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RACE REPORTS FROM HMP AND KATY


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The NASKART Series rolled into Houston to race at HMP on April 10th. Luckily as we we're getting there, early morning showers had stopped and turned into a great day for racing. With the heat races being gridded by points inverted, Team Kirk-n-Steins' M&M's #18 was on the Pole and being driven by Kelli "da Granny" Garrett, who won the first Houston race of the season, but was DQ-ed for being under weight. Outside Pole was ROCKHARD Racing's #88 Kaleb Kreis. 2nd row was the #4 of Jack Kelly and ROCKHARD Racing's #24 of Chris Terry. 3rd row saw the #07 of Megan Smith, Roy Smith's granddaughter, and Team Kirk-n-Steins' 3M #16 Mike Steinman. Mike changed his number and graphics to match Greg Biffle for the season, and the #29 of ROCKHARD Racings Marty Kreis. The 4th row saw Andy Taylor with new graphics and number as well in the #14 and the #12 of Frank Mena, the early points leader of the 2010 season. Just before the green flag dropped, Kaleb Kreis in the #88 dropped down to the infield with a mechanical problem. When the Green flag dropped though...the battle began with everyone jockying for position. Coming to the line for the first time the pack was led by #4 Jack Kelly, #16 Mike Steinman, #24 Chris Terry and #29 Marty Kreis. 2 laps later saw Mike Steinman take the lead with the #4 of Jack Kelly dropping back to 4th. Marty Kreis had moved up into 2nd with Chris tery in the #24 now third. With 2 to go, the #24 of Chris Terry moved around his team Owner Marty Kreis to take 2nd and put Marty back to 3rd. The order stayed this way to the checkered flag with all 3 crossing the finish line so close you could throw a blanket over them!! final order was Mike Steinman in the 3M #16, ROCKARD Racing's #24 Chris Terry and #29 Marty Kreis finishing 3rd.

 

In the Main, these 3 were starting up front with Steinman on the Pole for his heat win. Outside Pole was Chris Terry and inside 2nd row was Marty Kreis. Followed by #4 Jack Kelly, #07 Megan Smith and the rest of the field. Bringing up the rear was Kelli Garrett in the #20 as the #18 had some mechanical problems and she switched karts. And the newest member of the NASKART Series Robert Carr driving the #27. Robert was late in getting to the track and missed the heat race. coming to the green flag everyone stayed in order but at the line ROCKHARD Racing's #24 Chris Terry threw his drive chain and was forced to retire. On the first lap ROCKHARD Racing's Kaleb Kreis had mechanical problems and was done for the night as well. But the 3M #16 of Mike Steinman took the lead right off the bat with the #29 of Marty Kreis, #4 of Jack Kelly and #14 of Andy Taylor. Taylor goes around the outside and then hooks up on Steinman's bumper with The #12 of Frank Mena on Taylor's bumper and the 3 start to pull away from the field. This was the order until the competition yellow came out. Once they were re-stacked in a double file restart and the green flag flew, Steinman in the #16 got out front again with the #14 of Andy Taylor hooking up with Steinman and the 2 started to pull away from 3rd place at the time Frank Mena. This was the order until lap17 when the #14 motor went south and shut down leaving Taylor in the infield to watch the rest of the race. Jack Kelly in the #4 was now on Steinman's bumper was a lap or 2 down but wanted to show he was able to run with the leaders. The #4 and the #16 were battling up front and during this battle the pack was gaining on them. the #29 of Marty Kreis and the #20 with Kelli Garrett had moved up with Megan Smith to join the leaders. Megan broke away from Marty and Kelli when the 2 of them bumped and fought for position for a couple of laps until the #20 pulled clear of the #29 or ROCKHARD Racing's Marty Kreis. With 2 laps to go, Megan Smith in the #07 tries the outside of the #4 Jack Kelly, but he moves up to block her and she has nowhere to go but to fall back in line. This gave Kelli Garrett in the #20 to move up closer to the leaders but with only 1 lap to go she was running out of time. On the White flag lap Mike Steinman held his line low leaving the outside as the way to go past him...and thats where Jack Kelly went making a big draft for Megan Smith and Kelli Garrett. But as they came to the line Mike Steinman in his #M #16 was able to hold off Kelly at the line by a bumper and the #4 being laps down, allowed 2nd place to go to Megan Smith in the #07 with 3rd going to Kelli Garrett and Marty Kreis finishing 4th. Unfortunatly after post race inspection, it was deemed that the #07 of Megan Smith was under the minimum weight by 1 lb and DQ-ed!!! This moved Kelli Garrett up to 2nd in the #20 after starting on the last row and Marty Kreis into 3rd. In the end itwas Mike Steinman leading the race wire to wire for his first win on the 2010 season.

 

 

Sunday April 11th saw the NASKART Series roll into Gulf Coast Karting track with great weather once again. We were greeted by track officials welcoming the series back to their track. This was the first time back in 2 years. Once there, everyone was scrambling to change gearing and setup for this 3/4 mile road course. With mechancal attrition from the night before and other commitments by a couple of drivers there were only 7 entries for the days racing. First up was qualifying. Everyone went out to qualify on times in a 10 minute session. The results for qualifying were Mike Steinman in the 3M #16 on pole with a 46.93 second lap, ROCKHARD Racings #24 Chris Terry starting 2nd with a 47.49, then the #12 of Frank Mena, the #29 of Marty Kreis, #88 of Kaleb Kreis, #07 of Megan Smith nad the #20 with Kelli Garrett Driving.

 

For the Heat race, is was decided to invert the field from the Qualifying order. So on the rolling start it was Kelli Garrett and Megan Smith out front with Megan jumping out to the lead and pulling away.The rest were in a tight battle jockying for position the whole first lap. #16 Mike Steinman found wholes in the traffic to make his move to the front and was up to 2nd on the 1st lap after starting dead last. Chris terry and Frank Mena were battling and working their way thru traffic to catch up to #16 and # 07 of Steinman and Smith. 4 laps in Steinman caught Smith and was on her bumper when her motor shut down and she had to pull off leaving the lead to Steinman. Terry and Mena were battling til Chris Terry made it around Frank and started to reel in Steinman. Chris got almost to the bumper of the #16 of Mike Steinman but made 1 or 2 mistakes and dropped off a few kart lengths and was not able to make up the ground leaving the heat race win to Mike Steinman in the 3M #16. Chris Terry 2nd and Kelli Garrett in the #20 3rd.

 

For the main it was again decided to invert the heat race finishing order. Megan Smith in the #07 starting on Pole with #12 Frank Mena on the outside pole after having break issues in the heat race. When the green flag flew Frank got out to an early lead followed by Megan and Kelli. Chris Terry in the #24 got around his teammates, #29 Marty Kreis and #88 Kaleb Kreis and set out after the leaders. Mike Steinman starting last again, had it a little harder having to work his way thru the traffic carefully and up to 3rd place Megan Smith and battled with her for 2 laps trying to get by in order to chase down Terry and Mena who were slowly pulling away. Once around Megan, Steinman set out after the leaders who were dicing hard for 1st place until Mena's brakes started to fade again. Steinman caught up to Mena Quickly and was waved by by Mena in order to not hold up the race. Steinman was trying to run down the #24 of Chris Terry for the rest of the race but it was not to be as ROCKHARD Racing's Chris Terry drove a great race and held off Steinman for his first win of the 2010 season and keeping Steinman from haveing a perfect winning weekend. Megan smith was running in third and looked to finih third until her motor stalled out on her handed 3rd place over to ROCKHARD Racing's #29 Marty Kreis. This gave Marty 2 third place finishes for the weekend. Allowing him to take over 2nd in points after 3 races. With Steinman's wins on Saturday night in the heat and Main and his top qulaifyer and heat race win and 2nd place on sunday...this catapulted him into the points lead from 6th in points. Megan Smith had a great weekend of racing but the racing gods had frowned on her other wise she would have had a 2nd place on Saturday and a 3rd on Sunday to help her in the points. But watch out for her as she is showing the drive and potential to be a front runner all season long! Kelli Garrett is showing she is no fluke this season having some great results.

 

 

Next up RED RIVER SPEEDWAY and the Greg Biffle Foundation.

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