Thirteen IONIC Edge Chassis racers spent the final weekend of September at Indiana’s famous New Castle Motorsports Park to compete in the year’s biggest Briggs & Stratton 206 race, the Cup Karts North America (CKNA) Grand Nationals II.
Kart racers and teams throughout the eastern half of the country would attend the second annual CKNA Grand Nationals and IONIC Edge Chassis drivers would experience a bit of everything racing has to offer over the three-day event while owner Kyle Luttrell oversaw all the action and provided support to team drivers.
At least one IONIC Edge driver started in all seven divisions offered at the Grand Nationals, including four entrants in both Junior and Senior Medium. When the final checkered flag waved on the event and the 2018 CKNA Champions Cup season, our drivers would rack up five top-five and eight top-10 finishes in fields that totaled over 20 entrants in nearly every class of competition.
Here’s a rundown of each division and how our drivers fared at New Castle.
Several IONIC Edge Chassis drivers were at the top of their classes and that was most evident in the Junior division. CKNA Central Division Junior champion Kevin Lanyi and Battle at the Brickyard winner Elijah Skaggs would join top runner Will Holtz and Louisiana’s Macon Moore in the 12- to 15-year-old category.
Lanyi would enter the event as the favorite and didn’t disappoint. The Alabama driver wheeled his No. 83 to outstanding Saturday results, which included a second-place qualifying effort and two wins in the three heat races.
Come Sunday, Lanyi would lead every lap of the pre-final on the way to victory. But before the final, conditions changed significantly compared to Saturday and Sunday morning’s track time. During the final, Kevin found that his kart setup, which handled amazing previously, felt bound up on the hot, rubbered-in track.
He fell back to third place early in the race, but he drove hard and managed to stay in the lead pack. In turn 3 hard contact by another driver forced Will Holtz completely off the track. While Kevin’s rear bumper was also hit, luckily he wasn’t caught up in the incident. He regained second place behind Elijah Skaggs and maintained it until he made the move to lead in lap 9. A tough battle ensued with Alexander Searle and Bryson Morris. Kevin held first place from lap 9 to lap 13 in the face of constant passing attempts. On lap 14 he fell back to 3rd place and in spite of his heroic efforts to regain the lead he finished 3rd.
Will Holtz concluded a fine 2018 CKNA season with a strong Grand Nationals weekend. He would qualify his No. 43 on the pole of 29 entrants and run top five in the heat races. Sunday’s pre-final would see Holtz drive a nice race to finish second behind Lanyi. Contact while racing for the lead dropped Holtz back several spots in the final. When it looked the race may slip away, Will did a terrific job keeping his composure and capping off a great weekend with a fifth-place finish. While it could have been better, we’re proud of Will’s efforts and finishes, and looking forward to an even better season in 2019!
Elijah Skaggs was looking to go two for two in the season’s biggest 206 Junior races after his win at Indy in July. The Tennessee driver ran outstanding all weekend, never finishing outside the top five in qualifying, three heat races and the pre-final, including a pair of runner-up finishes in heat 2 and heat 3. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on his side in the final, and he’d DNF on lap 7, officially credited with the 26th position. Elijah proved great talent this year in his first full season in Junior and 2019 should be even better.
Macon Moore made the trip north and ran decent Saturday, qualifying seventh and finishing eighth in the first heat. Luck would go away after heat 1, and Moore experienced one of those weekends he’d rather forget. He was a DNF in the final after running strong early, officially credited with the 27th finishing position. Macon, who rarely races the CKNA circuit, should have better luck next year after this race now under his belt.
SENIOR MEDIUM & CIK SENIOR
Riley Scott led the IONIC Edge Chassis brigade in Senior Medium, which saw 21 drivers enter. Riley was the mark of consistency in the class, qualifying fifth and finishing top 10 in each of the three heats. On Sunday, he advanced back into the top five and never relinquished it. He’d finish fifth in the pre-final and back it up with a solid fifth-place finish in the 16-lap final. Great job, Riley.
Alex Vrabel had an up and down weekend while competing in both Senior Medium and CIK Senior. The Michigan racer struggled in both classes Saturday, but made major improvements for Sunday’s competition. Showing perseverance and a never-give-up attitude, Vrabel rebounded from a tough Saturday, which saw him qualify outside the top 15 in both divisions, to finish top 10 in both finals. In Senior Medium, he’d battle his way to a ninth-place result.
In CIK Senior, Vrabel would again rebound for a top 10 in the final, this time finishing 10th.
Both Nick Ksobiech and Dylan Amundsen would DNF in the Senior Medium final. It was a disappointment for Ksobiech after qualifying ninth and finishing a competitive eighth in the pre-final.
For Amundsen, who traveled to Indiana from his Florida home, the final was also quite the disappointment and did not indicate how well he ran throughout the weekend. While he was credited with 19th in the final, Dylan did qualify fourth and finish sixth, sixth and fifth in the heats. He also finished sixth in the pre-final before things went sour in the main event.
Both Ksobiech and Riley Scott would DNF in the CIK Senior final.
No stranger to big races, the “Racing Cajun” Camryn Reed was our No. 1 driver in Sportsman while Porter Trudell was making his first start in the Grand Nationals to conclude his rookie season.
Reed was fast throughout the weekend and used her experience in both 2-cycle and 4-cycle national competition to race her No. 99 IONIC Edge Chassis to a top-10 finish in the 34-kart Sportsman final.
Camryn was in the thick of the battle all weekend while racing against many of the nation’s top Sportsman racers. After finishing 12th in the pre-final Camryn would advance several spots in the final and join a spirited battle among four drivers for the sixth spot. She would ultimately finish in ninth, just behind the sixth through eighth-place finishers. Nice job, Camryn!
Porter would take the event to gain experience while racing at New Castle for the first time. In a very large field, the Wisconsin driver did a good job, staying out of trouble for the most part. While he was a DNF in the final, his best run of the weekend came earlier Sunday in the pre-final, which saw him finish 20th.
Audrina Rowe raced her sharp No. 81 IONIC Edge Kid Kart at New Castle and did a nice job all weekend. The youngster would go on to a fifth-place finish in the Kid Kart final. She also recorded finishes of fourth and a pair of fifths in the three heat races. We’re looking forward to getting Audrina back on the track in 2019 as she continues to gain experience behind the wheel of a kart!
SENIOR HEAVY AND MASTERS
Jeff Scott and Matt Skaggs entered the Senior Heavy and Masters divisions on IONIC Edge’s.
Scott would have the better weekend of the two, although he also may have experienced the greatest disappointment.
After a near dominating effort in Masters, Scott would get knocked off the track in the final while running second with one lap to go. While he didn’t finish the final, the Illinois driver was clearly the fastest kart all weekend in the Masters division. He’d qualify pole and win two of the three heat races Saturday. He also won Sunday morning’s pre-final before bad luck struck in the main.
Jeff also entered the Senior Heavy division and did come away with a top five, finishing fifth in both the pre-final and final. Awesome season for Jeff, who also picked up a big win at the Rock Island Grand Prix Labor Day weekend.
Skaggs ran inside the top 10 in both Heavy and Masters throughout nearly all of Saturday’s competition in both divisions. Sunday was a different story, however, and Matt would DNF in both class’s pre-finals before loading up early and sitting out the final. We’re looking forward to another season of racing in 2019 with the veteran Tennessee kart racer.
With the CKNA Grand Nationals now in the books, the next marquee event for many IONIC Edge Chassis racers will be the Maxxis Sprint Series Championship Final set for Saturday, November 17 at the 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Florida, where we expect to have a number of our racers in attendance.
If you’d like more information on our chassis and support, contact Kyle Luttrell at 404-516-8934 or email@example.com.