SPENCERPORT, N.Y. (Coyote team press release) — The 2022 racing season has become one to remember for Coyote Motorsports. Countless racers around the country drove their Coyotes to pole awards, feature wins, championships and personal bests on the national, regional and club levels as the Zenith chassis proved a premier kart in the competitive world of LO206 sprint racing.
As the year reached its final months, Zenith drivers’ success has never been more evident.
In the Southeast, where there is basically no offseason, multiple Coyote drivers wrapped up impressive 2022 campaigns to give them a huge amount of momentum heading into the new year.
NFKC at Jacksonville —
North Florida Kart Club hosts a 13-race series at the legendary 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Fla. Known for competitive racing especially in the 4-cycle divisions, NFKC events routinely feature some of the best in the Southeast as the club continues to grow.
Owen Lloyd is one of the club’s top drivers on his No. 19 Coyote Zenith. The Jacksonville native who now resides in Waycross, Ga., closed out a super successful junior career a few months ago and moved to the senior ranks, where he’s done nothing but win at 103rd Street.
In fact, Lloyd is undefeated in Senior Lite and Medium NFKC competition since moving to the classes. He’s won both class finals at club races on Oct. 15, Nov. 19 and most recently another sweep on Dec. 10. At the WKA Gold Cup Grand Nationals the first weekend of November, Lloyd went one for two in the Senior 360# division, finishing P2 on day one to one of the top national racers in the country and returning Sunday to win his first WKA senior race in just his second start.
“I’ve had the same attitude since moving up to seniors — just trying to learn every race out and do my best to win,” Lloyd said a couple days after his double-win performance on Dec. 10. “The competition is really good in senior, and there is a big race coming up with the CKNA Winter Nationals. I’m shooting for podiums at that race, and maybe we can come away with a couple more wins. The Zenith kart is fast and I’ve really enjoyed racing it. Capps Racing Engines gives us some good power, too. I have to thank Brad Farmer, my parents and brothers, Jim at Coyote and Mike Capps. We’ve had a really good start in the seniors.”
In the junior ranks at NFKC, Coyotes dominated in 2022 and swept the top-two positions in the class’s final points.
Ronnie Klys rode a string of consistency to close out the year and ended up scoring the 206 Junior championship by a single point over fellow Coyote driver Mason Donahue.
Klys finished P2 to Donahue in each of the final three club races but his win in round two on Feb. 19 and multiple podium finishes throughout the spring and summer were enough to give the High Springs, Fla., racer his second consecutive NFKC Junior championship only about one month after he captured his first touring series championship in the WKA Gold Cup Series’ Junior Yellow division.
“I knew that if Mason won, I had to finish second to win the championship,” Klys explained about his latest NFKC title. “I just kept digging, did my best, and we were able to get up to P2 behind Mason right at the end of the race to secure the championship.
“When we moved to a Coyote Zenith, it was a big change from our previous chassis,” the 13-year-old talent continued. “We’ve continued to get better on it. We’ll make a setup change, and the chassis responds, and the times get better on the stopwatch. I have to thank a lot of people, including Brad Farmer for all his support, John Seglem for setup help, GT Machine for great engines, MIKIM Motorsports for their help, my dad for paying for everything, and Jesus Christ for keeping us all safe.”
Klys, who also has two straight 206 Junior championships on his resume at Bushnell (Fla.) Motorsports’ club series, will compete with his 2023 No. 7 Zenith in the 206 Junior divisions at the upcoming WKA Daytona Sprint Championships Dec. 28-30 and the CKNA Winter Nationals Jan. 6-8.
Donahue, who’s riding a three-race winning streak in Junior at NFKC, nearly stole the club series championship from Klys and other top racers. While he barely missed it, the Fleming Island, Fla., racer was very satisfied with his five-win season at 103rd Street that included a WKA Gold Cup Grand National triumph in the Junior Black final on Nov. 6.
“The season went pretty well. We had a bunch of wins, including my second Grand National win at the WKA race after we won the Maxxis Grand National last year. Congratulations to Ronnie on his championships. We all had a great year,” the 15-year-old Donahue said.
Donahue will continue a heavy load of racing at 103rd Street in 2023 beginning with the Winter Nationals in January. He says he and his dad plan to continue in Junior for the Winter Nats, and then entertain the option to move to senior.
“It’s possible we may move to senior after the Winter Nationals, but we’re not really sure yet. I’ve gotten better and better on the Coyote since we moved to it, and now we’re really coming into our own. We might want to see what we can accomplish with a final full year in the juniors.
“We’re planning to stick with NFKC and do some traveling with Cup Karts South and WKA Gold Cup. Thanks to Coyote Motorsports, Mike Capps Racing Engines, Brad Farmer from Brad’s Karts and Parts, South Georgia Karting, my dad, and Elmer and Moe Edmonson. All those people have helped me a lot since we got started in karting five years ago.” Mason said.
Plenty of other Coyote racers have been in the news at 103rd Street.
In just his second season racing LO206 karts, Austin Speck won two Senior Light finals at NFKC and captured the class championship. He’s consistently one of the fastest senior drivers at NFKC races and when touring series come to town.
Austin Hill made his first NFKC start of the year Dec. 10 and finished an impressive P2 in Senior Light in an all-Coyote top four including winner Lloyd, Hill P2, Christopher McKeithan P3 and Chris Carroll P4.
Carson Neel finished fourth on his No. 17 Coyote in NFKC’s Junior Sportsman final points. Neel won the Sportsman feature at round two in February and added several more podiums to his totals throughout the series.
Jack Hughes and Shawn Chiarello both had strong years on their Coyotes in 206 Junior competition. Hughes missed three NFKC races throughout the year and had to use those races as drops. He still ended up P4 in the final Junior points with four top-five results including a best finish of P3 in February. Like Hughes, Chiarello didn’t make all the club races but still ran more often than not. His best result was a P4 run in August.
SSKC championship for Colin Aitken, NFKC title for Ron Klys Sr.
Twin brothers Christopher and Colin Aitken switched to Coyotes this season and both showed good speed in the junior classes at the WKA Gold Cup round. Colin Aitken’s best finish was a P3 in the day one Junior Yellow final while Chris Aitken finished P5 in the day two Junior Black main. They are both entered in 206 Junior at Daytona KartWeek.
Colin Aitken’s best accomplishment of the season came this past weekend when he recorded finishes of P2 and P3 in Briggs Junior at AMR Homestead-Miami to clinch the 2022 class championship in the Sunshine State Karting Challenge, a three-weekend series popular in Florida for 2-cycle and 4-cycle racing. Colin had one win, three P2s and a pair of P3 results to capture the junior title by a 31-point margin over his closest challenger.
Ronnie Klys’ dad Ron Klys Sr. joined his son as a 2022 NFKC champion. The elder Klys accomplished the championship in Senior Medium. Klys won the first two rounds of the year back in January and February and added two more wins over the summer to win the class championship by a healthy margin.
James Inscoe continues as one of the top Masters and Legends racers in the Southeast on his No. 117 Zenith. Inscoe claimed a pair of Gold Cup championships in the Masters and Super Masters classes, winning three races and never finishing outside the top three in 12 starts.
Inscoe had six top-five results in Masters at NFKC, which was the club’s largest class in 2022. He scored the feature win over a 16-kart field on Oct. 15 and finished second in a 24-kart race in March.
Veteran racer Kevin Medearis returned to the Coyote camp late this season and he closed out the year with a Masters podium at the WKA race in November, an NFKC Masters win over a 16-kart field on Nov. 19 and a third-place result at the Dec. 10 season closer.
Barry Hastings was an infrequent competitor in 2022 at 103rd Street. Hastings did make it out for the final round on Dec. 10 and came away with a 10th-place finish in Masters.
Multi-time national champ Sean Meier hasn’t done a lot of racing at 103rd Street. On the national stage, the Jacksonville native had an outstanding year in CKNA major races, including wins at Winter Nationals and Spring Nationals in March at Charlotte and a P2 finish at the Grand Nationals 6 at New Castle in October. We expect Meier back in action at the CKNA Winter Nationals this January.
Coyotes multiplying at GoPro Motorplex —
About 400 miles north of Jacksonville Coyote racers had a couple of huge weekends to close out the year at GoPro Motorplex’s Karting Challenge in Mooresville, N.C.
James Overbeck of Cincinnati, Ohio, led the way with four final wins to close out the 2022 GoPro series between final rounds in November and December. Overbeck recently switched to a Precision Performance Karting (PPK) / Coyote Zenith and has been the hottest senior 206 driver at GoPro since. He’ll be back in action on his No. 48 PPK Zenith at WKA Daytona KartWeek and the CKNA Winter Nationals.
Christopher McKeithan has joined Overbeck in a move to a PPK / Coyote Zenith for 2023. McKeithan, of Gastonia, N.C., got a head start on the new year at GoPro’s final round in December, where he officially advanced from junior to the senior category and promptly scored his first podium with a P2 finish to Overbeck in the Briggs Senior Round 12 final.
Hudson Brown of Maryland made the trip south to GoPro for most of the track’s Karting Challenge events in 2022 and had a great year. After winning two Briggs Junior finals in a row over the summer, Brown advanced to the senior ranks this past fall and closed out the year on a high note on Sunday, Dec. 4, finishing a close P2 to Overbeck in Briggs Senior Round 11 and then finishing P4 in the Round 12 final later in the day.
Brown was one of five Coyotes in the top five in the Round 12 Senior final. Scott Kleman of Michigan, made a rare trip to GoPro to race with the Chris Cirillo / Hudson Brown team. Kleman ran into some bad luck during the weekend but was one of the fastest drivers in attendance. He closed out the event with a solid P6 result of 30 entrants in Briggs Senior Round 12.
Luke DaCosta was one of the most improved drivers at GoPro in his first full year racing in senior. DaCosta, of Concord, N.C., joined the Coyote camp in 2021 and has become one of the fastest senior Briggs racers at GoPro since.
After several top-five runs to open the series, DaCosta won his first career final in Round 6 on July 23 and ended up a solid fourth place in the final Briggs Senior Karting Challenge point standings. Luke was one of the five Coyote drivers in the top 10 in the Senior Round 12 final, finishing P10.
A number of Coyote racers will be in action in the coming weeks to open the 2023 karting season with WKA’s annual Daytona KartWeek Sprint Championships at Daytona International Speedway’s infield kart track Dec. 27-30 followed by the second annual CKNA Winter Nationals at 103rd Street January 6-8, 2023.