Maria Cofer, Brandon LaChance, Bricen James, Tanner Holmes, Dayne Amyx, and Duke Johnson.
Transferring out of the C into the B was: Casey McClain, Brenna Johnson, Brandon LaChance, Garrett Brown, Tristen Spiers, and Tanner Holmes.
Transferring out of the B into the A was; Logan Seavey, Jake Park, Brian McGahan, Jr., Tanner Holmes, Clint Simpson, and Jett Hayes.
The A main began with Chase Hill getting into Mike Wheeler, shortly after the drop of the green flag, then Hill and Tarter got into each other. The drivers were able to continue, however, Wheeler lost several positions from the hit. The first caution came when Jett Hayes hit the outside wall coming out of turn 1. McGahan, Jr., Amanda Moore, and Karsyn Elledge got together when McGahan, Jr., got loose coming out of turn 3 and Moore and Elledge had nowhere to go, bringing out a caution. A yellow was shown when Colwell jumped the start, however, the next restart he was given his second position back. A red flag situation occurred when Hayes and Moore got on their sides. Moore entered the hot pits and Hayes exited the track on the hook. Ren Eberhart stalled on the back stretch, bringing out a caution. Colwell was attempting to get around Chase Majdic, pushing him into the outside wall, coming out of turn 3, with Majdic getting on his side, bringing out the red flag. Once again Colwell and Wheeler restarted the race on the front row, at the drop of the green, Colwell pushed Wheeler up into the wall in turn 2, for yet another caution. At the drop of the checkered flag it was Colwell getting the win. Logan Seavey was second, followed by; Clint Simpson, Tyler Seavey, Michael Tarter, Mike Wheeler, Casey Schmitz, Amanda Moore, Karsyn Elledge, Chase Majdic, Tanner Holmes, Jake Park, Ren Eberhart, Chase Hill, Jett Hayes, and Brian McGahan, Jr.
The top five qualifiers in the Sportsman class were: Eric Gannon, Daniel Thorson, Shawn Milligan, Brian Southers, and Shawn Fogarty. There were a total of 32 drivers who qualified.
Transferring out of the C Main into the B was: Mallorie McGahan, Tyler Ritcheson, Mike Moore, Bubba Hill, Gary McNary, and AngelaRohlfs.
Transferring out of the B into the A was: John Cofer, Travis Lynch, Donnie Ritcheson, Demo Mittry, Tyler Ritcheson, and Gary McNary.
The A Main began with a caution when Southers and Duprey spun coming out of 2. Cofer, Enos, Southers, and Haney got together in turn 2, with Southers entering the hot pits. With action back underway Cofer stalled coming out of turn 2, he entered the hot pits. Jo Jo Owens stalled coming out of 3, while under caution. Southers reentered the race, several laps down. Milligan, Gannon, and Renaud were putting on a great show as they raced for 2nd. Another caution came out when Ritcheson, Haney, and Owens got together and Owens stalls, coming out of turn 3. Another caution came out when Cofer and several other drivers got together on the front stretch. There were karts scattered everywhere, so I was unable to see who else was involved. While under caution Renaud and Milligan got together out of turn 3. At the time Milligan was running second, he entered the hot pits.
Caution came out for Renaud, when he spun in turn 1. The only red flag situation came out when Duprey backed into the wall coming out of turn 3; he had to be taken off track on the hook. When the red flag was lifted and the yellow brought out, Milligan stalled coming into turn 2. Jo Jo Owens slid up into the outside wall out of turn 3, bringing out another caution. Fogarty, Ritcheson, and Haney got into the outside wall coming out of 4. Coming to the green, with only a few laps left, Gannon had taken the lead away from Thorson, who had led every lap, except the one before the last caution. Coming to the green Gannon and Thorson were side by side, they entered turns 1 and 2, still side by side. By the time they got to turn 3 Thorson had taken a slight lead. By the time they got to the flag stand Thorson was a couple of kart lengths ahead of Gannon. By the time the white flag was in the air, Thorson had a commanding lead and got the win.
Following Thorson, from second through sixteenth was: Gannon, Mittry, Enos, T. Ritcheson, Milligan, Lynch, Haney, D. Ritcheson, Fogarty, Southers, Owens, Duprey, Renaud, Cofer, and McNary.
I have to say that, by far, the Sportsman A Main race was the most thrilling race of the night.
I want to thank everyone who gave me positive feedback throughout the season. I look forward to seeing ya all back next season, and meeting new up and coming drivers.