Ellie Hensley
Ellie Hensley

Ellie Hensley
Trevor, WI

Minnesota Missile Monday: Box Stock at Winter Nationals


KC Sparks

Minnesota Missile Monday: Box Stock at Winter Nationals

Minnesota Missile Monday: Box Stock at Winter Nationals
Emma, MO
March 15, 2021

The first annual Bruce Lile Memorial race and first Winter Nationals to include the outlaw wing karts is in the books and it was a good weekend for the 1KC Motorsports team. Thirteen drivers registered for competition in the box stock class and the battles on the track were close and exciting.

Saturday 3/13
Kinser Groves utilized his qualifying opportunity to claim the pole position over Kaden Rice for the 20-lap feature for the Box Stock division on Saturday.

The field took the green and nearly made a complete lap before the first of several cautions flew forcing a complete restart in single file formation. Groves held off the challenges for the lead out of turn two but Rice was able to set his kart through the next pair of turns and claim the lead at the end of the first circuit. KC Sparks moved up from fourth to second at the end of lap two but the caution flew again, moving him back to fourth in the running order behind Rice, Groves, and Hunter Hanson.

On the restart, the top four raced single file while fifth place, Jaden Alexander was fighting off challenges from Kahne Groves and Rylea Kriegel. Rice built a comfortable lead in the next run while Sparks moved past Hanson going into turn one on lap four. The field just completed the lap when another caution slowed the action.

The fifth lap just couldn’t get logged as the field took several attempts at it. Sparks moved ahead of Groves on the first attempt but was called back. After five attempts to restart the race, the field met the time limit and a green whilte checkered was called for.

As the final green flew, Kinser Groves made a challenge to Rice for the top spot but fell short. The leaders raced through turn three when Kinser Groves spun from his second place position and collected Hunter Hanson in fourth.

The race was called with only four laps logged and Kaden Rice the winner. Sparks crossed second with Hanson given credit for third. Alexander held on for fourth while Ellie Hensley charged from the tail to claim the fifth position.

Finish: 1 - Rice, 2- Sparks, 3 - Hanson, 4 - Alexander, 5 - Hensley, 6 - Guessford, 7 - Haugan, 8 - Kriegel, 9 - Jones, 10 - Gary, 11 - Kinser Groves, 12DNF - Kahne Groves, 13DNF - Allen

Sunday 3/14
The Box Stock drivers were double classing in the regular class and the Mega Maloofa PRO class. Qualifying again set the field with Kaden Rice claiming the top spot for both features, Hunter Hanson would line up alongside with KC Sparks third in both sets of qualifying.

The opening start had Hanson hitting some loose track out of four and dropping back to fourth while Sparks made a pass to the inside of Rice coming to the line to complete lap one only to have the caution fly and realign the field single file.

With the single file restart, the top four were able to pull away from the field with Rice leading Hanson, Sparks,and Kahne Groves.

During the long run, Hanson and Sparks were the closest of those up front but everyone was hitting their marks and running single file. As they hit halfway, lap traffic came into play as Rice put Micah Haugan down a lap. Hanson was not able to get around Haugan as easily which caused Sparks and Kahne Groves to bunch up on his back bumper.

Sparks hit an inside disc trying to get under Hanson which caused his kart to jump out of line, allowing Kahne Groves to move into third while the trio was still working to put Haugan down a lap. Before everyone finished the lap, the caution flew, putting Sparks back into third and bunching the field up on the tail tank of Rice.

On the restart, Kahne Groves made a challenge under Sparks for third out of turn two but Sparks’ DRE motor was able to beat him down the backstretch. The top two drove ahead while Sparks was now fighting both Groves' karts with Kahne and Kinser right there with him. Kinser drove to the inside of Kahne and ended up spinning and bringing out another caution.

On the final restart, Sparks didn’t let Hanson get away and drove to his inside going into turn one. Sparks was able to take the position with Kahne Groves following. Groves was not done though as he continued into turn three to move ahead of Sparks and moving into second as the white flag flew.

RIce cruised to the win ahead of Kahne Groves, Sparks, Hanson, and Haylie Allen.

Finish: 1 - Rice, 2 - Ka Groves, 3 - Rice, 4 - Hanson, 5 - Allen, 6 - Jones, 7 - Guessford, 8 - Alexander 9 - Haugan, 10DNF - Ki Groves, 11DNF - Gary, 12DNF - Hensley

MEGA Maloofa PRO
The 35-lap MEGA PRO feature was the best for the box stock all weekend as the youngsters raced for a $500 win and champion’s belt. Once they got started, they ran nearly all the laps without a caution until the very end.

For the third feature of the weekend, the field could not make it through the first lap as five karts got tangled together coming to the green. Everyone restarted in the single file alignment. On the first trip down the backstretch, Sparks moved to the inside of Hanson to take the runner up position and set his sights on Rice.

Rice quickly built up a comfortable advantage over Sparks. On lap five, Rice suffered a broken pipe that caused his motor to backfire but he charged on. Sparks took a couple laps to close the gap and was able to get to Rice’s back bumper several times but couldn’t move around him. Sparks started trying different lines to enter the corners but kept falling short.

Meanwhile, Haylie Allen was battling challenges from Kahne Groves in fourth and then Kinser Groves who was trying to keep pace with his brother. Kahne moved ahead of Allen and then focused on getting on the podium with a battle with Hanson.

During the long run, lapped traffic came into play and Rice was able to catch the slower karts just right and put them down a lap.

With ten laps remaining, there were only six lead lap karts on the track and Rice had a clear track to protect his lead. Suddenly, Sparks started closing in and with five to go was back within striking distance and getting closer with every set of turns. Sparks was setting up his kart to make a challenge on Rice with the laps winding down when the caution flew and slowed the field.

A green white checkered sprint to the finish gave Sparks a chance to challenge Rice but there wasn’t enough as Rice claimed the win ahead of Sparks. Kinser Groves took third ahead of Hanson, Ellie Hensley, and Kahne Groves.

Finish: 1 - Rice, 2 - Sparks, 3 - Ki Groves, 4 - Hanson , 5 - Hensley, 6 - Ka Groves, 7DNF - Allen, 8DNF - JOnes, 9DNF - Haugan, 10DNF - Gary, 11DNF - Alexander, 12DNF - Guessford

Upcoming Schedule:
3/20: Concrete Challenge on Syrup; Sioux Falls Arena
3/27: Emma Indoor Raceway; Emma, MO
4/10: Emma Indoor Raceway; Emma, MO
4/17: Emma Indoor Raceway; Emma, MO

2021 Partner/Sponsor Appreciation
Autoland; Sioux Falls, SD
Furby’s Auto Repair; Sioux Falls, SD
GRP Motorsports; Stillwater, MN
Last Deck LLC; Jackson, MN
Heser Auto and Detailing; Jackson, MN
DRE Horsepower; Boyden, IA
Jared Bailey Photography; Carlisle, IA
MyRacePass; #TeamMRP #GetTheApp
TL Racing; Jackson, MN

YTD Stats:
Features: 8
Wins: 2
Top 3: 7
Top 10:8
Heat Wins: 3 out of 3
Quick Times: 0 out of 5

Article Credit: Stephanie Sparks

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