Sports Zone

Local boy wins West Coast Nationals

Keegan Bounds, 8, won the West Coast Nationals in California last weekend. PHOTO PROVIDED

Kage kart sensation Keegan Bounds, 8, of Cottage Grove recently attended the prestigious West Coast Nationals south to Red Bluff, Calif. and claimed the coveted Eagle Trophy in the Box Stock division. The event draws kage karts from all over the country and is one of the toughest races to win.
Bounds had spent the previous three weekends to get some important track experience underneath his belt.
”We’ve struggled when we came down here because our car has been too tight,” said Josh Bounds, Keegan’s father and crew chief. ”But this weekend, with so many cars running, the track finally came to us.”
On March 15, Bounds qualified in 16th place, setting him up for his heat races the next day. Running two sets of heat races, the results didn’t reflect the speed the team showed. Keegan was 6th place in Heat One and placed fourth in Heat Two. Bounds did not tabulate enough points to get locked into the main event and needed come out of the Consolation Feature on March 17.
”Keegan was really fast in his heats and our car was hooked up with the setup we put in it,” Josh Bounds said. ” But every time we’d get up towards the front we’d get caught up in a wreck. After the first heat I told him he’s better than what he was showing and to just focus on keep hitting his marks.”
On Sunday the day started off with the B Main. Bounds got to the front early but got spun while leading, but had time on his side and bounced back, finishing 5th place and make it into the Consolation Feature.
Things got dicey in the early goings of the A Main when a multi-car crash towards the frontrunner created issues for cars in the back. Keegan Bounds hit a car, got launched in the air, and tumbled on the speedway, but it was not enough damage to put an early end for the team. On the restart, he scored 16th place.
As the race wound down Bounds got his elbows up and started picking cars off left and right. Eventually a tangle with several top runners allowed him to go from sixth to second in one swift move. On the 16th lap the No.1K was in the lead and held the position down for the rest of the distance to win the West Coast Nationals.
”This was so huge for him and this team,” Josh Bounds said. ”He hasn’t led a main event lap at Red Bluff and his best finish was a fourth the week before. He said he had tears in his eyes when I gave him the three-to-go signal.”
The big win would be piled onto his already impressive race resume, despite his young age. Keegan Bounds won the 2018-19 Roseburg Indoor Winter Series as well as track titles at Cottage Grove and Willamette. For the rest of 2019, he plans on running for the championship at CGS in the 250cc division as well as a few trips to Chico, Calif.’s Cycleland Speedway during the summer.
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