SPENCERPORT, N.Y. — Big news came out of GoPro Motorplex Dec. when Precision Performance Karting (PPK) — the South Florida-based Coyote Racing Chassis LO206 team — announced the addition of teenage karting standouts James Overbeck and Christopher McKeithan to their 2023 driver lineup to lead a new youth movement for the American kart chassis manufacturer.
Both Overbeck and McKeithan will ride PPK / Coyote Zenith chassis exclusively in Briggs 206 racing next season. Overbeck, the two-time 2022 CKNA Spring Nationals winner who’s wrapping up his first season in the senior divisions, switches from a Tony Kart to Coyote while McKeithan will move on from a NitroKart to Coyote for his upcoming rookie season in senior.
The additions of McKeithan and Overbeck add to Coyote’s recent momentum in 206 sprint racing. The Zenith had an outstanding 2022 campaign with many drivers around the US racing to a number of big wins at many of the most competitive races and series in the country, including CKNA, WKA and GoPro’s Karting Challenge.
John Seglem, whose PPK team has helped lead the recent Coyote surge with 4-time USPKS X30 Pro champion Brandon Jarsocrak as lead driver and tuner, said that earlier this season the Coyote team identified a need for younger drivers to further solidify the brand’s future.
“We have great drivers racing Coyotes, but a lot of these guys are getting older. Earlier this season Coyote co-owner Jim Lipari, Ryan Cassity, Chris Carroll and myself all saw a need for a Coyote youth movement,” Seglem said. “The two drivers we pointed to were Overbeck and McKeithan. They’re both talented, young racers and they’re also really good kids. They were the two we all agreed we wanted to lead this youth movement. Brandon Jarsocrak has been instrumental in testing and fine tuning the Zenith, and the kart is ready for drivers like James and Christopher to go out and win races and championships. We couldn’t be more excited for the future.”
Jarsocrak will continue to split his time with PPK between testing, tuning and driving. The Pennsylvania native offered his thoughts.
“I was very excited for this weekend as I have been watching James and Christopher these last few months,” Jarsocrak said. “The weekend went very well with both really enjoying the kart and being dominant. I’m excited to work with them both in the future. I think there is a lot of success coming with the three of us teamed up.”
Both Overbeck and McKeithan got a head start on next year’s racing at GoPro’s season-ending rounds this past weekend.
Overbeck dominated, winning every round of competition he started beginning with Saturday’s second Briggs Heavy final when the track finally dried after rain early in the day. The Cincinnati, Ohio, racer would go on to sweep the 32-kart Briggs Senior class Sunday, qualifying fastest, winning both prefinals and both main events in convincing fashion.
“We came down here to practice (Friday) and got a couple sessions but I didn’t realize how fast we really were because there were no times or anything,” Overbeck said, alluding to GoPro’s alternate full course layout, which was run this past weekend and is rarely used.
Referencing his run in Saturday’s second Briggs Heavy final, Overbeck said, “I was able to come from 14th and get up to fourth by the end of lap 1, and I just picked the rest off one by one and was able to pull away by a reasonable margin. I didn’t expect to be that quick, but we were.”
LISTEN TO JAMES OVERBECK on his move to Coyote in 2023 —
McKeithan made his first ever laps on a PPK / Coyote in Sunday’s Briggs Senior division. After a transponder issue in qualifying forced him to start last in both pre-finals, the Gastonia, N.C., pilot passed more than half the field in each of the pre-finals, and drove his new No. 19 Zenith to finishes of P6 and P3 in the Senior finals. The day marked McKeithan’s official advance to the senior ranks after running juniors the last couple years.
LISTEN TO CHRISTOPHER MCKEITHAN talk about his move to Coyote —
As noted in the interviews, both Overbeck and McKeithan plan to race out of the PPK stable at CKNA majors including the Winter Nationals this January at Jacksonville, the third annual Spring Nationals at Charlotte in March and the Grands at New Castle Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
The 2023 racing season officially kicks off in the final days of 2022 with WKA’s annual Daytona KartWeek Sprint Championships at Daytona International Speedway’s infield kart track. Overbeck will be in action on his No. 48 Coyote while McKeithan’s Daytona plans are still undecided.
Coyote Motorsports is an American kart chassis manufacturer located near Rochester, New York, since 1976.
To learn more about Coyote, visit our official website at CoyoteKarts.com, shop for parts and components at our online store at CoyoteKarts.com/shop, or contact the shop at 585-352-0806 10am to 5pm, Monday thru Friday.