Race shortened to 450 laps due to thunderstorm
May 29, 2017, St. Louis Region – The Gateway Kartplex in Madison, Illinois hosted its annual Gateway 500 kart race today. The four-man team of Evan Stamer, Rick Fulks, Gage Rucker and Spike Kohlbecker won the 500, which was halted at 5 p.m. on lap 450 (225 miles) due to rain and lightning in the area.
The team divided the planned 500 laps on the challenging half-mile Kartplex road course into legs of 125 laps each. Evan Stamer of Edwardsville, Illinois drove the first leg of the race.
“This win feels good,” Stamer said. “We had to fight for this one. We kinda fell back in the second and third stages. We came back and won it.”
Rick Fulks of Springfield, Illinois raced from laps 125-250.
“The track conditions were really good,” Fulks said. “My teammates asked me to join them about a week ago and I was honored to be a part of this stellar line-up.”
Gage Rucker of Truxton, Missouri drove the third leg.
“This is awesome,” Rucker said. “This is our second year in a row — Evan and I — of winning the 500. It feels good.”
Spike Kohlbecker of Kirkwood, Missouri drove the final leg, which was shortened by 50 laps due to rain. At one point, the second-place team was two laps down but they made up the deficit and pressured the winners.