The marquee event on the 2019 schedule has come and gone for Team IONIC Edge with the conclusion of the Cup Karts North America Grand Nationals. Going up against more than 270 other drivers from across North America, IONIC Edge drivers were put to the test. However, the strong contingent of IONIC Edge pilots managed to come away with some hardware. Most of all, though, each driver came out of the weekend with a number of lessons learned and loads of experience.
“We arrived at Grand Nationals III with high expectations.” said Kyle Luttrell of IONIC Edge chassis. “This is the ultimate event for 206 racing in North America, and all of our IONIC Edge drivers in attendance have been looking forward to this event since the beginning of the season. Nearly every IONIC Edge driver unloaded with lap times inside the Top 10 in their respective division. Even better than that, every IONIC Edge driver improved their lap times significantly throughout the course of the weekend. Although we weren’t able to secure another Grand Nationals victory this year, it was still a very successful race weekend. We had multiple drivers make it onto the podium and a number of fast drivers making up 20+ and 30+ positions in their main events. I couldn’t be more proud of my drivers! I hope we can continue to grow the IONIC Edge Chassis family and continue getting wins!
Audrina Rowe began her GN3 campaign with a third place qualifying effort in the Kid Kart class. Unfortunately, a rough outing in the first of three heat races added some adversity. Audrina rebounded back with a solid run in the second heat race, while the third was cancelled due to lightning.
With a decent starting position for the Final, Audrina once again found herself fighting out of a hole as an unfortunate start sent her back to seventh. She never gave up, though, and by the end of the main event, she crossed the line third. It was a bittersweet moment for Audrina, as it was her final start in the Kid Kart division. With a number of CKNA series wins and Grand Nationals podium, Audrina has a lot of momentum on her side looking towards her 2020 206 Sportsman campaign.
The biggest single class contingent of IONIC Edge drivers was in the Junior division. Route 66 Sprint Series hotshoe Carter Kruz Pryor, Florida Winter Tour winner Elijah Skaggs, Junior rookies Jayelynn Kerr and Camryn Reed, along with top Midwest contenders Josh Spurr and Will Holtz all came into the weekend ready for competition. They were met with quite a bit of it, as nearly forty drivers made up the grid in the ever-growing LO206 Junior class.
Pryor kicked things off for team IONIC Edge by winning the pole award with a three tenth margin over the field — practically unheard of in 206 racing. Skaggs was not far behind with a solid fourth place run, and Kerr made it three IONIC Edge chassis inside the Top 10 with an eighth place result.
Pryor and Skaggs remained as the leaders on the team by putting together pairs of solid results in the opening two heat races. However, the rain-soaked Heat 3 brought some bad luck for Pryor in the form of a DNF, and Skaggs’s lowest heat result in 7th. The biggest mover for IONIC Edge chassis in the 3rd round of heats — by far — was Joshua Spurr. After having a DNF to end his second heat race, Joshua surgically cut his way up the grid from 42nd to 15th.
The Final saw the drivers face an intermediate track for the first time all weekend, with slick tires being the prime choice on the damp surface. This is where rookie Camryn Reed absolutely shined. Learning from her heat races, the ‘Racin Cajun’ drove from her mid-pack starting position to a 4th Place finish! After a rough start, Carter Pryor and Joshua Spurr both put on a heck of a show, driving through the field to 11th and 15th after getting tangled in first lap incidents that shuffled them outside of the Top 25. Jayelynn Kerr also put in a solid drive forward, making up a number of positions to crack the Top 20 by the end of the Final. Will Holtz showed a ton of pace as well and battled on the edge of the Top 10 all race, but an incident on the final lap marred him to a DNF.
CIK Senior Medium
Kevin Lanyi and Macon Moore both knew they were going up against the best Briggs drivers in North America by entering the stacked CIK Senior Medium class, but each came into GNIII with high expectations for themselves all the same. A great run in qualifying put Kevin 10th out of the 71 drivers entered, a fantastic showing in its own right, while Macon found himself a little further back down the grid in 40th.
Unfortunately, after a solid 12th place result in his first heat race, Kevin suffered bad luck in the following two heats to put two DNFs on his point total. Macon, on the other hand, came out of his heats with a series of consistent finishes to put him in a decent starting spot to the main event. That starting spot was a bit rougher than it may have initially seemed based on the chaotic start to the Final, as both drivers were entangled in first lap incidents. Macon did manage to pick up more than 15 positions by the end of the main event, setting some of his fastest laps of the weekend in the process.
Open Senior Medium
Dylan Amundsen found some speed early on in the Open Senior Medium class. He kicked off his Grand Nationals bid with a 4th place run in qualifying, just a mere 0.2 off the pole time. He backed that up with a 6-3-9 combo of heat race results, placing him inside the first four rows for the Final. After a great start to the race that saw Dylan get as high as fifth, he crossed the line a respectable ninth place. While Dylan was biting for more when the checkered flag flew, he still put on a great showing for team IONIC Edge in the Open Senior Medium division, finishing inside the Top 10 as the only IONIC Edge driver entered.
The CIK Masters division at Grand Nationals 3 was the biggest 206 Masters field in United States history at a staggering 41 total entries. IONIC Edge had four drivers ready to do battle in the category, with none other than Randy Raridon, Matt Skaggs, Bob Kaminski, and Chris Cline behind the wheel.
Cline led the brigade out of the gate in qualifying by putting his IONIC Edge chassis P3 on the boards. He rolled that momentum straight into the heat races, as well, putting together a solid 4-2-2 total. Skaggs wasn’t far behind. A mid-pack qualifying effort had him go on the offensive in each heat to make up lost ground, with Raridon and Kaminski picking up pace in each heat along with him.
In the wet Final, Matt Skaggs was finally in his element. He cracked the Top 10 by the end of the first lap and kept moving up the chain before crossing the line in fifth, the highest he had ran all weekend. On the other end, Chris Cline found himself just missing that extra little bit of speed, and he could only manage a 9th place run — still a phenomenal showing. As for Randy Raridon and Bob Kaminski, the main event was not meant to be, as both suffered DNFs to cap off their Grand Nationals campaigns.
Team IONIC Edge
At the end of the day, all of the IONIC Edge drivers came out of Grand Nationals III with some invaluable experience and a number of lessons learned. Just like IONIC Edge chassis, IONIC Edge drivers are always improving. And while the podiums and Top 5s are great, those finishes only make team IONIC Edge hungrier to come back for wins at Grand Nationals 4 in 2020.
If you’d like more information on our chassis and support, contact Kyle Luttrell at 404-516-8934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.