SALISBURY, N.C. — Carson Kvapil became the fourth different winner of the season in Wednesday night’s Open class feature at Millbridge Speedway, taking advantage after then-leader Tanner Gray flipped with five laps to go and never looking back.
Though Gray led from the start, surging around Kvapil from the outside pole to take command on the first lap, Kvapil never lost touch with the NHRA Pro Stock regular, holding station within one second of the top spot for most of the 20-lap distance.
When Gray got high off turn two with 15 laps complete and his kart began tumbling, Kvapil’s No. 35 CorvetteParts.net mini outlaw inherited the point and the die was cast.
“The only thing that was going through my head is, ‘He’s up in the air, so I need to get out of the way and not be involved in this,'” Kvapil said in Race City Steel victory lane. “Once we got the lead, the kart handled really well on the top and I could hook the power up pretty easily.”
Once Kvapil got the lead, it appeared to be game-set-match, but a final incident with three laps left set up one more restart, after Karsyn Elledge got sideways in turn four and collected Justin Haley as the two battled inside the top five.
Buddy Wise took a look to the bottom on Kvapil when the race went green for the final time, but to no avail, as Kvapil sprinted off to his fourth-career Open win at Millbridge and first of the season by 1.050 seconds.
“I wasn’t really nervous on the last restart,” Kvapil explained. “I had seen him on the restart before, and had a pretty good idea of where he was going to go … so I just tried to squeeze him down so he couldn’t get under me and we led it from there.”
Behind the front duo, Nick O’Dell notched a career-best Wednesday night finish in the Open class, followed by Hickory Motor Speedway late model points leader Ryan Millington and Elledge.
Meanwhile, Gray was left wondering what might have been, after a sure-fire second win of the season at the sixth-mile slipped through his fingertips and turned into a DNF in 10th.
“This kart was awesome tonight … probably the best mini outlaw I’ve ever driven (at Millbridge),” Gray lamented. “Greg Price and everyone who helped work on it tonight had this thing ripping (around the top).”
“I did my job for a little bit more than half the race … I don’t know. When I realized I had a pretty good lead, I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll just ride,’ but just caught a rut in the middle of turn two. I didn’t think anything was happening until it dropped off the side … and I was along for the ride at that point. It’s a bummer, but we’ll be back.”
Notably, Gray was running Nick Hoffman’s No. 2 to accrue points for the current track points leader, who was at Eldora Speedway Wednesday in preparation for the Dirt Late Model Dream.
Also absent were second-place points man Ethan Mitchell, who is putting his outlaw kart racing on hold to race a midget in Illinois this summer for car owner Steve Reynolds, and three-time track champion Tom Hubert, who is out of the car for three months with a broken hand.
In other racing, Brent Crews scored his first-career Wednesday night Intermediate class win, trading sliders with Brandon Jarsocrak on laps 12 and 13 of the 20-lap main before driving away on the 14th round to a big victory.
Subbing for Tyler Letarte, Jarsocrak came home second ahead of Jordyn Bregoli, Stanley Hayes and Caden Kvapil.
Class points leader Ryan Israel suffered a shock DNF after his motor blew on lap two, relegating him to 11th.
Trevor Cline (Box Stock) and Cassidy Keitt (Beginner Box Stock) each won their fifth Wednesday series features of the year in their respective classes, leading from start to finish.
Millbridge Speedway’s Wednesday night mini outlaw kart series returns to action on June 21.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…
RESULTS: Millbridge Speedway; Week Seven; June 7, 2017
500cc Open Class Time Trials: 1. #35 – Carson Kvapil, 9.911; 2. #3 – Karsyn Elledge, 9.922; 3. #15 – Tanner Gray, 10.068; 4. #37 – Nick O’Dell, 10.237; 5. #17 – Ryan Millington, 10.278; 6. #99 – Justin Haley, 10.311; 7. #94W – Buddy Wise, 10.319; 8. #98 – Brandon Dean, 10.641; 9. #03 – Noah Gragson, 10.406; 10. #6 – Clark Houston, 10.470; 11. #8X – Dillon Silverman, 10.776; 12. #11 – Alex Bodine, 10.841; 13. #9 – Tyler Odendahl, NT.
Beginner Box Stock Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Cassidy Keitt, 2. Aiden Price, 3. Matthew Francis, 4. Dallas Griggs, 5. Lucas Sandifer.
Beginner Box Stock Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Landon Totherow, 2. Coen McDaniel, 3. Josh Souza, 4. Damion Gutierrez, 5. Waylon Lambert.
Box Stock Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Trevor Cline, 2. Hunter Kohn, 3. Tyler Conover, 4. Danny Dyszelski, 5. Ethan Burdett, 6. Aiden Turner, 7. Colt Currie, 8. Eli Bodine, 9. Kynzer Flynn.
Box Stock Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Jacob Monsour, 2. Chase Cunningham, 3. Gavan Boschele, 4. Matt Gould, 5. Sam Corry, 6. Tiffany Claridge, 7. McKenzie Smith, 8. Tyler Dolack.
Intermediate Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Ryan Israel, 2. Jordyn Bregoli, 3. Gray Leadbetter, 4. Joey Robinson, 5. Wyatt Underwood, 6. Cole Brown.
Intermediate Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Brent Crews, 2. Brandon Jarsocrak, 3. Caden Kvapil, 4. Stanley Hayes, 5. Ben Studer (DNS).
500cc Open Class Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Carson Kvapil, 2. Tyler Odendahl, 3. Justin Haley, 4. Alex Bodine, 5. Brandon Dean, 6. Noah Gragson.
500cc Open Class Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Tanner Gray, 2. Buddy Wise, 3. Dillon Silverman, 4. Ryan Millington, 5. Karsyn Elledge, 6. Clark Houston.
Beginner Box Stock A-Main (15 laps): 1. Cassidy Keitt, 2. Aiden Price, 3. Coen McDaniel, 4. Josh Souza, 5. Matt Francis, 6. Landon Totherow, 7. Damion Gutierrez, 8. Dallas Griggs, 9. Lucas Sandifer, 10. Waylon Lambert.
Box Stock A-Main (20 laps): 1. Trevor Cline, 2. Jacob Monsour, 3. Tyler Conover, 4. Danny Dyszelski, 5. Hunter Kohn, 6. Chase Cunningham, 7. Gavan Boschele, 8. Matthew Gould, 9. Tiffany Claridge, 10. Sam Corry, 11. Aiden Turner, 12. Colt Currie, 13. Ethan Burdett, 14. Eli Bodine, 15. McKenzie Smith, 16. Tyler Dolack, 17. Kynzer Flynn.
Intermediate A-Main (20 laps): 1. Brent Crews, 2. Brandon Jarsocrak, 3. Jordyn Bregoli, 4. Stanley Hayes, 5. Caden Kvapil, 6. Gray Leadbetter, 7. Wyatt Underwood, 8. Joey Robinson, 9. Cole Brown, 10. Ben Studer, 11. Ryan Israel.
500cc Open Class A-Main (20 laps): 1. Carson Kvapil, 2. Buddy Wise, 3. Nick O’Dell, 4. Ryan Millington, 5. Karsyn Elledge, 6. Alex Bodine, 7. Brandon Dean, 8. Justin Haley, 9. Clark Houston, 10. Tanner Gray, 11. Dillon Silverman, 12. Tyler Odendahl (DNS), 13. Noah Gragson (DNS).
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
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