SALISBURY, N.C. – Audio and story by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman – Kara Campbell photo –
On a night when a rising NASCAR K&N Pro Series East star headlined the action at Millbridge Speedway, one of the track’s wily veterans and former champions drove to mini-outlaw kart glory at the sixth-mile bullring.
“High Side” Tom Hubert led all 20 laps of Wednesday night’s headline 500cc Open class feature, notching his first win of the season on just the second week of regular competition.
Hunter Richards led the field to the green flag from the pole of the A-main, but it was Hubert who raced from the outside pole to the point on the first lap.
One circuit later, chaos would break out in turns one and two as Mobile K&N East winner Tyler Dippel, making his first-ever start in a mini-outlaw kart, got checked up in the center of the corner and turned around – sparking a six-kart melee that collected his teammate Dylan Smith, Nick Hoffman, Chaz Woodward and Clark Houston among the casualties.
After a false start when the No. 73 of Chad Bush could not get going, the race resumed with Hubert pulling a big gap over Richards before the second big mess of the night at lap eight. The first half of the caution came in turns three and four, when Dylan Smith got hooked by quick qualifier working the bottom of the race track and went through the infield, and it ended with a two-car spin in turns one and two that slowed the pace.
Cautions on laps nine and 11 for debris and a slowing Dylan Smith, respectively, kept the battle at the top close – but each time Hubert would pull away into clean air. Richards appeared poised for his best result of the season, but spun in turn two with five laps to go and collected third-running Dylan Boutot in the process to end their hopes at a podium.
Richards’ night would continue to go south when he spun with three circuits remaining to draw yet another yellow on the night. The penultimate caution would come one lap later, when a spinning Chad Bush in turn four set up a green-white-checkered finish.
After a two-kart scrum in turn four set up a one-lap dash to the finish, it was Hubert driving away to the win as Houston went end over end in turn three, capping the chaos back in the field as the checkered flag waved.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit lately, so tonight we just took a stab at some things that ultimately worked out pretty good,” Hubert smiled. “Tonight was the first time I’ve ever seen this track be this abrasive though — three-quarters of the rubber wore off the left front and both back [tires] are pretty gone.”
“It was a workout, definitely, but we hung on. The kart was pulling real hard to the right all night, so with all the yellows, it was really hard to hold onto. I hated to see them keep flying, but it was a good outcome. Thanks to QRC and Jimmy Elledge for helping put a great kart underneath us; this one feels good tonight.”
A furious late-race duel ended with Karsyn Elledge taking runner-up honors and opening night winner Ethan Mitchell sliding through to edge former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief Jimmy Elledge for third.
Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada native Scott Chesterman parlayed a 14-hour drive into a top five effort, with Dippel rallying from his early issues for a sixth-place finish.
In the 250cc Intermediate class, second-year Outlaw kart driver Roy Hayes wired the field for his first win of the season.
Ryan Israel and Hayes led the field off the start, and it would be the Team SKE driver who would pull out to a big early lead, holding a one second gap over Ty Gibbs and Israel by the time the yellow rag came down on lap eight.
With a stalled Abigail Kenney bunching the field back up, it gave Gibbs a shot to try and find a way around Hayes. However, the grandson of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Joe Gibbs would not have enough to challenge under green but would get a chance when the caution came out with two laps to go for Brett Suggs’ issues in turn four.
Even the green-white-checkered attempt would not allow Gibbs the momentum he needed, however, as Hayes rocketed away to score his first victory of the 2016 Millbridge season over the third-generation racer.
Behind Gibbs, Israel, Gage Painter and Carson Kvapil were the balance of the top five.
Hunter Kohn kept the wire-to-wire theme going, locking out the Box Stock class to pick up the win in that class.
Kohn took off at the drop of the green flag to lead, but a multi-car crash on the backstretch with just a lap in the books slowed the pace quickly and necessitated a red flag for cleanup. After that, Kohn ran off the front of the train, running away to a two-second gap before the second caution of the night flew with seven laps in the books.
The cycle would repeat over the next 11 laps, as Kohn pulled off to a near-three second gap before back-to-back yellows on laps 16 and 17 gave the field one final shot to overtake the No. 48. The best efforts of Skylar Chaney would not be enough, however, as Kohn would cruise to the victory over the final three laps.
Chaney, Brett Crews, Zac Israel and Tyler Beckham rounded out the top five.
Danny Dyszelski dominated the Beginner Box Stock A-main to pick up an impressive victory over Landon Elkes.
Nathan Meendering and Tyler Dolack kicked off that 15-lap main event from the front row, but it was Dyszelski who went three-wide into the first turn to take the lead away on the opening time around.
A quick caution on lap two for a two-car crash down the back set up a restart, but Dyszelski would not be deterred. He would hold off Elkes the remainder of the way, despite a caution on lap six when Bryce Richards stalled on track, to pick up the win.
Meendering, Jacob Monsour and Dallas Griggs rounded out the top five.
Taylor Elenz made an early pass of heat race winner Mason Elkes to take the victory in the 10-lap Cadet division A-main.
Mini-outlaw karts return to Millbridge Speedway on April 6 for week three of their 2016 Wednesday Weekly Racing Series.
For more information, visit www.millbridgespeedway.com.
RESULTS: Mini-Outlaws Weekly Racing Series; Week Two; Millbridge Speedway; March 23, 2016
Open Qualifying (two laps, best time): 1. #19 – Ethan Mitchell, 10.3137; 2. #03 – Dylan Smith, 10.3408; 3. #25 – Zach Wolfe, 10.3480; 4. #71 – Adam Welch, 10.3585; 5. #03X – Tyler Dippel, 10.3882; 6. #6 – Clark Houston, 10.4321; 7. #08 – Devin Boutot, 10.4419; 8. #4 – Dean Bush, 10.4608; 9. #62 – Hunter Richards, 10.4655; 10. #30 – Tom Hubert, 10.4776; 11. #15G – Tanner Gray, 10.4966; 12. #28 – Derek Pernesiglio, 10.4990; 13. #81 – Jimmy Elledge, 10.5850; 14. #2 – Nick Hoffman, 10.6412; 15. #2C – Tim Mangini, 10.6830; 16. #51 – Chaz Woodward, 10.6868; 17. #3 – Karsyn Elledge, 10.7018; 18. #73 – Chad Bush, 10.7832; 19. #7C – Tony Mangini, 10.8180; 20. #98 – Brandon Dean, 10.9460; 21. #34 – Scott Chesterman, 11.0338.
Cadet Heat (8 laps): 1. Mason Elkes, 2. Taylor Elenz.
Beginner Box Stock Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Nathan Meendering, 2. Danny Dyszelski, 3. Ethan Burdett, 4. Dallas Griggs, 5. Brett Harrison, 6. Matthew Francis, 7. Lucas Sandifer.
Beginner Box Stock Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Tyler Dolack, 2. Landon Elkes, 3. Jacob Monsour, 4. Kynser Flynn, 5. Bryce Richards, 6. Emma Francis.
Box Stock Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Zac Israel, 2. Eli Adams, 3. Brett Crews, 4. Nick Huntley, 5. Tiffany Claridge, 6. Wyatt Underwood, 7. Gavin Boschele.
Box Stock Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Hunter Kohn, 2. Skylar Chaney, 3. Caden Kvapil, 4. Aiden Turner, 5. Joey Robinson, 6. Tyler Beckham, 7. Preston Huntley.
Intermediate Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Ryan Israel, 2. Gage Painter, 3. Carson Kvapil, 4. Cole Hilton, 5. Tucker Scanlon, 6. Stanley Hayes, 7. Brett Suggs.
Intermediate Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Roy Hayes, 2. Ty Gibbs, 3. Taylor Gray, 4. Alex Bodine, 5. Abigail Kenney, 6. George Hayes.
500cc Open Class Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Devin Boutot, 2. Tom Hubert, 3. Ethan Mitchell, 4. Jimmy Elledge, 5. Chaz Woodward, 6. Tony Mangini, 7. Adam Welch.
500cc Open Class Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Tyler Dippel, 2. Dean Bush, 3. Karsyn Elledge, 4. Nick Hoffman, 5. Brandon Dean, 6. Tanner Gray, 7. Dylan Smith.
500cc Open Class Heat #3 (8 laps): 1. Hunter Richards, 2. Clark Houston, 3. Zach Wolfe, 4. Scott Chesterman, 5. Chad Bush, 6. Derek Pernesiglio, 7. Tim Mangini.
500cc Open Class B-Main (8 laps; four transfer): 1. Chaz Woodward, 2. Dylan Smith, 3. Chad Bush, 4. Derek Pernesiglio, 5. Brandon Dean, 6. Tony Mangini (DNS), 7. Tanner Gray (DNS)
Cadet A-Main (10 laps): 1. Taylor Elenz, 2. Mason Elkes.
Beginner Box Stock A-Main (15 laps): 1. Danny Dyszelski, 2. Landon Elkes, 3. Nathan Meendering, 4. Jacob Monsour, 5. Dallas Griggs, 6. Ethan Burdett, 7. Tyler Dolack, 8. Matthew Francis, 9. Kynser Flynn, 10. Emma Francis, 11. Lucas Sandifer, 12. Brett Harrison, 13. Bryce Richards.
Box Stock A-Main (20 laps): 1. Hunter Kohn, 2. Skylar Chaney, 3. Brett Crews, 4. Zac Israel, 5. Tyler Beckham, 6. Caden Kvapil, 7. Gavin Boschele, 8. Wyatt Underwood, 9. Eli Adams, 10. Nick Huntley, 11. Tiffany Claridge, 12. Aiden Turner, 13. Preston Huntley, 14. Joey Robinson.
Intermediate Class A-Main (20 laps): 1. Roy Hayes, 2. Ty Gibbs, 3. Ryan Israel, 4. Gage Painter, 5. Carson Kvapil, 6. Taylor Gray, 7. Tucker Scanlon, 8. George Hayes, 9. Stanley Hayes, 10. Cole Hilton, 11. Brett Suggs, 12. Abigail Kenney, 13. Alex Bodine (DNS).
500cc Open Class A-Main (20 laps): 1. Tom Hubert, 2. Karsyn Elledge, 3. Ethan Mitchell, 4. Jimmy Elledge, 5. Scott Chesterman, 6. Tyler Dippel, 7. Dean Bush, 8. Chaz Woodward, 9. Derek Pernesiglio, 10. Devin Boutot, 11. Dylan Smith, 12. Clark Houston, 13. Hunter Richards, 14. Chad Bush, 15. Zach Wolfe, 16. Nick Hoffman.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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