Russell Scores Perfect Day in Sprint Series 2019 Opener

January 5, 2019 marked not only the Season Opener for the Sprint Series, but the first race ever at the new and improved CalSpeed Karting. With new corners, new passing opportunities, and a sold out field mixed with both newcomers and podium finishers, the Saturday promised excitement for all to see.


Familiar faces abound during quali and it was no surprise that overall P2 from 2018 Spencer Russell was dominating. Between himself, Pietro Moro, and Owen Lerman, the three were the only drivers to have breached the sub one-minute mark with the 3 fastest times. 

Quali Results

1)Spencer Russell [2R]59.628
2)Pietro Moro59.663
3)Owen Lerman59.992
4)Sheng Wu1:00.005
5)Justin Altman1:00.014

Heat 1A

It wasn’t long until Russell would flee the pack from the green flag, so the fighting would be amongst a slew of drivers such as Randy McKee and Tyler Redman. The former showed the most mettle this time around; there was no stopping him as he dispatched one competitor after another, eventually forcing Redman to P3 after a long grip on second honors. 

Heat 1A Results

1)Spencer Russell [2R]
2)Randy McKee
3)Tyler Redman
4)Vince Horst
5)Mike Skinner

Heat 1B

Lead changes abound in heat 1B: this was an action-packed one as the top pack of drivers constantly shuffled with each passing lap. It was between Donnie Clarke and Vladimir Orlov as the two would exchange for the top step constantly with each pass at the line. Eventually it would be Clarke with the win followed by Orlov and Ayrton Demoss.

Heat 1B Results

1)Donnie Clarke
2)Vladimir Orlov
3)Ayrton Demoss
4)Chris Millar
5)Nick Wilson

Heat 1C

Owen Lerman set himself as the driver to beat, and likely will be for the season, as he remained untouched for the duration of the final heat. Ronnie Swaim Jr also put on a strong showing, throwing his name in the pot of potentials to watch for the year. James Lieser would come up from a mid-pack start to grab P3 just behind Swaim, a driver that would also not see his P2 position taken away from him for even a moment. 

Heat 1C Results

1)Owen Lerman
2)Ronnie Swaim Jr
3)James Lieser
4)Seth Willits
5)Chase Nickells


C-Mains are always a tough one– a lot of newcomers fill up the field, making for action of the hair-raising type. In the case of the first C-Main of 2019, drivers Aiden Bridge, David Hazlewood, and Anthony Martorana all fought for the W. In the end, Hazlewood would knab the win, having jumped several spots ahead from his starting position and Bridge would follow with Martorana in tow.

C-Main Results

1)David Hazlewood
2)Aiden Bridge
3)Anthony Martorana
4)Nicholas Descamps
5)Pablo de la Hoya


We normally don’t see Doug Yauney in the B-Main these days but an earlier penalty in the day relegated him to a lower start than his usual. B-Main was no exception either; some bad luck knocked him out of the lead by nearly 10 positions, but he wrestled with a slew of other potential winners, ultimately scoring first place. The runner-ups to his comeback would be Max Demoss and Justin Altman.

B-Main Results

1)Doug Yauney
2)Max Demoss
3)Justin Altman
4)Ivan Martinez
5)Tony Wika


While Lerman would hold the torch for the first few laps of the A-Main, Russell would steal it clean way with fellow teammate Lieser slotting in behind to try and get away from the rest. This wasn’t going to be a walk-away type of race though. Lerman, Clarke, and McKee continued to stay hot on their heels, never letting any semblance of a gap to develop. McKee made his presence known at every corner and negotiated a better upwards path for himself than the rest. By the checkered, Russell would earn the win, followed by Lieser and McKee. 

In the end, it’s only the first round of the year so as we know, anything still goes. Talking championship though, we must exclude 2R driver Russell and then we are left with multiple drivers tied for P1: Randy McKee, James Lieser, and Donnie Clarke. McKee has proven in past years that he’s got what it takes to win races but you throw in the wild card that is Lieser and who knows what will happen. Round 2 is only 3 short weeks away and we may start seeing solid showings for the Winter Sub-championship early on!

A-Main Top 10 Results

1)Spencer Russell [2R]
2)James Lieser
3)Randy McKee
4)Donnie Clarke
5)Ronnie Swaim Jr
6)Owen Lerman
7)Ayrton Demoss
8)Chase Nickells
9)Nathaniel Small
10)Tyler Redman

Sprint 2019 Current Standings

1)Spencer Russell [2R]300
2)James Lieser285
2)Randy McKee285
2)Donnie Clarke285
4)Ronnie Swaim Jr275
4)Owen Lerman275