SALISBURY, N.C. – Over 100 aspiring drivers from across the United States have been accepted to compete in the Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) Giveback Classic Presented by TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) at Millbridge Speedway for the two-night event spanning from Oct. 30 to Oct. 31.
The event hit a milestone 100 entries with only three months left until the race date as officials continue to accept applications through Oct. 1.
“We hoped that we would get a lot of interest from talented drivers across the country, but we never imagined it would be this big,” said Keith Kunz, team owner of KKM. “This race began as my way of giving back to the karting community, and to receive this much interest from across the United States is incredible. We can’t wait to get out to Millbridge Speedway and watch what I’m sure will be an exciting night for everyone involved.”
With drivers hailing from 17 states, it was announced this week that Hoosier Tire has also signed on as the official tire of the KKM Giveback Classic presented by TRD. In an effort to help alleviate costs of competitors, Hoosier Tire will give away a pair of tires to the first 20 drivers that win an open class feature event from Aug. 1 through Oct. 30 if they have already completed their paid entry form.
“We could not be more proud to partner with TRD and now Hoosier Tire for this event,” said Jeremy Burnett, owner of Millbridge Speedway. “To have Hoosier come on with us and help provide some of these competitiors with a pair of tires is an incredible gesture and it will hopefully encourage more drivers to apply and come out to compete in this one-of-a-kind event.”
The unique race event held in Salisbury, North Carolina is open to non-national series drivers of outlaw karts with the winner of the main event getting a ride in a KKM-prepared, TRD-powered midget at the 33rd annual Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma next year.
Accepted entries range from 10-50 years old, including:
Brent Crews (10, North Carolina) – A native of North Carolina, Crews began kart racing at seven years old competing at GoPro Motorplex (Mooresville, North Carolina) and began dirt racing in the beginner box stock class at Millbridge Speedway a year later. Now 10 years old, he is one of the youngest entries in the KKM Giveback Classic and has plenty of experience on his side. In addition to multiple wins on dirt over the last few seasons, Crews is a seven-time national champion sprint kart driver and won the IAME International Final’s inaugural x30 Mini division title in Le Mans, France in 2017.
Anissa Curtice (16, California) – At five years old, Curtice started her career in karts, becoming a regular on the Northern California racing circuit where she has amassed eight feature wins. In addition to outlaw karts, Curtice competed in legend cars at Redwood Acres (Eureka, California) where she captured a feature event win and earned rookie of the year honors in 2017. She most recently graduated to the open wheel ranks, making her first competitive laps in a full-sized sprint car in May.
Karsyn Elledge (18, North Carolina) – A fourth-generation racer from North Carolina, Elledge began her career in karts, tallying three track championships at Millbridge Speedway in the Box Stock (2012-13) and Intermediate divisions (2013). Earlier this year, Elledge scored her first premier class win at Millbridge in outlaw karts. In addition to karts, Elledge has made starts in a limited late model and made her national midget debut in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League in May.
Colby Horn (14, Texas) – A racer at heart, Horn and his father decided to travel from Texas to Millbridge Speedway on a regular basis this summer so the young driver can get more track time before the KKM Giveback Classic. The decision has already paid off as Horn captured his first win at the North Carolina track in June. Horn began his career racing outlaw karts with his brother and won the 2016 Wild West Shootout in the Open Outlaw division at Big Sky Kartway in Montana and the Short Track Shootout at KAM Kartway in Texas earlier this year.
Duke Johnson(17, Oregon) – An Oregon native, Johnson competes on the kart circuit out west where he has captured three open karting championships. Earlier this year, Johnson was victorious at the inaugural Mini Strawberry Cup at Willamette Speedway (Vancouver, Washington) and later won the prestigious 2018 Wild West Shootout in Montana, becoming the second Oregonian to win the race.
Emilee Lowry(15, Oklahoma) – Started her racing career after winning a winged outlaw kart at the 2015 Chili Bowl Nationals for five dollars. Lowry went on to race the kart, receiving the ‘Hard Charger Award’ from Texoma Speedway (Wichita Falls, Texas) later that year. Lowry currently runs in the Outlaw 250 and Open Outlaw divisions at her home track of KAM Kartway (Rhome, Texas) where she is third and first in points, respectively.
Tyler Seavey(22, California)– In what can be deemed a breakout year, Seavey has amassed wins in the Red Bluff Outlaws championship and West Coast Nationals. In May 2018, he joined his younger brother, Logan as a winner of the QRC Open outlaw kart event at Millbridge Speedway.
Casey Starr(19, Oregon) – An Oregon resident, Starr was a competitive figure skater as a child until she opted to trade her skates in for a driver’s helmet and began racing at the age of 12. Starr has amassed over 15 event wins, including a micro sprint win at River City Speedway (St. Helens, Oregon) earlier this season. After being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in late 2015, she puts her efforts towards raising awareness for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) including having a Crohns and Colitis Awareness graphics set for the KKM Giveback Classic.
Gracie Sonntag (16, Texas) – After closing last season in the top-three in the 250 Outlaw Class, Sonntag has continued to gain karting experience, moving to the Open Outlaw division this season. Sonntag is the 2016-17 Modified Kart champion in the Midwest Racing Winter Series, finishing in the top-five of the Animal division that same season. Sonntag is a third-generation racer as her father and grandfather both raced as well.
For more information on the KKM Giveback Classic including registration information and rules, please visit http://millbridgespeedway.com/driver-info/kmm-registration/and follow @KKMClassic on Twitter. All drivers interested in winning a pair of Hoosier tires must submit their open class feature event win results to [email protected] verify they are a paid entry in order to be considered.
-Toyota Racing Development Press Release.