The second round of the U.S. Title Series proved to be as hot as the weather was this weekend at Lake Springfield. Even with the hot weather, the crowd was good both days and with the trees were well used for shade.
Brady Brinkman and Ashton Caferelli were all about the fun in K-Pro with Ashton brand new to the USTS was very good on his starts, and did yeoman work at the judges stand when not running, our thanks to he and dad Brian for joining up with us. Ashton was able to finish all 4 heats and Brady had trouble starting in the 4th and final to give Ashton the leg up.
Kurt Nydahl carried his hot streak from Europe back to the United States as after running second in the world championships in Italy, Kurt was not going to let that go to his head and he wanted to let us all know he was fast, and indeed he did. You cannot find a more pleasant and self-effacing young man than Kurt, just a pleasure to be around, but he is absolutely on fire on the race course. Young Kurt easily took the 350 class, but not without a fight from his equally pleasant but driven sister Amy. In the third heat they were fighting it out for the lead when Amy went way wide going into the corner and at first I thought she might have had engine trouble and settled to the outside the rest of the race for a third in that heat. What happened was the throttle cable was sticking wide open and she was giving everyone room. Good job Amy. Marc Larose in a brand new 350, had only Friday to sort through it, but did a great job to finish with a win in the third heat and 2nd overall
We ran only one heat of 250’s as in the heat, both JJ Walls and Paul Bosnich hit something that opened up both boats, while two others had catastrophic motor issues leaving only two others to run. Tim Small found himself in that familiar first spot after the heat as he, Rich Krier and Paul Bosnich finished with Paulie limping in with damage right at the seam on his runabout.
Well this one it seemed no one really wanted to take it from gun jumping by the Krier brothers in one heat after Mike took home the first heat, to engine problems for Rich Krier, JJ Walls, Tim Small twice in the same front straight away area, the engine gave up, to Brian Payn, exploding his, to finally it came down to the last heat, winner takes it all. The 2017 National Champion in the Brinkman, B&B Electric entry put his tag on the las heat with a win for the overall take.
David Tenney had a good run for the title as in one of the heats, everyone jumped the gun and so we were down to two heats of racing. David took care of business with Briana Payn in really her first year of racing the 175H class took the 2nd position, great job by her with her partner on the dis-staff side Baylee Burkland taking the 3rd spot. Love the number of young women who are racing with the Title Series and they ask for no quarter and give none, exactly as it should be.
Wow, was this a goofy but wonderful experience for Lyndsay McGrath as she took home her first win and was promptly given the first-time winners bath by her grandfather Tim, and then by second place finisher Parker Thirlby during the awards ceremony no less. Brianna Payn finished on the podium as well. In this case we had the thorn between the two roses.
250H was as competitive as ever as 9 hit the water as the song said Smoke on the Water was very appropriate. Eric Schmidt went on a tear in the second heat as he started toward the back of the pack, but slowly and surely, he picked each competitor off as he crossed the finish line for a second heat win.
In the third heat, Eric knew the cast would try to snooker him up early to the starting line, but he would have none of it and hung back to ensure he would be legal at the start and then a matter of finishing. Taking nothing from Zach Larose though who had trouble in the first two heats, pulled the lead on the stout field as they came out of the first turn, and was never headed as he actually was pulling away from the field. Kurt and Amy Nydal, had issues with both finding themselves watching from the water as boats went by, or on the beach with engine problems. Not to take a thing away from an awesome effort by Chris Hellesten, celebrating his birthday this weekend with us, and his nephew, doing better and better with each race, Kevin Ellison.
500R or should I say 440R
Tim Small using the GRM 2 cylinder motor ran off 3 straight heat wins with the first heat having to be re-run as new to the USTS Marty Thayer, driving the Wright Roof Entry for Pat Wright, dumped in the bottom corner and was ok, but in a precarious position. Marty would come back in the 3rd heat for a 4th place finish. Marty a national champ in the Modified division, hopefully we have him hooked now. Eric Van Over subbing in the runabouts this weekend as well as regular duties behind the wheel of the Thrilby Automotive Capsule, showed himself adaptive as he captured 2nd and Pete Voss with two podium finishes this weekend for third. Andrew Thirlby of the Thirlby Automotive group, showed himself and Ole Scoot, to be human after all. Andrew having tremendous year had won all of his classes up to this point, however with motor problems, unable to complete a heat. Fran Johnson, driving for Dad Marcus did quite well for the first time out in a bit as he joined up with the traveling circus known as USTS.
Eric Van Over
Andrew Thirlby once again defending the unbeaten record of M-16 up to this point found himself out front with teammate Eric Van Over for 2nd and the venerable Pete Voss for 3rd. Andrew took back to back heat wins in a boat painted up with the same number as his Grand Father Ed used in his heyday. Wonderful tribute Andrew.
We ran 4 heats, two day and Doug Hall came out on top as in the 3rd heat the winner of the two previous heats, Eric Van Over, hurt the motor big time and was unable to run the 3rd and 4th heats. Not to take anything away from the long time National Champion in Doug Hall, the GRM was fast and Doug showed the crowd the speed in that Pugh hydro. Jake Hoffert driving a steady Eddie three heats and Eric Van Over shared the podium.
It ain’t over till it’s over as they say and David Tenney would be in complete agreement with that as David finished the first two heats out front with ease, followed by Rex Bayer in each heat. Ahh, but the beauty of Title Series racing is 3 heats and as the third lap was about to be completed by David, the motor let go and he found himself watching your Rex go on to win the 3rd heat and take the win overall. Congrats to Rex, they were struggling mightily on Friday and could not get a decent run, but all that frustration went by the wayside in a hurry on Sunday. First win and a bath to boot. Jon Wienandt drove to the third place finish, despite some motor issues.
Our thanks to our leader Todd Brinkman and his bride Diane for a great meal and party on Friday evening and for his leadership with the Title Series. Great job BOSS!!!!
Also our crew with, Sue Sailer, Denise, and our crew on the judges stand, Paul, BIG PAL, Bosnich, Rick Jedwabny, the everywhere Slider, and the whole Brinkman crew, many thanks for a heck of an effort.