Day 1 of racing started again with a tough warm-up session and 4th place qualifying session. Final adjustments were made, and the green flag flew for the first heat race. Starting quickly, Austin made his way to the front early. He held the lead for a few laps, then fell back to 4th behind extremely talented drivers, Indy Ragan, Jorge Ortiz, and Preveil Perkins. Austin lurked behind the top 3 until there were 2 laps remaining. He worked his way around Ragan and Perkins and passed Ortiz in the last turn on the final lap. Winning Heat 1 would show that Austin would be a contender for the overall win. Heat 2 went off without incident for Austin, where he finished 2nd, garnering him a 2nd place qualifying position for the final. In the final, Austin once again started quickly, but fell behind Ortiz and Ragan. Austin and teammate, Ava Dutton worked together to try to get to the leaders, but did not quite make it. Austin crossed the line 3rd, but was awarded 2nd after technical inspection.
The second and final day of racing started with another strong showing for Austin. Austin qualified 4th for the first heat. Austin, Indy, and Ava put on a great show in the opening heat with all 3 crossing the finish line within .5 second of each other! Heat 2 started with a short rain shower, which seems to happen to the Kid Kart class at least once during every Man Cup race!! In the first turn, Indy spun in front of Austin and Ava. The two Excel Racing teammates split Ragan on both sides and sprinted to the front. Working together they were able to pull away from the field with Ava winning the heat race. Indy worked himself back to finish third behind Austin. The Day 2 Final started with Austin, Indy, and Ava once again pulling away from the field. Indy led the trio and built a seemingly insurmountable lead. Mechanical issues grabbed hold of Indy causing him to drop out with 2 laps to go, handing the lead to Austin. Austin and Ava were nose-to-tail for the final 2 laps. Ava gave all she had, but Austin was able to hold her off for the win by .1 second!!
With the win and a 2nd place finish, Austin was the overall Event Champion! It was Austin's first national event win of his career! There were a lot of people that helped the team achieve this goal. Along with Chris Wheeler of Wheeler Motorsports, we would like to thank some others who also had a part in this win including Aaron Abed of Excel Racing, Jay Howard of Jay Howard Motorsports and Driver Development, Eric Snell, and our newest crew member (and future uncle) Andrew Heilman! Preparations are already being made for the next event at GoPro Motorplex near Charlotte, NC. We hope you continue to follow us as we move through the 2016 season!