Devin Mauk

2006 Season

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2006 NTK Rotax Junior Champion!

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Photo Courtesy of Photos etc.

     Overall, Devin had a pretty good first year in Rotax Jr.  Highlights would have to include qualifying on the pole for his first race, a regional event, despite being the youngest driver on the grid and being up against national caliber competition like David Holland and Gabriel Bargas.  He even went wheel to wheel with David for a few laps and beat him in the prefinal, and then Devin finished 2nd in the final.  Another highlight was taking pole position in the rain in Tulsa in October, despite several of his competitors having more rain experience and set-up practice than us.  Devin went on to win the event, taking his first regional win in Rotax Jr.
     We ran a total of 27 races in 2006.  Of those, Devin qualified on the pole in over half of them, 14 to be exact.  Of the regional events we  raced in, Devin took pole in 4 out of 7 events, and won one.  Of the 27 races, Devin took home 12 wins, and for the 4th year in a row won more races in his class at NTK than all of the other Rotax Jr. drivers combined!  In addition to his 12 wins, he got 7 second place finishes, and 1 third, giving him 20 podiums out of 27 races! 
     As the fall series progressed at NTK, Devin was frequently faster than most (and sometimes all) of the Rotax International competitors.  Devin also set the fastest Rotax Jr. times of the year at NTK, and was only about a third of a second off of the recorded track record.
     Low points:  Waco, we could just not get a handle on this track; engine tuning and jetting issues that would plague us intermittantly until the fall; being too young to go to the Grand Regionals and Grand Nationals, despite being competitive with those who qualified by virtue of age; not converting those regional poles into wins that could have given us the championship.
     We have to consider the year a success.  To be competitive right out of the box says a lot about Devin's drive, as well as his driving.  We treated the year as practice for next year when we get to compete on a national level.  We had more ups than downs, and are looking forward to the start of next year's racing! 

Fall 7 @ NTK, Nov 12, 2006  Devin finished out the year on a high note, winning this race by taking pole position by half a second, winning the prefinal, and winning the final.  Tonights win gave Devin a clean sweep in the NTK Fall series, as he won all 7 of 7 races.  The day was not without excitment, though, as Devin was squeezed off of the track in practice by a senior rookie, which resulted in Devin destroying a front wheel and bending a spindle.  However, even this could not stop Devin tonight, and after replacing the wheel, straightening the spindle, and doing a quick realignment on the kart, he still went out and dominated, setting a fast time on his last lap that was faster than the best Rotax International time set today (based on scoring and timing), and being the only Junior driver to get into the 38 second range.  An overview of our year will be coming soon.

Fall 6 @ NTK, Oct. 29, 2006  It was a beautiful but windy Texas day for this race, and it was another good one for Devin.  His first of three qualifying laps was good enough for the pole (but the next two laps were faster), and he led every lap of the prefinal to take the checkered flag over 4 seconds ahead of second place Clint Korte.  In the final, Clint took the lead going into turn 2, but Devin repassed him in turn 7 of the first lap, then proceeded to increase his lead every lap until Clint went off with a mechanical around lap 7.  This moved Andrew Foster up into 2nd place.  Despite a comfortable lead, Devin continued to push and again set his new personal best lap at NTK, turning in a 38.590 second lap.  This race continued Devin's streak of winning every race so far in the Fall NTK series. 

Fall 5 @ NTK, Oct. 22, 2006  I did flagman duties for this race, so Devin was running without me but had help from Greg Clarke (and many others) if he needed it.  Even without me there to help during the race, Devin went out and qualified on the pole, then led every lap of both the pre-final and final to take the win for the night.  Again, thanks to Greg and all the other guys who offered to help Devin at this race.  This was also Clayton Auston's last race in the class before moving up to a senior class, and we will miss racing against him but will still get to see him and Richard at the track.  We will gain a new competitor to the class, Azaly Marquez, who bought Clayton's Jr. motor, and we look forward to competing against her.

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Devin taking the checkered flag for the win in the rain in the KART Regional Race at JRP Raceway

K.A.R.T. Regional #7 @ Tulsa, Ok, Oct. 16, 2006  What a weekend!  Saturday practice was run under beautiful blue, dry skies, and Devin was running quite well.  After a few runs and with "practice" tires, Devin was able to set a time faster than our previous best at this track, and was the fastest Rotax Jr. of the day until Gabriel went out in one of the last sessions with fresher tires and bested our time by .06 seconds.  Having a brand new set of tires in the trailer, we felt we were in good shape, but we also knew that the day was going to be a waste as far as set-up since it was not a question of "if" it would rain on Sunday raceday, but how much it would rain.  As expected, we woke up Sunday morning to rain, and that would be the conditions all day, the track never getting a chance to dry with showers rolling through all day, gray overcast skies, and temperatures hovering around 59F.  With only three practices of less than 10 minutes each, and having three competitors that had the advantage of a bunch of rain practice and set-up info at the Rotax Grand Regionals and Grand Nationals that we were not eligible to compete in because of Devin's age (he was the youngest driver in the class in this series), we knew we had our work cut out for us.  After the first practice we were, as expected, towards the back of the pack.  The second practice saw us move up towards the front, and the third and final practice has us close to second, but well behind Gabriels best time.  With great input from Devin, I made a couple of adjustments before qualifying, and Devin went out and won the pole with a time over .25 seconds faster than second place on the grid, almost half a second faster than his previous best, and a slow time that was about a hundredth of a second slower than second on the grid's best time!  In the prefinal, Devin led the first 3 laps before spinning in turn 2 of lap 4, and eventually finished second.  It was raining for the 15 lap final, and the first start was waved off.  The second time around, Devin was lined up perfectly with the pole position kart, and Devin got a great start and took the lead into the first turn, followed by Gabriel Bargas and then Clint Korte.  Devin then opened up a comfortable lead, and led all 15 wet, rainy laps.  Gabriel dropped back to third after picking up some water in his airbox, which allowed Clint to get around.  So, after having won the pole in 4 of the 7 K.A.R.T. Regional events this year, we got our first regional win in pretty demanding conditions.  We were especially happy with Devin's decisive winning of the pole in the wet, considering our limited rain experience and practice this year in comparison to some of our competitors.  We worked hard all weekend, and Devin gave great feedback every session.  By combining his feedback to me about what the kart was doing on the track with his outstanding driving in the cold, wet, conditions, he claimed one of our most rewarding wins in a while and Devin desires all of the credit.

Fall 4 @ NTK, Oct. 8, 2006  This was the race that secured the 2006 NTK Rotax Junior Championship for Devin, and he did it with style.  First off, he went out and qualified with a lap of 38.800, getting the pole position for his class.  However, his time was not only fast enough to get pole in his class, but was also faster by .166 seconds over the top qualifier in Rotax International, and was also the fastest qualifying time set by anyone (including 2-time Rotax International National Champion and current DD2 National Champion Jordan Musser), in any class, this day.  In other words, if the entire entry list qualified as one class, Devin would have had to pole over all classes, senior as well as junior!  And, this was done on "old" tires, the tires we had started using all the way back in June at the K.A.R.T. Nationals!  Devin won the pre-final after dropping to second on the start after his kart stuttered off of the line, later passing Andrew Foster for the lead.  In the final Devin again won flag-to-flag, but he was not taking it easy at all.  On the last lap of the final, despite having a comfortable lead, Devin set not only his fast time of the night, but also his personal best ever, with a lap of 38.668!  Always charging, always trying to go faster, Devin proved himself deserving of the NTK Rotax Junior Championship, winning it in his first year in the class!  For the 4th year in a row, Devin has taken home the championship and jacket for the class he has raced in each year!  Congratulations to Devin for a great "rookie" season in Rotax Junior, our "warm-up" for next year!

Fall 3 @ NTK, Sept 30, 2006  Another low turn out for this race, and Devin put his kart on the pole by about .4 seconds.  In the prefinal, Devin led for a few laps until Brandy Edwards passed him going into turn 7.  Devin was unable to mount a challenge.  In the final, Brandy initially opened up a slight lead, but Devin was able to close that back up and make a pass going into and through turn 1.  Devin held on to take the checkered, with Brandy driving a great race and finishing only a few kart lengths back.

Fall 2 @ NTK, Sept 16, 2006  A low turnout for this race, with only Devin and Andrew Foster competing in the Rotax Jr. class.  Devin took pole, and then led the entire pre-final and final to take his second win in a row in the Fall series, and setting times only a tenth of a second off of the Rotax International class winner's best time.  We are looking forward to when many of our competitors return from a competition in which we were ineligble for due to Devin's young age, he being the youngest competitor in the class in our area.  It is frustrating being competitive in the class, but being exluded on the national level this year because of three months.  Next year, though...

K.A.R.T. Regional 5 @ NTK, Sept 10, 2006  We started the day off well, with Devin taking pole position by over a quarter of a second.  In the pre-final, Clint Korte got by Devin on the start, Devin's kart not seeming to have the low end pull of Clint's, and Devin finished the prefinal behind Clint in the second position.  In the final, Devin made a pass on Clint in the first lap, and over the next few laps these two battled back and forth, swapping postions several times before Clint was able to open up a gap on Devin.  The handling of Devin's kart going off, Devin fell back into Gabriel's grasp, and then these two traded positions a couple of times before Devin fell back.  That was how it finished, with Clint taking the win, and Gabreil 2nd, Devin 3rd. 

Fall 1 @ NTK, Sept 9, 2006  A good night for us with Devin taking pole, and winning both the pre-final and final by leading both from flag-to-flag.  A good start to the fall series.

Summer 7 @ NTK, August 26, 2006  We had a much better race this weekend, and closed out the Summer Series with a strong 2nd place.  Devin qualified 2nd, so again we were in the tough position of starting on the outside of the first turn.  Sure enough, Devin dropped to 3rd on the start, behind Clint Korte, but was able to get back pass Clint a couple of laps later.  However, Devin's kart was not handling so great, and he was unable to make up any ground on Gabriel, so he took second in the prefinal with Clint hot on his bumper.  In the final, Devin manage to stay in the second position at the start, but was unable to match Gabriel's initial pace.  However, his kart got better, and during the last half of the race he was matching Gabriel's pace, and initially made up a little ground, but then the gap stabilized and he finished on the second step of the podium, with a comfortable gap back to 3rd.  Devin's 2nd place finished gave him 2nd in the final standings for the Summer Series, behind Gabriel.

Summer 6 @ NTK, Ausgust 12, 2006  This race Gabriel seemed to have everyone covered.  While we qualified 2nd, we were well off Gabriel's pace.  In the prefinal, Devin finished comfortably ahead of third, but was unable to maintain Gabriel's pace.  In the final, starting in second, Devin was shut out in turn one, and dropped back to fifth.  He finished there, and while the kart was handling well,  we seemed to have no bottom end coming out of the turns.  He was unable to mount a challenge to move up in the field. 

K.A.R.T. Regional @ Waco, Texas August 6, 2006  After finishing up the previous night in Denton, we went home and grabbed a few hours of sleep before getting up early to drive down to Waco.  Here we could not find our setup, and battled all weekend with jetting and gearing issues.  We started off by qualifying fifth out of five, with jetting issues with the motor.  In the prefinal, Devin had a good race and worked his way up to third.  In the final, he was running third, then dropped to 4th (gearing issues) behind Clint.  Then on the last lap, next to last turn, Devin made a move on Clint that was less than successful, and the result was Devin finishing fifth and Clint dropping to fourth.  Overall, not one of our better showings.

Summer 5 @ NTK, August 5, 2006  A very busy weekend for us, doing a "double header" between the KART race in Waco and the club race at NTK.  We qualified 2nd, then dropped to fifth on the start of the prefinal, and made up one position.  Starting the final in 4th, Devin drove a great race, and worked his way up to second.  He then was able to match the leader's pace, but was too far behind to be able to put any pressure on Gabriel for the remainder of the race.  We finished the final in second.

Summer 4 @ NTK, July 29, 2006  The day started off good, with Devin taking the pole over Gabriel Bargas by just .01 seconds.  In the prefinal, Devin dropped to 2nd on lap three, probably because of a poor gearing choice by Vic.  In the final, Devin ran 2nd most of the race behind Taylor Stawicki, then on lap 10 made a pass for the lead.  However, Taylor made a great move and answered back the very next corner, so the finishing order was Taylor taking the checkered followed by Devin, then Andrew Foster on the final step of the podium.

Summer 3 @ NTK, July 15, 2006  There was a pretty light turn-out for this race, since many of our competitors were on the road headed to the Rotax Grand Regional competition in Ocala, Fl.  Unforturnately, Devin is 3 months shy of the age requirement to compete, so we were not able to join them.  We wish them luck in the event, and will miss competing against them.  Next year, though, we will be there.  In qualifying, Devin took the pole, and led all laps of the pre-final.  He also led the entire final, but it was much more difficult.  He was pressured the entire race by Clayton Auston.  Although Clayton set the fastest lap of the night, Devin did not make any mistakes and held on to the lead to take the win, just barely, ahead of an outstanding drive by Clayton.

Summer 2 @ NTK, July 8, 2006  There was a low turnout for this race, with only 4 Rotax Jr participants.  Devin qualified in 2nd, .122 seconds off of the pole.  In the prefinal, he stayed with the leader initially, then passed him for the lead going into turn 1.  Devin then led the rest of the race.  In the final, Devin started on the pole, but lost the lead on the first lap.  He initially dropped back, but then came back and closed up on the leader.  The last couple of laps were pretty exciting, with Devin and Taylor Stawicki swapping positions for the lead several times.  The final pass came going into Turn 3, with Devin making a bold move to the inside, and coming out in the lead after Taylor dropped a wheel off of the track.  Devin went on to take the checkered flag and score his third win of the year. 

K.A.R.T. Nationals @ JRP Raceway, Tulsa, Ok, June 20-22, 2006  This was Devin's first year at the KART Nationals in the Rotax Jr. Class, and he did pretty well.  On the first day of practice, he was fastest of the day.  He maintained his speed on day 2 of practice, and was consistently near the top, or at the top,of the time sheets.  David Holland was again fast as usuall, and we figured he would be tought.
     On raceday, Devin qualified 4th on the grid, about a tenth of a second off of the pole.  We think we had difficulty getting the new tires up to temp of a short track, and our pole time was over a third of a second slower than our best time in the last practice on old tires.
     In the pre-final, which was only 8 laps, Devin dropped to 5th on the start, then moved up to 4th in the second lap.  He stayed in 4th until the last lap, when he passed Gabriel Bargas for the position, setting him up for the inside of the second row on the start of the final.
     On the start of the 12 lap final, Devin got a poor start and dropped to 4th.  On lap two, his kart got a little loose, and he dropped 2 more positions, putting him in 6th.  On lap 4 the two leaders had a "racing incident," putting Devin up into the 4th position.  Four laps later, Devin made a pass, putting him into 3rd behind his buddy Clint Korte.  On the final lap, Devin made a pass on Clint to take 2nd, and closed up on Gabriel Bargas, the leader, to take the checkered flag .466 seconds behind.  During the race Devin's best time, on lap 9, was only .052 seconds slower than the fast lap of the race set by David Holland, and .294 seconds faster than the leaders best lap.
     Over all, we had a great result, and were always in the hunt.  Congrats go out to Gabriel Bargas on his first KART Natiional title, and thanks go out to Jim and David Holland (again) for their support and guidance.

Summer 1 @ NTK, June 3, 2006  This race was not so good for us.  Devin qualified 3rd out of 5, and in the pre-final, while making a move to the inside of turn 2, first lap, one of our competitors gave absolutely no room to Devin, despite being effectively side-by-side.  After taking a pounding on his right side, Devin lifted, but it was too late and the competitors kart continued over until Devin's kart launched up, then off, the track.  Unfortuneately the final was cancelled due to rain, so we ended up with a 5th place finish.

Spring 7 @ NTK, June 3, 2006  This was the final race of the Spring series, and Devin went into it leading by 45 points.  In qualifying, Devin missed the pole to Taylor Stawicki by .03 seconds, putting us on the outside of the front row for the prefinal.  On the start of the prefinal, Devin came out of turn 1 in third, and stayed in that position to the checkered.  In the final, Devin was running third after the first lap when there was a yellow.  Another competitor passed the  leader under yellow, and Devin was running third still.  A few laps later the leader went off out of turn 7, second went off track to avoid, and Devin took the lead, which he retained to take his second win of the season, as well as the Spring Series Championship.  Devin never put a wheel wrong, and drove an smart race to take the win.

Spring 6 @ NTK, May 20, 2006  Back under the lights at our home track, we started out the day struggling.  During practice the kart had developed a hesitation out of the turns.  We spent most the the afternoon  leading up to qualifying trying to sort out the jetting, and chasing the gearing.  It did not look good for a while.  We (Devin) finally found some speed, and on his last flying qualifier, Devin went from sixth on the grid to second, turning in his fastest time of the day (so far).  It did not look like we would have anything for Tyler Campbell, who took pole.  In the prefinal, the first start was flagged off because it looked like Devin had jumped the start.  However, it turned out that Tyler's kart was not set up so well for the start, and it was tough for him to get off the line.  The second attempt went much the same, but the race director recognized it was not an issue of jumping the start, so the race continued with Devin taking the lead.  Taylor Stawicki got around Devin quickly, and the two separated themselves from the pack.  In the final, with Devin on the outside front row, Devin made a great start and stayed side by side with Taylor through turn 1, and took the lead going into the second turn.  They ran close for a few laps, but Devin drove a flawless race and was able to open up a gap that continued to grow until the checkered flag. With that, Devin took his first Junior Rotax victory with a comfortable margin over Taylor, who was being pressured by Gabriel Bargas and Clay Settles..  It felt really good to get this initial win in the class, but some of that joy was overshadowed by knowing that this was Clay's last race at the track before his move to Kentucky.  We've raced with Clay for five years, and we are going to miss him and his family very much.  Good luck to the Settles, and I'm sure we will see them at the track, or other tracks, again.

K.A.R.T. Regional #3 @ Hot of Texas (Waco), May 13-14, 2006  This was a double header, at a track that we had never been to before.  We practiced and worked on our set up Saturday AM, and then took the third spot on the grid during qualifying.  At the start of the prefinal, Devin moved up to second, and stayed there the rest of the race.  In the Saturday final, Devin maintained his second place position on the start, and finished in second.  We woke up to a wet and stormy day on Sunday.  The race officials decided to form up the grid based on Saturday's qualifying, so we started in the third spot on rain tires.  One the prefinal started, it was karts all over the place in the rain.  Devin drove a controlled, intelligent race, and finished second behind Gabriel, the two of them the only ones in the field that kept it on the track for the entire heat.  In the final, Devin was shut out into the first turn, and dropped back to fifth.  After a few laps, he got around fourth place, only to lose the position on the last lap to Tyler Campbell, who was charging up the field.

Spring 5 @ NTK, April 29, 2006  Tonight we were back to racing under the lights at NTK, and we ended up having a pretty exciting night.  In qualifying, Devin ended up third fastest of the 8 entries, putting him on the inside of the second row for the start of the prefinal, with Gabriel Bargas on pole and Taylor Stawicki on the outside of the front row.  At the start, Devin was able to stay with Gabriel, taking the second position,and Taylor tucked in behind Devin after the first turn.  This is how it finished.  Unfortunately, this put us on the outside of the front row for the final, and sure enough, Devin was hung out on the start, and dropped back to 5th.  He passed Clayton Auston to take 4th with a side-by-side pass in turn 1, then passed Clint Korte going into turn 7 a few laps later.  Over the next few laps he closed the gap up to the battle between Gabriel and Taylor, making it a three way battle.  Devin got a run on Taylor going into turn 7, made the pass, and moved up to 2nd.  He was able to catch up with Gabriel, but the checkered waved with Devin taking the top spot on the podium. 

Spring 4 @ NTK, April 23, 2006  Another bittersweet race for us.  Devin took pole position again (that is three for four in Rotax Jr.), and easily led all laps in the prefinal.  Before the final, Devin said that his tires seemed to be losing grip, but I told him we had to keep them on since that is what we started the night with, as per the rules.  On the start of the final, he got a little loose in turn 1,and later complained about his lack of grip and poor brakes at the start, which allowed four karts to get by.  Devin got around two of the karts, up into 3rd, and quickly closed the gap between him and Clint Korte, leading, and Taylor Stawicki in second.  However, he was unable to make a pass, and Clint drove well, did not make any errors, and took a well deserved win with Taylor taking second, and Devin third.  Congrats Clint!

K.A.R.T. Regional #2 @ Tulsa, OK  April 2, 2006  This was our first time at this track, so we had a lot to learn.  Devin set out to learn the lines, I set out to learn the set-up and gearing.  After practicing all day on Saturday, we felt like we could be competitive come the race on Sunday.  We just hoped the weather would cooperate with us and the other ten entries.
     Sunday practice got underway a little late, as the track was wet from a late night thunderstorm.  However, the skies on Sunday were clear and blue, and the rain tires stayed in the trailer.  In qualifying, Devin went out and posted the fast time of the session, taking pole position for the second time in three races (pole at both K.A.R.T. races so far this year)!  However, he was a little concerned about the start, since the flag can wave in what amounts to the final turn.
     At the start of the prefinal, Devin was expecting the green flag and when it did not fly, he let off.  Unfortunately, that is when the green flag did drop, and he tucked into the second position and that is where he finished.
     Starting the final in second was not what we wanted, and at the start Devin dropped back to sixth.  He got around fifth fairly quickly, but spent the rest of the race trying to get around fourth.  Finally, on the next to last lap, he was able to get past, and with only one lap to go, was unable to improve his position any more.  We posted our fastest time of the weekend during the final.
     Bottom line, we started out great, and our poor start in the prefinal really hurt us in the final.  Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. 

Spring 2 @ NTK, March 26, 2006  This was Devin's second race in the class, and his first club race, and in the end we had a pretty good day.  However, it did not start out quite so well for us.  During qualifying, Devin was only able to get one timed lap in.  After that, his kart died coming out of turn 7 as a result of the connecter between the throttle cable and the carb slide coming undone.  After a little research, the problem was traced back to his mechanic, who had not tightend the connecter.  Sorry, Dev.  Despite this, he still had the 5th fastest time for the day, putting him inside on the third row for the start of the prefinal.
     This turned out to work well for us.  Starting directly behind Clint Korte, Devin and Clint were able to stay directly on pole sitter Taylor Stawicki's tail through turn 1, allowing Clint and Devin to come out of the turn in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.  After a few laps, Clint made a bobble coming out of turn 7, allowing Devin to set up a pass a couple of turns later.  After getting by Clint, Devin set off chasing Taylor, but was unable to make any headway and settled for 2nd in the prefinal.
     Because of his 2nd in the prefinal, Devin was in the position of being on the outside front row for the start of the final, which we had seen could be a problem.  However, Devin was able to stay side-by-side with Taylor going into turn 1, and had enough space on the exit to allow him to drop into 2nd, with Clay Settles slotting into 3rd.  The race settled into this order for a few laps, and then it got good.  Devin made a pass going into turn 1, but was unable to hold his kart down low and Taylor made the infamous "pass-under" move to retake the lead on the exit.  Devin pushed some more, and a few laps later made another move to the inside of turn 2.  Taylor answered back on the exit, and retook the lead again.  All the while, Clay was right there, waiting for any opportunity.  They raced clean, and after some exciting wheel-to-wheel, side-by-side action, the race ended with Taylor taking the checkered flag about a half a second ahead of Devin, with Clay another four tenths back.  Devin could take some consolation in that he came away with the fast lap for the day by a little over a tenth of a second.
     Overall, it was a good day, with fun, exciting action on the track, and smart, clean driving all the way to the checkered flag.

K.A.R.T. Regional #1 @ NTK, March 12, 2006  After a break of over 3 months since the last time Devin raced (in his cadet), he finally got back in the seat to see some wheel to wheel action, and did he see it!  But, before we go any further, Devin and I want thank Jim and David Holland for all there help this weekend.  David was kind enough to take Devin's kart out, and between his observations and his father's expertise, Jim figured our throttle cable setup was not giving Devin the best conditions for controlling and modulating the throttle.  We made a change, and it made a huge difference.  Between that, and other advice that Jim and David offered, we were able to have a very successful weekend.  We can not thank the Holland's enough!

     Once we got Devin's kart semi sorted out, he proved to be quick in practice.  Then came the big moment, and he went out to qualify for the first time in the Rotax Jr. class.  There were 11 karts, and Devin, the youngest competitor in the class, was one of the last three to go out.  His first 2 laps we OK, and he had a time to put him somewhere on the second or third row.  Then, on his last flying qualifier, he put it all together and came through to post the fast time of the session, putting him on the pole for his first Rotax Max Junior race with a margin of .172 seconds over David Holland!

     While we (and by we, I mean Devin) grabbed the pole, we knew we were going to have a fight on our hand in the races.  We were not wrong, as the action started as soon as the green flag dropped.  On the very first lap, David let Devin know he was there to race, and passed Devin before they completed lap one.  Many, including myself, thought that the duel between these two was over, but apparently Devin had other ideas.  Devin came back in a couple of laps and put a pass on David going into the fast left hand turn 1 at NTK.  Over the course of the next six laps, Devin and David when at it lap after lap.  David was strong and would get back by Devin going into turn 7, and Devin would come back again and again going into turn 1.  All the while Gabriel Bargas was hot on their heels, waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

      As they crossed the start finish line to start lap 7, Devin again was making a move on Holland.  Approaching turn 1, Devin dove to the inside in a bid for the lead.  David was not going to concede the position without a fight, though, and as they turned in they were side by side, with David on the outside and Devin on the inside.  Devin fought to maintain the inside line, while David held strong to the outside.  As both drivers battled each other and their karts, there was one of those “racing incidents” with the karts making contact.  David’s kart when wide and went off the track, where he regained control and rejoined the fight in 4th.  Devin, meanwhile, fought to keep control of his kart and maintained the lead, but Bargas was hot on his tail.  This ended up determining the outcome, with Devin able to open a slight gap on Bargas, and Holland fighting his way back up to 3rd.  What a race!

     Come the 16 lap final, we knew it was not going to be any easier, and we were right.  The field was sent out with Devin on pole, Bargas on the outside front row, Holland in 3rd, and Clint Korte in the 4th position.  As the karts took the green and went through turn 1, David completed the first lap behind Devin.  Over the next 7 laps, Devin managed to stay (just) ahead of David.  However, David was strong, and Devin was fighting a kart whose handling went off and had developed a hesitation exiting turn 1.  Devin’s weakness (his tuner, me) had raised his ugly head.  Devin did not have anything for David, who went on to open a comfortable two plus second lead on Devin.  Bargas pushed Devin for the remainder of the race, but Devin was able to hold on to his position to take the second step on the podium!  In his first Rotax Max Junior race!

     Overall, it was a great weekend for us.  Devin proved he is up to the challenge of the series, with a new kart and engine package to figure out.  We had a great time racing the Hollands, Bargas’, Kortes, Settles, and the entire Rotax Max Junior field, and we are looking forward to the rest of the year!

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