CONCORD, N.C. — As expected, Mother Nature was a tough competitor Sunday in the greater Charlotte area. Race teams at Charlotte Motor Speedway battled through on-and-off rain showers all day during Round 4 of the 2021 Maxxis Sprint Series, and a brief thunderstorm midway through the the round of heat races halted the action for more than an hour with lightning strikes reported less than three miles from the speedway.
A steady ongoing rain would have been easier on teams as it would have meant rain tires for the entire day. But as soon as a 20- to 30-minute shower would drench the track, the rain would stop and the sun would reappear, almost fully drying the pavement in about 30 minutes.
In the end, most rounds of competition were held on a mostly dry track with racers running their Maxxis Prime slicks, a surprise considering Sunday’s forecast in Charlotte.
While all the cadet and junior teams were back for Sunday, many vintage, senior and masters drivers did not return for the final day of racing after competing Saturday. One of those was Eric Fagan, the only driver to win two features on Saturday.
Three drivers joined Fagan as a double winner Sunday afternoon with Maryland’s Brady Atwood winning both Junior finals, Florida’s Moe Edmonson taking both LO206 Senior mains, and Georgia’s Adam Wein scoring wins in both 206 Cadet features. Atwood and Wein’s Sunday triumphs would give them the hat trick on the weekend as they each scored one win Saturday.
Here’s a rundown of each class’s final Sunday at Charlotte.
Moore wins Masters
The Masters heat race ran in the dry with Tim Skinner getting the win just before the skies opened up and drenched the track around Noon. Ironically, of all the LO206 classes, Masters was the only feature where most racers ran Maxxis rain tires as the track was still mostly wet following the most recent shower.
Neil Moore, who finished second in the heat, got the jump on Skinner at the start and pulled his MGM into the top position. With Skinner and Jamie Bradford in tow, Moore continued to hit his marks around the 0.65-mile course, never letting Skinner close enough to mount a serious challenge.
With the track drying, Roy Avery was the only driver on Maxxis slicks, and his Coyote Zenith came alive about halfway through the race. Avery, who was mired in the back in the early laps of the race, began gaining tremendous ground, passing several karts on his way to going past Bradford for third in the final lap. With one more lap, Avery likely would have went past Skinner for P2 and Moore for the lead, but luckily for the Moore, the race was 10 laps and he had enough to score his first win of the season by 0.678 seconds over Skinner and 0.999 seconds over Avery. Bradford, who won the Roberts Kart Shop Pole Award, was fourth and Chris Ball rounded out the top five.
The win served as some redemption for Moore who won poles and heat races at Round 2 at Barnesville before running into bad luck in the features and getting denied of a win.
Edmonson dominates Senior
Moe Edmonson of Lehigh Acres, Fla., is having a good season in the Maxxis Series. Edmonson dominated the LO206 Senior divisions at the season opener in April at 103rd Street, and after skipping Barnesville he nearly won the 206 Senior Heavy final Saturday at Charlotte until he and Ryan Bennett came together in turn 11 on the final lap.
On Sunday Edmonson didn’t let anyone get close enough to challenge him on the final lap. After winning both heats, Edmonson started pole for the Senior Medium and Senior Heavy finals and would lead every lap in each race to score a pair of convincing wins on his MGM Espionage.
In Senior Medium, Edmonson crossed the stripe 9.664 seconds in front of P2 finisher Aiden White. Cale Martin, who won Saturday’s Senior Heavy final, was third with Brody Kellner fourth and Eli Fox fifth. The race for second was a dandy with the drivers racing four-wide on the front-stretch in the final laps.
In Senior Heavy, Edmonson was the winner by a 2.398-second gap over Bennett, who ran strong all weekend on his No. 110 MGM. Martin won the Pole Award in the rain and finished P3 in the feature. Kellner was fourth and Neil Moore fifth.
Atwood brings Junior Maxxis wins back to Maryland
Brady Atwood and his family have made the trip south to each of the first four Maxxis rounds in 2021 and he’ll be happy to have a home race with Round 5 at Sandy Hook Speedway July 9-10. Atwood was happy Sunday at Charlotte, too, as he wheeled his No. 6 MGM to wins in the Junior Black and Junior Yellow features.
Georgia’s Peyton Bridges was Atwood’s closest competitor all day but he didn’t have quite enough to best the Maryland driver. In Junior Yellow, Atwood won by 0.287-second gap over Bridges’ black No. 4 Razor. Pole and heat race winner Mason Donahue was P3 in the feature on his Coyote. Barnesville winner Alyssa Vascocu was fourth and K Mike Chidester rounded out the top five of nine starters.
Atwood and Bridges again paced the field in the Junior Black feature, and again Bridges was right on Atwood’s rear bumper for the entire race but didn’t have quite enough to make it past. Atwood would cross the stripe 0.332 seconds in front of Bridges in this contest, which was the final race of the weekend.
Donahue started P2 and got hung in the outside groove on the start and slipped all the way back to the ninth and last position after the first two corners. In a hole, Donahue dug out of it the best he could, moving back up to finish P3 but more than 6 seconds back of Atwood and Bridges.
Jacksonville racer Brently Miller had his best run of the weekend to finish P4 on an MGM. Vascocu rounded out the top five on her Razor.
Wein doubles up in Cadet
After going one for two in Saturday’s LO206 Cadet mains, Georgia’s Adam Wein swept Sunday’s Cadet finals to give him three wins on the weekend and six wins in eight races so far in the 2021 Maxxis series.
Wein started the afternoon with a close win Cadet Green over Will Haire, who gained ground on Wein over the last few laps of the race and nearly shot past him coming to the checkered. Wein’s margin of victory over Haire was just 0.170 seconds (the closest finish of the day). Justin Sherbert earned the last step on the podium with his third-place finish. Javier Soto and Hudson Williams completed the top five of nine starters.
Seven drivers started the Cadet Yellow final and Wein had a fairly easy race in this one. Thomas Nichols, his closest competitor and the Saturday class winner, started sixth after a tough heat race in the rain. While Nichols was able to make it up to P2 within a few laps, Wein’s jump from the pole gave him a big lead before Nichols cleared the rest of the field. Wein would go on to a 7.485-second win over Nichols for his third win of the weekend. Will Franklin was third, Tazzo Reep fourth and Haire rounded out the top five.
Swanns continue to lead Vintage classes
Tyson and Tyler Swann have been staples at the front of the Vintage Stock Medium and Heavy fields at all the Maxxis races so far this year and Sunday at Charlotte was no different with Tyson winning Heavy and Tyler going two for two on the weekend in Medium.
After 15 drivers entered Saturday’s Vintage Stock Heavy class, only three made the call for Sunday’s feature. Steve Loftin kept Tyson in his sights for most of the race, but Swann had enough to pull his Coyote ahead by 3.743 seconds when the checkers waved. Billy Johnson had problems and pulled off the track early and was credited with third.
Five karts started Vintage Stock Medium and this race was closer than Saturday’s, which saw Tyler Swann win by a wide margin. Johnson was able to hang with Tyler in this one, ultimately crossing the stripe only 0.382 seconds behind Swann’s No. 75 Trick. Tyson Swann was about five kart-lengths back of the top two in third. Josh Loftin was fourth and Kenny Buff fifth.
Buff did make it four for four in Vintage Super Stock features in 2021. After winning his third race of the season Saturday, Buff swept the weekend with win No. 4 in Sunday’s Super Stock feature. Buff dominated the race, finishing more than 7 seconds in front of Cameron Plyler in P2. Kevin Frische finished P3.