Minnesota Missile Monday: Sparks Returns to Karting at Emma


KC Sparks

Minnesota Missile Monday: Sparks Returns to Karting at Emma

Minnesota Missile Monday: Sparks Returns to Karting at Emma
Emma Indoor Raceway; Emma, Missouri
November 22, 2021
By : Stephanie Sparks

After racing his micro in September and the beginning of October, it looked like the 2021 season would be wrapped up. A month after his last race, the team got the itch to be back at a track and the opportunity to get a box stock wing kart back out was the solution to that racing itch. In a quick turn of events, the team acquired a DRE motor and had new wrap installed in time to get to the second point show at the Emma Indoor Raceway where KC Sparks was the 2020-2021 point champion in the first season of winged karts at the facility.

With help from the racing family, the #1 PRC MineCon was transported to Emma for racing action on Saturday with seven drivers registering in the box stock class. A pair of drivers from Iowa, a duo from South Dakota, a set of siblings from Wisconsin and the Minnesota Missile were the set to do battle on the dirt.
The heat race lined up with Kaleb Knopps on the pole alongside week one winner Bentley Long. At the drop of the green, Knopps pulled ahead of Long with Sierra Rose Gary and Sydney Knopps holding their positions on the inside ahead of KC Sparks. Long pulled to the inside of K Knopps down the backstretch and into the top spot to lead lap one.

Behind Long, the karts of K Knopps, Gary, and S Knopps raced three wide. Gary claimed second with S Knopps working to get around her brother. K Knopps got a bit loose exiting turn two, allowing S Knopps to overtake the position and Sparks to also move up in the running order.

Long built up a comfortable lead while Gary was holding off S Knopps and Sparks. Crossing under the white flag, S Knopps pulled alongside Gary with the pair of 7th graders making contact and sending Gary to the tail in the running order and finishing under a checkered yellow.

Long was the winner with S Knopps credited with second, Sparks, Brogan Carder, K Knopps, Micah Haugan, and Gary as the finishing order.

Sydney Knopps earned the pole position with her passing points from the heat race and paced the field with Long to her outside. Carder and Sparks lined up in the second row. When the green flew, S Knopps had the jump into turn one but Long used the bottom side of two to drive under her and into the lead.

Sparks drove deep into the first turn to move ahead of Carder in the first set of turns and also showed a nose under the S Knopps kart. As the karts drove into turn three, Sparks charged to her inside but she slammed the door forcing Sparks to check up and spin. Sparks quickly drove through the infield and rejoined the race in fifth position behind Haugan without causing a caution to complete lap one.

Long and S Knopps continued to pace the field with Long holding a 3 kart length advantage and Carder running comfortably in third behind the lead duo. Sparks refocused on hitting his marks and moved ahead of Haugan and had open track to chase down Carder.

The entire field was running fast laps with Long out front, Carder gaining on S Knopps, and Sparks gaining on Carder. As Sparks came around to complete lap five, he unknowingly hit the kill switch with his knee, cutting off the motor and ending his night with a DNF in 7th place.

The two races left of the track were up front where S Knopps continued to hound Long and remain within striking distance and for fourth position where Haugan was holding off challenges from both Gary and K Knopps. Just past halfway, K Knopps moved under Haugan out of turn two and took the position as they raced into turn three. Haugan had the better line through the corner and drove back under him for the position.

The 20-lap event ran green-white-checkered with Long picking up his second feature in a row at Emma. S. Knopps claimed second place in her first visit to the track with Carder finishing a strong third. Haugan held on for fourth ahead of Gary and K Knopps.
Upcoming Schedule:
12/4: Emma Raceway
12/18: Emma Raceway

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

Shows: 45
Wins: 8
Top 3: 19
Top 10: 40
Heat Wins: 14 out of 56
Quick Times: 1 out of 14

Shows: 4
Wins: 0
Top 5: 2
Top 10: 3
Heat Wins: 0

Article Credit: Stephanie Sparks

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