200 Turn Up at Winter Warm-Up

The 10th season for the Texas Sprint Racing Series presented by DeFacto Racing launched with the running of the ‘Winter Warm-up’ at the NOLA Motorsports Park on February 23-25. Beautiful weather at the Avondale, Louisiana facility welcomed nearly 200 entries competing in the 11 categories for the Superkarts! USA and International Kart Federation regional program. An excited paddock contested the opening round of the five-event championship series with the first winners decided in the Sunday main events.

(pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

New for 2024 to the Texas Sprint Racing Series is the DeFacto Investments Cash Prizes per weekend and year-end. A $500 purse will be awarded to the largest class each weekend in 2024, with $250 going to the class winner. In addition will be the DeFacto Investments Championship Bonus for the category that welcomes the most competitors for the season. A total of $2,500 will be awarded with the class champion earning $1,250, runner-up $750 and $500 to the third-place driver in the standings.

The category to be awarded with the DeFacto Investments cash prize in NOLA was the KA100 Senior by CRG Nordam, welcoming 40 drivers to the first round event. Senior rookie Beckett Friesen shocked the paddock with fast time of 44.517 in qualifying to clear California driver Jesus Vasquez Jr. and Brayden Robertson by 12 thousandths. Friesen had trouble throughout the heat races and was not able to contend for a podium finish. Defending class champion Peyton Phillips qualified seventh overall and fought his way up to the front in Heat #1 for the win. Several contenders were involved in a wreck in Heat #2, with Senior rookie Landon Skinner taking advantage to grab the race win. A third different driver came away with a heat win as Aden Rudolph jumped ahead early and led all 12 laps. Rudolph and Robertson earned the front row start for the main event, however, the race saw multiple drivers in the mix at the front. Rudolph, Vasquez, Robertson and Phillips all took turns at the lead over the 22-lap main event. Vasquez established himself as the leader at the white flag ahead of Rudolph and Blake Nash, coming all the way up from 16th on the grid. The fight played out into the penultimate corner with Rudolph able to slip past for the lead and defend his way through the final corner. He held on at the line to secure his first series win since May 2022. Nash came across the line in second with Vasquez completing the podium in third. Skinner and Eli Warren completed the top-five.

Aden Rudolph won in a thrilling KA100 Senior main event (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

Nearly matching that total was 206 Senior presented by Slipstream Racing, featuring 37 drivers. Eli Warren set fast time during qualifying in his series debut with a 49.395 lap to edge out Jerry Fandrey. Warren was able to secure the win in Heat #1 ahead of Fandrey and Ragan Saville before Saville fought forward to win the second heat over the top qualifying pair. Warren struck back in Heat #3 with Brayden Robertson and Camryn Reed moving up into the fight. Warren and Saville filled up the front row for the 20-lap main event with Saville taking charge early. Reed and Warren each took a turn at the point before Saville returned to the lead. As they battled, Bryce Frank moved up into the mix, but it was Warren leading at the white flag. Shuffling throughout the final circuit saw Saville muscle his way to the front, winning the drag race to the checkered flag for the victory by 89 thousandths over Frank. Robertson crossed the line in third ahead of Reed and Kelvin Xing. Warren was sixth at the flag but penalized for contact and blocking, ending up 11th.

Former Junior champion Ragan Saville landed a 206 Senior victory in his class debut (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

The only sweep of the weekend came in the KA100 Junior class presented by P1 Engines, completed by hometown driver Tyron Kemper Jr. The New Orleans driver was able to clear the 22-driver field in qualifying by over a tenth with a lap of 45.151. He led all 13 laps of the opening heat race before getting challenged in the second heat, still emerging as the race winner in a photo finish with David Ybarra. A third heat win kept Kemper on the pole position for the 22-lap Final. The start was the only time the field was with Kemper, as he put on a clinic, driving away to a four-second advantage at the checkered flag. Ybarra drove to second with Graham Trammell winning the fight for third ahead of Jaxon Young and Tyler Roberts.

Hometown hero as Tyron Kemper Jr. secured a sweep in the KA100 Junior division (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

Another large field went to battle in the KA100 Master by Hi-5 Performance. Pierce Baldus celebrated his class debut with a fast time in qualifying to clear the 23-driver field. He and Sean Owens paced the field through the heat races. Owens took the win in the opening two rounds before Baldus kept the top spot in Heat #3 followed by David Pergande as Owens slipped to seventh in the race. It was still Baldus and Owens on the front row for the Final with Pergande joining them in the fight for the first half. All three led at a time before Pergande began slipping down the order. Baldus and Owens continued fighting up front to the end. Owens led the final four laps, securing his first series victory with Baldus second in his class debut. Defending series champion Miguel Mier was a close third with Kyle Walther and Gary Glanger completing the top-five.

First series victory in KA100 Master for Sean Owens (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

A two driver battle ensued in the 206 Cadet presented by Rimrock Raceway including defending series champion Aston Wyatt and Tanner Barsch. It was Wyatt that cleared the 20-driver field in qualifying, edging out Barsch for fast time by only three thousandths. Wyatt was shuffled back to third in the opening heat race as Barsch led all 11 laps for the win. The second heat was Wyatt holding off Barsch for the win while Heat #3 was all Barsch. In the 20-lap Final, Barsch was able to get away from the field early, driving away to an eight-second advantage at the checkered flag for a second straight series win dating back to last year’s finale. Dutch Westbrook was able to win the battle for second, bringing Milo Potereacki with him onto the podium in third as Aston Wyatt fell to fourth while Theodore Mitchell placed fifth.


A wire-to-wire victory for Tanner Barsch in 206 Cadet (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

The Alan Rudolph Racing Academy Mini Swift class welcomed a new winner in the category. Alex Chandler jumped to the top of the timing sheet late in qualifying to secure the fast time over the 13-driver field. Qualifying second was Nicolas Orbezo, who secured a last lap win in Heat #1 over Chandler. Defending series champion Sawyer Chambers put himself into the fight with a win in the second heat, while Orbezo responded with a win in Heat #3 to secure the pole position for the main event with Chandler on the outside of the front row. Orbezo, Chambers and Chandler ran 1-2-3 for the first 20 laps of the 21-lap Final. On the final circuit, Chandler was able to go from third to first, taking the checkered flag to grab his first series victory. Orbezo settled for second while Chambers slipped to fourth, allowing Kade Kaspar to stand on the podium in third. Tucker Trieb competed the top-five.

Alex Chandler earned a first victory in Mini Swift (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

It was a near sweep for Kimo Ahmad in the Kart Racing Solutions Micro Swift class. Ahmad set fast time in qualifying and led every lap of the first two heat races. He went out to win the third heat but penalized five seconds for cutting the track – thus dropping him to fourth and giving Brody Stoffle the win. Ahmad started the Final from the pole position and was challenged early by Victor Guss-Wunderle for the lead. Taking over the top spot at the halfway point, Ahmad was able to lead the second half of the race to claim his first series victory. Stoffle ended up second with Tyler Blackwood joining them on the podium in third. Guss-Wunderle was fourth with Nayeli Vargas placing in the fifth spot.

Micro Swift welcomed first time winner Kimo Ahmad (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

Macon Moore was the class of the field in the 206 Heavy presented by TB Kart division. Moore cleared the 11-driver field in qualifying by nearly one-second, going on to win the opening heat race by 12 seconds. Macon won the second heat, but left tech too early and was removed from the results, giving Jason Abrams the race win – suffering the same penalty in the third heat to hand Nick Miller the win. This put Moore down to sixth on the grid for the Final with Abrams starting from the pole position. It took Moore three laps to reclaim the top spot, going on to win by 21 seconds after 20 laps. Abrams finished second with David Roddy coming up from seventh to join them on the podium. Madison Knox and Nick Miller completed the top-five.

Macon Moore secured a big victory in 206 Heavy class (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

Despite having five drivers in the class, the 206 Junior presented by Saville Electric was a battle all weekend. Robert Arana struck first with fast time in qualifying, holding the top spot through the first heat race. Chris Tracey won Heat #2 in a photo finish over Arana with Derek Wargo sitting there in third. Arana crossed the line first in the final heat race but was penalized for blocking to hand the win to Wargo. The three different heat winners still put Arana on the pole position for the Final with Tracey second and Wargo third. Wargo was able to lead nearly the entire race, with Tracey taking the top spot at the halfway point. Wargo was able to hold on for the second half of the race, reaching the checkered flag first by 62 thousandths over Arana. Tracey settled for third with Shelby Ramirez and Jacob Oakes completing the top-five.

Derek Wargo came through for the win in 206 Junior (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

Another near sweep occurred in the Shifter class presented by Houston Freightliner Western Star. Vincent Cossard led the way through qualifying and won the opening heat race. Cossard was the provisional winner in Heat #2 until he was disqualified for rear width. That gave Zachary Mabry the race win. Cossard struck back in Heat #3 for the win to earn the second starting spot for the Final with Camryn Reed launching from the pole position. Cossard jumped to the lead at the start of the main event, leading all 25 laps to win by over eight seconds. Reed held off Noah Zarsk for second with Dominic Trolio and Justin Dittrich rounding out the top-five.

Vincent Cossard claimed his first victory in the Shifter category (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

Holden Henson was able to celebrate his first victory in the Honda Kid Kart presented by Gallery Furniture. Bodhi Beyer was the top driver throughout the weekend, setting fast time in qualifying and winning all three heat races. An issue in the main event took Beyer out of the race, allowing Beckley Anderson to take over the lead. Anderson had an issue as well, retiring on lap five. Brody Brown took control of the lead until Henson grabbed the spot with two laps remaining. Henson held on through the final two laps to claim the victory. Brown settled for second with Caiden Tuter joining them on the podium. Liam Lofton was fourth with Trevor Knight placing fifth.

Holden Henson became another first time winner in the Honda Kid Kart class (pic – Ken Johnson, Studio52.us)

The second stop on the 2024 season for the Texas Sprint Racing Series presented by DeFacto Racing is the Spring Round-Up, scheduled for March 22-24 at the Speedsportz Racing Park in New Caney, Texas.