By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Chico, CA
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Chico, CA -- Series point leader Pete Johnston made an aggressive outside groove pass to retake the lead from fast timer Tyler McCain on lap 14 and he raced to a $285 win in the 20 lap A Main as the previously rained out Outlaw Kart All Star Tour race was run on Friday night at Cycleland Speedway. For the 2005 season, Johnston has teamed up with Clarence Reddick to race a North Carolina built Sprint Karts Enterprises house kart sponsored by Corning Ford. He timed in 7th quick in a 47 kart field, won his heat race and then captured the dash to earn the pole position for the A Main. Johnston won the tour opener at Lakeport, then ran third at round two in Medford OR. Third starter T McCain beat Johnston to a lap 8 yellow flag, but Johnston made his incredible wall hugging pass to regain the lead on lap 14. Johnston won ahead of T McCain, who pocketed $150 while third place was worth $95 for Keith Bloom Jr. David Tarter ran fourth ahead of Mason Moore. T McCain won the tour championship in both 2003 and 2004, but is not chasing the traveling series in 2005. Sponsorship for the All Star Tour in 2005 is coming from Robinson Engineering, Care-Free Pools, A1A Performance Muffler, QRC Inc, Jimmy Sills School of Open Wheel Racing, NorCal Performance, JW Web Design, Care Free Custom Graphics and Garth Moore Insurance and Financial Services.
Both T McCain and Brian McCain were in their own karts for the first time since the Red Bluff indoor winter season and they turned the two quickest qualifying times. Since the qualifying order is determined by the tour point standings, they were two of the last karts to run and T McCain ran a 11.342 lap to top the 11.387 turned in by his older brother B McCain. That took quick time honors from early qualifier A J Kerns, who ran a 11.510. Tarter ranked fourth at 11.531 and double division racer Kyle Larson ran a 11.547. The top ten was rounded out by double division Moore, Johnston, Bloom, Colby Copeland and Brad Patchen. The teams were divided into four qualifying heats with the top four finishers advancing to the A Main. The heat winners would race a Dash for Cash to determine the starting order for the front two rows of the A Main lineup. T McCain won heat 1 with a best lap of 11.53 as Larson ran second ahead of Tyler Wolf. While battling for third, Copeland and Brett Miller got locked together, forcing them to battle from the C Main. While leading heat 2, B McCain got out of shape late in the race, fading to a sixth place finish and electing to load up. Moore got this win ahead of Cody Braund and Brent Hamilton after second place finisher James Sweeney was penalized back to 4th for a jump start. Johnston won heat 3 with a best lap of 11.80 as A J Kerns ran second ahead of Daniel Becker. Clicking off a best of 11.63, Tarter won heat 4 ahead of Bloom and Aaron Colburn. The draw for the starting order in the dash put Moore and Tarter in the front row ahead of Johnston and T McCain. Despite having an inside starting spot, Johnston was able to jump into the high line and pass everyone on the first lap. He won the Garth Moore Insurance sponsored dash ahead of Tarter, T McCain and Moore with a best lap of 11.50. Bubba Hill took the lead from Reyna Krueger on lap 13 and won the 15 lap B Main. Brian Southers made a late pass to take second and Krueger ran third ahead of Steven Gannon and B Miller. Gannon had led the first two laps before Krueger got inside him for the top spot. Taylor Simas took the lead from Sean Sheppard on lap 2 and won the 12 lap C Main. B Miller came through the pack to finish second ahead of Michael Helwig, Emalee Ramirez and Sheppard.
With their dash finish, Johnston, Tarter, T McCain and Moore held down the front two rows for the 20 lap A Main. With a thunder and lightning storm quickly approaching, the feature was run off quickly and started one kart short as female star Krueger broke on the pace laps. Johnston charged into the lead over T McCain, Tarter, Moore and Larson. Braund spun on lap 4 and the first caution fell as Wolf lost a wheel. The restart saw fifth place duelers Larson and Becker tangle. They had to restart in the rear and Colburn stalled for a lap 8 yellow flag. As the leaders raced to the caution, Johnston got out of shape coming off turn 4 and he fell back to second behind T McCain. Sweeney fell out. On the restart, Bloom took third from Tarter. Moore was now fifth ahead of Justin Grant and Austin Kerns. On lap 13, Johnston pulled alongside leader T McCain and he thrilled the crowd with his high line pass in turn 4 on lap 14 to take the lead from T McCain. Brent Hamilton had problems and it was all Johnston as he won the 20 lapper ahead of T McCain, Bloom, Tarter, Moore, Grant, Hill, Austin Kerns, John Michael Bunch, Southers and Larson. Johnston turned the quickest lap in the feature at 11.433 and T McCain had an 11.460. Bloom had the third quickest best at 11.621 and Larson ran a 11.780. Sixteen of the 21 starters finished on the lead lap.
Next up for the Outlaw Kart All Star Tour is a big three day event at Red Bluff on July 1-3. It is guaranteeing a $3000 purse and hopes to attract out of state interest.
Summary Fast Time-Tyler McCain 11.342 Dash-Pete Johnston, David Tarter, T McCain. Heat 1-T McCain, Kyle Larson, Tyler Wolf, Austin Kerns, Steven Gannon. Heat 2-Mason Moore, Cody Braund, Brent Hamilton, James Sweeney, Troy Foulger. Heat 3-Johnston, A J Kerns, Daniel Becker, Justin Grant, Bubba Hill. Heat 4-Tarter, Keith Bloom Jr, Aaron Colburn, John Michael Bunch, Reyna Krueger. C Main-Taylor Simas, Brett Miller, Michael Helwig, Emalee Ramirez, Sean Sheppard, Scott Burgess, Colby Copeland, Jimmy Pettit, Ben Hinkle, Kevin Juvenal, Brad Patchen. B Main-Hill, Brian Southers, Krueger, Gannon, Miller, Troy Combs, Kyle Johnson, Ramirez, Foulger, Mackena Bell, Christopher Phillips, Simas. A Main-Johnston, T McCain, Bloom, Tarter, Moore, Grant, Hill, Austin Kerns, Bunch, Southers, Larson, A J Kerns, Gannon, Combs, Becker, Miller, Colburn, Braund, Hamilton, Sweeney, Wolf.