The penultimate round of the Tri-C Karters 2017 championship season was this past weekend, and once again CSK Racing would come away with big results, even sewing up one championship in the process. It has been an awesome season thus far, and the 12 drivers under our tent this past weekend continued the fun vibe shared all year, even with some of the toughest conditions of the year…
Making his debut on the CSK Racing team, Jon Kimbrell took to the track on Friday and was immediately fast, matching pace with both Smith and Esquibel. A P6 in qualifying was backed up by another top ten run in the first heat with a solid 7th, and then he worked up to fifth in the second heat race. In the end it was another tough battle to secure 6th in the Main, with Jon always in the mix and fighting at the front of the pack all day.
For the second round in a row the top CSK Racing driver in Senior 206 qualifying was Jake Hood, scoring his second outside pole start in a row. Unfortunately for the second round in a row he would slip back a little, battling a few setup gremlins en route to a pair of hard-fought 6th place finishes in the heat races. Once the Main rolled around however, the changes made by his Dad Nathan proved to help out the issues, and Jake marched up to score his very first Senior 206 podium!
Derek Esquibel was once again one of the fastest drivers entering the weekend, and backed it up with his second best qualifying effort of the year with a 4th. In the first heat race he would stay right on the back bumper of the top two drivers of Smith and David Vasquez, and when the two had some contact starting the penultimate lap, he was able to over-under the duo and steal away the heat race win. For both the second heat race and the Main Derek played the role of teammate, pushing Mike Smith from the drop of the green to help widen the gap to their challengers. On the final lap he would take a look both races, settling for second overall on the day.
Team Manager Mike Smith entered the day needing 29 points to clinch the 2017 Senior 206 championship up, and right from the get go that was the focus. A P3 in qualy saw CSK Racing go 2-4, with Smith finding the lead fairly early on in the first heat race. Settling for second after being past by his teammate, Smith came back in the second heat, and held off a last lap move by Esquibel for the win. In the Main, Smith was able to get a quick lead after the opening corners, and after the aforementioned Esquibel cleared the trailing pack and caught him by lap 3, the duo pushed ahead to an eventual 4+ second lead over third. It would be the third 1-2 for Smith and Esquibel, with Smith taking the win and the championship with it, showing a 1-2-3 for CSK Racing on the podium.
It was the Smith and Connell show all day in Masters 206, as the duo went 1-2 in every session on course. For Mike Smith it was a perfect day -qualy, both heat race wins, and Main win with fast lap- putting in his best performance of the season, closing in on his goal of scoring a second place in the standings, albeit with two less races run. Mark Connell pushed Smith to both heat wins, but would get the better start in the Main and lead for about ¾ of it. In the end he would settle for second and a 10+ second lead over third, inching ever closer to the the inevitable Masters Championship in the final round.
In his fourth race in the Masters Class, Sean Bradley continues to close the gap to the front, this time cutting laps within .5 of the leaders every session out. Continuing his improvement over the course of these four races, last Saturday saw him solidly in the top five all day, scoring 4th place finishes across every race. It was his best performance yet, laying more ground work for future races, and an eventual podium run.
Unfortunately for CSK Racing Junior pilot Daniel Eaton, an incident through the esses while battling for a top 5 position saw his day end early. In what could only be described as a hornet’s nest, he found himself in a huge battle that at once time saw junior drivers 5-wide in an effort to move up. Heading through the esses, contact was made that saw Eaton’s kart go up and over, rolling over and accruing some damage. Daniel’s ok though, and looking forward to running his last race as a Junior next month.
VLR Spec 206
Even with the extreme temps 13 drivers took to the track in the VLR Spec 206 class, and by the day’s end the championship hunt got even closer. Jake Hood scored his second pole position in a row, but in the heat races fought with some handling issues and had to settle for a third, and a second. In the Main However, he was able to jump out to an early lead, and it looked like it may be back to back wins for the CSK Racing driver. Behind him however was new 206 driver Jetson Lieser, who after scoring a top 5 last month (with fastest lap) was looking to score the win after a very strong start in the Main. Tracking Hood down, he would make the pass for the lead, with Hood fighting back in the Hairpin a short while later. Lieser was able to counter the move however, and with momentum last from Hood, was able to pull out to a healthy lead. For Hood, that loss in momentum saw himself get caught by third place, and Hood would lose the drag race to the line and be forced to settle for third.
CSK Racing Sponsored ‘Silver Fox Challenge’
The best 3 out of 4 series continued with its third event, and with it, we see a change in the top name in the standings. With by far his best run of the year, long time racer Steve Nakajima saw himself fighting just outside the top 5 all day, putting up very strong numbers that had him earn the most points of any Silver Fox driver all season. His solid run to 6th overall has him now leading the Silver Fox challenge for drivers 50+ in age with one round to go! Newcomer to the Silver Fox Challenge Gary Green deserves a shout out too, as although he missed the first two races, his debut this past weekend was a strong one, and he is certainly one to keep an eye out for!
The VLR Spec 206 class utilizes the VLR Emerald chassis from RLV Tuned Exhaust with the same Briggs & Stratton Racing LO206 engine as the senior class, is the same class weight as senior, but has a restricted amount of setup changes and parts, and mandates a single spec gear for all competitors. If you or your team has a VLR Emerald Kart, feel free to contact us and find out how you can also run in this great new class! We at CSK Racing would like to recognize all of the drivers that ran not only with our team, but also those who decided to compete in this new spec class in which we are the class sponsor.
CSK Racing VLR Spec 206 Round 7 Results-
|1)||Jetson Lieser - CSK Racing|
|3)||Jake Hood - CSK Racing|
|5)||Mark Connell - CSK Racing|
|6)||Steve Nakajima - CSK Racing|
|7)||Sean Bradley - CSK Racing|
|9)||David Carlisle - CSK Racing|
|11)||Gerry Florez - CSK Racing|
|13)||Oleg Glushkov - CSK Racing|
CSK Racing Silver Fox Points (Drop)