Spring-like weather highlighted a day of hard racing at Desert Park Raceway and the younger drivers staged some of the closest competition of the day.
One close race was the HPV 2 main, but it would take four attempts before the field got a clean start. First on point was Calum Smith but he soon surrendered the spot to Blake Milton, who was being chased by Jason Pettit from Walnut Creek, Calif.
Pettit finally caught Milton and the boys spent the rest of the race either inches or only about a foot apart as they circulated the track. Although he didn't keep track of how many laps they had raced, Pettit finally knew it was time to make his move as he used the draft to make the winning pass with two to go.
"I was nervous the whole time because it was a tight race and I just decided I had to that lap," he said after the post-race weigh in.
The Junior 1-2 Cycle race had another close finish. On the green, Tomas Mejia held the point with Clayton Williams, Roy Fulmer and Oliver Calvo right behind him.
For a long time the four-way fight for the lead looked like it was going to last the entire race. Eventually Williams slipped to fourth while Calvo took over third.
Up front, Fulmer pressed 9-year-old Mejia as they spent the rest of the race nose-to-tail. At the finish Mejia won a narrow victory over Fulmer.
Not to be outdone by their elders, Nike Dimitrov and Wyatt Myers staged their own duel in the Kids Kart main. At the end, Dimitrov took the victory.
One race that usually isn't a runaway, but was on this day, happened in the Senior Clone main. This division fielded the largest group of karts of the day and 22 of them took the green.
Up front, Luis Tyrell put the hammer down and left everyone in his wake. So the battle was for second and for a spell it appeared Jeff Nelson had a lock on that spot.
Unfortunately for him, Nelson fell out due to mechanical problems and Brian Hill took the spot then had to hold off Nick Grossi, who ended up third at the end.
"I'm actually a stock car driver and just staying in the seat anytime I get a chance," said Luis Tyrell of Brisbane. "In this kart, you've got to be really smooth to be fast. You get into your groove and do your own thing."
The fastest racers of the day were the F80 shifters. They used a standing start and when the lights went green Colin Katzakian, who raced in 80 Senior, took off and left Jon Ban and Cody McKinney to battle for second.
In the end, Kinney, racing in the F80 Masters class, took second while Katzakian won both the Senior division and overall victory.
Before the trophies were handed out, NNKC president Brian Rivera said, "I think it went great. The racing was good, no red flags today; it was top notch and just what we expect from a regional event. None of our local guys took home first place but they came in close seconds and that's what matters."
He added that the club will host another WKA regional event next year and Rivera hopes to add a Clone National event after that for next summer's schedule.
•Saturday night the RTF Speedway in Fernley hosted another of its weekly shows but began the night with a make-up race for the IMCA Modifieds. That event was canceled on May 25 and had to be run for IMCA points.
There were several retirements during the race, but in the end, Walter Ball made the winning pass on early leader Mark Skender. One of those falling out was Shawn Natenstedt, who along with his crew, spent some frantic time replacing his motor.
He later came back and won his heat race while his wife Missy was able to repair her car that was damaged and make the feature race.
So far this season, North Valleys driver Travis Barr has had a lock on the Pure Stock class. This time Justin Schilling held the point after the green wave and just took off.
By the time Barr was able to make his way to second, as he started in the back, Schilling had a straight away lead and cruised to the victory. However, Barr didn't stop for the post race inspection and was dropped to last, which gave Mark Serchio Jr. the runner-up finish ahead of Danielle Paine.
The Hobby Stock main had a scary, race-stopping incident when something broke and sent the car of Jacob Baker head first into the wall. Fortunately, Baker was unhurt but the same could not be said for his car.
In the end Royce Goetz was able to streak off to the victory followed by Carl Barlow and Rick Miller.
One of the featured events was the KWS Lite Sprint Cars. These are winged, full-sized cars but are heavier than a 360 sprint and have less horsepower.
Despite that, they are fast and Bob Cooney, from the Lovelock Posse won the heat race. However it was the youngest driver in the field that set a record during the feature.
From the green, 11-year-old Michael Kofoid took off and left everyone in his dust. Despite his years, he's a veteran Outlaw Kart driver and has been earning his spurs in the full-sized Lite cars.
Behind him, two members of the Lovelock Posse took over second and third as Jeff Macedo and Cooney finished in that order. Up front, there was no catching Kofoid, who became the youngest driver to ever win a sprint car main event.
In the trophy ceremony the he said, "I felt way fast and the track was super good."
The night ended with the IMCA Modified feature and on the green Don Childs held the point only to be passed by Cory Sample. Behind the leaders, Shawn Natenstedt was on the move using the high line.
The first caution came when Mark Skender spun in Turn 2 just about the time Natenstedt realized his radiator was leaking water so he headed for the pits and was out of the race.
When racing resumed, Sample had Steve Evenson on his back bumper.
From there the race had a stop-and-start look as one caution followed another and another due to spins and flat tires. Eventually, it took 13 minutes to get in seven green flag laps so the race was cut.
Sample eventually fell out of contention with a flag putting Evenson on point but with pressure from a determined Walter Ball.
At the checkered flag, Evenson was able to claim his first victory after racing for 13-years with Ball a close second. Behind them, a determined Missy Natenstedt finished third after holding off several drivers, including Josh Ogg, who ended up fourth just ahead of Chris Nieman.
After climbing out of his car and getting a bear hug from Ball, a very happy Evenson climbed the fence to celebrate this victory.
Then he said, "Been racing these cars at this track for 13 years. It's been a long time coming. Had a bunch of seconds, thirds and fourths. I haven't had a first before. Couldn't be more pleased."
OTHER RACING NEWS
•Two races in this region are slated for the coming weekend. On Saturday, the Top Gun Raceway hosts the seventh round of its ET series while the Junior Dragsters compete in round six of their series.
On Sunday, the Northern Nevada Kart Club returns to Desert Park Raceway for the fourth round of its regular points.
•NASCAR went road racing this last weekend so the Las Vegas Trio was spread out. Brendan Gaughan competed in Saturday's Nationwide event at the Road America course where he started 26th and finished 11th.
The Busch Brothers were at Sonoma Raceway, better known as Sears Point, for Sunday's Sprint Cup race. Older brother Kurt had the best results starting seventh and finishing fourth while Kyle started ninth but problems dropped him to 35th at the end.
• Northern Nevada Kart Club - June 23
Desert Park Raceway - World Karting Association Regional
Kids Kart - 1. Niki Dimitrov, 2. Wyatt Myers, 3. Cash Hairston. HPV 1 - 1. Chase Farley, 2. Thomas Jejia, 3. Roy Fulmer IV, 4. Branden Benedix, 5. Wyatt Couch. HPV-2 - 1. Jason Pettit, 2. Blake Milton, 3. Carter Herrera, 4. Christian Peterson, 5. Michaela LaSpina. Jr. 1-2 Cycle - 1. Thomas Mejia, 2. Roy Fulmer IV, 3. Oliver Calvo, 4. Clayton Williams, 5. Chase Farley. Clone Jr. - Joshua Chassaing. PRD Spec - 1. Cabot Bigham, 2. Matt Chase, 3. Katt Koerner, 4. David Vasquez, 5. Shelby Sander. Clone Sr. - 1. Luis Tyrell, 2. Brian Hill, 3. Nick Grossi, 4. Chad Nascimento, 5. Harrison Mills. Clone Sumo - 1. Josh Fleming, 2. Joe Provost, 3. Josh Finkelstein, 4. Dusty O'Connell, 5. Jason Cohick. WKA Formula 80 Masters - 1. Cody McKinney, 2. Steve Dow, 3. Roger Cornwall, 4. Geoff Provo, 5. Dan Harris. WKA Formula 80 Sr. - 1. Colin Katzakian, 2. Jon Ban, 3. Eric Rumfalo, 4. Ben Fisher
• RTF Speedway - June 22
Pure Stock: Heat Winner - Travis Barr. Main - 1. Justin Schilling, 2. Mark Serchio Jr., 3. Danielle Paine, 4. James Edwards, 5. James Edwards. Mod Mini: Heat Winner - David Ausano. Main - 1. Jesse James, 2. David Ausano. Hobby Stocks: Heat Winners - #1 Carl Barlow, #2 Randy Boyd. Main - 1. Royce Goetz, 2. Carl Barlow, 3. Rick Miller, 4. Rocky Goetz, 5. Dean Clark. Pro Stocks: Heat Winners - #1 Russ Cazier, #2 Malen Gonzalez. Main - 1. Jack Randall, 2. Russ Cazier, 3. Malen Gonzalez, 4. Jim Klopp, 5. David Rauscher. KWS Lites: Heat Winner - Bob Cooney. Main - 1. Michael "Buddy" Kofoid, 2. Jeff Macedo, 3. Bob Cooney, 4. Dan Simpson.
IMCA Modifies: Make Up Race from 5-25 - 1. Walter Ball, 2. Mark Skender, 3. Josh Ogg, 4. Steve Evenson, 5. Matt Murphy. Heat Winners - #1 Don Childs, #2 Shawn Natenstedt, #3 Robert Miller. Main 6/22 - 1. Steve Evenson, 2. Walter Ball, 3. Missy Natenstedt, 4. Josh Ogg, 5. Chris Nieman