Round 10 (Only One Round Left)

Round 10 (Only One Round Left)

The kids would be driving a different track this evening, with race officials moving turn four closer to both turns three and five, cutting the distance down to the original turn four down to about half, and taking roughly 0.2 miles out of this 0.8-mile track. This gave the kids a tighter turn four, and was more reminiscent of the types of tracks that this class has raced on more often in the past.

Points leader Brody Eggleston and last night’s winner Bronsen Chiaramonte started up front in this one, and at the end of lap one, Eggleston led the way, ahead of Mason Prater, Bronsen Chiaramonte, Ricky Gutierrez, and Braden Chiaramonte.

Entering this race, the top three in points were Eggleston, Bronsen Chiaramonte, and Prater, with the three sitting at 356, 336, and 335 points, respectively, so it was great to see the top three in points battling it out as the top three on the track.

Prater got down the inside of Eggleston through turn one on the second lap, before getting by in turn two to grab the lead. However, Eggleston then got back by with a nice over-under pass in and out of turn three. Prater was back by once again in turn two on the next lap, but Eggleston quickly re-gained the lead, while just behind, Gutierrez had moved up to third.

On lap four, Eggleston was then suddenly slow in turn three, his kart nearly coming to a complete stop. Bronsen Chiaramonte had nowhere to go and was held up significantly as he tried not to hit Eggleston and, also, find a way by. Other drivers, including Prater, were slowed somewhat by the incident, and Gutierrez capitalized, getting by Prater down the inside in the next corner to take the lead in the #578 machine. By the end of the lap, Prater now ran second in the #505 Prater Racing/Mod Kids USA kart, with Braden Chiaramonte third, Bronsen Chiaramonte fourth, and John Holtger fifth.

On lap five, Bronsen Chiaramonte then slowed and came to a stop in turn five, just shy of the Competition Yellow. As the field lined back up for the restart, it was now Gutierrez, Prater, Braden Chiaramonte, Holtger, and Trey Eggleston in the top five, and for Prater, opportunity was truly knocking, as both of his title rivals were now sitting on the sidelines, giving him a chance to possibly make up some significant ground in terms of points.

Prater was all over Gutierrez on the restart lap, as was Holtger on Braden Chiaramonte in the battle for third. Holtger got by late on the restart lap to grab that third spot, just before a full course caution, which came out thanks to a rollover by Hayley Perez. Racing quickly resumed once Perez had been righted, and on the restart lap, Braden Chiaramonte got back past Holtger out of turn three to get back up to third in his #573 truck. Holtger was back alongside of Braden Chiaramonte twice on the next lap, but then biked twice in turn five, which gave Chiaramonte a bit of breathing room.

Trey Eggleston then passed Holtger in turn two on the next lap, as Holtger seemed to be struggling to get back in the groove. Anthony Santos had also closed right in, and got by Holtger on the same lap, and despite getting very close to passing Santos back on the next and final lap (Holtger was alongside), Holtger couldn’t quite get there, as Santos held on by a nose (0.018 seconds) to keep fifth in the #565 entry.

Up front, it was Gutierrez who picked up the win, his second of the season, ahead of Prater, Braden Chiaramonte, Trey Eggleston in the #590 Above All Construction kart, and Santos. In the points battle, tonight’s race was a major turning point, with the top two in points, Brody Eggleston and Bronsen Chiaramonte, finishing 16th and 14th, respectively, while third in points, Prater, finished second. Prater’s good run tonight has put him back on top in the title fight, and he’ll head to the final round in Arizona with a seven-point lead over Eggleston, with Chiaramonte a further 16 points back.