CONCORD, NC - The 2015 edition of the RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Gold Cup Series kicked off under brilliant North Florida sunshine, and a sense of overwhelming and renewed energy in the pit area, as the nations top 4 Cycle competitors took to the track for the Ionic Edge Chassis Nationals at 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Florida.

CONCORD, NC - The 2015 edition of the RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Gold Cup Series kicked off under brilliant North Florida sunshine, and a sense of overwhelming and renewed energy in the pit area, as the nations top 4 Cycle competitors took to the track for the Ionic Edge Chassis Nationals at 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Florida. 
While the winners list found a few repeat names on the top shelf of the podium, the quest for victory did not come easy for any national winner. Headlining the list of winners were Aiden Baker Crouse and Jason Alder, both 4 time national winners over the weekend. Other multiple winners included Paul Headley, Andrew Willis, Jacob Heavlow, and Brently Miller.
Action began on Saturday with Brently Miller taking what would be the first of 2 national wins for the weekend in the Tyler Sandmeyer sponsored LO206 Kid Kart Class. Running 10 lap mains both days, Miller bested Owen Lloyd, Caleb Gafrarar, Jax Walker, and Asher Johnson. Miller wasted little time asserting his top position in Day #2, coming back for his second straight win. Lloyd and Gafrarar would again be second and third with Blake Boon and Jax Walker making up the top 5 on Sunday.
The quest for Crouse’s run at 4 national wins began Saturday with the Miller Welders Sportsman LO206 class. Despite the victory, Crouse was hard pressed the entire distance by Tanner Carter, who came home second, right on Crouse’s bumper. Mark Steube was third in Saturdays main with Danica Humphreys and Riley Kelley completing the top 5. Crouse’s run was no easier on the second day as Carter was right there, waiting for the slip, but had to settle for second. Jaxson Ghent rode home third with Steube and Kelley the top 5.
There were only 2 classes preventing Crouse from a weekend sweep, one of those being the Razor Chassis Sportsman Pro Gas Lite class, as Andrew Willis put an end to the streak with the first of his 2 wins on Saturday. While not able to score a win over the weekend, Tanner Carter received a ton of bridesmaid’s awards as a fierce runnerup to Willis in the Saturday show. Crouse had to settle for third followed by Steube and Kelley. Sunday’s action saw Crouse fire right back to the front, securing the 12-lap win over  Kelley, while Willis settled for third. Carter and Macon Moore completed the top 5.
Willis was also strong in the Baker Racing Engines Sportsman Pro Gas Heavy final Saturday, claiming his second win of the weekend over Crouse, with Kelley, Cale Hall, and Macon Moore making up the top 5. Crouse would once again find his groove on Sunday, taking the final over Moore, Steube, Hall, and Spencer Bush
Matt Miller scored his lone win of the weekend in a very competitive battle in the Thor Oil Junior LO206. Trading the lead back and forth with Jason Alder, Miller finally secured the lead, rolling on to his first national win of the year. Alder settled for second with Nash Duyn, Jimmy Cole Jackson, and Cody Hall completing the top five. On Sunday, the deck would shuffle again, this time finding Cody Hall in victory lane. Jackson improved a couple spots from the previous day for 2nd followed by Duyn, Alder, and Miller
Alders weekend, much like that of Crouse, came to life in the Van K Wheels Junior Pro Gas Lite class on Day 1 as the Maryland driver laid claim to his first of four wins, edging 2014 multi time champion Zach Wells for the win. Nash Duyn would come home third followed by Joshua Stark and Hunter Fox. Alder roared right back on Sunday for a sweep of the weekends action in the class, taking the win in the 15 kart field over Brian Van Cleve Jr, Matt Miller, David Kalb Jr, and Joshua Stark.
Alder would be declared the Junior Pro Gas kingpin over the weekend, also sweeping the action in the Brad’s Heating and Cooling Junior Pro Gas Heavy Mains, topping Wells, Jackson, Stark, and Hunter Fox on Day 1. Sunday’s finale found Miller, Alex Vrabel, Van Cleve, and Jackson chasing Alder to his 4th win of the weekend.
Some of the best races can always host the smallest fields. While Pro Gas and LO206 motors dominate the Gold Cup Program these days, the remaining methanol classes continued to wage a good battle. In the Animal Medium competition, Paul Headley took care of business, edging Jim Lipari and Cayla Chapman on Saturday for the first of 3 wins for the weekend, while Lipari snuck in for a win over the weekend, taking the Day 2 finale over Headley and Chapman.  
In the Power Plus Lubricants Animal Heavy Mix class, Headley again took control of the day, securing the win over Josh Stiefel, Case Hall, Andy Jones, and Tim Stiefel. Sundays result may have been the same up front. But Josh Steifel continued to reel Headley in, only to fall short on laps. Headley held on for his third win of the weekend. Behind the lead duo were Jacob Connor, Andy Jones, and Tim Stiefel.
30 kart fields in the Coyote Senior Pro Gas Animal classes brought back great memories of the past, and a peak at the future of the Gold Cup program for many classes in all engine categories. Jacob Heavlow scorched the field on Day 1, taking the win over Florida product Sean Meier, with Tyler Smith, Zachary Linsell, and Corey Towles making up the top 5. Heavlow would do the impossible, taking the weekend sweep against some staunch competition, rolling back in victory lane for the Sunday show. Linsell improved up to 2nd on Day 2 with Matthew Travis, Aren Smith, and Tyler Smith making up the top 5.
Keeping pace with the Senior Pro Gas Animal class, the Briggs and Stratton Racing Senior LO206 Class has seen some growth with 20 competitors checking in for action both days. And the parity was evident as well with Evan Cowen taking the 12 lap win Saturday over Austin Queen, Patrick O’Neal, Brandon Murzyinski, and Haley Kummer. Sundays action saw new faces in the top five in some spots with Eric Fagan taking his first win of the year, besting Queen, Murzyinski, Michael Clark, and Camden Calland.
Late afternoon thunderstorms on Friday forced race officials to reschedule the Shootout races for the Sportsman Pro Gas and Junior Pro Gas Animal classes, as well as the Pro Animal Gas Money Race. But it was worth it. Tanner Carter erased the runnerup finishes in the points races with a victory in the 10 lap Sportsman Pro Gas Shootout, topping Aiden Baker Crouse, Cale Hall, Mark Steube, and Andrew Willis.
Meanwhile, the efforts to completely deny 3 time 2014 champion Zach Wells a shot at victory lane ended Saturday evening as the multi-time champ scored the win in the Junior Pro Gas Animal 10 lap shootout, topping Jason Alder, Nash Duyn, Brian Van Cleve Jr, and Matthew Miller. 
23 Pro Gas Animal drivers checked in for their Money Race. The event, 20 laps in distance, was split into 2-10 lap segments with the leader at the lap 10 break drawing a pill to determine the inversion for the field. However, a blown engine on the track in turns 1 and 2 at lap 8 forced officials to revert back to the lineup at that juncture, after several competitors, including many frontrunners spun in the fluid on the track. While track cleanup took place during the break, Jacob Heavlow drew the #12 pill, thus inverting the top 12 for the final 10 laps. The end result was a sight to see as Heavlow used the draft on the long Jacksonville backstretch to work his way back to 2nd, falling just short of the win following a spirited battle to challenge eventual winner Zach Linsell for the win. Linsell rejoiced in his first ever Money race win, besting a star studded field that included Matt Mayes, Dustin Demattia, and Patrick O’Neal in the top 5 as well.
The weekend included the beginning of providing over $190,000 in contingencies to many drivers for their efforts in the top 3 all weekend, as well as $100 bonuses going to drivers in 4 classes whose entries equaled or surpassed 10 entries. Congrats to Jacob Heavlow in Senior Pro Gas, Austin Queen in LO206 Heavy, as well as Jason Alder in Junior Pro Gas Lite and Heavy for snaring the $100 awards in their respective classes. While Heavlow and Alder swept the wins in their respective classes, drivers must still produce top results in qualifying and heat races to maintain a low point average in order to attain the bonus. The higher up you finish in all phases of the weekend’s events in your class, the lower the point total, and the bigger the payday. While Queen did not sweep the weekends wins in LO206 Heavy, his results in his qualifying and the heat races netted him the lowest point total for the weekend.
Congratulations to all winners in Race #1 of the RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Gold Cup Series. Special thanks to Kyle Luttrell of Ionic Edge Chassis for sponsorship of the event, and to Steve Baker of Baker Racing Engines for implementation of the contingency program.
The next event on the Gold Cup schedule will be the weekend of June 5-7, the Kart City Performance Nationals at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina. Activities begin Thursday June 5 with parking, while a full day of practice, followed by the 2-shootout events and the Pro Money race will take center stage on track Friday afternoon. Friday night at 7pm, the 2014 Champions, as well as many other competitors, will be honored for their efforts in an awards presentation at the Palmetto Club on the track property. To reserve a table for the awards presentation, please contact Marie Borsuk at the WKA Office at (704) 455-1606, extension 111.