Navarre’s Kradle kicks off strong season at Southern

Posted on February 24, 2021 by Staff reports

Jim Kradel of Navarre. Photo by Phil Frye, Southern Raceway.

Navarre’s Jim Kradle had a very strong two-day performance in the USCS Mini Sprint Season Opener at Southern Raceway.

On Sunday, Kradel started the day by finishing fourth in the Hoosier Tire Mini Dash for Cash behind Bobby Zaiontz, Cody Adams, and Mike Hall, but the Navarre veteran driver took that experience and turned it into a second-place heat race finish.

In Sunday’s feature, Kradel started third and was able hold his position in the 15 laps event behind 2020 USCS Mini Sprint Champion Mike Hall and Saturday night’s winner Coby Adams.

Fellow Navarre driver Jim McNulty competed on Sunday and finished fifth in his heat race but finished outside of the top five in the feature.

Kradel managed a fourth-place heat race finish and piloted his 600 cc Mini Sprint to a fourth-place finish behind Adams while avoiding three cautions, one of which involved fellow Florida racer Jimmy Lee Davis who brought out a caution on lap 10 of Saturday night’s feature.

Exceeding more than 133 miles per hour this weekend as the methanol guzzling 700 horsepower USCS Sprint Cars were dominated by the Pennsylvania Posse this weekend in Milton.

Saturday night the Steel City Outlaw Tim Shaffer led from start to finish as he held off fellow Keystone State driver Mark Smith, who posted the most national event win last season in a race that was slowed by five caution flags.

Garet Williamson finished third followed by last season’s Rookie of the Year Conner Leoffler and New York’s Paulie Colagiovanni.

The biggest incident in 30-lap feature was when the car of Todd Gracey rolled in turn four on the first lap.

Sunday afternoon’s 25-lap feature saw the same two drivers up front, but it was Smith coming from the sixth starting spot and putting a huge lap eight slide job on Shaffer in turn two for the win.

The race had to be stopped on lap three when 11-time USCS Champion Terry Gray and Shawn Murray got together in turn one, which Gray’s car ending up on its top wing.