By Laura Kassik
Adam Hommerding has a need for speed – whether it’s tackling the Glamis sand dunes in a Polaris RZR, or a dirt track in an Outlaw Kart, he has the pedal down.
The Lake Havasu City 12-year-old plans to move-up to a Mini Stock at Mohave Valley Raceway next year, but for now, his focus is on extending his six-race winning streak and collecting a second track championship at Havasu 95 Speedway.
Hommerding and his Havasu Wiring Outlaw Karts competitors will strap into their seats, Saturday, Feb. 4 for an afternoon of racing on the small dirt track that sits inside the quarter-mile asphalt oval at Havasu 95.
The karts will be joined by the Late Models - racing Twin 50s - Flowers Assisted Living Team Factory, and Arizona Vintage Racing Association Sprints and Midgets. Gates open at Noon, and racing, sponsored by Larson Equipment, starts at 2 p.m.
The Outlaw Karts haven’t raced since Nov. 12, but track promoter Bill Rozhon said that’s been a good thing considering the recent rainy weather. He planned to start grading and preparing the track this week for the return of the karts.
Before the season started, Rozhon put down a better clay surface and said that as “the track is better, the racing is getting better.” Besides a new surface, the track added a second division to the Outlaw Karts, which debuted at the track last year. In addition to the original Stock Class, there is now an Animal Class that uses a higher horsepower engine. Each time out, the karts run two races for points. As the track hits the season midpoint, the karts have six races remaining over three dates.
Taylor Whitefield has won four races in the Stock Class to lead the standings with 392 points. Sitting 12 points back in second – with three wins – is Korbin Mitchell. Aiden McCorkle is third with 368 points.
Whitefield raced San Tan Karting’s season-opener on Jan 22 in Queen Creek where she earned a podium finish. The Havasu 10-year-old is running for points at both Havasu and San Tan this season.
Hommerding plans on making some races with San Tan Karting this year as time permits, according to his father, Lorne, who was instrumental in bringing the Outlaw Karts to Havasu 95. His company, Havasu Wiring, sponsors the division.
Adam hopes to continue his winning streak – which is at six – en route to the Animal Class championship.
“He is enjoying the Animal Outlaw class so much with all the power,” Lorne said. “He likes to go fast. He likes the way it sets him back in his seat when he gives it gas.”
After eight races, Adam has a 20-point cushion over Brody Wake (396-376). Whitefield, who races both divisions, is third with 368 points.
“We took time off for the holidays and have been spending a lot of time in Glamis,” Lorne said. “(Adam) drives a Polaris RZR 1000 out there and is having a blast.
“We put him in that this year over his quad to get the feeling of a bigger car with a lot of power so that next year we can move him into a Mini Stock up at Mohave Valley that we already have waiting for him. I wanted to put him in something that resembles more of a car feeling - body, roll, and feel.”
In contrast to the Outlaw Karts, in which the above mentioned drivers are from Lake Havasu City except for McCorkle, who is from Needles, Calif., those in the Late Model division travel from the San Bernardino, Calif. area, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.
“They are all good quality cars,” Rozhon said of the Late Models. “The field is a pretty tight bunch. Hopefully, (Saturday’s races) will be good.”
The Late Models will race Twin 50s, as they did in their last outing here on Jan. 7. This competitive group fielded two winners that day – Jeff Peterson in the first race and Zack St. Onge in the second.
St. Onge used the win and a runner-up finish to gain a two-point edge over Peterson in the points standings (146-44). Peterson, who won the division opener Nov. 26, opened the day with a two-point lead over St. Onge but finished fourth in the second main event.
Rounding out the top five in points are Mark Allison (126), Barry Karr (123), and Allison Gay (110).
Both St. Onge and Gay are former Havasu 95 Bandolero track champions.
Saturday’s two main events will set the stage for the Late Models next and final race on March 25 when it will crown the 2016-17 track champion.
In Team Factory, Ewwwweeee Racing remains first and takes an eight-point lead (154-146) over Take and Bake into Saturday’s race. Vista Cruisers are third (141) and one-point back is Asphalt Junkies (140).
Arizona Vintage Racing Association will bring its Sprints and Midgets, which always entertain the crowd. Rozhon separates the two divisions and each run a heat and main event.