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EKartingNews.com Driver Rankings

10/28/2009

Heading into the home stretch for the 2009 karting season, the eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings has certainly experienced a shake-up at the top. As of today, Joey Wimsett is now the number one TaG driver according the EKN Driver Rankings while Utah’s Tyler Bennett jumps one spot to claim the number one position in Stock Moto for the first time.

Taking a quick look at the EKN Driver Rankings schedule, this year is the introduction year of the Stock Moto division, and thus we should see a lot of changes in that program. As far as the TaG rankings, this year sees only three events scoring a 10-base ranking (Rotax Grand Nationals, Rock Island Grand Prix, and SKUSA SuperNationals) compared to five from last year. Below in each rankings description will be a highlight on how the 10-base ranked events are making a difference at the top of each standing.

While TaG has the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series finale and a couple regional events to go, the Stock Moto standings have only the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals XIII left on its schedule. The emphasis at who will end the year at the top certainly will be on the November 18-22 event in Vegas for both categories. This issue of the EKN Driver Rankings will be the last release until December when all 2009 events are in the books to decide the top drivers from the past season.


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TaG


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Joey Wimsett
(Photo: EKN)

TaG Driver Rankings Top-10
Pos Sept. 24 Plus/Minus Driver Races Score
1. 3 2 Joey Wimsett 10 7082
2. 4 2 Marco DiLeo 14 7081
3. 6 3 David Sera 8 7042
4. 2 -2 Chris Wehrheim 9 7035
5. 7 2 Wes Phillips 15 6971
6. 1 -5 Kyle Wiegand 11 6946
7. 12 5 Richard Benitez 7 6918
8. 13 5 Michele Bumgarner 9 6891
9. 8 -1 Andrick Zeen 21 6811
10. 11 1 Michael Hogg 12 6746


For the full TaG Driver Rankings, Click Here

TaG Rankings Report
Having held the number one spot previously, it is not much of a shock to find Pacific Northwest star Joey Wimsett (Intrepid) at the top of the new TaG Driver Rankings. Wimsett challenged for the Stars of Karting national championship in 2008, ending up second in the title hunt and third in the final release of the ’08 Driver Rankings. This season, Wimsett focused on the Rotax Max Challenge USA program and the Challenge of the Americas series. Posting solid results, Wimsett has kept himself within the top-five for much of the year.

The key to Wimsett’s jump to P1 this month has to do with the removal of last year’s Stars of Karting Finale. The October 2008 event held two finals that had a 10-base ranking. Former number one’s Kyle Wiegand and Chris Wehrheim each scored better performances than Wimsett that weekend but both now lose points gained at that event for this release of the rankings. All three still hold last year’s SKUSA SuperNationals results, with Wimsett having the advantage with a podium finish along with the addition of the Rotax Grand Nationals (10-base ranking) to the EKN Driver Rankings.

With Wiegand and Wehrheim losing the two Stars results, Marco DiLeo and David Sera now move to the second and third positions in the standings. DiLeo (Intrepid) has enjoyed a solid season in the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series to move up the rankings chart in his first year. The long-time karter hailing from Ontario, Canada trails Wimsett by just one point in the rankings. DiLeo has the WKA series finale in Charlotte in two weeks - looking to clinch the class championship - for two chances at improving his total to overtake Wimsett.

Making it three different countries represented in the top three, Sera’s winter ‘vacation’ to the States has seen him moving up the rankings as the season progressed. The Australian began with a sweep at the WKA Daytona KartWeek event, outrunning DiLeo for two TaG victories. The factory Arrow driver then added four more victories at the Florida Winter Tour in Rotax and TaG. Sera is schedule to make a return to the USA to contest his first SuperNationals in less than a month.

Wehrheim (Top Kart) falls to fourth in the order after sitting second last month, just 57 markers behind Wimsett. The Georgia driver will join DiLeo at Lowe’s Motor Speedway looking for two victories to challenge DiLeo for the championship to the end as well as improve his rankings total. Joining the top-five is 2005 Rotax Grand National champion Wes Phillips (Birel). The Californian campaigned both the Florida Winter Tour and Challenge of the Americas program during the early portion of the season, earning the title in the latter, along with earning a double-third place performance at Daytona KartWeek behind Sera and DiLeo.

The current top-five are now separated by 111 points with all but Wehrheim slated to compete in the 80-kart TaG Senior field at the November SKUSA SuperNationals (10-base ranking). Looking at last year, finishing first to tenth was about a 110 point swing for a driver’s total. With this year’s field shaping up to be higher in terms of the Top-50 factor toward the rankings, whoever comes out with the best finish could wind up at the top of the rankings.


Marco DiLeo
(Photo: Autosports Media)

Wiegand (Top Kart) falls from first to sixth and may fall down further in the next release of the Driver Rankings as he will lose his points from last year’s SuperNationals. Wiegand may fall further down as he is confirmed to compete in the S3 division rather than TaG, looking to earn that prestigious title and move up the order in the Stock Moto rankings. Advancing up into the top-10 is Florida Winter Tour TaG Senior champion Richard Benitez (Kosmic). The Puerto Rican had a solid winter in TaG however transferred to the KF2 division for the Championship Karting International program where he ended up third in the standings. He too will also be competing at the SuperNats, however, sticking with the KF2 category.

Three diverse routes to the top-10 make up the final three spots - with all looking to move up more with solid runs at the SuperNationals. Philippine-born Michele Bumgarner (Margay) has enjoyed the last two years competing in the United States. The EKN September Driver of the Month - for her repeat performance at the Rock Island Grand Prix - will look to lock up third in the WKA Man. Cup TaG standings in Charlotte before making the trip to Vegas for her first SuperNats. Ninth is Californian Andrick Zeen (Sodi Kart). A number of regional events throughout his home state along with finishing third in the Florida Winter Tour TaG class make up his current-high of 21 races. Zeen has also spent some time competing in Europe in the GPO Karting Series based in France, competing in the finale this weekend. Rounding out the top-10 is newly-crowned CKI IAME Senior national champion Michael Hogg (Top Kart). Consistency was key to the Canadian’s first national title and has helped him move up in the rankings each month.

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NEW TaG #1 - Joey Wimsett
Beavercreek, Oregon

Point Breakdown
Race Rank Finish Points
SKUSA SuperNationals 2008 10 5 1108
Challenge of the Americas ’09 - PKRA #1 9 2 972
Challenge of the Americas ’09 - CalSpeed #2 9 3 963
Challenge of the Americas ’09 - CalSpeed #1 9 1 982
Challenge of the Americas ’09 - CalSpeed #2 9 1 982
Stars of Karting ’09 - Infineon 9 4 980
Rotax Grand Nationals 2009 10 3 1095

Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 2.71
Average Points: 1011.7
Total Points: 7082

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TaG #2 - Marco DiLeo
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada


David Sera
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)

Point Breakdown
Race Rank Finish Points
WKA Man. Cup Series ’09 - Daytona #1 9 2 1020
WKA Man. Cup Series ’09 - Daytona #2 9 2 1020
Florida Winter Tour ’09 Rotax - Homestead #2 9 3 989
WKA Man. Cup Series ’09 - South Bend #1 9 1 1024
WKA Man. Cup Series ’09 - South Bend #2 9 1 1024
WKA Man. Cup Series ’09 - Road America #2 9 2 995
WKA Man. Cup Series ’09 - New Castle #1 9 1 1006

Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1.71
Average Points: 1011.6
Total Points: 7081

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TaG #3 - David Sera
Melbourne, Australia

Point Breakdown
Race Rank Finish Points
WKA Man. Cup Series ’09 - Daytona #1 9 1 1030
WKA Man. Cup Series ’09 - Daytona #2 9 1 1030
Florida Winter Tour ’09 Rotax - Homestead #1 9 6 958
Florida Winter Tour ’09 Rotax - Homestead #2 9 1 1009
Florida Winter Tour ’09 Rotax - Ocala #2 9 1 1009
Florida Winter Tour ’09 TaG - Ocala #1 9 1 1003
Florida Winter Tour ’09 TaG - Ocala #2 9 1 1003

Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1.71
Average Points: 1006
Total Points: 7042

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Stock Moto


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Tyler Bennett
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Stock Moto Driver Rankings Top-10
Pos Sept. 24 Plus/Minus Driver Races Score
1. 2 1 Tyler Bennett 11 6118
2. 1 -1 Jacob Neal 13 6032
3. 3 NC Jordon Musser 7 5999
4. 4 NC Tommy Thompson 11 5965
5. 5 NC Patrick Cushenberry 8 5954
6. 6 NC Matt Zeis 8 5925
7. 7 NC Bobby Legate 7 5920
8. 8 NC Chris Jennings 7 5909
9. 18 9 Eddie Olpin 8 5909
10. 9 -1 Derek Crockett 8 5883


For the full Stock Moto Driver Rankings, Click Here

Stock Moto Rankings Report
As we saw in the TaG Driver Rankings, the Stock Moto category has also seen a shake-up at the top of the order. Utah’s Tyler Bennett (PTK) has now assumed the number one spot for the first time, relegating former number one Jacob Neal (CRG) down to the second spot. Bennett competes in the Utah State Championships, which joined the Driver Rankings program in April after the initial Stock Moto rankings were released. The 10-race program at the Miller Motorsports Park sees a solid group of Stock Moto karts competing with now 11 drivers into the top-50, which has help the program’s events ranking.

Breaking down Bennett’s best six results from the last 12-months, the highlight is the ’08 SuperNationals. Bennett recorded a fourth place finish, highest among those in the top-25 of the Driver Rankings. As the season progressed, the event ranking for the Utah races were growing and Bennett finished consistently on the podium. On the flip side, Neal is absent a 10-base ranked event, having competed in S1 at last year’s SuperNats, and was not able to match his earlier performances in the last four ProKart Challenge events he competed in - all ranked similar to the final four Utah events.

Third through eighth place in the rankings remains unchanged. Sitting third this month once again is Rock Island Grand Prix King of the Streets winner Jordan Musser (Intrepid). Tommy Thompson (Energy) remains fourth in the order, having placed second this season in the PKC North program. Second in the PKC South championship went to Patrick Cushenberry (Arrow), who remains in the fifth position in the rankings. Central States Challenge S3 champion and King of the Streets podium finisher Matt Zeis (Wildkart) is sixth in the driver rankings standings, ahead of former number one Bobby Legate (Arrow) and last year’s S4 SuperNats winner Chris Jennings (Birel).


Jacob Neal
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Moving into the top-10 for the first time is Eddie Olpin (Kosmic). Like Bennett, the Utah driver has gradually advanced up the rankings and has a number of podium finishes on the season. His placement into the upper ten drivers puts Derek Crockett down to tenth in the order. Crockett is currently busy, opening a new kart shop in the St. Louis area as a new GP Kart dealer. He, like the rest of the top-10, are preparing for the SuperNationals which should decide just who ends the year number one in the first year of the Stock Moto rankings.

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NEW Stock Moto #1 - Tyler Bennett
Layton, Utah

Point Breakdown
Race Rank Finish Points
SKUSA SuperNationals 2008 10 4 1067
Utah State Champ. ’09 #6 9 3 993
Utah State Champ. ’09 #7 9 2 1009
Utah State Champ. ’09 #8 9 1 1027
Utah State Champ. ’09 #9 9 2 1008
Utah State Champ. ’09 #10 9 1 1014

Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 2.17
Average Points: 1019.7
Total Points: 6118

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Stock Moto #2 - Jacob Neal
Wildomar, California


Jordon Musser
(Photo: Joe Brittin - Go Racing Magazine)

Point Breakdown
Race Rank Finish Points
ProKart Challenge South ’09 #2 9 1 998
ProKart Challenge South ’09 #3 9 1 998
ProKart Challenge North ’09 #2 9 1 997
ProKart Challenge South ’09 #4 9 1 1003
ProKart Challenge Shootout 2009 9 1 1022
ProKart Challenge South ’09 #6 9 1 1014


Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1
Average Points: 1005.3
Total Points: 6032

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Stock Moto #3 - Jordon Musser
Coppell, Texas

Point Breakdown
Race Rank Finish Points
SWRC ’09 #2 9 1 973
SWRC ’09 #3 9 1 988
SWRC ’09 #4 9 1 988
SWRC ’09 #7 9 1 974
SWRC ’09 #8 9 1 974
RIGP King of the Streets ’09 10 1 1102

Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1
Average Points: 999.8
Total Points: 5999

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EKN Driver Rankings Calculation Process
The EKN Driver Rankings are calculated using a driver’s best finishes in major North American races. Assembled using events from the previous 12 months from the current date, we use a driver’s best seven finishes in TaG and six in Stock Moto (S3) to determine their overall current point total. With each new release, results posted from more than one year ago are discarded. To deliver this current ranking list, we tabulated the results of all the Snap-on Stars of Karting and Championship Karting International (CKI) national events, as well as other regional programs. We have also included the results for the major one-off events such as the Rock Island Grand Prix, SKUSA King of the Streets, and the SKUSA SuperNationals.

Each race was initially weighted based on the prestige and history of the event or series with a score of ten (10) being the highest attainable base ranking. For 2009, the SKUSA SuperNationals and the Rock Island Grand Prix are the only events to receive a score of 10 in their initial weighting. The Stars of Karting and CKI national series events draw a base ranking of nine (9), while the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup, Florida Winter Tour, and other regional program races were given a base ranking of nine (9) or eight (8). The EKN staff reserves the right to adjust the rankings of each event throughout the year.

Added to these initial rankings are two variables that help confirm the true importance of an event to the ranking process – field size and field strength. A percentage of one weighting point is added for the size of the field, while the number of existing top 50 drivers entered offers another full point or fraction of a point. The sum of these numbers becomes the overall ranking for any race. Following a race, drivers receive points based on their finishing positions with 100 points earned for a win. Each subsequent position drops by one point with 99 points given to the second place driver and so on throughout the field. These points are then multiplied by the overall ranking to produce a driver’s final point total from each event. Using a driver’s best seven races in TaG, six for Stock Moto, we calculate each driver’s overall score and subsequent ranking.

Article Credit: ekartingnews.com
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