JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Coyote Motorsports racers and teams had an outstanding start to the 2023 national 4-cycle sprint season January 6-8 at the historic 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Fla., for the second annual Cup Karts North America / Cup Karts South Winter Nationals.
Seventeen Coyote racers were in attendance at the first CKNA major of the year and six of those drivers collected podiums in Sunday’s 20-lap main events. In all, Coyote Zeniths collected one final win, three heat wins, a pole award and eight total podiums among the nine classes offered at the competitive three-day event.
Georgia’s Owen Lloyd won the Senior Medium final in the event’s largest division. Lloyd bested Florida’s Colin Warren to become the only driver to beat Warren in heat or final race action at the Winter Nationals. Lloyd now has eight feature wins in 10 starts between CKNA, WKA and North Florida Kart Club races since moving up to the senior ranks in late summer 2022.
The Senior Medium final had five more Coyotes in the top 10 of 35 starters.
Cincinnati, Ohio’s James Overbook finished P3 in both Senior Light and Senior Medium finals on his No. 48 Precision Performance Karting (PPK) / Coyote Zenith. Overbeck has solidified himself as one of the top senior 206 racers in the country with wins and/or top-three results at GoPro Motorplex, Daytona and 103rd Street since moving to PPK / Coyote in November.
Brandon Jarsocrak finished right behind Overbeck in the Medium final in P4. Jarsocrak’s best run in main event competition came in the Senior Light final, which saw him finish P2. The Pennsylvania native also won the RLV pole award in Medium Saturday afternoon.
Florida’s Colin Aitken has a solid weekend in his first senior event on a Coyote Zenith. Aitken was impressive with a solid P6 result in the Medium final. He ran into some problems in the Light race and finished 17th.
Christopher McKeithan was competitive all weekend in just his third event racing in senior since moving up from juniors in early December. The North Carolina junior champion came away with a P7 in the Medium final and finished just outside the top 10 with a P11 in Light.
Sean Meier finished eighth in Medium. The Jacksonville native was in contention for the Senior Heavy win when contact took him out while leading with just a few laps to go.
Chris Carroll, Anthony Dimaggio, Austin Hill and Austin Speck all competed on their Coyotes in senior divisions.
Carroll was fast in practice and qualifying but ran into more bad luck in heat and final competition. He’d DNF in the Senior Heavy final after qualifying P4 and finishing P8 in heat 2.
Genesee Valley Kart Club regular Dimaggio traveled to Jacksonville from his western New York base and ran in the Senior Light division. He’d finish 21st in the final.
Hill had a tough weekend due to an illness. The accomplished dirt racer qualified 12th in Light and 15th in Medium before sitting out heat and feature race action because he was feeling under the weather.
Speck continues to improve in his first couple seasons racing outdoor go-karts. Fresh off a 2022 NFKC class championship, Speck finished P19 in the Senior Light final after recording finishes of 16th and 18th in the heats. He also raced at WKA’s Daytona KartWeek for the first time a week earlier.
Three Coyote racers competed in the Junior division at the Winter Nationals — Carson Neel, Ronnie Klys and Mason Donahue.
Neel had the best finish of the trio in the final, finishing P8 of 18 starters.
Klys was one of the fastest juniors in attendance with a pair of P3 results in the heat races after qualifying fourth. The 2022 NFKC Junior champion was involved in lap 1 contact in the final that relegated him to a P9 result.
Donahue, another one of the top NFKC racers, was involved in the same lap 1 incident as Klys, sending him off the track in turn 1. He’d recover for a 13th-place finish but was certainly disappointed after running well in Saturday’s preliminary races.
Ronnie’s dad, Ron Klys, showed some great speed in the Masters division. Klys, who won the NFKC Masters championship last season, won Saturday night’s second heat race and returned Sunday for a solid P3 result in the final.
Jacksonville regular Kevin Medearis finished right behind Klys in the Masters main. Medearis left the Winter Nationals with a P4 finish.
WKA Gold Cup Masters champ James Inscoe finished P7 in the class’s final at the Winter Nationals. Inscoe ran the Legends division, as well, and was battling for P2 late in the race when he was involved in contact that ended his 20-lapper a few circuits early. Inscoe did win the second Legends heat on Saturday night.
Spencer Hite ran a “Kid Coyote” in the LO206 Kid Kart division and he came away with a podium finish. Hite finished P5 in the eight-kart class’s 10-lap final.
Outstanding job by all at a very competitive event to kick off the new year.
The next race many Coyote teams in the Southeast have penciled in is Cup Karts South’s Round 2 set for Feb. 3-5 at Finishline Performance Karting in Biloxi, Miss. The track is a new one on the CKNA schedule and the race will mark most drivers’ first time competing at the track located on the Gulf of Mexico shoreline.