The 2019 Sprint Series has been a hell of an awesome ride and the finale this past weekend was no exception. The Tecnico circuit made its second appearance this season with the previous winner Chase Nickells now going mano-e-mano with Ayrton DeMoss to determine the final 2 steps of the Championship podium.
The playground that is Tecnico made its debut some 5-odd years ago here at CalSpeed. Since then, the course has consistently thrown drivers for a loop due to its namesake technical nature. For qualifying, there would be only 2 drivers to break into the 1:01 mark: Ayrton DeMoss with a 1:01.998 and Michael Hazlewood for pole with a 1:01.880.
Qualifying Top 5
The aforementioned Hazlewood led the way for heat 1A but Donnie Clarke, who pulled off a win earlier in the year, was not going to let him get away. Neither was Tony Wika, who quickly dispatched Clarke to settle into 2nd and then also Hazlewood with half to go. The front pair for Wika and Clarke would duel to the end, but Hazlewood took advantage of the battle to score the win.
Heat 1A Results
In heat 1B, eyes were on the pair of Ayrton DeMoss and Sheng Wu glued to his bumper at the green flag. The two settled into a rhythm within a few laps, eventually extending to a lead of over 3 seconds. At the checkered flag, there would be no change in position as DeMoss would confidently take the win ahead of Wu.
Heat 1B Results
A quick profile of the heat 1C starters showed Nickells on pole ahead of Tyler Redman, winner by clinch of the overall championship last round, and Seth Willits, currently leading in another 4-stroke platform, the LO206 Senior class at Tri-C Karters. It wasn’t going to be an easy heat race. The first lap saw shuffling at the front, with Redman on point and Willits falling out of the top 3. With only one lap to go, both Nickells and Willits managed to get back to their original positions of P1 and P3 respectively, crossing the checkered along with Redman who added yet another 2nd place finish to his list.
Heat 1C Results
|5)||Ronnie Swaim Jr|
We were holding our breathes at the green for the C-Main and the first lap went by without incident. Of special note would be Tom Kwasniak, a veteran Sport Karter who unfortunately took a hit earlier in the day and would be starting 22nd. The C-Main would prove no challenge for him as he would quickly dispatch driver after driver, making way to P1 by the time the white flag was in the air. He would hold on to the win easily, scoring the C-Main win.
The B-Main began with an aggressive drive from Michael Floerchinger, starting 6th and then quickly gaining 1 position with each passing lap. Halfway to go, Stephen Greene led the field ahead of Floerchinger and with Matthew McCoy following closely. McCoy fell to Floerchinger’s attack, and eventually Greene as well. The checkered saw Floerchinger with the win ahead of drivers Greene and McCoy.
Going into the final main of the day would be a very strong top 3: on pole Hazlewood looking to oust Redman for the Summer Subchampionship, starting P2 Nickells and P3 starter DeMoss, the latter two fighting for the final steps of the podium. Going into the Main, there were only 14 points separating the two… Some battling earlier on saw Hazlewood fall back and Nickells now in control of the lead, a nervous Chase peeking behind at every cross of the line, especially with Redman absolutely on attack mode. Meanwhile, the battle for 3rd was between DeMoss and Hazlewood– the finish order of the pair would determine who would take the overall P2 in the championship.
The entire top 4 remained a stressfully tight pack for the whole race but as the checkered flew in the air, it would be Nickells going 2 for 2 on his Tecnico entries! Despite his effort though, it just wouldn’t be enough: DeMoss’ P3 finish was the 1 position needed to hold on to the 2nd overall spot on the podium for the 2019 Sprint Series Championship by a slim 4 points. For his record, Redman’s absolute consistency for the whole season is what nailed down the Championship for him, as well as the Summer Subchampionship. He has proven that “pulling a Redman,” as has become the phrase for coming in 2nd place over and over without wins, can get you championships.
Sprint Series 2019 Final Points Standings
Summer Subchampionship Final Standings