GAS at Glen Helen
Rounds 2 & 3 of the Great American Shortcourse GAS racing series was held at Glen Helen Raceway April 22 & 23. Southern California had more then its share of wet weather this winter but for the GAS event the sun came out and racers and fans enjoyed a nice race weekend.
Just before the green flag came out on Round two it was announced that GAS series had been purchased by American Outdoor Events (AOE). With this acquisition, AOE further expands its portfolio of outdoor recreational activities and strengthens its position in the growing off-road racing and short course market. In their press release AOE stated it is committed to elevating all aspects of the outdoors lifestyle, including the off-road riding and racing industries as well as exciting short course racing. The company’s commitment to family, adventure driven experiences, passion, and community engagement has earned it a loyal following of outdoor enthusiasts and industry partners.
“We’re excited to welcome GAS to the AOE family,” said American Outdoor Events Owner and CEO, Jason Robinett. “Short Course Off-road racing is a fan friendly and television ready experience with tremendous potential. We are thrilled to be at the forefront of this resurgence. By combining our strengths, we can create even more memorable experiences for our customers, drivers, fans, and partners to help grow the sport of off-road racing for years to come.”
So now let’s talk racing.
To start the event off the AM Ortega J1 Kart class came out with eight entries. From the green to the checkers it was Ian Torfi earning the win over Brixton Wirt and Michael Scafuto was third. The same group started Sunday’s program and again it was Torfi pulling away from Wirt for the win. Samuel Gibbs crossed over third.
Next to take the course was the Brilon Iron Works RZR 170 class. Once racing started the front four pulled clear of the rest of the pack with Jake Hill leading. Luke Vail was second with Triton Lawrence a close third. These three would go on to finish in that order. As Round three got underway once again Jake Hill dominated with Brixton Wirt second and Luke Vail third. At the finish Hill would enjoy winning with Wirt and Vail trailing.
The J2 Kart class had 13 entries. It was apparent from the beginning that Mikey Childress was in control of the race. A few car lengths back from him was Olive Hoover and then Lake Adler in third. The three podium positions didn’t change with Childress taking the win. On Sunday the early leader was Kylee Collinsworth who had a large group of competitors challenging the position. Collingsworth would get a flat and run off the track giving the lead to eventual winner Mikey Childress. Jayden Manchester held on for second and Brody Glaze earned the final podium spot.
Robert Orr came out and dominated the Mini Stock class over the 2022 #1 plate holder Anthony Csuzi. Brent Veenstra finished third. The racing action tightened up on Sunday as the front three battled for the win throughout the race. Robert Orr led most of the laps with Anthony Csuzi taking control just after the mid race yellow. However Orr was able to retake the lead within the next lap. Csuzi continued pressuring Orr but as the checkers came out it was Robert Orr again taking the win. Anthonly Csuzi was second and third Brent Veenstra.
There were eight Limited Buggy entries and one lone 1600 Desert Buggy of Kevin Streety. Carson Smith took over the Limited Buggy lead midway and held the position to drive under the checkers first. Travis Howard was second and Shawn Jones was third on Saturday. On Sunday the finishing order changed around as Joe Laff took charge early and held on for the win. Giving Laff pressure throughout was Travis Howard who held on for second. Shawn Jones gave a last turn attempt for second spot but spun out but was able to regain control for third.
On Saturday a total of nine Weller Racing SR 1 came on course. Once the green flag flew it was Corry Weller taking the early lead with a hard charging Paul O’Brien pressuring mainly the first half of the race. After the mid race yellow Weller was able to pull a comfortable win. Taking second was O’Brien with Sami Nino third. Sunday appeared to be a repeat of Saturday’s event until the second half start when Paul O’Brien slipped past Weller. Once out front Weller wasn’t able to close up enough to give a serious challenge so O’Brien took the win with yesterday’s winner Corry Weller second. Sami Nino came across third.
The Mod Kart race on Saturday belonged to Ashtom Williams right from the start. Running second, and finishing in that position was Rhyan Denny and James Walls was third. On Sunday the hard charger award had to go to Dane Culver. While running second Culver tried an inside pass on Talan Martin and barrel rolled his car a couple of rolls. Fortunately, he landed rubber side down and was able to fire up and get back in the action just as the emergency crew came to assist. Turns out Culver was not through as he caught the pack and began making passes. At the mid race yellow he was in seventh. By the last lap Culver had moved into third behind Ashton Williams, where he would finish the race.
In the Production 1000 Saturday race Chad Williams jumped out front with Chaden Zane Minder second and Brent Burnstein was third. As the checkers flew the front three were still in that order. On Sunday it was Connor Barry taking the early lead with George Llamosas in a close second place. Lap after lap Llamosas pressured Benites but driving under the checkers it was Benites, Llamosas and Chad Williams third.
On Saturday five Pro Buggy entries lined up. ON the start it was Matthew Brister taking charge. In second was Zachary Draper and Gunner Kennedy. The three stayed in that order until lap seven when Jadin Uribe was able to get by Kennedy for third. On the podium it was Brister, Drapkin and Uribe. Sunday’s Pro Buggy race appeared to be all Matthew Bristers as he led all the laps except the last one when he allowed eventual winner Zachary Drapkin and Jaden Uribe to get by.
In Saturday’s Pro Lite race Connor Barry jumped out front off the start with Johnny Holtger trailing. These two had a close race and then on the last lap Holtger was able to get past Barry for the win. Connor Barry finished second and Kyle Knott was third. Connor Barry took charge of the Pro Lite class early and never looked back until he drove under the checkers. Had he looked behind he would have saw Johnny Holtger crossing over second and Kyle Knott third.
Ricky Gutierrez jumped out the early leader Saturday in the Pro 2 class but dropped out on lap three. This gave the lead to Myan Spaccarelli, who went on for the win. Brock Hanmer was second. On the final race of the weekend the Pro 2 challengers saw Johnny Holtger get the early lead and never give it up. Myan Spaccarelli was running second until two laps to go and Ricky Gutierrez took away second from him. Spaccarelli would finish third.