SALISBURY, N.C. – While Tuesday night’s preliminary program for the QRC Speed51 Open at Millbridge Speedway featured a thrilling finish, courtesy of a last-lap pass by Chase Majdic, it also featured several wild crashes as well.
Oregon’s Tanner Holmes, Texas’ Jerrod Huisenga, North Carolina’s Andrew Wehrli and California’s Anissa Curtice all endured flips during preliminary action for the Cookout Showdown, which added extra work prior to their Speed51 Open qualifying efforts.
Holmes, Wehrli and Curtice went up and over during their respective hot lap groups, while Huisenga’s crash occurred during his heat race later in the program.
Despite top-wing damage, both Holmes and Curtice were able to make repairs to their karts in time to qualify for Wednesday night’s Speed51 Open. Holmes timed in 20th overall, while Curtice was 29th.
“I just got out there and was trying to burn some good laps, because we didn’t get to practice on Monday, and I wanted to make the most of what we had,” Holmes said. “I was right on the fence a few times and had a few good laps going, but got into turn one and tried to be off the wall … and just got into it a bit too hot. I slid into the curb, it tossed the front end and drove it right up into the wall.
“It’s unfortunate, but we still battled back and got inside the top 12 in our flight, so that’s a positive as far as the invert is concerned,” he continued. “It was a solid lap and now we just have to build on it.”
Huisenga got a new, flat-metal wing affixed to his No. 77H just before two-lap time trials were set to begin, but didn’t make it to staging in time to qualify and will have to come from the back of his heat race on Wednesday night.
“I went into turn three, and I think just entered a bit too high,” Huisenga noted. “I got up on the wall, my right front dug into the wall and it just sent me around and on my lid. We fortunately have it back together now, but it was a little too late for qualifying.
“I think we’ll be alright for the big show; we just have to find a little bit of speed we’re lacking.”
Wehrli’s No. 54 was described as “used up” after his crash and he scratched out of the rest of Tuesday night’s program. It is unclear whether he will be able to return for Wednesday’s championship night.
Of note, Shane Contarino had both a spill and a thrill on Tuesday. He caught the cushion and tipped onto his side during pace laps for the 12-lap Beginner Box Stock B-Feature, but came back to win the race.
Feature action for the 2019 QRC Speed51 Open kicks off Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
-Millbridge Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo