Glen Helen – Round 9

Glen Helen – Round 9

It was Bronsen Chiaramonte leading the way after lap one, ahead of Luke Knupp, Mia Chapman, Mason Prater, and points leader Brody Eggleston, with Ricky Gutierrez then getting past Eggleston for fifth in turn four on lap two.

On lap three, Chapman got into Knupp going into turn four, spun herself, and wound up sideways in the apex of the corner. Several drivers had to slow down and sneak by, Prater was caught up for a bit longer, and the two who took the biggest hit were Eggleston and Connor Barry, who wound up hooked together as the rest of the field sped away without officials throwing a full course yellow.

Track crews eventually freed the two and both were able to continue, but when the Competition Yellow came out at the end of the next lap, Eggleston was clear back in 17th as the field lined back up for the restart. This was looking like it could be a major blow for the points leader, as his closest rival, former points leader Prater, just 21 points back coming into this evening’s race, was up in sixth, making this a potential 22-point swing as they sat on the track now, which would theoretically hand the points lead back to Prater by a single point if things finished as they were at that moment.

On the restart lap, Prater got by Chapman out of turn two to move up to fifth, before a full course yellow fell at the end of the lap thanks to a three-kart stack-up in turn three. Once these drivers had been cleared, racing resumed, but another full course yellow then fell early on lap seven after Maddie Dye and Barry had gone off track out of turn five. As the two were pulled back on track, the field lined back up for another restart, with Chiaramonte in the #574 kart, Knupp in the #554 truck, Gutierrez in the #578 G Brothers/Lucas Oil machine, Trey Eggleston in the #590 Above All Construction entry, and Prater in the #505 Prater Racing/Mod Kids USA kart occupying the top five spots; points leader Brody Eggleston was now in eighth.

On the restart lap, Barry and Chance Haugen were involved in a double rollover at the exit of turn two, which forced another full course caution to fly at the end of that lap, and as the field made it’s way back to the start/finish line, Brody Eggleston was involved in another incident as well, which did substantial superficial damage to his machine, and dropped him back to 12th in the running order for the ensuing restart.

Mia Chapman had gotten by Prater for fifth on that same lap, but Prater got back by her on lap eight, the current restart lap, and further ahead, Gutierrez had passed Knupp for second. Again, however, it would be a full course yellow at the end of this lap too, as poor Barry suffered a solo rollover in turn two, a crash which ended his evening of very bad luck. Brody Eggleston had gotten back up to eighth on that lap, and on the restart lap, a tangle up between Chapman and John Holtger helped Eggleston move up two more spots to sixth as the field began the final lap.

In the final corner, Knupp got wide, which allowed Trey Eggleston to move alongside down the inside, and as the pair exited the corner, Prater got alongside of Eggleston, even further down the inside. The trio ran three-wide up to the checkered flag, where Eggleston edged out the first of those three spots to take third, just ahead of Knupp and Prater, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively; the trio were covered by just 0.136 seconds, and Knupp beat out Prater by only two thousandths of a second!

Up ahead of all of this excitement, it was Chiaramonte who took his first National Series win in the Modified Kart class- congratulations Bronsen! Second went to Gutierrez, and third through fifth were the aforementioned Trey Eggleston, Knupp, and Prater; Brody Eggleston retained the points lead after finishing sixth, and heads into Round 10 with a 19-point advantage over Prater.