Rounds three and four of the Optima Battery Great American Shortcourse GAS series was held May 14-15 at Glen Helen Raceway. The purpose built short course racetrack provided racing for everyone as a total of 14 separate classes competed ranging from the smaller RZR 170 up through fill size Pro 2 trucks. Both days could be considered hot but on Sunday most of the racing action was blessed with overcast skies keeping the sun at bay. The series heads next to Victorville CA to the San Bernardino Fairgrounds July 9-10.
Ricky Gutierrez set quickest Pro 2 time Saturday then dominated Round 3 with Mason McCarthy second and Ronnie Anderson third. Sunday was more of the same for Gutierrez as he was able to distance himself from the pack. Ronnie Anderson was on the move, after starting fourth, he was able to get past Mason McCarthy mid-race for second. At the checkers McCarthy was third. The win is Gutierrez’s fourth on the season.
On Saturday Kyle Knott had the early Pro Lite lead but had trouble negotiating turn two, twice. The second time he mishandled it, it dropped him to the back of the pack but he was able to end the day second to fast qualifier Robby Hornsby. Ryan Brueckner was third. In round four Hornsby got the early lead but soon had Kyle Knott cut inside of turn two. The two went through the rough section side-by-side between turns two and three before Knott made the pass stick. In the same corner Hornsby would pass Knott to regain the lead. On the final lap Knott was trying to pass in turn four when he lost control and ended his race on top of the safety rail. With Knott out, Robby Hornsby went on to win. Maximillian Pinto finished second and Ryan Brueckner third. Hornsby now has three of the four class wins this season.
Pro Buggy fans in round three saw Lorenzo Bonacci take the early lead but had fast qualifier Zachary Drapkin within striking distance. Those two were able to pull from the pack where most of the action was for third as Ezra Ebberts, Matthew Brister and Gunner Kennedy all wanted the position. At the checkers it was Bonacci winning and Zachary Drapkin second and Ezra Ebberts fending off the others for third. On Sunday there were a couple of false starts before the race got going and Zachary Drapkin finally took the early lead with Matthew Brister second and Lorenzo Bonacci third. Just before the mid-race caution Brister was able to take the lead. After the restart Brister maintained control of the seven car field with Drapkin second and Bonacci had pulled away from those battling for fourth. With two laps to go Bonacci moved into second and Gunner Kennedy moved Drapkin to fourth and that is how they finished.
Cole Gamma set quick time Saturday and then went on to dominate the Production 1000 class. Cody Hodgson was second and Karaston Hernandez third. On Sunday the race appeared to belong to early leader George Llamosas. Joe Collinsworth was second but dropped out on lap two and Karaston Hernandez moved into second ahead of Cole Gamma. With just two laps to go Gamma had slipped into second and when Llamosas caught a rut in turn five took the lead away. On the next lap Llamosas tired to regain the lead in turn five only to get up on the bicycle and before he could recover Hernandez took his second place. Cole Gamma took the win with Hernandez second and Llamosas third. Cole Gamma leads the series having won rounds one, three and four.
Round three Unlimited UTV action saw Kyle Ahrensberg take the win over Koen Crawford. It was Koen Crawford taking the win on Sunday. Oliver Golding in Round three was the lone Production Turbo UTV in class. On Sunday Oliver Golding took the Production Turbo UTV win over Kevin Walsh.
Cade Martin set quick time qualifying in the Mod Kart class but once the green flag came out it was Talan Martin coming from the third row on the start taking control and never looking back to make it three wins in a row. In second was G3 Argyros who trailed Martin to take second. Dane Culver had started mid-pack but worked into third by lap three and held on to take the final podium spot. There was a bad start to round four but once the pack was released it was Cade Martin taking the lead. Once out front he distanced himself from the pack which had G3 Argyros in second and Dane Culver third,. Talan Martin would move to second and G3 Argyros finished third. It was Cade Martin’s first win of the season upsetting Talan Martins three race winning streak.
The Limited Buggy class saw Shane Prescott jump out early with Carson Smith second. These two remained in order until lap eight, of the 10 lap race, when Smith would then pass to take control and hold on for the win. Second place was Prescott and Travis Howard third. Sunday’s event was much like round three as the battle was between Shane Prescott and Carson Smith with Prescott taking the checkers and Smith second. Travis Howard was third. The win for Prescott gives him two wins, to match Smith’s two wins, on the season. Jones took third. Kevin Streety was the lone 1600 desert Buggy.
Mini Stock competition saw Robert Orr take the early lead with Brent Veenstra second and Antony Csuzi third. About mid-race Csuzi would take the second spot and a couple of laps later Ryder Palmer was able to take the third from Aubree Wardip. Round four saw Anthony Csuzi take the win over Brent Veestra and Kevin Wardrip was third.
Thomas Madigan bested Brian Cannon in the Mini Open class on Saturday but positions changed on Sunday. Greg Shapiro was the lone Class 11 entry.
Plenty of racing action Saturday in the AM Ortega JR 1 Kart event. Luke Berry took control early with Brixton Wirt second and Brody Glaze third. The pack settled in for several laps then on lap eight Chase Berry took the lead with Samuel Gibbs moving into second. Then on the final lap Luke Berry took second and Brody Glaze slipped into third. So at the checker it was Chase Berry, Luke Berry then Brody Glaze. On Sunday the finishing order remained the same after Luke Berry and Chase Berry battled for the lead and pulled away from a pack battling for third. Brody Glaze who had been running fifth until lap eight managed to take the final podium spot. Luke and Chase Berry both now have two wins each on the season.
Jayden Manchester hole shot the JR 2 Kart class on Saturday but had troubles dropping to the back of the pack. This put Mikey Childress in the lead with Olive Hoover second and Aston Williams third. On lap eight Williams took the second spot then on the following lap took the lead from Childress. These two would finish in that order. Third was Bryson Benites having moved from fifth to third on the last lap. Mikey Childress took charge of the event on Sunday with Aston Williams second. These two battled for several laps before Williams made the pass stick. When the checkers flew it was Aston Williams first, Mikey Childress second and Olive Hoover third. With four races down Williams has won three to lead the series.
Aadan Aguilar took the Accredited Labs RZR 170 race from wire to wire. The second spot was fought over by Ian Torfi and Declan Shields. Torfi saw Shields take the second spot early on but was able to retake the position on lap nine and keep it under the checkers. Third was Shields. Jake Hill took control as the green flag flew and haeaded straight too the checkers on Sunday. Hill was followed across the line by Declan shields and Ian Torfi was third. Declan Shields leads the series with wins in rounds one and two.
There were two Youth 1000 entries. On the start it was George Llamosas leading Dominick Benites. The race saw Llamosas loose his lead just after the competition yellow restart. Once out front Benites pulled enough breathing room to hold on for the win. On Sunday it looked as if Benites would have another win as he led from the start with Llamosas second. Then on the final lap, final corner, Llamosas dove inside of Benites to steal the win. The win gives Llamosas three wins for the series.