SOUTHEAST: Lajoie, Williams & Robusto Take Little 600 Victories

James Pike Featured, Go-Karts, Southeast 0 Comments

Corey LaJoie (center) celebrates with podium finishers Justin Allgaier and Darrell Wallace Jr. after the Little 600 at GoPro Motorplex on Tuesday. (James Pike photo)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Corey LaJoie won the fourth running of the Little 600 at GoPro Motorplex on Tuesday night, besting a 13-kart field featuring multiple rising stars of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

LaJoie started on the front row after finishing runner-up in the first heat and winning the second. However, he made contact with Michael McDowell in Turn 1 on the opening lap of the race and spun, rolling past the chicane and into the barriers.

The incident put him back to eighth by the end of the first lap, making for a long uphill climb in the 15-lap main.

For the next nine laps, LaJoie picked his way through the field, and he used a torrid pace in the kart (being consistently two seconds quicker than anyone else in the field, save for leader Michael McDowell) to drive back up to second by the time the competition yellow was thrown on lap nine.

When the restart came with five to go, it set up a restart between LaJoie and McDowell on the front row. Though McDowell had led from Turn 1 of the opening lap, LaJoie beat him to the inside of the corner and completed the pass at the carousel at Turn 4.

From there, LaJoie drove off the front of the field with the pace that he had shown all evening to win the Little 600.

“I watched (track owner) Justin Marks tear those boys up in the rain at Mid-Ohio last year, so I took some tips from him to win this one,” LaJoie said after the race. “This win means a lot; everybody that came out here to run this deal is a really good race car driver, so to be the one holding the trophy is a huge deal.”

After a late-race incident relegated McDowell out of contention, Justin Allgaier came home as the runner-up, ahead of Darrell Wallace Jr., Regan Smith and Joey Logano.

In the Spotter’s Race, it was the quartet of Josh Williams, Doug Campbell, Coleman Pressley and Ford Martin that were the class of the field in the heat races and at the start of the feature.

However, Campbell, Pressley, and Martin either spun their karts or ran wide off Turn 7 into the mud as the race progressed.

By the time the checkered flag fell, Williams was the only driver who hadn’t made a mistake on course, cruisisg through the second half of the feature for the win.

William Robusto (left) celebrates with Joey Logano after winning Tuesday’s Little 600 Future Stars feature. (James Pike photo)

The Future Stars feature saw local driver and Bojangle’s Summer Shootout regular William Robusto win arguably the biggest race of his career with an immensely impressive drive.

Robusto started from the pole, but spent seven of the 10 laps holding off the likes of Jacob Graham and Brent Crews, who spent much of that time period no more than a kart length or two behind Robusto’s No. 22.

Crews managed to get past Robusto in Turns 1 and 2 on the eighth lap, and had the pace to drive away from both he and Graham. But Crews locked up his brakes and spun his kart at the Turn 8 hairpin half a lap later, giving the lead right back to Robusto.

Graham tried to find a way around, but Robusto held off his charge for the final lap and a half to score the win.

Full race results can be viewed on the next page…

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