SALISBURY, N.C. – A pair of first-time winners graced victory lane at Millbridge Speedway during an action-packed Adams Performance Night program on Wednesday.
Most notably, Andrew Wehrli finally exorcised his demons at Millbridge with a dominant victory in Open division outlaw kart competition, while Biscuit Williams (Intermediate) also won during the third week of action and second point race of the season at the sixth-mile dirt oval.
Wehrli, who lost a heartbreaking race the last time out after contact with Gavan Boschele in the final corner, left no doubt this time who the fastest man in town was.
He led all 20 laps and drove away from runner-up Jason McDougal by 2.724 seconds at the twin checkers.
Though four cautions in the first 11 laps slowed the pace and bunched the field back up behind Wehrli, the New York native powered away on every restart and was never seriously threatened.
The win was his first in Millbridge’s premier class of outlaw kart racing after three years of trying.
“We were really good on restarts all night,” said Wehrli in victory lane. “I know Jason’s really good, and so are the Kvapil boys, so I was doing everything I could to mix it up and keep them guessing as we went along. The high lane was where we were best, though. I knew if I could ride it on the fence for 20 laps we’d be alright, and here we are in victory lane. It’s good to put this kart where it belongs for a change.”
Contrary to what many expected after Wehrli finally broke through, he exited his No. 54 calmly before breathing a sigh of relief, the emotions evident in his posture despite a measured winner’s interview.
“This has been such a long time coming,” he said. “It’s a little bit of both (relief and satisfaction), because if you’ve come here and watched you know I’ve lost races here about every which way you can lose ‘em. It’s a great feeling to get one and finally be on the right side of things tonight.”
McDougal chased Wehrli all the way but could never close in enough to make a move, with Caden Kvapil, Gavan Boschele and Carson Kvapil filling out the rest of the top five.
Wehrli and McDougal won heat races earlier in the night, while Wehrli topped qualifying with a lap of 10.2527 seconds (56.180 mph) to open the program, giving him a clean sweep of the night.
In the Intermediate feature, Williams used a power move in turn three of the opening lap to wrest command away from back-to-back Wednesday winner C.J. Sweatt, then drove away from the field.
Despite two cautions and four restarts in the second half of the 20-lapper, Williams never faltered and eventually took his first win in the division by .893 seconds over Aidan Turner.
“There on that start, it was a game of who would lift first, and I wasn’t about to back out,” an out of breath Williams said after the race. “It was a hard race; it’s hot out, and I had to make sure I hit my marks every single lap because he (Sweatt) has been so good here. We had to be perfect and we were.”
The final restart with four laps left did see Sweatt try to slide Williams for the lead, but he couldn’t complete the pass and by the time his kart reached the top groove, Williams was right in his path.
From there, the duo made contact, Sweatt went around and Williams went on to victory after that.
“I really had nowhere to go,” explained Williams. “I had Aiden (Turner) underneath me and then C.J. right in front of me. I tried to lift, but it just didn’t work out well. You can’t stop these karts quite that fast.”
Coen McDaniel crossed third, followed by Brady Fabian and Sweatt, who rebounded from the lap-17 spin to finish fifth.
Millbridge Speedway’s Wednesday Weekly Series will resume on June 16-17.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.