The 4th round of leagues had a record setting turn out of 40 drivers! With a larger number of drivers, some of the racing was a little too aggressive. The track crew gave out the most black flags ever, and a few drivers were talked to afterwards about their aggressive behavior on track. We will be making a few changes to help make cleaner and safer racing for the following leagues.
The E main would hold the bottom 10 drivers, but these were no bottom of the barrel racers. They all had great speed on the track just needed a little more seat time. Four of them would move on to the D main and get to race over 55 laps when leagues were done. Dan T would hold pole position and use the clear track to his advantage. Running smooth constant laps, his average lap time was under 20 seconds. He would win the E main. Scott Rhoads chances of moving on to the next main would be crushed due to a flat tire on the first couple of laps. Derek B was running 3rd place and with 7 laps to go he went to dive inside on the first 180. He stuck the front end into the barriers; this pushed him back to 6th and out of transferring position. With only 3 laps to go, there was a good battle for 2nd and 3rd between Mike D and Dan S. Dan S would not be able to make it around Mike D but he did make 5 passes which was enough pass to win the “passing champ” award. The battle that really mattered was for 4th between Toni K and Chris S. Chris S would hold off Toni K for the 4th and the final transfer spot. Tough break for Toni K, but with only a few drivers under his belt 5th is still a respectable finish and he will be able to build from this.
The D main would be full of aggression and black flags. On the first lap alone there were 3 black flags given to; Mike J, Dan S and Andrew B., along with a crash before the split. Shawn N grabbed the lead back from Mike J when Mike was shut down for his black flag. Dan T made his way around the mayhem the first lap and found himself a spot in the top 5 after a nice pass on Mark A as he tucked under him on the start finish line straight. Mike J would make the same move on Shawn N to take the lead back. Shawn N wanted to make sure he wasn’t on the bubble for the transfer spot so he dove inside of the last 180 and but was unable to make the pass. Later the 180 would clam another victim, as Shawn N would get stuck and loose his chance to transfer. Andrew B and Mike D would get together before the spilt with 7 laps to go. Both were black flagged for the crash and contact they made with the drivers after the crash. Shawnee, Dan T and Mark A would have a little to no gap between them with 3 laps to go. There was only .05 seconds between the drivers going for 2nd. If Dan T could make the pass for 2nd. He would be the first driver ever to transfer out of 2 different mains in one night. Shawnee was showing great line choice, which made the chance for a pass from either driver behind him tough. He would hold tight coming across the finish and hold onto 2nd and the last ticket to the C main. The battle between Mark A and Shawnee would win the rival of the night award. The battle for 2nd was clean, unlike the rest of the race, which looked like bumper karts at times. All the drivers were talked to about this post race. Mike J would not have to worry about this because he lead was large enough to keep him out of the chaos and black flags as he won the D main.
The C main was loaded with Ryan M in pole position. Ryan M has raced in the A main before and knew that’s were he belonged. Boyd B was in grid 2 and was trying to get around Ryan M before the split. As he push Ryan M wide, Ryan M ran out of real estate, Ryan stuck his kart into the head of the split and was taken out of the hunt for the lead. Beside this accident, the C main was one of the cleanest and best races of the nights. With everyone running a good pace there was little room for mistakes. Another driver would quickly capitalize on any mistake that were made. Bob S made his move like many others had by hanging tight across the finish line as Boyd B swung a little wide. Boyd would sneak under him on the same lap on the last 180. Bob S would be like a broken record and put another pass on Boyd across the inside of the finish line. This time Bob S would make the pass stick and not allow any one else around him for the rest of the race. From 3rd place to 6th place there was less then a second and a half with Boyd B just a little ahead of them in 2nd. The group would run down Boyd and make it a 5-way battle for 2nd. All the drivers would keep the race clean and stay in the same position besides Michael G would make a pass for a 4th place finish. Michael has show great improvement in his short time in leagues and shows he can run with some of the best. With your pole position being taken out early your grid 2, and 3; Bob S and Boyd B would be moving on the to B main which was loaded with the drivers who qualified 9th to 16th.
The B main wouldn’t be as clean of racing as we had seen the C main. Driver’s tempers would flair and aggressive driving would soon follow. With almost every driver getting a black flag, the field would all hope to have a clearer race next time. The race started with Jesse R up front until James M would use the common passing area, which was inside tight along the finish line. Tina was making a charge from a 4th place start and used the almost signature spot before the split to pass drivers back to back putting her up into 2nd. She would try to make the pass for the lead by diving inside on the last 180 but making mostly contact she wouldn’t make the pass and be black-flagged for it. James M in 1st would look back a couple times to check where Tina was. Feeling the pressure he would try to hold a defensive line until Tina final broke inside early before the finish line. Contact was made as Tina went for the spot. James M was trying to hold her off. Both drivers were flagged and shown the “no contact” sign. This allowed Jesse R to put his nose in the business. Jesse would make the pass on for 2nd on James. With the top 4 almost in a race of there own, the rest of the field was stuck together. They were packed closely to each other, and each mistake seemed to cause contact and end with one or more drivers black-flagged. With more then 5 drivers this close it caused drivers to become frustrated with the amount of contact. With no driver being able to drive the line they wanted it left all the drivers pointing the finger at one another for too much contact. We have made some changes to help the race be cleaner and more like a race next time. The back of the pack was not the only part of the races where driver’s heads were not clear. At the front on the last lap James M punted Jesse R out of the before the split. This move would have resulted in him being docked a position giving Jesse R a transfer; this was until Jesse would T-bone Will O in the last 180. Will would then retaliate. With all 3 drivers losing there cool and making poor racing choices on the last lap James M would transfer on. This was a learning main not only for the drivers but also for the staff at Unser racing.
The A main would be filled with the top 8 drivers. The 9 place driver and pole position for the B main, Jesse R missed the A main by .001 of a second. Dominic U would hold the 8th grid position and still was a threat to win that far back. He would have misfortune early in the race with kart problems. After coming in to switch karts he unable to make a come back and later pulled off. The normally clean racer Jace H would be black flagged first lap. This would let Kirill get close enough to make the textbook inside pass across the finish line. Tina pushed Chase T who hasn’t been able to not show his true speed in the mains wide. After running out of room he got stuck in the head of the split again not being able to score a top 5 finish. If Chase can keep his kart moving the whole race he has the speed to win, round 5, this is his last chance until next league. Jereme W would be the first driver to record a 19 second lap. A little later on the race the top 4 would be all in the 19’s. The record was going to be broken and was numerous times. Jereme W would end the race with ffthe 19’s, he ran 19’s 20% of his laps. This would put Kirill up front to content for the lead. We would have 2 lead changes on lap 28. Jereme Wall would pull inside of Greg before the split. Greg would have none of it and passed him right back on the next 180. The top 4 were within in a second of each other. Kirill, wanting to put the 17 kart up on the podium, would try to make the pass where he did before across the finish line. Jace H knew he had to gain as many points as possible and was able to shut him down each time. Greg would cross the line 1st and become the 4th and another new driver to win at the RockStar New Year league at Unser. Jereme W would finish 3rd after being passed late in the race by Jace H, this would match his best finish in leagues. Jace H currently in 1st in points would score 59 points for 2nd, putting him that much closer to winning back to back league championships.
A night of what could be described as “intense racing” was finished. The points had tightened up. With one more round until the 2nd champion would be crowned, there is still a lot up in the air. One thing not up in the air is the fact that leagues will be given a face lift to ensure clearer, more fun, and exciting racing. Make sure to come out early on the 5th round to par take in the unique racing formats starting at 5:30 next Wednesday!