CONCORD, N.C. — Naples, Fla., driver Colin Warren drove his TS Racing-powered VLR Chassis to the LO206 Senior win Sunday afternoon at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Kart Track, where the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series held their second of three rounds of the 2021 season.
Warren and 17 other 206 senior entrants challenged for the $1,000-to-win prize. When the first of three heat races hit the track Saturday afternoon, Warren and Jacksonville Beach, Fla., racer Corey Towles began to solidify themselves as the top-two runners in the class. Warren would win heat one while Towles would lead every lap except the last one in heat two when Warren made a last-lap pass to score the win and sweep the day’s preliminary races.
Towles reversed the roles in Sunday morning’s heat three, dogging Warren throughout the 14-lapper and passing him on the final lap to get the win.
While Warren and Towles were the favorites heading into the final and would start P1 and P2, MGM racers Zach Linsell and Eric Fagan ran top five in the heats all weekend and appeared to gain some speed in Sunday’s third heat despite Warren and Towles finishing several seconds ahead. With the MGM team starting side-by-side in row two, they were ready to make an attempt to break up the Florida drivers and give the Paul and April Rice-led team a shot at the $1,000 winner’s prize.
Warren jumped out to the lead at the start and Fagan, starting third, quickly moved under Towles for second into turn one. On exit, Towles slid off the track and lost several positions while Fagan and Linsell settled into second and third behind Warren.
Towles’ 18-lap race was mostly lost in the first corner. He’d blame Fagan for the incident which Fagan would deny.
When the dust settled after the first few corners, Towles ended up seventh and would proceed to advance into fourth after a couple laps. But by the time he moved past Ryan Bennett for P4, the lead trio of Warren, Linsell and Fagan was several seconds ahead. Towles would close the gap and set the race’s fastest lap in the process, but he’d never close enough to mount a challenge for the win.
Warren’s race up front was as smooth as silk. He hit every corner like a pro and enter the final lap a kart-length ahead of Fagan, who passed Linsell on lap 12 for the second position. For a few laps Fagan pushed Warren about three kart-lengths ahead of Linsell until Zach closed the gap back up with two laps to go.
With Linsell right there, it still appeared that the race would come down to Warren and Fagan. Warren actually opened the gap about a kart-length on the final lap until Fagan closed back up on exit of turn five. Fagan gave Warren a shot in the rear bumper at one of the key passing points in turn 7, but it appeared to hurt him more than Warren. Colin’s rear end kicked sideways for a split second but he quickly gathered it up and pulled ahead by about a kart-length over Fagan. He’d maintain the gap until crossing the finish stripe for the big win.
After a disappointing weekend at the Cup Karts Spring Nationals March 3-5, Warren was pleased to score the win at the WKA Man. Cup national.
“I think we redeemed ourselves from the race in March,” Warren said. “We were fast all weekend. We learned from the Cup Karts race and really only played with tire pressures throughout most of this weekend. We knew we missed it a little in March and thought we knew what we had to do this weekend. It worked out. When Fagan didn’t show me a wheel going into turn 5 (on the last lap), I thought he’d try me into (turn) 7 so I protected the bottom and broke a little early to try and mess up his plan. He gave me a bump but I think it hurt him more than me. It broke his momentum and kind of shot me forward. It was good racing; I’m glad it worked out for us.”
Fagan came home second in front of MGM teammate Linsell and he spoke about the finish and start of his race.
“I just couldn’t quite get under Colin at the end, but he drove a great race. Zach was an awesome teammate all weekend and we both gained on our MGMs today. Corey (Towles) is upset with me but our (inside) lane got a great jump on the start. Our lane was moving and I’m not sure what happened to send him off the track. That’s 206 racing.” Fagan said.
Towles ended up fourth and offered his thoughts on the race.
“If it wasn’t for getting taken out by Eric Fagan on the start I think I had the kart to win,” Towles said. “I set the fast lap all by myself running the lead pack down. Big thanks to JTP Karting and the Lloyd Racing Team for the help.”
Jed Perkins rounded out the top five on his Margay.
Florida’s Hunter Fox was in the mix throughout the heats and the final but he lost his brakes while running fifth in the final and ended up a DNF in P17.
Click here for the live Facebook video of the race.
Here’s the final rundown:
206 Senior Charlotte WKA Man Cup — 1. COLIN WARREN, 2. Eric Fagan, 3. Zach Linsell, 4 Corey Towles, 5. Jed Perkins, 6. Brennan Hanville, 7. Brayden Johnson, 8. Elijah Skaggs, 9. Ryan Bennett, 10. Ryan Casner, 11. Adam Maxwell, 12. Logan Stephens, 13. Sawyer Conrad, 14. Jarrad Tracy, 15. Josh Taylor, 16. Ed Weinstein, 17. Hunter Fox, 18. JT Sweigert.