MOD KIDS USA CHALLENGE CUP THRILLS ARIZONA CROWD

MOD KIDS USA CHALLENGE CUP THRILLS ARIZONA CROWD

In the always exciting Modified Karts, Cole Keatts crashed into Luke Knupp in turn one on the opening lap, and that brought about a full restart of the race.

On the second go around, Ricky Gutierrez got the early lead, and held it at the end of lap one, ahead of Mason Prater, Knupp, Keatts, and Mia Chapman in the early top five.

Keatts blazed past Knupp up to turn two on the second lap to move into third in the #553 Peters & Keatts Equipment Inc./Mod Kids USA machine, and unfortunately for Knupp, both he and Chapman then went off between turns two and three, dropping the pair down to the back of the pack.

Further ahead, Keatts and Trey Gibbs then got past Prater, and at the end of the lap, it was Gutierrez, Keatts, Gibbs, Prater, and Brody Eggleston in the top five.

Lap four saw Prater run wide out of turn one, which allowed Eggleston to get by for fourth. On the next lap, Chris Nunes nerfed Prater going into turn three, before getting by out of the corner to move up to fifth in the #502 Kicker Audio/MTRV8 entry.

Further forward, Gibbs was now right on Keatts in a close battle for second, but the Competition Yellow flew at the end of lap six, which put a temporary pause on the action between these two, as well as the rest of the field.

The top five held their positions on the restart lap, and on lap eight, Keatts got halfway alongside Gutierrez out of turn three and into turn four, but still, no passes were made.

On lap nine, Keatts then got a good run out of turn two, and got by Gutierrez into turn three to take the lead. Gutierrez nearly got back by Keatts in turn three on the next lap, but was unable to do so, and Gibbs then forced Gutierrez wide in the next corner, allowing both Gibbs and Eggleston to get by for second and third.

Eggleston then passed Gibbs for second going into turn three on lap 11, with Nunes passing Gutierrez as well as Gibbs on the next lap. Gutierrez, Eggleston, and Nunes sailed three-wide over the ski jump out of turn two on that twelfth and final lap, before Gutierrez then biked in turn three, lost ground, and then collected into Chapman between turns three and four, ending both of their races just shy of the finish line.

At the line, Keatts scored a measure of redemption after yesterday’s championship loss, taking the win in his final mod kart race. Brody Eggleston was second and Nunes third.