AEM Karting wins at Route 66 opener, 7-driver lineup set for CKNA North at G&J

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — A winning weekend at the Route 66 Sprint Series opener at New Castle Motorsports Park has AEM Karting carrying plenty of momentum into the next big series opener coming up this weekend with the Cup Karts North America North Division 2022 lid-lifter at G&J Kartway in Camden, Ohio.

The OTK-backed AEM Karting team will be hoping for warmer weather in southwest Ohio this weekend after a cold event at New Castle April 9-10. Despite the near freezing temperatures, the action on the track was hot with Jerry Fandrey, Mick Gabriel, Jakab Nyiri and Owen Oehler carrying the AEM banner at the Route 66 opener.

Mick Gabriel (P1) and Jerry Fandrey (P4) at Saturday's Senior Medium podium<br>(AG Digital Content)
Mick Gabriel (P1) and Jerry Fandrey (P4) at Saturday’s Senior Medium podium
(AG Digital Content)

Gabriel led the way in the Briggs 206 Medium division with pole awards and final wins in both days of competition on his No. 23 OTK / EOS Typhoon Chassis. In Saturday qualifying, Mick cleared the 19-kart field by more than 1.2 seconds to take the pole. He’d finish P2 in the pre-final before scoring the series opening win in the 10-lap final.

He’d return Sunday to pick up another pole award before finishing P3 in the pre-final. With some strong competition set the challenge, Gabriel would once again rise to the occasion in his last race of the weekend, out-dueling several competitors to win his second 206 Medium main event on the weekend to score the double. He’d also go purple in the final with a fast lap of 1:22.657, the quickest time of the event in the LO206 categories.

Jerry Fandrey joined Mick in the Medium class and had a solid weekend after a disappointing qualifying sessions both days. 

Jerry Fandrey ahead of a pack in Route action<br>(AG Digital Content)
Jerry Fandrey ahead of a pack in Route action
(AG Digital Content)

After qualifying P14 Saturday, Fandrey quickly recovered in the pre-final, passing nine karts to finish P4 on his No. 77 EOS. He’d go on to podium in the final with another solid fourth-place result.

Fandrey would once again need to advance through the field Sunday after a problem in qualifying resulted in having to start dead last of 17 in the pre-final. He’d drive up to seventh in the pre-final and again make it to P4 in the 10-lap main. A penalty moved him back to P5 in the final results to give the Illinois racer a pair of top-fives and podiums on the weekend.

LO206 Masters standout Jakab Nyiri tried his hand at Senior Medium at New Castle as Route 66 does not offer an over-35 division. Nyiri, fresh off a fifth-place result in Masters at the CKNA Spring Nationals at Charlotte, improved all weekend racing against the younger crowd. He’d finish 12th in Saturday’s final and gain more speed Sunday to finish inside the top 10 with a solid P8 result. 

Owen Oehler raced in the 206 Sportsman division on his No. 85 AEM entry and gained experience all weekend. The youngster recorded finishes of P14 and P18 in the Sportsman finals and raced hard in the pack in every round of competition among 20 entries. 


Looking ahead to CKNA North at Camden…

The CKNA North opener is always a big show and this year the series will head to a famous track for 4-cycle karting, G&J Kartway located just east of the Indiana state line in Camden, Ohio. 

G&J and the Ohio Valley Karting Association have a long history of hosting big 4-cycle national events and it will be great to see the Camden pit area packed again this weekend in CKNA’s North Division opener. 

The AEM tent will be full at G&J with eight drivers ready to challenge the tricky half-mile, 9-turn course. 

Justin Wishard with a CKNA pole award in 2020
Justin Wishard with a CKNA pole award in 2020

A new face to the team will be veteran 206 racer Justin Wishard of Illinois, who will enter Senior Medium and Senior Heavy aboard an AEM Karting / AEM Engines-powered EOS Typhoon chassis. 

Wishard, 20, has a long list of credentials in kart racing including a CKNA championship, Rock Island Grand Prix win and a CKNA Grand Nationals 3 triumph in the Senior Heavy division. 

Wishard will be the only AEM entry in Senior Heavy but he’ll have some friends in the Medium division with Jerry Fandrey, Blade Fountain and Mick Gabriel making it a trio of AEM racers CKNA’s headline class.

Fandrey will be looking to add a couple more podiums to his growing list while Gabriel will start his defense of his 2020 and 2021 CKNA North Senior Lite and Medium class championships. Fountain will rejoin Mick and Jerry in the Medium division after showing good speed at the Charlotte Spring Nationals last month

Jakab Nyiri will be back in the Masters category after competing in Senior Medium at Route 66. The Hungary native has shown the ability to adapt to new tracks quickly and he’ll be one of the favorites if he can do so at Camden.

Washington state racer Jeff Bays is headed east to join Nyiri in the Masters class on a brand new No. 6 EOS Typhoon chassis. Bays is planning on running the entire CKNA North schedule with AEM plus the Grand Nationals at New Castle in October. 

206 Legends competitor Randy Raridon will be back with AEM at Camden after racing with the team at both Jacksonville and the Charlotte Spring Nationals. Raridon keeps improving. He finished 12th at Jacksonville and P8 at Charlotte and he’ll be looking for more at Camden.

This Friday will include five rounds of practice before two complete race days Saturday and Sunday. Each race day will consist of a morning warm-up, qualifying round, two rounds of heats and one round of features for each division.

Here’s a list of the AEM Karting lineup this weekend at G&J Kartway.

Jeff Bays — Masters
Jerry Fandrey — Senior Medium
Blade Fountain — Senior Medium
Mick Gabriel — Senior Lite and Senior Medium
Jakab Nyiri — Masters
Randy Raridon — Legends
Justin Wishard — Senior Medium and Senior Heavy

Arrive-and-drive packages, pit space, tent support and engine rentals are available for future events including the CKNA North series. Contact or call 630-863-7898.


AEM Karting is based in Bolingbrook, Ill., and is an official authorized OTK distributor, offering sales and support for OTK products, Briggs & Stratton LO206 racing engines, and many other karting brands and products that make a successful team. Led by championship-winning kart racer Mick Gabriel, AEM offers at-track coaching, tuning and support, arrive-and-drive packages and more. For more information, visit the team’s official website at and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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