Dallas, OR-Oct. 10, 21- Round nine of the Oregon State Karting Championship Series found it’s way to the Pat’s Acres Racing Complex in Canby, OR. A cool “drizzly” morning greeted racers as they arrived, but spirits were high and they were not about to let a little drizzle ruin the racing day. As was expected, the numbers were on the low side & in attendance were those who had to defend their point lead or those who mathematically still had a shot…As always in OSKCS competition, the racing was fantastic…That’s one of the beauties of racing…you only need two…. With pit spots finalized, it was on to practice which was really a “crap-shoot” with the weather still not having made up it’s mind what it was intending to do. Pirouettes, woopty dos, and off track excursions were plenty early on as the drivers got their “feet wet’” getting adjusted to track conditions. You really couldn’t call it rain, it was more like a “Mizzle”…more than a mist, & not quite a drizzle.. half way through practice the track was drying out in some spots but still pretty wet in others, but the racers were still flat getting around the .500 of a mile road course by the end of practice. Then it was on to race action…
First out were the KID KARTS, what a super class for young racers…No points just lots of good “Seat time” for them as they learn the racing ropes. Trust me when I say that some of these young racers (5&6 years of age) know where the loud pedal is, and flat get around the race track. Kailey Floyd, J.R. Barclay, Alan Moody, Katherine Howe, and Zach Franzke were all in attendance for the next to last round of OSKCS competition. Young Zach Franzke is one of the drivers that knows where the loud pedal is and has a fear factor of ZILCH…Cousin of Jr.1 driver Justin “The Bandit” DeMars, Franzke comes from some good racing blood and will be quite a driver in the upper ranks if he chooses to stick with it…Alan Moody also has become a much improved driver this season, and it was good to see J.R. Barclay, Katherine Howe, and Kailey Floyd who gets the longest tow award as she and her team towed all the way from Battleground , WA…All the kids were as usual fantastic and very great sports…Really cool stuff.
One of the real surprises in round 9 was the drive by Tyler Besuyen in JR.1 Animal…after snatching the pole Besuyen drove the wheels off of his Swiss Hutless in the Pre-final with the “Bandit” Justin DeMars in pursuit…DeMars tried everything to get by Besuyen and managed a brief pass for the lead but Besuyen took it back heading into turn one….DeMars was there but couldn’t close the deal..Give the Pre-Final to Besuyen…DeMars whose chuckle after rolling over the scales had “surprised” written all over it, headed back to the pit area to tune-up the #95 Cleveland Auto Repair/Sandy Auto Body entry for the feature….Come feature time…both drivers were all business…the rain had stopped and both teams had switched to slicks…who had the set-up?….Besuyen who won his first event in OSKCS competition in round 8 in McMinnville where DeMars was a no-show had an 81 point lead after 8 rounds of racing…At the drop of the green it was all Justin DeMars who from the outside of row 1 got the jump on Besuyen and never looked back…Besuyen who was right there with DeMars most of the feature, just didn’t quite have enough set-up under him to close the deal…a couple costly mistakes near the end made the distance seem farther out than what it really was…DeMars used his wheeling experience and his teams set-up knowledge to get it done. My hats off to the Besuyen team who had one of, if not their best performances of the year…Besuyen is going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2012.
No real surprises in JR.2 World Formula other than the performance of Grant Heizenrader in heat #1. Heizenrader took the pole by .4 tenths with the likes of Andy Anderson, Laura Shearer, and newcomer Sammi Van Eaton. The pad was 75 points in favor of Heizenrader coming into round 9 over runner-up and late season sensation Laura Shearer…I take that back there was one surprise and that was the performance of Laura Shearer…Shearer who since aquiring the chassis of 4- cycle standout and now Rotax Jr. driver Joe Crisione, has really been a terror and has been giving Heizenrader and Anderson all they can handle…and sometimes more!…It was Anderson in Heat 1 after he caught Heizenrader snoozing on the start….Shearer got by briefly but Heizenrader got back by and Shearer who seemed to have just missed the set-up ended up third, much to everyones surprise…Heizenrader was noticeably stunned after rolling over the scales and immediately went to work on the Grant’s Pressure Washing Service Machine…In heat 2 it was all Heizenrader as he drove away from both Anderson and Shearer…Anderson would ultimately finish second and Shearer third….Heizenrader should now have some breathing room heading in to round 10 at McMinnville. Heizenrader in the feature was all business, rolling out on stickers to finish out the day…I believe he wants this championship real bad….and just might get it…stay tuned for round 10 on October 22nd at McMinnville Raceway Park in McMinnville, OR….Should be interesting….
World Formula Heavy was round 9’s largest class with 9 very good drivers competing. All of the top 5 point holders were in attendance and point leader Bryan Green was in fine form all day. Green who had just come off two NW Gold Cup championship deciding losses in Chilliwack, BC a couple of weeks earlier, took the pole and heat #1 to let everybody know he was the guy to beat…2nd place point man Steve King was in attendance and finished second in heat #1 and qualified third quick behind third place point holder Greg Normandin who was third in heat #1… but the fastest kart on the race track at the end was the Bryan Green Construction/Black Star Racing engine machine of Nick Ferguson..Ferguson made a run at the end of heat #1 that had everybody thinking he had a pretty good shot at possibly snatching one away from his Grandpa Bryan Green. In heat #2 Greg Wick lead several of the early laps and looked awful good in what was probably one of his best runs of the season…Normandin snuck by Wick for the lead with Ferguson following and closing fast …At the flag it was Normandin followed by Ferguson, Wick ( I told you he was Rollin’!), Green, and Steve King…Come feature time it is Déjà vu of heat #1 with Green and Normandin on the front row…on the drop of the flag turn one is chaos with Green on the outside Normandin on the inside, Normandin tries to hang Green out to dry on the outside until he gets loose and almost goes bye-bye…Green meanwhile keeps his boot in it and drives around Normandin who is trying to gather things up with a brave and gutsy move on the outside!…The real surprise of the feature was Ferguson who looked like he was going to be the guy to beat in the main, but missed the set up and was a ways back in third behind Normandin…and that’s the way it would finish with Green crossing the stripe first, Greg Normandin who had a great OSKCS season with two wins in second, Ferguson third, and Mike McMain with a crafty drive, snuck in to finish fourth, CMCs Bill Gulick rounded out the top five. It was great to see McMain back in action…the 2009 OSKCS TAG Masters Champion took a year hiatus to focus on his business and to obtain his instrument rating as a pilot, the 09’ champ had some classic battles with arch nemesis Tim Moss that will most definitely go into the history books.
SUPERSPORT 200…This is the up and coming class here in the NW. Also known as the “Clone Class” it is a very affordable class that offers some great racing action because of the set up of the rules…Basically an off the shelf engine that is not allowed much modification, it offers newcomers and veterans a like a chance to show off their driving skills with some very even wheel to wheel racing and in round 9 it was no different… the Super Sports put on one of the best finishes of the day as Todd “The Todd” Brown and Wayne Felch waged a battle out of turn 11 and to the flag that had everyone off their feet screaming and hollering as the two rubbed tires, sideboards, and maybe even elbows (that’s how close they were) as they crossed the stripe…thank god for transponders because there was NO WAY you could have called it with the naked eye…it was THAT close….but give the win to Todd Brown for heat #1….Heat #2 and the feature it was all “The Todd” as he is affectionately known….he is known by some other names as well but they can’t be repeated here…all in fun of course. Second quick qualifier Austin Felch was close early in heat #1 but in heat #2 and the final, Felch just couldn’t find enough handle to stay with Brown who since trying his hand in the super sports has been virtually untouchable. The feature went to Brown, followed by Austin Felch who is going to be a force with more experience, third was Alex Millen who is a no frills type of driver that somehow manages to always be there at the end, fourth was Marc Wooten, and Tom Bowman rounded out the top five. SuperSport 200 Heavy went to Jim Piechel with the elder statesman Dave Schrock 2nd….SuperSport 200 JR. the win went to Jake “The Snake” Schneider with Cam Baughman second, newcomer Alexis Mooney did a great job behind the wheel in only her 2nd or 3rd outing in third, and fourth going to the “Dewboy” Jonathon Brown who had terrible luck all day and fell out early in the feature losing a chain…Brown is quite a story. The young racer from Lincoln City, Oregon owns and operates his own window washing business (at 13 years of age!) and pays for his entire, YES I said ENTIRE racing budget…something you seldom see, so you know that his love for racing is the real thing with so many other distractions and avenues that he could spend his money on…pretty awesome when you really stop and think about it….The sport of Karting gives kids more than just racing…it gives them tools that they will use the rest of their lives and is a great teacher of discipline….Moving on….
Last but certainly not least, was Rotax JR, Rotax International, Rotax JR and Rotax Masters… In International action it was Garron Sellikin taking the pole away from Tim Griffin…but in heat #1 Griffin got the jump heading into turn one and led it wire to wire…Griffin is a sleeper and I have a very hard time believing that nobody has snatched this driver up…I believe that with the resources and a little more molding Griffin could be a force to be dealt with most definitely regionally and maybe even at the national level. He has a work ethic second to none and has the looks and personality that would be an asset anywhere…he is without a doubt family backed and supported and you will not find a better people anywhere…In the final it was all Garron Sellikin who is Dad to Luke Sellikin one of the up and coming stars in the sport & being groomed masterfully by driving coach and instructor Mike Rolison of the Rolison Performance Group…Sellikin really put a tune up on his Birel for the feature and lead it wire to wire letting Griffin know that “what ever you can do I can do”…but Griffin, in the end gets the say as he mathematically wraps up the championship and will be the OSKCS Rotax International/Sr. Champion for 2011…a well deserved award for a fantastic driver and human being…I likeTim Griffin and everything about him, and hope somebody wakes up and see’s the potential this kid has… Rotax JR was as it always is, fantastic!…It is so competitive and the driving talent so good, it is real easy to get caught up in…it was the racing radish from Monmouth, Oregon Max Mulkey taking the pole…Mulkey who was on a Swiss Hutless switched chassis at just over the half way point of the season after a horrendous T-Bone crash at Tri-Cities Raceway and has been fighting the new chassis blues trying to get things figured and sorted out…second quick was Dalton Egger hometown hero and a real driver who if devoted more serious time and effort to his race program would no doubt be a competitor that would compete solidly at the regional level & maybe even nationally…Cool Hand Luke, Luke Sellikin piloted his RPG Kosmic to the third quick qualifying spot… and newcomer Dylan Mueller was fourth quick…..In the Pre-Final it was Sellikin and Egger getting by Mulkey who snoozed on the start heading into turn one and never looked back….Egger who was right there just didn’t have enough for Sellikin who has been ridiculously good the last half of the season regionally and has been working at getting his game on nationally as well under the guidance of mentor and driving coach Mike Rolison who has worked with many NW drivers, is definitely one of the reasons Sellikin has advanced as rapidly as he has…Sellikin annihilated the Rotax Jr field at the Region 6 NW Gold Cup back in September, beating the likes of Artie Carpenter, and Matt Moniz by 6 seconds!…that is just unheard of …Egger followed Cool Hand across the stripe in second, Mulkey struggled to fine tune the handle of his Kosmic and finished third. Both Mulkey & Sellikin had Rolison at their service as he had been hired to work with both drivers for the day….In the feature it was Sellikin off and running with Egger in pursuit until lap 5 when Egger coasts off to the scale area with the brake pedal clear to the floor and the kart still rolling!…Yikes!….that handed second over to Mulkey and third to newcomer Mueller who did a a fine job for his first time out in probably the toughest class in the sport...Rotax Masters had a newcomer as well, Chris Yates was rolling for his first time….Yates a veteran of drag boats was surprised after coming in from the 16 lap main…”These things are a lot harder on you than the boats” panted Yates removing his helmet noticeably winded and sweating…”But I think we’ll back”.
Round 10 of the Oregon State Karting Championship Series will be the final event of the series and the outdoor season, until the winter schedule is announced. Round 10 is scheduled for October 22nd (Which is Saturday Racers!) at McMinnville Raceway Park in McMinnville, Oregon…..It’s located on the Yamhill County Fairgrounds…You can check http://www.portlandkarting.com for directions and more details about the event…I would personally like to thank everybody for another great season and for ALL their great support of ProSoundAudioServices…I’m proud to be associated with NW Karting and I’m looking forward to another fantastic season in 2012! For the Northwest Race Report I’m Terry Bridges…Thanks for reading!
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