Photos by Action Enterprises / Bruce & Susan Walls
Nicholson Speedway club officials and members welcomed the American Kart Racing Association (AKRA) to their historic sprint track nestled near the shores of the Chester River on the Delmarva Peninsula this past August 26-28 for the fourth and final round of the 2016 Vega USA American Sprint Cup Series “Northern Tour.”
Nicholson – built in the late 1950s on Earl Nicholson Road just outside of Chestertown, Maryland – offered racers a speedy quarter-mile track that can be negotiated in less than 20 seconds by some TaG racers.
Florida’s Colin Warren, who had never turned a lap on the circuit before the event, described the track as “fast and flowing” and “very smooth.” Other racers noted they enjoyed the smoothness of the track and quick layout.
Warren would be one of the top winners on the weekend. The TS Racing-backed pilot won Saturday’s 206 Senior Medium main event over New York’s Andrew Cirillo and won both days’ TaG Senior mains.
Warren also pocketed some cool cash during Saturday evening’s special Money Races. Warren won the 206 Senior Heavy $300 prize over Ohio’s Frank Sullivan and Cirillo. He also won the TaG Senior $300 over John Anderson and Vincent Dinora.
New York’s Blake Boon dominated Briggs Cadet racing at Nicholson. Boon won every round of competition in both Kart City Performance 206 Cadet and Michigan Kart Supply Pro Gas Cadet on the weekend and accomplished Northern Tour class championships in both classes.
Blake would win Saturday’s 206 Cadet main over Ohio’s Garrett Davis and Virginia’s Camden Gruber. On Sunday the P2 and P3 positions reversed as Gruber took second and Davis third.
Boon won Saturday and Sunday’s Pro Gas Cadet finals over Gruber while Gruber would win the 206 Cadet Money Race over Davis.
Blake and the Boon & Sons team now have the Jacksonville AKRA Grand Nationals in their sights as they look forward to competing against a strong field of Cadet racers in the Sunshine State this Oct. 21-23.
The potent Galena, Maryland-based Heavlow combination of Jimmy and Jake made their first AKRA appearance of the season. Jimmy Heavlow out-dueled his younger brother Jake in Saturday’s Senior Animal Money Race. Jimmy nudged past Jake in turn 1 with only a few laps to go and held on for the $300 score. Jake was second for $200 with Jacob Connors placing third for $100.
Jake Heavlow would win over Jimmy in Saturday’s competitive Stock Animal / Pro Gas Animal main event. Connors ran third behind the Heavlow’s with Kyle Weissner driving his Razor to P4 and Shannon Spry P5. Other entrants were Chris Cirillo and former national champion Travis Manning was the only entrant on a Pro Gas Animal in his first-ever AKRA appearance. A fast-running Manning would retire early with engine troubles.
On Sunday, Spry led all but the last corner of the 15-lap Stock Animal final. After leading the entire race ahead of Connors, Spry’s engine would sputter in the final set of esses, allowing Connors to shoot past on the outside and take the win. Spry would make it to the finish line for P2 ahead of Cirillo.
The Boon & Sons Comer Kid Kart division saw three youngsters enter in New York’s Colton Brown and club racers Chase Groh and Miles Masse.
Saturday’s Kid Kart contest saw Groh score the win on his Top Kart with Masse and Brown’s Coyotes in tow.
On Sunday, Brown found consistency and put his No. 23 out front for the entire 12-lap main event. Colton’s win put an exclamation point on a championship Northern Tour campaign in the Comer Kid Kart division. Colton scored wins at Avon, NY, in June and then a pair of P2 finishes at Thompson, OH, before returning to the top step of the podium at Nicholson.
Colton’s brother Jacob Brown wrapped up his TaG Junior championship season with wins at Nicholson. Jacob drove his Margay to the wins and kept close pace with TaG Senior and Masters pilots Colin Brown and John Anderson throughout the weekend.
Pennsylvania’s Roger Myers attended all four Northern Tour events this year and scored his third and fourth wins of the season in Yamaha Senior. Myers became the Northern Tour class champion in the process, and says he plans to attend the Grand Nationals at Jacksonville in October.
Ohio’s Alex Sullivan won Saturday’s Briggs & Stratton Racing 206 Junior main event with his father, Frank, scoring the IONIC Edge Chassis 206 Masters win Saturday.
John Anderson won both days’ TaG Masters finals over Derek Grebinger. Both Anderson and Grebinger plan to make the trip to Jacksonville.
Andrew Cirillo won Sunday’s 206 Senior Medium feature over Brown. The event was the first time Andrew, who comes from a karting family, had ever competed in a go-kart. He gained experience throughout the event and improved dramatically from Friday to Sunday.
A local-option class was offered at Nicholson in the Purple Plate Flathead. William Loller scored the win both days over Christopher Spray. Loller showed poise and driving talent in his first-ever competition outside a club race.
Many thanks and appreciation goes out to the fine staff and friendly racers at Nicholson Speedway for hosting a fine event. A special thanks to club president John Anderson, who has been one of the key supporters of this new program since initial talks of the series began last year. John and his group worked extremely hard to ensure a well-run event and a pristine facility.
Next up for the AKRA American Sprint Cup Series is the third and final round of the Vega USA American Sprint Cup “Southern Tour” Sept. 23-25 at the newly opened Bushnell Motorsports Park in Bushnell, Florida.
Click here for Bushnell online registration.
Pre-entry for the inaugural AKRA Sprint Grand Nationals Oct. 21-23 at 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Florida, will be open soon.