08 Jun Event Coverage: Ignite Series Race #2 Recap (rain make up)
After being forced to cancel the originally scheduled Ignite Race #2, Kartplex officials were excited to announce that the make-up date would be held under the lights for the first ever night race at the Kartplex. Official practice began at 5:00pm with feature events starting around 8:30pm. Several drivers put in some practice laps during the late hours of the week to help prepare themselves for what they would see Saturday night. Drivers and crews were met with changing conditions throughout the night.
EVAN ZARBO – IGNITE ROOKIE WINNER
Ignite Rookie was the first class to take the track for their heat races. Nolan Baltz pill drew the pole position for heat number one alongside current point’s leader Evan Zarbo. The field would slot into place for the first lap, until Zarbo made his move for the lead on lap 2. Evan would run consistent laps around a tenth quicker than the field to pull out to a 2.299 second victory over Baltz and Reid Sweeny. Hunter Pruitt is inching closer to closing the time gap between himself and first position. Heat 2 began with Reid Sweeney asserting himself into first position with Baltz and Pruitt in toe. Sweeney was able to open a gap early, while Baltz and Zarbo were beginning to close the gap. By the end of the 10 lap heat, Sweeney would complete the wire to wire finish over Baltz in second. Zarbo was the quickest man on track but would be forced to settle with third, only 0.616 behind the leader. The main event saw the 8-12 year old competitors take the first final race laps under the lights at the Kartplex. Zarbo jumped to the point of the 15 lap feature where he would be closely perused by Sweeney and Baltz. Evan appeared to be in control of the race until Reid Sweeney made a great pass on lap 11 to take over the lead. It looks like Reid was primed for victory until Zarbo made a last lap pass to reassert himself as the man to beat. The contact between Zarbo and Sweeney forced Sweeney to lose track time, which allowed both Nolan Baltz and Hunter Pruitt to move past to round out the podium.
NICK TODTENHAUPT – IGNITE SENIOR WINNER
Ignite Seniors were next to hit the track. Heat 1 played host to a wild start, which saw pole sitter Matthew Pyatt move down to fourth position. Bobby Hinson took control of the opening lap, leading the field to complete their first green flag lap. Colten Dudici made some awesome moves to move from third to first position on lap two, with Hinson and Nick Todtenhaupt closely behind. Colton appeared to have the field’s number as he continued to lead as Ryan Bettenhausen moved around Hinson for third position on lap 5. Todtenhaupt decided it was time to make a pass with two to go, moving around Dudici for the point. The race would finish with Todtenhaupt claiming victory over Dudici by a 1.011 second margin. Bettenhausen would settle for third, followed by Hinson and Paul Fodde. Heat 2 was less eventful up front, with Todtenhaupt and Bettenhausen asserting themselves in the first and second positions. Colten Dudici was on the move, starting the race in seventh position and making it all the way up to third place by lap two. The race order would remain unchanged for the final seven laps with no one driver having the edge over the other. Close times and aggressive passing were sure to be the themes for the final. Todtenhaupt and Bettenhausen would again get the jump off the line. Dudici would fall from his third place starting spot on the opening circuit, allowing Hinson, Pyatt and Thomas Ball to move past. Dudici would keep his head down, slowly making passes on his competitors and gaining back the third position by lap 5. This left Hinson and Matthew Pyatt to battle it out for the fourth and fifth positions. By lap 11, Pyatt was able to make a move down the back straight on Hinson, claiming the forth position, which he would hold until the end of the race. The top three remained close, but unchanged in the final laps with Todtenhaupt taking the win, Bettenhausen in second followed by Dudici, Pyatt and Hinson.
EVAN STAMER – IGNITE JUNIOR WINNER
The increasingly competitive Ignite Junior competitors were next to take the track. Point’s leader and reigning Ignite Junior champion Evan Stamer took his pole position starting place all the way to the finish by a wide 2.875 second margin. Trevor Lovatto had a similarly uneventful race behind him in second. Behind the two leaders, several position changes and passes took place in the opening laps. Davis Worley had a great start, moving past Todtenhaupt and Gage Rucker to slot into the third place position. Aidan Roosevans, who started the race from the tail end of the field, kept his head down and was right on the bumper of Worley by the half way mark. Aiden was able to draft past Worley on lap 6 where he would finish the race in third. Worley would claim the fourth position with Todenhaupt rounding out the fast five. The second heat was a different story entirely. Roosevans would get the holeshot and lead the field for the opening circuit. Trevor Lovatto got a great start from the third row and slotted into the second position behind Aidan. Stamer, starting this race from the tail, would struggle to make the passes he needed to in a timely fashion and was in sixth place on lap 2. Keeping his head down, Stamer was able to work by Rucker on lap 3 and eventually Todtenhaupt on lap 8 and set the fastest lap of the race in the process. This race was all Roosevans, who cleared the field by 1.739 seconds. Lovatto would again finish second in front of Worley, Stamer and Todtenhaupt. The final saw heat 2 winner Roosevans jump to the early lead, followed closely by Stamer and Lovatto. On lap 4, Stamer was able to move by Roosevans and cruised to a 4.052 second victory, setting his fastest laps of the year in the process, ultimately clocking a 35.090 on lap 13. Roosevans would go unchallenged by Lovatto, securing the second position. Worley was able to move past Todtenhaupt, who followed closely behind until the finish.
KEITH SCHARF – IGNITE MASTERS WINNER
Rounding out the night under the lights was the Ignite Masters field. Mike Lebrun got the holeshot over pole sitter Tim Adcock. Robert Davis would use some previous night practice to his advantage, moving from fourth to second around Adcock on lap 4. Mark Hudspeth made the move on Adcock on lap 3 to gain the third place position, followed closely by GKP General Manager, Keith Scharf. Scharf was able to move past Hudspeth on lap 7, where he would begin to set his sights on the front two. Meanwhile, Lebrun was able to claim the victory by 2.820 seconds. Ultimately, Scharf would be able to move around Davis for second position on lap 8 while setting the fastest laps of the race. Davis would settle for third in front of Mark Hudspeth and Jon Vernier. Heat 2 saw pole sitter Lisa Hudspeth get turned around in the first corner, which really shook up the field. When the dust settled, it was Scharf at the point, followed by Daryl Ball and Robert Davis. Davis made the move on Ball on lap 3 and set his sights on the leader. Jon Vernier was able to move around Ball on lap 4 with Mike Lebrun doing the same on lap 5. Ultimately, Scharf would drive to a 13.238 second margin with Davis, Vernier and Lebrun running nose to tail at the finish. Mark Hudspeth would settle for fifth. The final saw pole sitter Keith Scharf break away from the field in the opening laps. Robert Davis pedaled hard to stay in his slipstream while Hudspeth slotted into third. Lebrun would move past Hudspeth on lap 3 and around Robert Davis on lap 8. Royce Payton, who started on the last row of the grid, made his way through the field and took over the third spot from Davis on lap 13. Scharf would crush the field with a 17.585 second margin of victory, which second through fifth finished under a blanket, with Lebrun on the second step and Payton rounding out the podium. Davis had a great night that ended just a little short, ultimately settling for fourth followed by Hudspeth.