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Texas Monster Shootout Results

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I am waiting on the Texas Monster Shootout Results from the 2nd Feature race to update the points. At Lunch when i have some time...I will post a Race Report on the racing from this past weekend. I had fun racing in the features...but there is alot to report on!! So stay tuned!!

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Well...it took me a while to write this...So here I go!!



October 31st saw the NASKART Series racing at Houston Motorsports at theit Texas Monster Shootout event. Having been rained out on the October 3rd event, this event was scheduled to have the NASKART Series race 2 feature races. The morning on HALLOWEEN was shaping up to be a great day for racing. With a schedule that showed us racing our heat race at 10:30am before the big Pit Party for Halloween, everyone that was there was doing some lat minute tuning on their karts and guessing at setup since we would have no practice before or after our heat race. The heat race was are practice as well as our heat race.


With the grid set from season points inverted...and a couple of rookies racing in this race... Andy Taylor in the #77 was on pole with Gary "Smitty" Smith in the #8, driving for Stephen Pepper, on outside pole. Everyone else was lined up behind with the top 2 in points, Lyndon Kirk #5 and Chris Tery #24, gridded in back with 2 rookies, Jack Kelly #4 and Chris Birmingham in the #18, Behind them. 12 of us gridded up for the heat race.


As we took to the track we had 5 pace laps to before the green to set our jetting and to inspect the track that was green from all the rain...and dusty from the dozers bringing in the dirt to the infield for the Monster trucks. With 1 to go everyone tighten up the grid and as we came thru turns 3 and 4 the green flag waved!!

Smitty, in Pepper's #8, Jumped out to an early 4 kart lead as everyone was shuffling for position to make a run at him. Smitty lead the first lap at the line but when the pack made their way into turns 1 and 2 on lap 2....with the track a little dusty still and a little slick...a few drivers slid up the track opening a hole for the Mike Steinman, driving the #71 Austin Architectural Graphics/Team Kirk-n-Stein kart, to sneak under the pack and make his way up to 2nd place with his teammate Lyndon Kirk, in the #5 Team Kirk-n-Stein kart, right on his tail and setting out to run down Smitty. When the 2 lined up they ran Smitty down quickly drafting with him til the 3rd lap where Mike Steinman went to the inside on the back straight and had Lyndon Kirk right on his tail coming thru with him. On Lap 4 the field had lined up and the race was on...with the 71 and the 5 out front and slowly pulling away by about 4 or 5 kart lengths. Next was Smitty with the #12 of Frank Mena on his bumper and the rest of the field drafting on Frank's bumper to try and start making up some ground on the 2 leaders. On lap 5, coming thru turns 1 and 2, is when all hell broke loose!!! Smitty in the #8 leading the 2nd pack got loose and coming off of turn 2 and with Frank Mena right on his bumper the kart just snapped around on him spinning in front of the pack! Frank tried to tak evasive maneuvers but hit nose to nose with Smitty and started spinning. With the 2 of them spinning around and everyone racing very close the pack behind them started to scatter high and low around them. Chris Terry in the #24 Team ROCKHARD Racing kart went outside beteen Smitty and wall....but Smitty was still rolling backwards and Chris clipped the back of the #8 and found himself shot to the wall and also flipping the #8 kart with Smitty over as he was coming to a stop in front of the outside wall!! frank mena had spun low and Megan Smith going low had nowhere to go and the 2 hit right side to right side pushing in Frank's side pod and Megan bending the spindle and tire back into her right side pod!!

Chris Terry after initial contact with the wall was coming off the wall and bouncing out of the seat when Chris Birmingham in the #18 Team Kirk-n-Stein kart hit the nose of Chris's kart and pushed him backwards up against the wall again. Bouncing Chris Terry all over the seat in the process. All the other karts behind had slowed and avoided the accident and Chris Birmingham was able to continue on without any damage to the #18 kart. As the leaders came around to the starting line the yellow was out which quickly turn into a Red Flag Condition. Houston's racing staff was on the scene immiediately checking on Smitty who was still in the seat upside down and crawling out of the kart. Once they got the kart off of him, they went to attend to Chris Terry, who as he was getting out of his kart to help

smitty, started feeling nautious and laid down on the track and blacked out for a moment. After attending to both it was clear that both were allright with some bumps and bruises...but that Chris Terry should be checked out at the hospital for blacking out. They Transported him to the hospital and he return a few hours later. All this just in the heat race!!!!


After getting the karts off the track, we reschduled our heat race for 1:00pm to allow time for everyone involved to make repairs if possible. MeanwhileAndy taylor and Marty Kreis went to the hospital with Chris to make sure he was okay, but did not make it back in time for the 1:00pm heat race. The grid was once again setup by points inverted which now saw Jack Kelly #4 on pole and Megan Smith in the #07 on the outside pole. We got 5 hot laps before the green again to reset our jetting and and then once again the green flag flew!! On the Start of this Heat race...everyone was bunch up tight again going into turn 1. Jack Kelly and Megan Smith were side by side going thru the turn but both moving up the track a little as tires were not up to temp yet. Frank Mena starting outside in the 2nd row was able to get the lead ging down the back straight as the field was sorting itself out. Mike Steinman #71 again got under the field going thru turns 1 and 2 and passed Kaleb Kreis's #88 Team ROCKHARD Racing and set out after Frank Mena. Coming off of turn 4 on lap 2 Mike was able to draft up to Frank and make the pass on the inside of him going down the front straight into turn 1. Frank lined up behind Mike and they started to draft away from the field making it a 2 kart battle up front. Lyndon Kirk was trying to get to the front and run down the leaders but was battling with Megan Smith, Chris Birmingham And Kaleb Kreis for the 3rd position. Up Front Frank was sizing Mike up and trying to figure out when to make his move. As the laps wound down to 2 laps to go...Frank was trying everythiing he could think of to get by Mike Steinman....on the last lap even going high to get a run to the line for the flag...but he was to be denied as Mike Steinman took the checkered flag 1st with frank Mena 2nd and Lyndon Kirk about 6 or 7 karts back in 3rd with the others hot on his tail fighting for the 3rd spot.


After the heat race was over and just as the Pit Party was to start, Marty Kreis, Andy Taylor and Chris Terry returned from the Hospital. Chris was bruised and sore but still made it too the the Pit Party. The Track was having a Pit Party for all the fans to come in and see the Monster Trucks, the Metal-Militia X-GAME guys, the Eco-Stocks and the NASKARTs all up close and to meet the drivers. The NASKART guys were passing out candy and posters and signing them for the fans.


When the Pit Party was winding down....the NASKARTS were getting heated up and getting ready for the 1st Main of the Night. And in true NASKART tradition...they didn't let the fans down one bit!!


Mike Steinman #71 started on the Pole with Frank Mena #12 on the outside pole. Lyndon Kirk #5 was on the 2nd row inside and outside was Megan Smith.

As the field went out for the warm up laps....we looked up to wave at the fans in the stands...only to see the stands were completely full and kids were running down to fence to see the race up close!!! When the green flag flew...Mike Steinman took off with Lyndon Kirk in tow and Frank Mena on the outside with Megan Smith #07 on his tail. Kaleb Kreis #88 decided to help his teammate Chris Terry out by Driving the #24 Team ROCKHARD Racing kart for Chris to keep his Championship hopes alive. This relegated Kaleb to the back of the grid Lined up with Richard Gonzales #17, who had missed the heat races and got there late in the afternoon. But this didn't stop them or the #4 of Jack Kelly from making their way straight up to the front pack.


The first 7 laps saw Mike Steinman leading the race with Lyndon Kirk on his bumper in 2nd trying to break away from the field. But the next pack of Kaleb Kreis #24, Frank Mena #12, Jack Kelly #4 and Richard Gonzales tracked down the 2 leaders until lap 8 when Kaleb Kreis made a stong move to the lead from 3rd place.

Lyndon was able to hold onto 2nd but Mike was trained (passed) by the pack and relegated to 5th place with Jack Kelly now on his bumper! Now it was a battle as the very next lap saw Lyndon Kirk get under Kaleb to take 1st and now Kaleb was trained back to 5th place as Richard Gonzales Moved up from 4th to 2nd and Mike Steinman moving back into the 3rd position. Frank dropped from 3rd to 4th and Jack was still sitting in 6th.


With this close racing action...the field was now changing every lap. Lap 10 saw Mike get back by Richard and onto the bumper of his teammate Lyndon and Kaleb and Jack getting around Frank to move up to 4th & 5th. Frank was delegated to 6th and a new player was now in the game...Chris Birmingham in the #18 Team Kirk-n-Stein M&M's kart in 7th. On lap 12, Mike made a move inside his teammate to take over 1st again and brought the train with him as Lyndon #5 was dropped from first down to 6th!! Now the #77 of Andy Taylor was on the move as well putting frank down to 8th as he moved up into 7th.


Mike lead the next 2 laps with Richard trying to decide where he was going to pass...Jack moved up to 3rd around Kaleb in 4th and Chris Birmingham #18 was now in 5th, Andy to 6th and Frank in 7th. On Lap 14, the field was shuffled around again as Richard #17 took the point from Mike #71 and Kaleb #24, Chris #18, Andy #77 and Frank #12 dropped the #4 of Kack Kelly back down to 7th from 3rd. The order stayed this way til lap 17 when Mike Steinman #71 took the lead back from Richard Gonzales #17 knowing the competition yellow was soon to fly. Kaleb moved himself up to 2nd when Mike made the hole to go through past Richard. Chris Birmingham was holding his own in 4th and Jack Kelly #4 made his way back up to 6th as the Yellow flag waved.


As the field got back together in the traditional NASKART Double-file restart...the order was Mike and Kaleb on the front row, Richard and Chris on the 2nd row,

Jack and Frank on row 3 and Andy and Lyndon on row 4. Last but not least lining up for the restart was Marty Kreis in his Team ROCKHARD Racing # 29.

As they came to turn 3 all stacked up ready to start...the flag flew between 3 and 4 and they were off racing again. Mike out front with Kaleb in 2nd, Richard 3rd, Jack 4th, Chris 5th, then Frank, Andy and LYndon down in 8th place. The order stayed this way from lap 18 to lap 21 with only Richard and Kaleb changing positions. Richard, now in 2nd, made his move with 6 laps to go to take the lead and the battle was on between him and Mike Steinman, Jack Kelly and Kaleb.

Richard then used his dial-a-jet to lean out his kart and pulled a couple of kart lengths ahead of Mike and now Mike and Jack were battling for 2nd to see who could make the last run on Richard. On lap 25 Jack took control of 2nd place with Mike making his last dial-a-jet adjustment to try and make his kart pick up some and draft back to Jack, but went the wrong way on the jet and was now being hounded for 3rd by Kaleb #24. The last 2 laps saw them tighten up but Richard was on his game and the finishing order was same to the checkered flag with Richard Gonzales #17 taking his first win in Houston with Jack Kelly #4 finishing 2nd and Mike Steinman #71 in 3rd just ahead of a hard charging Kaleb Kreis who finished 4th! The order changed and everyone move up 1 position when post inspections found the #4 kart to be under weight.



With all the action that happened in the first feature, as the NASKARTS came out for its 2nd feature....the fans were running down to the fence and cheering and looking forward to the 2nd feature!! As we went by for the warmup laps....It seemed like there was even more people there than the earlier race...this was the biggest crowd that the NASKARTS have ever raced in front of...and they were cheering loud even before we started racing!!! It was a great venue to race at and a BIG thanks to John & Sara Mandabach and Graham for putting on a great event and having us as part of it!!!


The grid for this race was inverted from the 1st main finishing order. So all the leaders in the first race were going to have to come from the back! This time around Megan Smith #07 was on pole with Marty Kreis #29 on the outside pole, Andy Taylor #77 inside 2nd row Lyndon Kirk outside 2nd row, Frank #12 and Kaleb #24 row 3, Mike #71 and Richard #18 on row 4 and Chris Birmingham #18 and Jack Kelly #4 on the back row. Chris from being a rookie...and Jack for the DQ in the first race.


As the green flag waved between 3 and 4 again....the guys in tha back wasted no time working traffic and moving to the front. the first time by saw newly crowned 2009 NASKART Champion Lyndon Kirk #5 leading the way with Frank Mena #12 draqfting along with him and Mike Steinman #71 shooting thru the field to take control of 3rd. Following him through was the #4 of Jack Kelly. Richard Gonzales #17 and Kaleb Kreis #24 were caught up in traffic and were back in 7th and 10th. The very next lap saw Mike move past frank down the back stright to take over 2nd and hook up with his teammate again and Richard making a move up to 5th. Jack moved thru with Mike past Frank to take over 3rd. the order was this way until lap 6 when Mike took the point from his teammate Lyndon #5 and his Jack #4 followed him trhu to take over 2nd. Pushing Lyndon back to 3rd. Richard was now up to 4th and moving up fast...even with the winners weight of 27lbs added on!! The very next lap saw jack #4 move past Mike into the lead and Richard #17 pass the #5 of Lyndon to take over 3rd. Lyndon was now down to 4th with Frank Mena #12 in 5th and Kaleb #24 making a move towards the front in 6th. Andy Taylor in the #77 was drifting back and on this lap...using the backup motor to the #8 of Stephen Pepper...when the motor grenaded out the top of the motor...but was able to coast around the track into the pits without bringing out a yellow.


The order stayed this way until Richard #17 on lap 9 took over 2nd from Mike #71 and Frank #12 moved around Lyndon #5 to 4th. As they counted down the laps...the order stayed this way drafting with each other until lap 14 when Mike #71 new the competition yellow was soon to be out...made a move to 2nd and was hoping to pass for 1st when the yellow came out on lap 15. Once again regrouping the field into a double file restart. Jack #4 on the pole and happy as all get out for leading his NASKART race ever....Mike on the outside pole. Richard #17 was on the prefered inside row 2 and Kaleb Kreis had moved himself into 4th before the restart...now starting on the outside of row 2. Team Kirk-n-Stein made up the 3rd row with Lyndon #5 on the inside and Chris Birmingham #18 on the outside.

Inside 4th row was Frank #12 with Marty #29 on the outside. Megan Smith had dropped out of the race on lap 7 as the handling was off on her kart after the accident earlier in the morning.


Coming around turn 3 the green flag flew and now the race was on!! With help from Kaleb, Mike was able to take the lead from Jack on the outside going down the back stretch...but the lead was to be swapped betwen these 2 for the next couple of laps until on lap 19 when Mike #71 took control of the lead and begin to run a tight low line around the track. The battle was for 2nd now as Richard #17 and Jack #4 began to fight each other trying to be the one in position to run down the #71!!! Every lap from lap 19 to lap 25 saw the #17, #4 and #24 of Kaleb Kreis battling for that 2nd position. With each of them holding 2nd for a lsp until being repassed by each other every lap until Richard grappled 2nd away from the other 2 and made a charge to try and overtake Mike #71. On a last lap maneuver trying to take the lead, Jack tried to pass 1st and 2nd by going way low on the apron....but in the process he almost lost it and almost took out the leaders...but he was able to hold on but lost several positions in the process...and Richard was drafting up to mike down the back straight and trying to set up a draft pass coming off of turn 4....but the Mike Steinman #71 was able to hold him off and beat Richard to the line by a scant .099 of a second to the finish line!!! Taking his first ever Houston win and his 3rd win of the season in the NASKART Series!!! The fans were all up on their feet and cheering and applausing so loud...we could hear them over our motors on the cool off lap!!! What a great night of racing for the NASKART Series and for the fans!!! This sets up the Final race of the season for the NASKART Series at Houston Motorsports Park on November 14th for these guys to go at it again!!!


In 4 races at Houston this year we have had 4 different winners!! Chris Terry #24, Kalbe Kreis #88, Richard Gonzales #17 and Mike Steinman#71. So we will see if we will have a repeat winner or will someone else stp up and take their first Houston victory of the year!!!! Come out and see who it will be!!!

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