Much like the IronMan Series that runs the same day, the Sprint Series has continued the trend of having a different winner every round, with Ariel Rubio scoring his first CalSpeed win last month on the Classico Counter Clockwise layout. Making it a brand new podium grouping, Alyssa Yauney took home second, while Nick Marascio capped off the day with a third after scoring pole position.
For tomorrow’s race we’ll see the return of the Tecnico circuit, first run for the series’ season opener way back in January, and most recently used during the Sport Kart Grand Nationals. Thing is, not very many drivers in the Sprint Series paddock took part in the Grands, so the amount of track knowledge will be pretty low. Still, this is something many of these drivers have faced all year, as new track configurations are the usual for a series made for cultivating, and highlighting new talent.
The championship fight for the overall title also has a chance to be wrapped up this weekend, as well as a few big names jumping in for a one-off appearance, making for a very exciting round…
Round #7 Storylines…
Inevitably as we approach the latter part of the season the focus begins to shift to the championship(s), and while that is still true here, one of the biggest stories will actually be from a one-off appearance. Adam Nagao nearly christened the series by becoming its first official winner, instead having to settle for second after scoring pole, as well as a heat win. Nagao has been one of, if not the biggest success stories from the Super Series, making huge improvements over last year, and was even considered a title contender at one point. He’ll be here to seal the deal on that Tecnico win tomorrow, and has to come in as the guy to beat.
Along with Nagao are a few other Super Series regulars making an appearance this weekend, each with stout runs the last time they were on sight; the exception being Chris Carter who is making his Sprint Series debut. Ian Enz picked up a 5th in the round #2 make-up, Ben Blank a 3rd in round #4, and Jason Collins also a 5th, his coming in round #5. While not ‘going for points’, this lot can certainly shake things up in the lead group, and the regular names will have a little tougher challenge with them on site.
The Overall Championship: Fite VS Rubio; is a clinch in the cards tomorrow?
The big twist last round was the absence of Hasller Ortega from the lineup, and with him once again slated to miss this round, a stellar season has come to an unfortunate conclusion. In his absence however, Ariel Rubio capitalized by scoring his first win, chipping away the lead by Sean Fite by 20 points. Fite still has the advantage with two rounds to go, and could actually clinch the title if he can gain 30 points on Rubio this weekend, something he has only done twice. Specifically he needs a 57 point once the checkers fall, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on both he and Rubio throughout the afternoon.
This isn’t the first time these RNA teammates have been embroiled in a battle, with Rubio nipping Fite by two points for the Winter Sub Championship; something Fite certainly wants to pay him back for. Rubio had a bit of a lull that saw him fall to third in the standings, but is surging back now when the time counts…
The only other driver besides Ortega that is in the mix is 4th place Vince Burke, who most likely will take over the third place in the standings with the former being gone. That said, Burke needs to outscore Fite by 95 points over the next two rounds, never mind needing to also gain ground on Rubio in second. While still mathematically in it, Burke will need a lot of help to take the fight to the top.
Top 10 Overall Standings:
The Summer Championship: Penultimate round could show the true depth of the title fight…
Matt Hart launched the first volley in the opener, with the aforementioned Rubio responding with a counter of his own, winning last months event in dramatic style over Alyssa Yauney. This championship however is less likely to be earned from a surge to the front, but instead by someone who is able to stay there. For Hart and Yauney this has been proven, the former backing up his win with a solid 267 point day while the latter has won both her heats en-route to a 6th and 2nd finish. Right with these two is overall leader Fite, who’s 290 and 275 days sits second in point totals only to Yauney. Further back both Burke and newcomer Marcin Balazy each have had decent pairings, but both will need to grab a gear to take the fight to the front.
Staying power is going to be what earns you the Summer Championship here in the Sprint Series, and after two rounds in the bank, this third has set up nicely for us to see who exactly has the consistency needed to get the job done…
Top 10 Summer Standings:
|8||Scott Kennedy ||266||0|