JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Maxxis 4-Cycle Sprint Series opened its 2021 season Saturday, April 10 at the 103rd Street Sports Complex where seven drivers drove to feature wins in the eight LO206 classes on the slate, while three other drivers scored victories in the three vintage classes offered.
After several racers drove to multiple heat race wins, Elmer Edmonson of Lehigh Acres, Fla., was the only driver to double up in feature competition, scoring dominating victories in the LO206 Senior Medium and Senior Heavy 15-lap main events. While several drivers gave him a close run at different points of the day, Edmonson ultimately would go a perfect eight-for-eight on the day between Medium and Heavy, scoring both Roberts Kart Shop pole awards and wins in all four heat races and both main events.
Camden Clay, Mason Donahue, James Inscoe, Brently Miller, Thomas Nichols and Adam Wein all joined Edmonson as feature winners in LO206 competition, while Kenny Buff, Billy Johnson and Tyson Swann won vintage features.
Here’s a rundown of each class’s main event Saturday at 103rd Street.
In a touching tribute, the wife of the late Billy Newburg waved the green flag for the start of the Senior Heavy feature. Newburg was the longtime head flagger for the Maxxis Sprint Series and many other races and series throughout Florida and the Southeast. He passed away unexpectedly after the Maxxis Sprint last September at 103rd Street.
Edmonson, driving his No. 107 MGM Espionage, opened feature competition with a dominating win in Senior Heavy. With Kenner Brown and Aiden White drafting together in P2 and P3, Moe still managed to lengthen his lead throughout the race.
Just past halfway, White finally had enough of riding behind Brown and passed him for second and proceeded to pull away. But he didn’t have near enough for Edmonson, who crossed the finish stripe 6.8 seconds ahead for his first win of the day over White. Caylyn Brown, who challenged Edmonson in the heats, was involved in contact at the start and sent all the way to the tail of the field. Brown sliced his way back through the field and made it past his brother in the final laps to get third. Kenner Brown was fourth and Neil Moore fifth.
About an hour after the Senior Heavy feature concluded many of the same drivers were back out for the Senior Medium main. As expected, Edmonson jumped out to the early lead on his MGM and for a few laps it looked like he’d run away with this one, as well. But near halfway, Brown, Cale Martin and Ronnie Klys Sr. worked together and closed within a single kart-length of Moe.
Klys would look underneath Edmonson a couple times going into turn 1, but each time Moe was able to hold him off. As the second half of the race progressed, Edmonson flexed his muscle and began to pull away once again. He opened up the gap to 1.4 seconds by the time the checkered waved. Brown and Martin were able to make it past Klys for second and third. Klys would settle for fourth and Aiden White rounded out the top five.
The Masters class gave fans one of the better races of the day. Heat 2 winner Neil Moore started pole and jumped out to the early lead on his No. 5 MGM. But he couldn’t shake James Inscoe and his No. 117 Coyote. Inscoe ran on Moore’s rear bumper for 14 and 7/8ths laps before shooting under Moore at the end of the backstretch coming to the checkered. He made the pass cleanly and raced ahead to a close 0.103-second victory over Moore.
Jason Gallini, who won heat 1, worked all race to close the gap on the top two and on lap 13 he finally made it to Inscoe’s bumper. But he couldn’t make a move on his MGM and would settle for P3. Roy Avery and Brandon Hollenbaugh finished fourth and fifth.
Mason Donahue made sure his junior competition knew he was at Jacksonville. The Florida driver entered a Coyote Zenith for the first time and went on to score a couple heat wins and claim the Junior Yellow feature.
Donahue had to work for it, though. Brady Atwood led most of the Junior Yellow feature on his MGM and led coming down the backstretch on the final lap. Donahue, Atwood and K Mike Chidester went three-wide at one point on the final lap until Donahue pulled ahead with the inside line going into the fast left-hander at the end of the 1,000-ft straightaway.
Atwood would get shuffled back to third as Chidester followed Donahue through the hole. Donahue would cross the stripe 0.231 seconds in front of Chidester with Atwood right there in third. Alyssa Vascocu and Christopher Aitken each finished about six seconds back of the lead pack in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Most of the same juniors were back on track later in the afternoon for the Junior Black 15-lap main event. This time Donahue pulled ahead at the start and proceeded to lead 14 of the 15 laps. Brently Miller, Chidester and Atwood rode second through fourth right behind Donahue and no one made any moves until a couple laps to go when Chidester went past Miller for second.
When the white flag waved, contact was made on the back half of the course and Chidester suffered the most, falling back to fourth and out of contention. Donahue still led down the backstretch and blocked the bottom into the left-hander. Miller went high and made the slingshot move to the inside to make the pass and score a big win on his Eagle chassis.
Donahue would settle for second and be denied of a sweep of the junior main events. Atwood, who was close all day, would come home third and Chidester a disappointing fourth after running second at the white flag. Vascocu rounded out the top five.
Camden Clay was the dominant force in the LO206 Kid Kart division, which attracted four entrants. Clay won every round of competition on his No. 5 and finished 6.8 seconds ahead of Parker Stewart for the win the 12-lap final. Stewart was about 6 seconds ahead of P3 finisher Colton Glass, while Canon Love completed the field. The kid karts used the five-turn short course at 103rd Street and Clay’s fastest laps were in the 19-second range.
Razor drivers Thomas Nichols and Adam Wein were the stars of the cadet divisions. Wein dominated a lot of the day, scoring multiple heat-race wins until Nichols began to show his strength later in the day. Nichols would pass Wein to win Cadet Yellow’s second heat for his first triumph of the day and ending Wein’s string of heat wins.
When the feature rolled around, Wein and Nichols checked out on the rest of the field. With some spins and contact with racers fighting hard for third place on back, the top two opened up over a half-track gap on third-place Wesley Sweatman.
Wein led much of the race until Nichols made the pass for the lead on the backstretch on the final lap. Wein gave it one more shot as he nudged Nichols rear bumper in the final corner. But it wasn’t enough to slow Nichols, who continued to pull ahead to score the big win. Wein would settle for second, crossing the stripe a few kart-lengths back. Sweatman was third, Will Franklin fourth and Lucas Franklin rounded out the top five.
The last race of the day hit the track as dark clouds continued to move over 103rd Street. With rain imminent, it was clear this may be a race to halfway and that’s exactly what happened. Just past the 8-lap mark of the 15-lap scheduled distance, the clouds opened up and the track quickly became rain soaked.
When the rain came and the race was stopped, Wein was out front and able to conclude his sweep of Cadet Green competition for the day — scoring the pole ,two heat race wins and the main event. Wein was credited with the win by a 0.460-second margin over Camden Harp. Justin Sherbert was third, Will Franklin fourth and Jaydyn Fowler fifth in the 10-kart field.
Vintage Stock Medium
The Vintage Stock races were both good ones. In Medium, the battle early was between Tyson Swann, Billy Johnson, Tyler Swann and Chuck Watkins. At halfway of the 10-lapper, Tyson Swann led over Johnson, Tyler Swann and Watkins with Josh Loftin rounding out the top five several seconds back.
Watkins was running some of the fastest laps of the race throughout the second half of the contest but couldn’t advance past fourth. On the final circuit, Johnson, Tyler Swann and Watkins all drafted past Tyson Swann on backstretch, moving the race-long leader back to P4 in the blink of an eye. Riding in P2 most of the race, Johnson was in perfect position to make the pass on the last lap and he’d go on to the win. Tyler Swann was second, Watkins third, Tyson Swann fourth and Loftin fifth.
Vintage Stock Heavy
The opening laps of the Vintage Heavy race featured some good racing. Steve Loftin would lead lap 1 before Billy Johnson made an inside pass on Loftin to lead the second circuit. Johnson brought Tyson Swann and Chuck Watkins with him, shuffling Loftin back to fourth.
The top-three broke away from the rest of the 8-kart field and Tyson Swann was able to move past Johnson and those two moved away from Chuck Watkins. The pair raced nose to tail up front with Swann scoring the victory by a 0.235-second gap over Johnson. Chuck Watkins held on for third, Chad Watkins was fourth and Loftin rounded out the top five.
Vintage Super Stock
Four drivers made the call for Vintage Super Stock and Kenny Buff, who also competed in LO206 Senior, was the driver to beat. Buff won the heat and main event in mostly convincing fashion. He’d cross the finish stripe about five kart-lengths (1.3 seconds) ahead of P2 finisher Cameron Plyler. CJ Usry was third and Chris Usry completed the field.
The only serious incident of the day came in a Cadet heat race when a few karts collided on the backstretch, sending at least one kart into race director Jayson Brown. Brown tried to jump over the karts but contact was made and he fell hard to the ground.
Brown braced his fall but unfortunately the accident resulted in a broken left wrist for the longtime Maxxis race director. But Brown was in good spirits later in the day and looking forward to a fast recovery and planning to work the next Maxxis Sprint Series event.
Round two of the 2021 Maxxis 4-Cycle Sprint Series is set for May 8-9 at the historic Lamar County Speedway in Barnesville, Ga. Like the Jacksonville opener, this event will be a two-day show with practice Friday and all racing taking place Saturday, May 9.
Click here for complete results from the day’s racing.