John Rice scores first career Sprint Series victory!

After a 6 week break the CalSpeed Sprint Series continued through their second half of the season with round #7, taking to the Nuotivo track for the second time this year. The first repeat track of the 2021 calendar, Nuotivo saw familiar faces at the front from start to finish, but it would be a new name atop the podium when the final checkers fell…


For the second time in three events it was Michael Martin scoring pole position and John Rice just getting nipped on the clock to settle for second. This time however, it was a sniff of a draft from the young Joey Adrews at the end of the lap that saw Martin pick up his fast time, with Rice trailing just a few kart lengths behind. Rounding out the top three in qualy and claiming the final pole position for the heats was former race winner Tony Wika, who looked to be back to near full form after his injury earlier this season.

The Heat Races…

In the heats however only one of the three pole sitters would claim the win, with Matt McCoy dispatching Martin early for an unchallenged win in heat 1a, the latter doing battle instead with Carl Zhu and Michael Chen. Chen would come out on top in the final few corners for 2nd, with Martin settling for third.

The second heat would see a battle for the top spot, with John Rice trying to fend off the challenges from Mike Gonzales and Albert Yeh. Gonzales would try one last shot in the final corner, with the pair virtually identical at the line, with Rice holding on by the narrowest of margins.

Tony Wika would have a similarly tough time in the final heat of the day, this time working against Ivan Martinez for the top spot, but in the end it would be a hard charger Evan Lawrence working his way to the top spot. Martinez would settle for 2nd after leading the most laps with the #3 qualifier Wika in third.


The C-Main would see James Lieser do what A-Mainers do best when they end up in the C, and that’s run away from the pack. Starting out on pole, Lieser clocked fast lap after fast lap from start to finish, pulling out to a 3+ second gap when the checkers finally flew after 10 laps. To his credit, he’d also make solid inroads in the B-Main, marching up to 17th to salvage some decent points on the day to go along with his C-Main hardware.


The B-Main would see another A-Main level driver looking to bounce back from a tough heat, this time with Jeremy Aldridge taking the fight to Heather Perrin lat in the race. Perrin would climb up from 5th at the start to take over the lead after a couple of circuits, and would control the front over the first half of the race. The second half would see Aldridge bring the fight, with it all coming down to a well-timed move from the veteran in the final corner to steal away the B-Main win, and final berth into the final main of the day.


The theme of final corner duels to decide the win continued in the A-Main, this time with John Rice leading the field away for the start, but fellow heat race winner Matt McCoy leading the end of lap one. Podium finisher on the same track at the opener, McCoy had looked good all day, and when Rice took back the lead on lap 3, it looked like a counterattack was coming. Instead, it was McCoy coming under fire from Ivan Martinez and Michael Martin in the final corner, the onslaught pushing him back, and out of contention. Martinez would continue is slow trek to the front, reeling Rice in ion the final lap, and making his move in the final corner, Long Beach. The pass was made, but unfortunately with a bit of contact to get it done, and while Ivan crossed the line first, it would be John Rice claiming a popular first career win in the Sprint Series. For his part, Albert Yeh made a final lap move on Michael Martin to steal away the final podium spot, his second of the year.

The next event for the CalSpeed Sprint Series will be the diamond on the calendar, as the drivers take on the Classico circuit over the Classico GP Weekend on August 14th. The event is nearly sold out, so be sure to sign up today!

Sprint Series Round #7 Top 10

  1. John Rice
  2. Ivan Martinez
  3. Albert Yeh
  4. Michael Martin
  5. Tony Wika
  6. Carl Zhu
  7. Evan Lawrence
  8. Lucas Weisenberg
  9. Michael Chen
  10. Jeremy Aldridge