An unfortunate tangle with an infield tire at Oklahoma’s Port City Raceway kept Braden Chiaramonte out of the 5th Annual Keith Kunz Giveback Classic finale. The 16-year-old driver came from the back of the pack to finish ninth in one of the Saturday night B mains. That was one spot shy of qualifying for the 67-lap final.
Coming off a very impressive fourth-place finish the first time piloting a 410 sprint car at Arizona’s Mohave Valley Raceway the week before, Chiaramonte was one of 105 600cc Outlaw Micro Sprints at the annual race in the “Sooner State.” The personable driver competed against 49 other cars in the Thursday, October 19th preliminary. Coming out very late in the qualifying order, Chiaramonte stopped the clocks in 9.981. That was sixth fastest on the night and it was only a blink of an eye slower than the fast time of 9.825.
After qualifying, Chiaramonte, who lives in El Cajon, California, finished fourth in his eight-lap heat race. That put him on the inside of the second row in his 10-lap qualifier. Battling on both the high and low sides of the racy track in the qualifier, he finished in fourth and earned a ticket into the night’s 30-lap A Main event.
Chiaramonte lined up in the 12th starting spot in the first-night main. The top three finishers would be guaranteed a spot in Saturday’s finale. Through the first 20 laps of the main, the handsome driver and his #73B car were amidst a hornet’s nest of cars fighting for position in the middle of the pack. When the race was two-thirds over, Chiaramonte had only advanced forward two positions to 10th. However, late in the race he began to move forward in a hurry. He quickly raced into the sixth-place spot. The determined teen was working on the fifth-place driver when the checkered flag ended the race with him three spots shy of the transfer. However, the finish guaranteed him a good starting spot in one of Saturday’s B mains.
The Saturday B main was 15 laps. Sixteen cars started the race and the top eight finishers went into the main event. Chiaramonte started on the inside of the third row in fifth. So, his chances of qualifying looked good.
Before the end of the first lap in the B, Chiaramonte was up to third. He had been running the high line but when the second-place car drifted wide in turn four on lap two and pushed the third-place car wide as well, Chiaramonte wisely dove to the bottom coming off turn four and headed towards second-place. However, when the same car dove from the top to the bottom in turn one, it pinched Chiaramonte down and into an infield tire. Chiaramonte slid to a stop necessitating a yellow flag. Deemed the cause of the yellow he had to restart at the back.
A red flag with nine laps to go still saw Chiaramonte in 16th but the show was about to begin. After racing resumed, he began to charge forward. A red flag with six laps remaining saw him up to 13th. He was 10th with three to go. Fearlessly pounding the cushion, Chiaramonte was clearly one of – if not the – fastest drivers on the track at that time. He attempted to pass the eighth-place car at the finish line but ended up a half car length short.
In all probability, without the tangle with the infield tire and the restart at the back due to it, Chiaramonte would have easily qualified for the main event.
“Not the weekend we wanted,” Chiaramonte told his fans on Facebook. “Started out qualifying sixth after going out third from last. Finished fourth in the heat race and finished third in the qualifier. Started 12th in the main and finished sixth. Then started fourth in the B main on Saturday. Was running third and got chopped down, had no room, and hit the infield tire. Went back to last and came back up to 10th and had a big run on the guy in ninth. Thought he was going to go to the top but he went to the bottom which caused me to hit him and take him out. Overall it was a tough weekend but ready for the next one.”
Chiaramonte would like to thank all his sponsors who have made his racing efforts possible. RTL Traffic Control, AM Ortega, Hyper Racing, Chop Design, Adams Motors, Hacienda Casa Blanca Fine Mexican Dining, Evil Plus Injection, King Racing Products, Tiner-Hirst Enterprises, and Keizer Wheels.
Chiaramonte and his team are in the midst of a busy racing season. If you are interested in becoming a marketing partner with one of the most talented and personable young drivers in the sport, please feel free to call or e-mail Daniel Chiaramonte mailto:[email protected] or (619) 988 7563.
Braden Chiaramonte PR