Owen Mahle, fresh off a win at the Route 66 Sprint Series program here at New Castle last weekend, set the pace for the Rookie category Saturday morning. Mahle (Top Kart) posted a 1:17.536 to secure his first USPKS pole position of the season. Alex Grapsas (Tony Kart) was second with Bayne Bennett II (Tony Kart) in third for his best qualifying effort of the season. Round Six winner Conner Churchill (Tony Kart) was fourth with Lucas Smalec (Merlin) in fifth. Point leader Donald Whorton II (Tony Kart) found himself back in eighth.
Mahle assumed the lead for the opening heat race from the pole position with Happy Hour fast time driver Elliot Cox (Top Kart) moving up from seventh with Bennett right there. Cox took the point for a brief time on lap six, but Mahle retained the lead. Mahle held on to the checkered flag for the win over Cox and Bennett. Aidan Hinds (Praga) drove up to fourth with Whorton following through for fifth. Hind however was moved to the tail of the field for losing his rear bumper in the race.
Once again, Mahle was the pace setter in the second heat race, joined by Cox in the second spot. This time, Hinds and Whorton joined them to make it a four driver lead pack. Whorton lost the draft with two laps remaining, making it just three for win again. On the final lap, Mahle and Cox went back and forth until they drag raced for the win. Cox came across the line first with Mahle holding Hinds off. Whorton was fourth with Smalec fifth.
After missing out on the win in Heat #2, Mahle was not to be denied in the Final. Starting on the pole position, Mahle led the entire 12-lap feature for his first on the season. Whorton and Cox trailed the top qualifier for the entire way, mixing it up in the final laps and losing the draft. Mahle pulled out to a 1.1-second advantage by the checkered flag. The challengers were joined in the closing laps by Hinds and Bennett, but Cox won the fight to finish runner-up. Whorton crossed the line in third with Hinds and Bennett right there.