Series’ first visit to Rimrock Raceway produces exciting weekend in penultimate race of 2023
The penultimate event of the 2023 Texas Sprint Racing Series presented by Auctionetx season took the teams and competitors to the Rimrock Raceway for Round Four action. The August 4-6 weekend for the ‘Midsummer Mashup’ event was the first visit for the program to the Odessa, Texas facility. Warm weather greeted the teams and competitors to the western Texas circuit, featuring temperatures well into the triple digits. A split of the 10 categories featured five taking to the track in the morning hours and the remaining five featured in the afternoon hours in a special one-off weekend schedule.
The KA100 Senior by Exertech class was once again the largest of the weekend, featuring 21 drivers battling for the top spot in every on-track session. Only four thousandths separated the top two in qualifying as Adrian Cruz edged out Aden Rudolph for fast time with a 45.895-lap. Cruz was shuffled back early in the opening heat but fought his way into the top spot by the end of the race. Rudolph was able to lead all seven laps of the shortened Heat Two before Cruz returned to the top spot in the final heat to retain the pole position for the Final. Three drivers set the pace in the 21 laps of the main event, including Cruz, former SKUSA Pro Tour champion Jesus Vasquez Jr. and last year’s series champ Alex Stanfield – who started eighth. Cruz set the pace before Stanfield took a turn. They all grabbed the top spot for at least a lap before Stanfield took control on lap 15. He laid down the fastest laps of the race to drive away to a 1.6-second advantage for a third straight victory. Vasquez beat out Cruz for the runner-up position with Rudolph fourth and Joey Friend in fifth.
Next in number of entries was the growing 206 Senior by Slipstream Racing division that had 21 drivers in the field. The difference between the top two qualifiers was six thousandths as Aidan Smith gained his first top qualifier honors of the season by edging out Bryce Frank with Geoff Shaw in third, off by only 21 thousandths. It was Frank and Shaw that came away with the heat race wins. Frank struck first in Heat One, but a DNF early in Heat Two allowed Shaw to run to the win. The next morning the two battled on the last lap for the win with Frank taking top honors. Shaw earned the pole position with Frank starting fourth for the Final. Starting from inside row two was Samuel Jung, who took the lead on lap three and was able to fend off Shaw to the checkered flag, reaching the line first by 20 thousandths. It is the first victory and podium by Jung on the season. Shaw crossed the line second but was removed from the results following tech, promoting Frank to the second step and Curt Goodson into third. Two-time winner Drew Chappell gained four spots to end up fourth with Wyatt Renfro in the fifth spot.
The KA100 Junior by Woltjer Racing Engines division had 18 drivers take to the Rimrock Raceway. Graham Trammell put in a blistering lap to secure his first top qualifier honor with a 45.693-lap. Round Three victor Landon Skinner took over in Heat One, bringing Diego Guiot with him to drop Trammell to third. Guiot stepped up in the final two heats, grabbing both wins to secure the pole position for the main event. After leading the opening few laps, Guiot lost the top spot to Round Two winner Justin Music, coming up from the fifth grid position. Guiot retook the lead on lap 12 and led the remaining nine laps to claim his second victory of the season. Trammell won the battle for second over Music with Skinner in fourth and Preston Piecko completed the top-five.
The championship battle in KA100 Master by Kart Racing Solutions is shaping up to be a wild finish with Morgan LeBaron earning a second victory on the season. Scott Cherry took advantage of racing at his home track to edge out defending series champion Miguel Mier by sixty thousandths. Cherry led all 11 laps of the opening heat while Mier took control of the second heat. In Heat Three, David Pergande joined the party at the front, leading seven laps before R.J. Guajardo grabbed the spot. That was until Cherry took control and earned the provisional win on the final lap, but was penalized for contact with Pergande, promoting Guajardo to the win. Mier and Cherry filled up the front row with the top qualifier grabbing the lead early. Cherry led the first 12 laps before LeBaron took the lead for the first time all weekend. From there, LeBaron drove to victory by over two seconds. Mier set fast time in the race, sliding into second on the final lap, dropping Cherry down to fifth. That allowed Pergande to end up on the podium in third with Kogan Wright into fourth.
It was a near sweep in the 206 Heavy by Maxwell Paper Products category by Noah Murphy. He set fast time in qualifying before being unable to complete the opening heat race. Max Martinis took the win in Heat One. Murphy bounced back to lead each lap of the second and third heat races but started the final in third. This allowed Martinis to start from the pole position and lead the opening eight laps. That was until Murphy took over. Murphy led the remainder of the race, holding off Martinis at the line by 52 thousandths to claim his first victory of the season. Mikayla Bradley earned a second podium finish on the season with a third-place performance with Madison Knox and Morgan Moses completing the top-five.
Ragan Saville had a similar performance in the 206 Junior by Saville Electric class. The defending champion and Round Two winner set fast time in qualifying, clearing the field by over three tenths. He won the first two heats on Saturday before an issue with two laps to go in Heat Three put him off the track. That allowed Round Three winner Derek Wargo to claim the race win. Saville maintained the pole position for the Final and led all 19 laps for his second victory of the season. Robert Arana posted fast lap of the race and was able to jump ahead of Wargo for the second spot. Shelby Ramirez was fourth with Spencer Craig in fifth.
The 206 Cadet by Kept Clothing division welcomed a repeat winner as well. Cadroe Milbrandt began the weekend as the driver to beat, setting fast time in qualifying. Round Two winner Emmett Eddolls jumped up from third to grab the win in Heat One before Milbrandt kept control in the second heat. Round One victor Aston Wyatt was right there throughout day one, and took control in Heat Three with the win, claiming the pole position for the Final. Wyatt used it to his advantage, leading all 20 laps for the victory. Milbrandt was a close second for his first podium of the season with placing third, earning fast lap of the race. Eddolls was fourth with Will Stevens up three spots to fifth.
Wyatt was a double winner on the weekend, also taking victory in the Micro Swift by Royal Electric category. Aston cleared the field in qualifying by over three tenths but had to fight his way to the win in the opening heat after getting shuffled back. He led all but one lap in Heat Two for the win and the majority of laps in Heat Three en route to the checkered flag. Starting on the pole for the Final, Wyatt led all 20 laps in the Final for his first victory of the season. Round Two winner Tanner Barsch drove to second ahead of Colton Schniegenberg with Andrew Li Anastasio and Patricio Penz completing the top-five.
The Mini Swift by Alan Rudolph Racing Academy class welcomed a fourth different winner on the season. For the weekend, it was a two-driver show as Mason Barry and Cadroe Milbrandt fought for the top spot. Barry took top honors in qualifying and won both heat races on Saturday. It was Milbrandt that came away with the win in Heat Three Sunday but Barry earned the pole position for the Final. Barry led early before Milbrandt took control, leading the final 16 laps to claim his first win of the season. Barry settled for second with Rodolfo Lavin joining them on the podium. Simon Kline was fourth with Sophia Sadigova in fifth.
It is now three wins on the season for Brennan Barsch in the Honda Kid Kart by Rimrock Raceway class. Benjamin Osborn edged out Barsch for the fast time in qualifying, and from there, Barsch led the rest of the way. Three heat wins led to a wire-to-wire victory in the Final for a third straight in 2023. Osborn had fast lap of the race in his runner-up performance while Kylian Short was third and Raif Ali in fourth.
The 2023 season finale for the Texas Sprint Racing Series presented by Auctionetx is set for the September 15-17 weekend, taking teams and competitors back to the Speedsportz Racing Park in New Caney, Texas. The fifth and final event will be contested during the day hours, with the backwards direction layout to be featured at the series finale.