Eight Wins, Five Poles in All for Coyote Racers at Jax!
Photos by Carl Barnes
A dozen Coyote Motorsports national racers opened their 2017 season this past March 24-26 at the World Karting Association Gold Cup Nationals at the 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Fla.
Within the Coyote camp, the talk was the speed of junior drivers Blake Boon, Austin Williamson and Elmer Edmonson Jr.
Boon, competing on a new version of the 2017 Coyote Wide Track that is tailored for smaller, lighter drivers, scored wins both days in Sportsman Pro Gas Animal, finished second in Saturday’s Sportsman LO206 final, and kicked off the weekend with a win in Friday night’s Sportsman LO206 Shootout event.
Williamson would win both Junior Pro Gas Animal main events on his Wide Track, while senior competitors Matt Mayes, Brad Farmer and Jason Yarbrough all scored wins, bringing Coyote drivers’ total to eight feature wins on the weekend. Jacksonville native Sean Meier would join the win column with a Pole Award in Saturday Senior LO206, giving the team a grand total of five Pole Awards on the weekend.
“I’m extremely proud of our efforts to open the 2017 season and want to congratulate our junior and senior competitors,” Coyote owner Mark Lipari stated. “Our constant research and development, attention to detail in the shop and at the racetrack during testing, and overall hard work and efforts of our crew and drivers paid off at Jacksonville. I’m pleased with the success of Blake (Boon) and Austin (Williamson) in Sportsman and Junior. They were both able to wins races and were a factor all weekend in their divisions. Elmer (Edmonson) did a great job, as well. While he didn’t win a race, he gained a ton of experience in his first national weekend as a Junior.
“Great competition continues to drive us, and we have a very strong belief and confidence in our current products,” Lipari added. “Blake was on an updated version of the 2017 Wide Track that is built with the smaller, lighter driver in mind. We feel this chassis is excellent for the smaller driver, no matter which class they’re currently in.”
The Sportsman Pro Gas Saturday program saw Boon qualify second and finish second in the heat race, and when it counted, Blake would outrun Virginia driver Camden Gruber in the 15-lap main event, notching his first win of the weekend by a close 0.2-second margin.
Boon wouldn’t open the door Sunday, sweeping the Sportsman Pro Gas class with a Pole Award, heat and main event win.
Boon added a strong second-place finish in Saturday’s Sportsman LO206 main event; he also qualified P2 and finished P2 in the 8-lap heat.
South Carolina’s Austin Williamson and Florida’s Elmer Edmonson Jr. each entered the LO206 and Pro Gas Animal versions of the 12- to 15-year-old Junior category.
Williamson would have the best weekend of the two, winning five of the six rounds of competition in Junior Pro Gas including both main events. The No. 43 Coyote pilot would add each day’s pole award to his weekend scorecard and Saturday’s heat race. He would finish a close second in Sunday’s heat, which would stand as the only round Williamson didn’t win with the fast Junior Animal setup. He would clear the field by a strong 2.6-second margin Saturday and win the weekend capper by a half-second gap.
Williamson added a P2 finish in Saturday’s Junior LO206 feature in a near dead heat with Brian VanCleve. Williamson would be scored just 0.091 seconds back at the finish stripe.
Edmonson was making his first national-event start in the Junior category at Jacksonville. The Fort Myers, Fla., native was a threat all weekend, finishing second to Williamson in Saturday and Sunday’s Junior Pro Gas finals. Elmer would also podium in both Junior LO206 features, taking third on Saturday and fourth on Sunday. Elmer added a P2 qualifying effort in Saturday’s LO206 qualifying round, making it a great first weekend in Junior competition for the Coyote driver.
103rd Street regulars Matt Mayes and Jason Yarbrough did Coyote proud in Senior LO206 with Mayes winning Saturday’s final and Yarbrough triumphing Sunday.
Mayes’ efforts Saturday did not start easy; the Jacksonville driver would qualifying a disappointing 12th place in the 15-kart field and get involved in an incident on the opening lap of the heat, relegating him to another P12 result.
Mayes would march to the front in the main event, moving up to seventh in the opening laps and advancing into and through the top five during the second half of the 15-lapper to score the big win and set the race’s fast lap along the way at a 40.429.
The balance of the 15-kart field was filled with Coyote drivers. Coyote owner Jim Lipari would finish second to Mayes, Sean Meier sixth, Josh Stiefel seventh, Yarbrough eighth, Trentin Frederick 11th and Tim Stiefel 12th.
Sunday’s Senior LO206 showdown again saw Coyote racers up front with Yarbrough scoring a WKA Gold Cup national win at Jacksonville for the second consecutive year. Yarbrough, riding a Coyote XP chassis, started the 15-lap final P3 and quickly advanced to the lead on the second lap. He would lead all the way through lap 12 before getting shuffled back to third and ultimately retaking the lead on the final circuit to score the popular victory.
Yarbrough would top the Coyote camp ahead of Meier in third, Lipari sixth, Mayes seventh, Frederick ninth and Josh Stiefel 10th and Patrick O’Neal 11th. Meier won the day’s Pole Award.
Yarbrough would also podium in Friday’s Money Race, finishing P3 to pocket a little cash for his efforts.
Longtime Coyote racers Brad Farmer and Tim Stiefel would top the podium in Saturday’s LO206 Masters main. Racing at his home track, Farmer would win a LO206 Masters Gold Cup triumph for the second straight year, crossing the finish line just 0.188 seconds in front of New York’s Stiefel. Another Coyote driver and Jacksonville native – Kevin Medearis – would finish P5.
Farmer, Stiefel and Medearis would finish second, third and fourth in Sunday’s LO206 program.
A number of Coyote racers raced a few weeks after the Jacksonville Gold Cup round at Carolina Motorsports Park in South Carolina, where the AKRA American Sprint Cup Series kicked off their 2017 campaign.
In the Junior ranks, Austin Williamson and Elmer Edmonson again contested with Williamson backing up his winning weekend at Jacksonville with two more wins in the Pro Gas Junior class. Williamson would win both days in Junior Pro Gas and added a third- and fourth-place finish in the 206 Junior finals.
Edmonson would net a P3 finish in Saturday’s 206 Junior final and also a pair of thirds in the Pro Gas Junior main events.
Brad Farmer and Kevin Medearis both entered the 206 Masters division with Farmer netting a pair of third-place finishes in the hotly contested 10-kart Masters division. Medearis would race Saturday only and earn a very respectable fifth-place result in his first visit to CMP.
Joseph Skaggs brought out a new Coyote Wide Track to CMP and promptly placed it on the podium. The Tennessee driver was the fastest kart on the track in much of Saturday’s 206 Senior Heavy feature. After starting midpack in the 12-kart field, Skaggs would advance several positions and challenge for the win in the 12-lap main, ultimately settling for a close second-place result.
Florida’s Patrick O’Neal would join Skaggs as a Coyote racers in 206 Senior Heavy. O’Neal would finish eighth Saturday and improve for a fourth-place finish in Sunday’s weekend capper.
Rochester, NY, youngster Joey Cline made the long drive to Kershaw to compete in the 206 Cadet division. Cline gained experience all weekend on his Coyote in the well-attended division, netting a P9 finish Saturday and P10 on Sunday.
Now that the 2017 national season is in full swing Coyote racers around the country will be competing in WKA, AKRA and 206 Cup national programs as well as club and regional racing throughout North America.