CONCORD, NC - The second round of the inaugural WKA Winter Cup Program could not have been labeled more precisely, as bone chilling temperatures, accompanied by occasional rain, challenged the efforts of driver and crew all weekend at 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Florida. However, the end result was a success witnessed by the large crowd of spectators in attendance. The February Winter Cup also marked the return of 2 Cycle racing to Jacksonville under the WKA umbrella for the first time in many years. With 103rd Street serving for many years as THE Stop for 2 cycle racers back in the day during Daytona KartWeek, the eventual construction of a sprint track in the infield at Daytona International Speedway, enabled all three parts of the Daytona KartWeek puzzle to fit in together in one place, thus ending a long run down the 1,000 foot backstretch for quite a while.
The February return to 103rd brought back memories for many in the 2-cycle world. And when the dust settled, a driver who was oblivious to racing at Jax the last time 2 cycles were there, ended up on the top shelf of the podium twice for the weekend, as Jason Welage scored the overall wins in the Allison Racing Engines Yamaha Sportsman class, as well as the IAME USA East Pro Swift Sportsman categories.
Other overall winners for the weekend included Jason Yarbrough, leading again another very strong contingent of Briggs & Stratton LO206 Senior class competition, Brent Crews in the CRPRACING.COM Mini Swift class, and Lance Fenderson the top dog in the Woltjer Racing Engines Pro IAME Junior class. Bradon Eves took top honors for the weekend in the KARTSPORT North America Pro IAME Senior division, while Karsyn Walters took the top spot on the podium in the Water for a Cause Kid Kart class. And Jimmy Cole Jackson topped all comers in the Briggs & Stratton LO206 Junior class.
For Welage, consistency would be the name of the game on Day 1, as the 3 time Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Champion from 2015 would shadow Kaden Wharff across the stripe in the Yamaha Sportsman Class. For Wharff, as well as anyone else that became acquainted with the 1,000 foot backstretch at 103rd Street, being in the right place on the right lap is everything, especially in Jacksonville, as Wharff laid claim to the win. The top 2 were chased across the stripe by Annie Rhule, Eli Trull, and Rylee Engel for the top 5, with Welage taking the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Award.
Welage would again find second as the spot in the IAME USA East Pro Swift Sportsman Class as Connor Ferris took the victory on Saturday, with Robert Noaker III, Annie Rhule, and Ashton Chilton completing the top 5. Welage again would be the recipient of the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Award.
In other Saturday action, Brent Crews fended off the efforts of Sebastian Ng for the win in the CRPRACING.COM Mini Swift class. Caleb Gafrarar rode home third on Day 1, with Danny Dyszelski and Nicholas Terlecki completing the top 5. Eli Trull, the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time winner, rode home 6th.
For the second race in a row, the Allison Racing Engines Pro IAME Junior class did not disappoint, as Lance Fenderson turned back the efforts of Ty Gibbs for the win. Fenderson was also the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time winner. Chasing the top 2 across the line were Vincenzo Sarracino, Alex Bertagnoli, and Pauley Massimino.
Coming to Jacksonville, many in attendance in the Briggs & Stratton Racing LO206 Senior class knew Corey Towles would be tough to fend off, following a stellar Daytona performance. But Jason Yarbrough was one of those who dug in the trenches a little deeper, and was able to secure the Day 1 win over Towles, with Michael Clark, Matt Mayes, and Patrick O’Neal rounding out the top 5. Towles was able to secure the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Award on Saturday.
If your name was Bradon or Brandon, the front was the place to be on Saturday in the KartSport North America Pro IAME Senior class, as Bradon Eves held back the efforts of Brandon Jarsocrak and Brandon Lemke for the top honors. Calvin Ming and Comet Kart Sales Fast Timer Jonathan Kotyk completed the top 5.
For the second time in 2 races, competitors in the Water for a Cause Kid Kart Class had to be on Cloud Nine. First the chance to run at Daytona, then the long backstretch at Jacksonville, which made the most minimal speed of a racing weekend seem like 100 mph. And for CJ Bowman on Day 1, that was the case, as the young driver scored the win over Comet Kart Sales Fast Timer Karsyn Walters, with Ayrton Grimm and Dusty Larson following closely behind.
Cody Hall successfully wrapped up Day1 action, taking the highly competitive Briggs and Stratton Racing Junior LO206 Class, as one of the top young Gold Cup standouts bested fellow Gold Cupper Mark Steube, Ryan Rogers, Jimmy Cole Jackson, and Nash Duyn. Steube took the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time award.
Sundays action found another recent Kid Kart graduate in the form of Caleb Gafrarar scoring his first career win in the crpracing.com Mini Swift class. To understand and appreciate the transition of these drivers from the beginning level to Mini Swift, you have to see it for yourself, as the mere difference in speed alone makes this an impressive step up to the next national level class. Chasing Gafrarar across the stripe was Sebastian Ng, followed by Comet Kart Sales Fast Time winner Brent Crews, Sam Corry, and Nicholas Terlecki.
Lance Fenderson roared back on Day 2, not only sweeping the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time honors, but also the Allison Racing Engines Pro IAME Junior class, again being chased by Ty Gibbs, with Pauley Massimino, Vincenzo Sarracino, and Alex Bertagnoli making up the top 5. With the win, Fenderson became the only driver for the weekend who was able to sweep his class and take the Checkered Motorsports Trophy, signifying Lance as the overall class winner for the weekend.
For Jason Welage, his runner up fortunes would change in the Woltjer Racing Engines Yamaha Sportsman class on Day 2, as he checked in for his first win of the weekend, topping Robert Noaker III, Rylee Engel, Comet Kart Sales Fast Timer Kaden Wharff, and Eli Trull for the Top 5.
Welage would back that up, also taking the IAME USA East Pro Swift Sportsman class, topping Noaker, Ferris, Wharff, and Rhule.
Not to be denied at his home track for a national class win, Sean Meier turned back the field Sunday, taking the finale for the Briggs and Stratton LO206 Senior drivers, topping Matt Mayes, Corey Towles, Jason Yarbrough, and Mike Greiner. Meier also claimed the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time award for the day as well.
Returning to victory lane as well was former WKA National Champion Mike Giessen, laying claim to the Sunday portion of the KartSport North America Pro IAME Senior class, topping the 3 B’S, with Brandon Jarsocrak, Saturday winner Bradon Eves, Brandon Lemke, and Derek Dignan for the top 5. Dignan’s top 5 run was quite the comeback, following a grinding crash on Saturday in which his tie rod broke, sending him crashing through safety barriers, thus placing a serious crimp in his ride as well. Dignan was fine. Jarsocrack took the top pole honors for the class.
On the heels of a second place run the day prior, Karsyn Walters roared back to take the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time award, as well as the Day #2 win in the Water for a Cause Kid Kart class, topping Ayrton Grimm, James Newell, Dusty Larson, and Samuel Newell.
The finale for the weekend found Jimmy Cole Jackson taking the Briggs and Stratton LO206 Junior class finale, besting Nash Duyn, Cade Frazier, Mark Steube, and Andrew Willis, with Frazier taking the Fast Time honors.
All overall winners for the weekend received a special Overall Winners Cup for the weekend, courtesy of Checkered Motorsports.
With 2 events in the books, the series will wrap up its inaugural season at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, North Carolina March 4-6, where the first ever WKA Winter Cup Champions will be crowned.
To view the complete results for the Jacksonville Winter Cup Series event, click here.
To view the GoPro Winter Cup entry Blank, click here.