While the Pro drivers of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series are all entering the halfway point of their respective seasons in this weekend’s K&N Filters Silver State Showdown presented by Toyota, the Kart drivers are only preparing to hit the track for the fourth time this season. Having skipped the series’ annual trek south of the border, Wild West Motorsports Park follows only the season opener at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park and the doubleheader at Lucas Oil Speedway on the Kart schedule.
Today, we take a look at not only these future stars of the sport, but the drivers to beat in both the Production 1000 and Turbo UTV classes. Keep an eye on these drivers on Saturday night, and see if you agree with any of our picks:
Production 1000 UTV: Brock Heger
Don’t think that Heger’s going to be a one-trick pony in Sparks; he was just as fast here last year as a Pro Lite driver, and will look to defend wins in both classes. But if you have to pick him as a favorite in one class over the other, go with the UTVs. 38 points ahead of Jason Weller for the championship lead, he swept not only this event when it was a doubleheader last year, but also the most recent event at Lucas Oil Speedway. His three wins and five podiums have proven that he’s still a cut above the field.
Turbo UTV: Paul O’Brien
Yes, O’Brien and Corry Weller are tied at 250 points right now. Yes, Kyle Chaney’s first and second place results in Wheatland suggested that he might be the class of the field anytime he runs this class. And yes, neither of the points leaders are coming into Nevada off of a podium finish the last time the Turbo UTVs hit the track. O’Brien is still the man to beat—he’s got more podiums than Weller, only missing the box in the second Missouri round, and the only reason he’s not leading outright is qualifying points.
Modified Kart: Brody Eggleston
After qualifying first and second for the two races in Missouri, Eggleston swept both of the most recent Mod Kart rounds to rebound from a sixth place finish in the season opener at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. With 14 of a possible 15 qualifying points in his back pocket, he only trails championship leader and Arizona winner Mason Prater by three points.
Junior 1 Kart: Jake Bollman
While the JR1 Kart class is a bit on the small side, winning two of your first three races is still not a bad look. That’s how Bollman started 2018, with victories in both Arizona and Missouri to start the season. Sure, he was last in the most recent race, but he started from the pole, earned a bonus point for leading the most laps, and posted the fastest lap. If you can’t make it to the box, none of those are negatives.
Junior 2 Kart: Connor Barry
Barry entered last year’s JR2 Kart season late, but still finished seventh in points after winning all three races he entered. He came into this year by qualifying third at Wild Horse Pass, and then hasn’t lost a meaningful session since. As such, he’s got a six-race winning streak, is two points away from having started the season perfect, and already holds a 22-point advantage on second place Ethan Ebert.