STRONG FINISH FOR TOP KART USA AT ROUTE 66 SPRINT SERIES FINALE
September 24, 2019- Indianapolis, IN – As the 2019 season heads into the last few events for Team Top Kart USA, they made the short trek to the capitol of Springfield, IL to finish out the final rounds of Route 66 Sprint Series. With drivers in contention for championship titles the team was confident and prepared to do battle at Mid State Kart Club.
Given the hot and sunny weather on Friday for official practice the Top Kart drivers and crew were excited to see what Saturday and Sunday held with several drivers within the top 5 on time charts all day. The unknown all weekend was if the rain was going to hold off for competition. Saturday started off with slight rain but not enough to deem a wet tire condition as this played a huge part in some of the classes qualification times. By the time the green flag was thrown to begin pre final races the rain had decided to clear out leaving a slightly cooler overcast afternoon.
A handful of podium finishes were earned by the Top Kart KA100 Junior drivers throughout the weekend’s racing. Zach Collins was able to deliver on a near perfect weekend earning himself a fast time pole award on Saturday, following that up with a win in the pre final and also leading every lap in the final with a marginal victory of 1.146 seconds over second place. Having a perfect day on Saturday Collins looked to double down on Sunday’s racing. Missing his perfect weekend on qualifying session by a mere twenty one hundredths of a second that would put him starting row two in third position to start the pre final. Collins goes to win the pre final earning him pole position to start the main event on Sunday. With an early on close battle between Top Kart teammate Adam Maxwell who started off pole in the final, Collins was able to begin stretching out the lead once Maxwell had a few competitors try to battle for the second spot.
Zach Collins explains, “It’s hard to believe I led 68 of the 72 laps for the entire weekend I had a great time with my family and friends! My Top Kart chassis and my BBS built engine were perfect all weekend and results showed how great the package could perform. I feel a great weight has been released off my shoulders after having a rocky start to the season but the last few events have been a great way to end the 2019 season finishing 3rd overall in the points championship.”
Adam Maxwell looking to redeem himself after having a tough season with some bad luck wanted to finish off strong in the KA100 Junior category. On Saturday the young driver was all over the top of the leaderboard working to earn himself a podium. Unfortunately in the final prior to the green flag he had checked up to keep from hitting a competitor while lining up for green flag and his bumper dropped on one side. Nonetheless he continued to battle and finish the race in fifth position but was docked the podium spot due to the infraction. Sunday he was determined to get on the podium. With a better qualifying spot earning a fourth position he would be starting in the same row as teammate Zach Collins. Eager to work with Collins on getting to the front the duo was able to do just that and within the first lap they were linked together one-two. For the final race, Top Kart drivers had the front row locked up and kept it that way throughout the entire race. Early on Maxwell was able to push a gap with Collins but the competition had a strong draft giving them the ability to catch up and charge Maxwell. Battling with the others, they had fallen back from Collins as he was all alone with the lead after halfway. Maxwell giving a hard fight to the end he was able to move his way back to second place across the line.
Another outstanding performance with KA100 Senior driver Alexander Kardashian at the wheel of his Top Kart chassis. Having a solid speed on Saturday out of the trailer with absolutely no practice on Friday he was able to qualify himself into the top five. Starting inside row two for the final, Kardashian set himself up to drive a conservative and calm race so he could be there towards the end. Battling with Brandon Lemke and Josh Hotz, the three were back and forth throughout the entire race pulling away significantly from the rest of the 26 kart field. As Kardashian sat third place on the tail of Hotz coming to the white flag lap, there was a lap kart that the top three had run up onto. Not being able to get around as efficiently as the other two drivers, Alexander put in a solid tucking effort down the final straight but just wasn’t enough to get the job done. He was able to earn himself a third place finish in the final. As a Purdue Engineering student, he was unable to attend Sunday’s race events due to mid-term studying for this week’s exams.
In the Micro Swift category, Top Kart driver Austin Olds having a stellar year in 2019 with several wins and podium results. Olds was looking forward to this weekend to boost himself into the top three in the championship points battle. On Saturday, Austin earned himself a seventh place qualifying spot. Having engine troubles in the pre final that forced him to retire the race early finishing in thirteenth position. Nowhere to go but forward for the final race on Saturday, Olds made it a mission to charge to the front of the pack. He was able to earn himself a podium from last place with a fourth across the checkers. That still wasn’t the result Austin Olds was looking for this weekend. Sunday he was able to qualify himself closer to the front in row two in fourth place. Continuing to hold the fourth spot during the pre final he would also start the final in row two as well. A great start for Olds, he was able to get behind Indy Ragan and with a smart consistent drive push the two away from competition leaving it a two-way battle at the end on the white flag lap. Looking to make the move heading into the final turn before the finish line Olds got pinched middle of apex losing speed to get the job done but earning himself the second spot on the podium. Also, with his results increased him overall championship points into the top five with a fourth place in the series championship.
Austin explains, “I felt kind of disappointed about the two prefinals. But at the same time, I felt happy that we ran a great final on both Saturday and Sunday. I thought the race was very competitive and that I didn’t lose because I couldn’t run with good drivers.”
X30 Jr driver Adam Maxwell had to have a close to perfect weekend as he headed into the weekend with a slim points deficeit from competitor Nathan Nicholson. Maxwell having a great pace out of the trailer his confidence heading into Saturday was looking high. Setting the quick time earning pole position for Saturday qualification that got him that much closer to Nicholson for the points championship. In the final on Saturday,Top Kart’s Maxwell had an extreme battle going with Nicholson with about passes on each other every lap. Halfway through the race Nicholson tried an outside pass on Maxwell causing them to touch wheels on exit of the monza and Nicholson got collected in the barriers to end his race while Maxwell took the checkered in 1st. For Sunday’s events Maxwell ended up with another quick time award leaving him only 5 points difference between the drivers upon gridding up for the final race. Another nail biting main event for 22 consecutive laps Maxwell was able to take the checkers in first place giving him the event win and locking up the championship.
Maxwell exclaims, “My Top Kart chassis was dialed in and my P1 motors were on point all weekend. My team worked together and because of all their hard work, I am now a national champion!”
Team Owner, Bill McLaughlin Jr states, “Everyone had a wonderful season in 2019 and we are especially proud of all the Top Kart drivers and families who gave us the opportunity to support them and allow us to help get the results they have earned. With just a few more races to go to end the entire 2019 season we are excited about our results coming off this weekend heading into our next upcoming events.”
Top Kart USA’s next event will be the final rounds of WKA Manufactures Cup Series hosted at their home track New Castle Motorsports Park on October 11-13 in part with their Purdue University and Electric Karting Series High School Indiana State Finals on October 12 on the rental kart track configuration at New Castle Motorsports Park.