CONCORD, N.C. — Precision Performance Karting attended the third annual Cup Karts North America Spring Nationals March 3-5 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where 375 race entries made the event what will likely be the second largest 4-cycle sprint race of the year behind only CKNA’s Grand Nationals at New Castle Motorsports Park each fall.
In only a few short years of existence, the Spring Nationals has become one of the few can’t-miss events on each season’s schedule for Briggs 206 racers across North America. The first two editions in 2021 and 2022 each attracted over 300 race entries and this year’s event was the biggest yet.
Three divisions — Junior, Senior Light and Senior Medium — each saw more than 60 drivers attempt to qualify with last-chance-qualifying races bringing feature starting fields down to 50. In all, approximately 375 race entries were tabulated among only nine classes.
Dozens of Coyote Motorsports racers attended the event. While we don’t have official statistics, we’d guess there were more Coyotes racing at Charlotte this year than any other chassis manufacturer — American or foreign.
In the PPK camp, Austin Hill, Brandon Jarsocrak, Christopher McKeithan and James Overbeck carried the banner in Senior Light and Medium, Chris Carroll in Senior Heavy, and PPK / Coyote newcomer Cade Jaeger of Wisconsin made his first-ever start with our team.
Jaeger had an outstanding showing. He’d qualify P2 of 62 entrants in Saturday morning’s Junior time trial, and go on to heat finishes of P2 and P1 in the afternoon.
Cade would start pole in Sunday’s 16-lap Junior final and enter the race as one of the favorites. He slipped back at the start and maintained P4 throughout most of the contest. One competitor would get past Cade on the last lap, but he’d hold on for a solid P5 result to round out the podium in a very impressive weekend.
Carroll of Summerville, S.C., was one of the top drivers in Heavy throughout the event. Carroll would qualify P5 of 46 entrants and battle in the lead group in both heat races on his way to finishes of P4 and P6 in the prelims.
In the final Carroll raced in a competitive pack of at least a half-dozen drivers battling for third though about 10th and come away with a P6 result for his best Spring Nationals finish to date.
McKeithan was strong and steady once again in his first few months running with PPK on a Coyote Zenith. He’d set the fastest lap of the race with a 47.057 in the Senior Medium final on his way to a fine P4 result of 50 starters. The North Carolina native would add a P8 finish in the Senior Light main event.
Hill was fast at Charlotte a year ago and he was good again in 2023. The Florida speedway dirt kart veteran notched a couple of top-10 runs in the two toughest classes. He’d finish 10th in Light and ninth in Medium.
Jarsocrak entered Medium only and he promptly put his No. 138 PPK / Zenith on the pole over 64 competitors in Saturday qualifying. The Pennsylvania native would win the first odd group heat, finish P3 in the second heat and round out the top five in the final, crossing the stripe right behind teammate McKeithan.
Overbeck ran into some bad luck during Saturday’s qualifying races and opted to regroup and sit out Sunday’s program.
Upcoming national and regional 206 sprint events for PPK and Coyote Motorsports racers include —
March 31-April 2: Cup Karts South at Monticello Karting in Florida.
April 14-16: Cup Karts Northeast at Oakland Valley in New York.
April 14-16: WKA Gold Cup North at New Castle in Indiana.
April 21-23: Cup Karts North at Motorsports Country Club in Ohio.