SALISBURY, N.C. -- Max McLaughlin romped to victory on a historic anniversary during opening night for Millbridge Speedway’s weekly winged outlaw kart series on Wednesday.
Eight years to the day after his first outlaw kart win at the sixth-mile dirt oval, McLaughlin returned to victory lane with a dominant performance, leading all 20 laps of the headlining Open division feature.
McLaughlin started from the outside pole, but took the lead with a turn-one slide job of polesitter Carson Kvapil on the opening lap and never looked back after that.
“That was tougher than I thought it might be,” McLaughlin noted in victory lane. “I’m used to running the top around here; it’s probably been 2014 or 2015 since I ran the bottom at this place. It’s cool to be back. This is just my second outlaw kart race in probably three years, and I can’t thank Harold Wiggins and everyone at Phantom Racing Chassis enough. This is one of the best pieces I’ve driven out here.”
Now a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rookie for Hattori Racing Enterprises, McLaughlin has spent the last few years on the Super DIRTcar Series with Heinke-Baldwin Racing but has never forgotten his roots.
“It’s always fun to go to victory lane in anything, but I love coming back and racing outlaw karts because it’s where I started,” McLaughlin said. “I always thought it was a really good learning tool for the higher levels of racing, and I feel like it’s proving that between me, the Kvapil kids and a few others. It’s fun.”
Kvapil crossed the line in second ahead of younger brother Caden, with Tom Hubert rallying back from an early spin to finish fourth.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West moonlighter Austin Reed completed the top five.
A hotly-contested Intermediate class main event saw Gavan Boschele take the lead, then nearly lose it in the final moments before the checkered flag before finally parking his No. 11 in victory lane.
Boschele slid race-long leader Landon Rapp for the top spot in traffic with three laps left, pulling away and appearing to be on his way to victory. However, several slower cars got crossed up in front of him in turn three coming to the checkered flag, causing Boschele to spin and putting his winning run in doubt.
The young gun kept his car going, though, holding the lead and holding off a final-lap challenge from Rapp on the ensuing restart to take down the victory.
“When I saw Landon go to the top, I just took it to the inside and held the pedal to the floor,” Boschele laughed. “I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but I wanted that win bad. Thankfully we got it done.”
Rapp came home second, followed by Matt Francis, Trevor Cline and Aidan Turner.
It was all Biscuit Williams in Box Stock action, as the driver of the PRC No. 17 led from start to finish to capture his first win of the year and back up a four-win performance from the Wednesday series last season.
Williams never trailed and beat Landon Sartain, Colt Currie, CJ Sweatt and Aidan Turner to the checkered flag.
Finally, Brody Snyder ran his Wednesday night winning streak to five in a row with a perfect performance, pacing all 15 laps en route to the victory. He won the final four features last fall.
Snyder held off a late charge from Jaxon Merrifield, with Colt Johnson, Carson Allen and Caleb Scarborough completing the front five.
Kolson Nelson won the Beginner Box Stock B-main on Wednesday night.
RESULTS: Millbridge Speedway Opening Night; March 13, 2019
Beginner Box Stock Heat #1 (8 laps, top three transfer): 1. Brody Snyder, 2. Cooper Reynolds, 3. Anderson Sagur / 4. Blake Cox, 5. Davin Roberts, 6. Kolson Nelson, 7. Brody Measmer.
Beginner Box Stock Heat #2 (8 laps, top three transfer): 1. Jaxon Merrifield, 2. Carson Allen, 3. Karter Beattie / 4. Sam Overmyer, 5. Wyatt Snyder, 6. Chase Johnston, 7. Jonathan Paulk.
Beginner Box Stock Heat #3 (8 laps, top three transfer): 1. Colt Johnson, 2. Caleb Scarborough, 3. Landon Trent / 4. Brayden Monteith, 5. Sophia Burris, 6. Grayson Price, 7. Tyler Buzze.
Box Stock Heat #1 (8 laps, top four transfer): 1. Aidan Turner, 2. Nathan Meendering, 3. Colt Currie, 4. Kynzer Flynn / 5. Coen McDaniel, 6. Morgan Burbas, 7. Cameron Cox, 8. Avery Cox.
Box Stock Heat #2 (8 laps, top four transfer): 1. Biscuit Williams, 2. Tony Polce Jr., 3. Chase Spaulding, 4. Josh Souza / 5. Aiden Price, 6. Cassidy Keitt, 7. CJ Sweatt, 8. Ryan Case.
Box Stock Heat #3 (8 laps, top four transfer): 1. Dallas Griggs, 2. Ryan Zima, 3. Landon Sartain, 4. Jett Rolewicz / 5. Lucas Sandifer, 6. Landon Totherow, 7. Tyler Dolack, 8. Brianna Lawson.
Box Stock B-Main (12 laps, top four transfer): 1. Aiden Price, 2. Coen McDaniel, 3. Cassidy Keitt, 4. CJ Sweatt / 5. Lucas Sandifer, 6. Morgan Burbas, 7. Tyler Dolack, 8. Landon Totherow, 9. Ryan Case, 10. Brianna Lawson, 11. Cameron Cox, 12. Avery Cox.
Intermediate Heat #1 (8 laps, all transfer): 1. Gavan Boschele, 2. Laci Ferno, 3. Sam Corry, 4. Jaiden Reyna, 5. Will Boprey, 6. Hunter Aiken, 7. Eli Adams.
Intermediate Heat #2 (8 laps, all transfer): 1. Landon Rapp, 2. Matt Francis, 3. Ethan Burdett, 4. Trevor Cline, 5. Aidan Turner, 6. Kennedy Elledge.
Open Class Heat #1 (8 laps, all transfer): 1. Carson Kvapil, 2. Caden Kvapil, 3. Clark Houston, 4. Sam Platt, 5. Nick O’Dell, 6. Gray Leadbetter.
Open Class Heat #2 (8 laps, all transfer): 1. Max McLaughlin, 2. Tom Hubert, 3. Andrew Wehrli, 4. Austin Reed, 5. Joey Robinson, 6. Nick Brand.
Beginner Box Stock B-Feature (12 laps): 1. Kolson Nelson, 2. Davin Roberts, 3. Grayson Price, 4. Chase Johnston, 5. Tyler Buzze, 6. Jonathan Paulk, 7. Brody Measmer, 8. Sophia Burris.
Beginner Box Stock A-Feature (15 laps): 1. Brody Snyder, 2. Jaxon Merrifield, 3. Colt Johnson, 4. Carson Allen, 5. Caleb Scarborough, 6. Cooper Reynolds, 7. Landon Trent, 8. Anderson Sagur, 9. Brayden Monteith, 10. Wyatt Snyder, 11. Sam Overmyer, 12. Karter Beattie, 13. Blake Cox.
Box Stock A-Feature (20 laps): 1. Biscuit Williams, 2. Landon Sartain, 3. Colt Currie, 4. CJ Sweatt, 5. Aidan Turner, 6. Aiden Price, 7. Cassidy Keitt, 8. Jett Rolewicz, 9. Dallas Griggs, 10. Josh Souza, 11. Kynzer Flynn, 12. Nathan Meendering, 13. Ryan Zima, 14. Coen McDaniel, 15. Tony Polce Jr., 16. Chase Spaulding.
Intermediate A-Feature (20 laps): 1. Gavan Boschele, 2. Landon Rapp, 3. Matt Francis, 4. Trevor Cline, 5. Ethan Burdett, 6. Jaiden Reyna, 7. Sam Corry, 8. Laci Ferno, 9. Eli Adams, 10. Kennedy Elledge, 11. Will Boprey, 12. Aidan Turner, 13. Hunter Aiken.
Open Class A-Feature (20 laps): 1. Max McLaughlin, 2. Carson Kvapil, 3. Caden Kvapil, 4. Tom Hubert, 5. Austin Reed, 6. Nick O’Dell, 7. Sam Platt, 8. Andrew Wehrli, 9. Nick Brand, 10. Joey Robinson, 11. Clark Houston, 12. Gray Leadbetter.
-Millbridge Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Jacob Seelman