CONCORD, N.C. — The Maxxis 4-Cycle Sprint Series held their third round of 2021 Saturday, June 19 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Kart Track, where sunny skies and hot temperatures around 90 degrees greeted approximately 100 entries for the day’s 11 classes.
With persistent rain in the forecast for Sunday, the Battle for the Belt portion of the event was moved to Saturday. All Saturday feature winners were awarded a prestigious Maxxis championship belt, a popular award at some Maxxis dirt oval events that had never been offered on the sprint circuit.
While rain wasn’t in the forecast for Saturday, about halfway through the day’s main events the skies grew darker, temperatures cooled and the wind picked up. For a few minutes it looked like the last several races may have had to race in wet conditions, but only a few rain drops fell and the track stayed dry throughout the day.
When the dust settled on the day, Eric Fagan was the only driver to score a double feature wins. Riding an MGM Espionage, Fagan made the trip to Charlotte from his Ohio home and was the driver to beat all day in LO206 Masters and Senior Medium. Tim Skinner was able to beat Fagan in the Masters heat race, but other than that the Ohio driver won every round of competition he entered, including each class’s main event and Roberts Kart Shop pole awards.
Joining Fagan on the day’s Battle for the Belt win list were Cale Martin (Senior Heavy), Camdon Clay (Kid Kart 1), Parker Stewart (Kid Kart 2), Thomas Nichols (Cadet Yellow), Adam Wein (Cadet Green), Noah Ryan (Junior Yellow), Brady Atwood (Junior Black), Tyler Swann (Vintage Stock Medium), Duke Zink (Vintage Stock Heavy) and Kenny Buff (Vintage Super Stock).
Saturday Feature Winners:
Here’s a rundown of each class’s final Saturday at Charlotte.
Heat race winner Tim Skinner (MGM) started P1 and jumped out to the early lead with P3 starter James Inscoe (Coyote) moving into second ahead of Roberts Kart Shop pole winner Eric Fagan (MGM).
Fagan didn’t waste time riding in third, moving back in front of Inscoe a couple of laps into the 12-lapper. Fagan would follow Skinner for over half the race with Inscoe a close third. With Fagan not able to push Skinner away from the Coyote driver, he made an inside pass on Skinner in turn 6 for the lead on lap 7. Skinner and Inscoe hung with Fagan over the latter stages of the race, but Fagan’s No. 9 MGM had enough to inch away from the pair to win the Masters final.
Fagan crossed the stripe 0.639 seconds in front of Skinner. Inscoe was third, Jamie Bradford fourth and Neil Moore rounded out the top five by inches over Jason Gallini. Steve Bushell was seventh, Bob Barthelemy eighth, Roy Avery ninth and Chris Ball 10th. Inscoe’s Coyote was the only non-MGM in the top seven.
Georgia’s Adam Wein continued his domination of the Cadet Green class at Charlotte. After winning both the Jacksonville and Barnesville rounds, Wein swept the day at Charlotte on his No. 23 Razor. He’d jump out to the lead early in the 12-lapper and pull away from the field for a convincing 6.996-second victory over Justin Sherbert. Will Haire, Will Franklin and Landon Bass completed the top-five of 10 starters.
Wein’s win Saturday adds to a big point lead in the Cadet Green division and another performance like this on Sunday would just about clinch the 2021 class championship for the Razor driver.
About 15 minutes after scoring the Masters win, Fagan was back on track to pace the field in Senior Medium. MGM teammate Moe Edmonson was able to hang with Fagan in this 12-lapper. The Florida driver raced only a few kart-lengths off Fagan’s rear bumper for the entire contest, but he was never able to inch close enough to mount a serious challenge.
The gap between Fagan and Edmonson would stay consistent until the end with Fagan crossing the stripe 0.457 seconds ahead of the Jacksonville Maxxis double winner. Hunter Curtis, a dirt-oval star who recently purchased a brand-new MGM Espionage, had an impressive run in his first sprint outing with a P3 result. Curtis passed Collin Miller late in the race for the final spot on the podium. Miller would settle for fourth and Eli Fox rounded out the all-MGM top five of 12 starters.
P2 starter Thomas Nichols got the jump on pole sitter Adam Wein at the start and moved into the early lead over the Cadet Green feature winner. Nichols held the spot for the first several laps with Wein in tow. Wein made his move just before halfway with in inside turn 6 pass on Nichols.
Nichols didn’t give up and stalked Wein throughout the second half of the 12-lap race. Nichols would retake the lead on lap 10 until Wein shot back to the inside in turn 8 on the final lap to retake the lead again. But Nichols wouldn’t be denied and followed Wein into the final passing opportunity in turn 11. Nichols gave Wein a bump which caused Wein to slide off the track on exit. He’d quickly get back on track but Nichols was already well ahead. Wein would be denied a sweep on the day in Cadet competition as Nichols would score the victory over Wein, Will Haire, Will Franklin and Landon Bass rounding out the top five. Jayden Fowler and Tazzo Reep completed the seven-kart field.
Kid Kart Final 1
The LO206 Kid Kart class was all Camdon Clay as the youngster was in control all day. He’d win the Roberts Kart Shop Pole Award, heat race and ride his Top Kart to a dominating feature win and Battle of the Belt title by a 5.031-second gap over Barnesville Maxxis winner Ryan Hall.
Hall was the only kid karter who could hang with Clay most of the day. He finished closer to Clay in the heat but Clay was able to pull out to a big lead in the feature to score another convincing win in Maxxis competition.
Canon Love crossed the stripe in third behind Clay and Hall. Lanie Thigpen was fourth and Parker Stewart rounded out the top five. Logan Hall, Colton Glass and Robert Barthelemy completed the eight-kart Kid Kart field.
Kid Kart Final 2
With rain likely on Sunday the kid karts ran their second feature of the weekend as the last race Saturday. A pill draw set the starting lineup which resulted in Ryan Hall and Clay starting in row 2. Parker Stewart started up front and was able to jump out to the early lead with Hall settling into second and Clay in third. The trio raced nose to tail for most of the 10-lapper until Clay made a bid for second with a few laps to go. The pair made contact, sending Clay around in turn 4. He wouldn’t lost the P3 spot, but lost a lot of ground on the leaders effectively ending his bid in joining Fagan as a double winner on the day.
This gave Stewart some more breathing room and the youngster hit all his marks to go on to his first Maxxis win of the season. Ryan Hall, who won at Barnesville, was second and Jacksonville winner Clay settled for third. Canon Love and Robert Barthelemy completed the top five.
After winning the Senior Heavy heat, Florida racer Moe Edmonson moved his MGM into the lead on the start of the final and quickly opened up a solid advantage over Collin Miller and JT Swygert. But Ryan Bennett was on the move on his MGM, advancing several spots in the early going to settle into second behind Edmonson.
Meanwhile, dirt-oval karting veteran Hunter Curtis, who ran off the track on exit to turn 2 on the start, was making up ground. Curtis would slice his way through the field, passing a kart nearly every lap to make it into the third position with a few laps left. While Curtis appeared to be headed to a P3 result, Bennett closed to the rear bumper of Edmonson with a couple laps to go. He’d pressure Moe for the lead over the last couple laps and charge to the inside in turn 11, where the pair would make heavy contact and both spin around
The incident gave Curtis the chance to sweep past the race-long leaders and cross the finish stripe first. A super impressive performance for Curtis, in his first weekend racing sprint, would go for not as post-race tech deemed Curtis’ engine was not legal. This gave the win to South Carolina’s JT Swygert, who ran a solid race in the top five and crossed the stripe second after the Edmonson-Bennett incident. But Swygert did not pass post-race tech, either, which gave the win to Maxxis series regular Cale Martin.
As they say, a win is a win, and Martin will surely take it. It may be one of the only times in racing a driver entered the race’s second-to-last corner in P5, crossed the finish stripe P3, and was awarded the win. Collin Miller was second, Aiden White third, Brody Kellner fourth and Neil Moore fifth.
Similar to the Barnesville round, K Mike Chidester and Peyton Bridges raced at the front of the pack in the Junior Yellow main with Brady Atwood, Alyssa Vascocu and Noah Ryan close behind.
The top-five broke away from the rest of the pack with Chidester and Bridges out front and ran mostly single file throughout the race. Late in the race, each driver started pressuring each other as the laps wound down. Coming out of the action-packed turn 11, Bridges No. 4 jumped the rear bumper of Chidester, sending each driver spinning into the dirt. Chidester and Bridges’ karts were locked together, ending their chances at a win or even a top five. Vascocu, Atwood and Ryan were now the top three and on the final lap, again in turn 11, more contact ensued sending Vascocu around. Atwood would slow as a result and Ryan, who ran fifth most of the race, shot through and went on to the surprising win on his No. 48 Razor.
Atwood would take second and as a result of the late-race incidents, Mason Donahue moved up to third, Brently Miller P4 and Ronnie Klys P5.
Junior Black produced another exciting junior race with all the same racers up front. Bridges would lead early with Atwood and Donahue right behind. The trio raced nose to tail for the first several laps until Bridges’ left-front wheel came flying off his Razor on the exit to turn 1. Bridges slid off the track and came to a stop in the tire barrier, and his race was over.
Atwood would inherit the lead and pace the field throughout the remainder of the race. Donahue, riding a Coyote Zenith, was able to hang with Atwood and for a few laps looked like he may challenge for the win. But Atwood’s MGM was strong enough to keep Donahue’s Coyote at bay, and he’d score his first Maxxis feature win of the season by a 1.180-second margin over Donahue. Junior Yellow winner Noah Ryan would take third in this one with Vascocu fourth and Chidester rounding out the top five.
Vintage Stock Heavy
The largest class of the day was Vintage Stock Heavy with an impressive 15 entrants. After winning the heat race, Tyson Swann was in the market to go three-for-three on the season in Maxxis competition. Swann would lead most of the race with Doug Rink and Duke Zink right behind. The top-three separated themselves from the rest of the field with Rink continuously looking underneath Swann for the lead.
With a couple laps remaining, Rink got a run on Swann into turn 1 and tried to make the pass. The pair made contact, and Zink was able to take advantage, shooting his No. 87 into the lead while Swann and Rink slowed. Billy Johnson would move into second as a result, but he was several seconds back of Zink. The Gold Hill, N.C., driver, who was awarded a Maxxis Sportsmanship Award at the morning’s drivers meeting, would go on for the popular win over Johnson. Swann was able to salvage a P3 finish but not the third win of the season he was looking for. Steve Loftin took fourth and Don Feathers rounded out the top five.
Vintage Stock Medium
The Medium version of the Vintage features wasn’t quite as exciting as Heavy. Tyler Swann moved his Trick chassis into the lead on the start and would go on to dominate the 10-lapper. Continuing to widen the gap over his dad, Tyson, Tyler would leave no doubt who the top runner was in this class, scoring his first Maxxis feature win of the season by a convincing 5.9-second margin over Tyson. Class points leader Billy Johnson made it two podiums on the day with a P3 finish. Jason Shoffner was P4 and Chris Ursy rounded out the top five.
Vintage Super Stock
Seven drivers entered Vintage Super Stock and the race up front in the final was a close one between Kenny Buff, CJ Ursy and Cameron Plyler. Buff was the strongest of the three, opening up a gap of a few kart-lengths and maintaining it until the finish. He’d cross the stripe 1.351 seconds in front of Ursy for the win with Plyler 2 seconds back in P3. Eugene Neese and Todd Hammond rounded out the top five.
Click here for complete top-10 results from Saturday at Charlotte.