Racers heat up streets of Inverness
Inverness, Fla (November 17, 2018) – Nearly 70 racers from across the eastern part of the United States converged on the fan-lined streets of downtown Inverness Saturday hoping to win the Eighth Annual Inverness Grand Prix.
The only kart street race in the southeast, the IGP race included a challenging 3/8-mile race course that snaked its way through the streets of downtown Inverness with five turns and saw speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour.
“I think it is cool that they shut the streets down for us,” Raymond Leonard said.
Leonard traveled from New Hampshire to compete.
“This was my second trip down here for the Inverness Grand Prix,” he said. Last year he broke in qualifying. This year, Leonard was able to not only win his qualifying event, but take the Tag title for 2018.
Seven karts started the feature event with Leonard on the pole. He wasted little time in securing the lead but after two laps fell to a familiar competitor.
“I knew I had some other New England boys here,” he said noting that he had raced with Jimmy Glich last year. “I knew he was going to be a tough competitor.”
By lap No. 3, Glich was in contention to take over the helm.
“I got loose and he passed me,” Leonard said. “A few laps later I passed him back.”
Leonard went on to win the event over Weston Duchak, Brian Duchak, Dylan Ragstad and Scott Mitchelltree, respectively. Glich finished sixth.
“It really went well all day,” Leonard said of his No. 331 Apex Kart Sports sponsored kart. It ran well and went fast. “I plan on coming back next year. I gotta defend my title.”
For second place Weston Duchak, “the course was very bumpy and abusive, but a very good track to run and definitely a fun track.”
“It was something different,” Brian Duchak said. “(The Inverness Grand Prix is) a great thing for the racers, the fans and the sport.” Brian Duchak finished third behind his nephew Weston Duchak in the Tag division.
“It was a perfect day for a one of a kind street race around the courthouse square,” Sharon Skeele-Hogan said. Hogan is Director of Special Events for the City of Inverness. “The drivers were thrilled with the challenges of the track.”
Enthusiasm of the IGP was evident from competitor posts throughout the event’s facebook page and emails.
“Team 62 had a blast!,” one post read. “Can’t wait to do it again! THANK YOU to all involved in running such an awesome event!! Great job!!!”
“THANK YOU to ALL of the Inverness Grand Prix 2018 Crew for ALL you did to give us such a great experience!” Stacy Lynn wrote. “What a wonderful job you all did in running such a fun family event! It was our first time at this event running in the Senior Champ Class but it will not be our last for sure!! We had the best time! Great people…Great racing…Great time!!! Cant wait for next year!!”
“The townspeople and competitors were fantastic, the town quaint, what else could you ask for?” said Kevin Duchak.
“Great way to start the Thanksgiving Holiday,” said Lynn. “Especially when you start in victory lane. CONGRATS to all of the winners.”
Other race action included The IGP Heavy and Medium divisions in a blended race to make one 11-kart field with Larry Sampson taking the IGP Medium division after race winner Nick White was disqualified in the post-race technical inspection. Jamie Whealton and last year’s Junior Predator champion Trenton Henick rounded out the top three. Carl Whitehouse topped the IOGP Heavy division over Daniel Gray, David Cook, Greg Johnson and Josh Smith. Last year’s Junior-Clone champion, Lacy Kuehl, fell shy of a win after Cooper Gail was able to take the IPG Junior division wire-to-wire. Kuehl finished second ahead of Jaycee Reeves.
John Whealton took the IGP Masters event flag-to-flag as well to finish the event over Graham Kimbel, Hector Rodriguez, Ryan Harp and Joe Carter.
Peyton Carroll held off Paco Gonzalez to win the Senior Champ BSP Clone division. Craig Coleman, Angelo Nizzardo and Joe Kornacki rounded out the top five.
Carl Whitehouse was the eventual winner of the Yamaha Challenge after the unnamed driver of the No. 33 kart was disqualified in the post-race technical inspection just after he took the checkered flag. Tom Boddie Sr. finished second, Happy Hudskins third, Jake White fourth, and Justin Greene fifth. Greene had topped the Yamaha Animal Challenge division in 2017.
Chris Sine and Jake White battled side-by-side all day and finished one-two with Sine with the win and White disqualified in tech. Bob Anderson moved to second, Tyler Ulrich third, BJ Lopez fourth, and Lou Cordova fifth.
The AKD Modified win went to Liam Davis over Shane Betow, Rick Knechtel, Amber Knechtel and Brandon Watson. Last year’s champion, Tom Mitchell, fell short of a top five and finished sixth.
“Our success is due to our amazing volunteers, track staff returning year after year and making improvements every step of the way and the commitment the City of Inverness makes to the event,” said Dawn Rogers. Rogers served as Race Coordinator for the event. “Most importantly we are thankful for our drivers that return to us each year. They truly enjoy running in the Grand Prix and look forward to our unique event each year.”
The Ninth Annual Inverness Grand Prix is set to hit the streets of Inverness Saturday November 16, 2019.
Proceeds from the Inverness Grand Prix & Motorsports Festival benefit local Filter Youth Development which provides local children and families with mentoring build strong healthy relationships.
Inverness Grand Prix
Saturday, November 17, 2018
- (331) Raymond Leonard*
- (291) Weston Duchak
- (290) Brian Duchak
- (00) Dylan Ragstad
- (69) Scott Mitchelltree
- (9) Jim Glich
- (216) Evan Mitchelltree
DIVISION STATS: 7 cars. 8 laps. Race Leaders: (331) Raymond Leonard, laps 1,2, 5-8; (9) Jim Glitch, laps 3,4. *Qualifying Race Winner.
- (5) Larry Sampson*
- (66) Jamie Whealton
- (60x) Trenton Henick
- (107) Carl Whitehouse
- (12) Daniel Gray
- (81) David Cook
- (20) Greg Johnson
- (123) Josh Smith*
- (711) Wayne Heater, did not start
IGP MEDIUM/IGP HEAVY BLENDED DIVISION STATS: 11 cars. 8 laps. Race Leaders: (5) Larry Sampson, laps 1-4; (12) Nick White, laps 5-8. *Qualifying Race Winner. Post-race technical inspection disqualifications: (12) Nick White, (94) Keenan Burr.
- (88) Cooper Gaul*
- (4) Lacy Kuehl
- (31) Jaycee Reeves
- (12) Nick White, did not start
DIVISION STATS: 4 cars. 8 laps. Race Leaders: (88) Cooper Gaul, laps 1-8. *Qualifying Race Winner.
- (26) John Whealton*
- (912) Graham Kimble
- (89) hector Rodriguez
- (8) Ryan Harp
- (76) Joe Cartier
- (01) Chris Dougherty, did not start
DIVISION STATS: 6 cars. 8 laps. Race Leaders: (26) John Whealton, laps 1-8. *Qualifying Race Winner.
Senior Champ BSP Clone
- (62) Peyton Carroll*
- (81) Paco Gonzalez
- (4) Craig Coleman
- (71) Angelo Nizzardo
- (58) Joe Kornacki
- (5) Donnie Golgan
- (17) Harold Robers
- (62d) David Carroll
- (54) Robert Brennan, did not start
- (88) Sabrina Heffner, did not start
DIVISIONS STATS: 10 cars. 8 laps. Race Leaders: (62) Peyton Carroll, laps 1-8. *Qualifying Race Winner.
- (192) Carl Whitehouse
- (69) Tom Boddie Sr.
- (78) Happy Hudskins
- (F97) Jake White
- (87) Justin Greene
- (02) Chuck Bonic
- (62) Frank George
- (60x) Trenton Henick
DIVISION STATS: 9 cars. 8 laps. Race Leaders: (192) Carl Whitehouse, laps 1-5; (33) no name provided*, laps 6-8. *Qualifying Race Winner.
- (112) Tom Kent
- (413) Elizabeth Phillips
- (912) Graham Kimble
DIVISION STATS: 7 cars. 8 laps. Race Leaders: (112) Tom Kent, laps 1-8. Post-race technical inspection disqualifications: (521) Jack Brooks, (50) Charlie Beetow, (14) Amber Knechtel*, (24) Jacob Rose *Qualifying Race Winner.
Senior Champ Briggs/Animal
- (91) Chris Sine
- (4) Bob Anderson
- (16) Tyler Ulrich
- (24) BJ Lopez
- (69) Lou Cordova
- (22) Justin Schron
- (43) Craig Coleman, did not start
- (66) Jeff Sine, did not start
- (1) Robert Schultz, did not start
DIVISION STATS: 10 cars. 8 laps. Race Leaders: 91, laps 1-8. Post-race technical inspection disqualifications: (F97) Jake White*. *Qualifying Race Winner.
- (5) Liam Davis
- (21) Shane Betow
- (51) Rick Knechtel
- (14) Amber Knechtel
- (18) Brandon Watson
- (40) Tom Mitchell
- (85) Kasey Gouge*
- (112) Tom Kent
- (23) Butch Martin
DIVISION STATS: 9 cars. 8 laps. Race Leaders: 5, laps 1-8. *Qualifying Race Winner.