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Octane Raceway Phoenix, AZ - Baca Jr. Opens Summer League With A Victory
Racing NewsOctane Raceway kicked off the 2012 Summer racing Leagues Tuesday July 10 to start yet another exciting 10 race series that will culminate in crowning the series “Champion” come Sunday Sept. 9.

Returning to the leagues and hoping to capture his 8th Championship in a row is Chaz Baca Jr. Sport Kart league racers, Kyler Repella, Steve Lattanzi, Keith Sears, Charles Crowe, Mike McClaran, Austin Kipp, Scott Lodding, Josh Lambeth, Cody Gutierrez, Brian Landry, Philip Schroeder and a host of others are gunning for the reigning Champ and hope to pry Baca’s deathgrip on winning it all again. This could the season for change and the best bets will be placed with Kyler Repella, who up to now has been a bit of a protége’ of Baca. Repella finished 2nd overall in the 2012 Spring league and now it’s time for him to step out of the runner up shadows and into the Champions limelight.

Twenty seven racers ponied up 50 George Washingtons each to compete in a 5 lap qualifier, 30 lap Heat and a 50 lap Main over the course of two hours on Track 1 c/w for their Q/Ht and c/c/w for their Main. Getting to pilot two different karts is just one of the ways Competition Director, Steve “Kandyman” Lattanzi, keeps it fun and interesting. Weight equalizing to 200# is the other great equalizer so that driver talent behind the wheel is what takes you to the front and not weighing 25, 50 or even 100 lbs less.

The excellent kart mechanics give each and every kart the once over minutes prior to the start and make every effort to have all 25 karts as equal as possible. Since we only use up to 14 karts at any given time a careful process of kart selection happens too. Off the competition pace and rocket karts are assigned to the general public racing track for the night. Always amazes me to see or hear of a kart off pace for one driver who finishes at the back only to see that same kart capture pole in the hands of another. Chaz Baca Jr has proven that just about any kart can be driven to its full potential and that is why we no longer allow kart changes unless there is a complete mechanical breakdown which rarely if ever happens. We did have one kart in competition that had a minor motor malfunction and removed before the Mains. I hear there wasn’t enough Armor All on the tires.

Two groups entered the field of competition with Group 1 Q/Ht, seeing a win by none other than 7 time league Champion, Chaz Baca Jr, followed by Mike McClaran and Steve Lattanzi. Group 2 Q/Ht saw Kyler Repella take the win over, returning racer, Austin Kipp and league regular Cody Gutierrez. Chaz Baca Jr (22.457) will start from pole in the “A” Main by posting a best lap time in the heat over Kyler Repella(22.489).

Starting from the pole position in the “B” Main is, all the way from Prescott, Greg Gillum, who is one of Octane Raceway’s best customers and his son Sam is leading the points race in the current Jr League.

Sam Gillum is the reigning Champion of the inaugural Jr League which ended back in May of 2012.

Back to the “B” Main where once the race started and settled into a rhythm, NASA Pres, Tage Evanson took over the lead only to have up and coming league superstar, Brian Landry make a move to the #1 spot and keep it all the way to the Checkered Flag. Tage had whispered something about not wanting to win the “B” Main, and racing another 50 laps, but once the helmet went on and the race started that comment went right out the imaginary window. Brian’s win just goes to show you practice will get you to the front. Brian is at Octane on a very regular basis and is making excellent use of his Titanium Membership. He wheeled a kart around the tracks of Octane to the tune of 243 races in 2011 and was our #6 on the top 50 members list to be granted a FREE Titanium Membership from July 2012 to July 2013. $10.00 races all day every day and he can bring a guest and have them race at the same rate. Congratulations Brian on many fronts but for also winning the “B” Main which then put him into the “A” Main for another 50 laps. How do you spell exhilarated? B-R-I-A-N! Top 3 finish order for the “B” Main was Brian Landry…Tage Evanson…Greg Gillum.

I do want to take this opportunity to thank all the new to indoor Sport kart racing that threw their collective helmets into the ring of the 2012 Summer league. Craig Abraham…Jason Griepentrog…Tage Evanson…Scott Swayzee…Ben Holladay…Tysen Zimmerman…Michael Bryant…Matt Olden…Jason Olden…Brian Beck. All future graduates from the “B” Main into the “A” Main.

The line up for the “A” Main had some familiar names like Chaz Bac Jr on pole, Kyler Repella, (P2) and recent return to competition Austin Kipp, who is the fastest tall person I know, starting from P3.

Race went as expected with the top 3 finishing as they started. Baca…Repella…Kipp. The finish order for 4th thru 14 is as follows: Steve Lattanzi…Mike McClaran…Cody Gutierrez…Chris Wynne…Josh Lambeth…Keith Sears…Scott Lodding…Philip Schroeder…Charles Crowe…Ronald Jones…and a very happy but tired Brian Landry. Two Mains back to back beat a double dose of sleep aid Ambien any day!
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