2019 KARTING CHALLENGE ROUND 1 RACE RECAP

MOORESVILLE, NC - FEB. 18, 2019 - Round one of the 2019 GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge kicked off this weekend in Mooresville, NC. Despite the weekend weather, the turnout was amazing as the crowd, teams, and drivers braved the cold wet morning conditions to enjoy a full day of racing. With racers itching to get the season started off, there were many hard-fought battles throughout the day, sometimes a little too hard, to decide who would make the podium and score big points in the season opener. Some teams are just as anxious to improve in round 2 while some couldn't be happier about their start to the 2019 season. 
 
Round two is on March 23rd, when the battle for championship standings continues. For more event information visit, www.gopromotorplex.com.  
 
Kid Kart sponsored by Racing Roo's Feisty Café 
 
In the Kid Kart division, all went relatively smooth for the young racers except for a single spin in turn 11 that resulted in a dragging bumper. Max Christea led all 6 laps and cruised to the win. 
 
Briggs LO206 Cadet sponsored by Kart Carolina 
 
Spencer Conrad lead the 19-car field to the green flag in the Briggs Cadet. The top four broke away from the field early, but Christopher McKeithan had caught the leaders on lap 3 making it a five-car pack at the front. By lap 6, both Conrad and McKeithan had raced their way to the front and worked together to pull away from the pack. McKeithan and Conrad swapped spots three times on the final lap, and McKeithan won by half a kart length clocking a 0.049 second gap in front of Conrad. George Wheeler had a strong run and held onto third spot to complete the podium. 
 
IAME Heavy sponsored by STITCH 98 
 
Matthew Turner started on pole in the IAME Heavy Series. However, Logan Cozziequickly took the lead on lap 1 and never looked back. The field was spread out by lap 2, yet on lap 5, the battle for second heated up between Turner and TJ Larsen. The two stayed nose-to-tail over the next 5 laps until Turner was able to pull away to a 1.5 second lead over Larsen in third. Cozzie, Turner, and Larsen finished first, second, and third in their class respectively. 
 
IAME Junior sponsored by HMS 
 
Tyler Wettengel was the only driver to register for the IAME Junior class for the opening round of the karting challenge, and subsequently won the season opener. However, he decided to put on a show rather than lagging back and taking the easy victory, and raced his way through the IAME Heavy series racers to be the second driver across the line.
 
Briggs LO206 Heavy sponsored by MG Tires 
 
The Briggs Heavy series launched into a wild start as they were three-wide for the top spot on the first lap. Doug Rink and Tim Skinner took the top two spots respectively by the lap 2 and pulled away from the field. They had a 2 second lead on the pack by lap 5 and seemed content to draft to build their lead further. Zach Linsell had other plans, catching them over the course of the rest of the race and finally running the top two down with three to go. Once he saw the leaders he wasted no time, and took second with two to go, then took the lead from Rink in turn 4 on the last lap, going on to win with a lead of just 0.2 seconds at the line. Rink held onto the second spot and Skinner rounded out the top three.
 
Briggs LO206 Junior sponsored by MPI 
 
The Briggs Junior Class had their reaction times tested as they had to dodge several Heavy class drivers who suffered from early spins and crashes. Sam Corry lead the first lap and held a consistent 1.5 second gap to Collin Miller in second. By the third lap, Corry turned on the jets and finished the race in first with a whopping 8.4 second lead over Miller. Carter Beegle picked his way around the wreckage to make the final spot on the podium.
 
KA100 Senior sponsored by Race City Locksmiths 
 
Blake Hunt started on the pole in the KA100 Senior Class and fought hard in a battle for the second spot between Alex Keadle and Nick Losito. Those three were locked in a tight battle for what would have to be the runner-up position as Emory Lydatook an early lead and put on a clinic, gapping the field by almost four seconds over 14 laps and taking the win. Hunt maintained a small lead over the battle for third in the closing laps to take second, and Keadle edged out Losito for third. 
 
IAME Micro Swift sponsored by Cook Out 
 
Early fighting for second place allowed Aryton Grim to build an early two second lead. JT Novosielski and James Newell were eventually able to branch off from the main pack in the final two podium positions, and the two fought for the second spot for the remainder of the race. Grim motored to a win with a 6.2 second lead over Newell who grabbed second on a last lap pass, making Novoseilski third. 
 
KA100 Junior sponsored by Putt Putt Fun Center 
 
Sam Corry jumped out front in the KA 100 Junior Class right from the green flag and added a second to his lead almost every lap over the first five circuits. Tyler Wettengel and Raiden Nicol stayed in a close battle for second until Wettengelbegan to chip away at the lead at the halfway mark of the race. With two laps to go, Wettengel had closed the gap to within half a second and was on Corry's bumper when they took the white flag. Hard racing led to heavy contact in turn 8, and Corry survived the damage to roll to a win. Nicol finished second and Westin Workman raced his way to a third-place finish.
 
IAME Swift sponsored by Kartsport NA 
 
Adam Brickley lead the way from the start of the IAME Swift race, pulling the next two drivers with him as they pulled away from the pack in the opening laps. Gavan Boschele made moves early to advance into second spot, and Ben Maier stayed hot on his heels in third. The close racing by positions 2 and 3 allowed Brickley to drive away and hold a nearly two second lead at the halfway point in the race. Brickley maintained his lead to win, and the battle for second was the one to watch as Maier and Boschele passed each other multiple times on the last lap. They were side-by-side at the line and Maier was able to nab the second position by 0.002 seconds over Boschele in third. 
 
Briggs LO206 Senior sponsored by Sunoco Race Fuels 
 
The Briggs Senior Class started off hectic as multiple karts crashed in the opening laps. The racing smoothed out by the fifth lap of the race, and Ian Habiuk took the top spot from Zach Linsell. The field spread out and many two and three car battles raged on throughout the race, but the top two bump-drafted away from the drama. They opened up a two second lead over Ryan Corso in third who was by himself for most of his laps save for lapped traffic. Habuik fended off Linsell for the win, and Corso rolled into the final podium spot. 
 
IAME Senior sponsored by CNC Performance Engineering 
 
Pole sitter Ashley Rogero jumped to the lead after the green flag dropped and briefly lead a tight race for the top spot before Hayden Jones challenged taking the lead on lap two. Ashley took the lead back a lap later, and tight racing for the second spot allowed her to gain a two second advantage over second place. 2ndthrough 7th were within a second of each other jockeying for position over the first nine laps before it became clear who would rise to the top. Terrin Odom, Matthew Duncovich, and Pauly Massimino made their way to the front of the pack and ran 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively, and began to run down Rogero for the top spot. Massimino was racing Duncovich hard with three laps to go as Odom slowly gained on Rogero. With half a lap to go, Odom made his move to take the lead into turn 6 and rode on to win with Rogero in second. Duncovich just slid past Massimino for third, making the podium by just 0.087 seconds.