Article by: Terry Bridges
This past weekend the Puget Sound Go Karting Association closed the 2008/2009 race season with their year-end "Crowing of Champions"banquet at the historic Landmark Convention Center in Tacoma, WA
The fourth floor of the historic building was a fitting surrounding for the "Champions Throne" and it was filled to capacity as Racers, Members, Friends and Family gathered for the "Crowning of Champions" festivities. This was an Epic year for the long-standing kart club, as 2009 marked its 50th anniversary of CONTINUOUS operation as a kart club & association & host for the annual "Crowning of Champions" year end banquet.
What makes this 50 year celebration even more impressive is the fact that the association, which was found in 1959, is the ONLY karting organization in the United States that can claim this MILESTONE achievement...The ONLY association with 50 years of the continuous operation in the ENTIRE sport of karting, made this years ceremonies "extra special", and extra special it was!......
......This years "Crowning of Champions"banquet was hosted by the new "Voice" of NW karting Terry Bridges of Pro Sound Audio Services......Those in attendance enjoyed the ambiance of smooth jazz music, hors d'oeuvres, a Mexican themed Smorgasbord of food for dinner, and the sharing of laughs &’Bench Racing’ conversation....the perfect atmosphere for this historic celebration.
The official celebration festivities got under way right after dinner, with the swearing in of Northwest karting legend Jack Lehman as the new PSGKA President for 2010 by 2009 President Doug Huggler, and Lyle Pickering handing over the Vice President duties to Butch "The 2009 Pit Boss" Sodden....on the more fun side of things, a balloon artist the "Balloon Buffoon" was in attendance amazing the youngsters building wacky balloon hats & balloon figures... However, the "Crowning of Champions" & "Racers Choice Awards"were the feature highlight of the evenings celebration.
There were 2 awards in the "Track Record" category, with young gun MicroMax driver Matt Morgan, & MiniMax driver Kyle "Mr. Smooth" Wick both taking home some hardware for new track records set this year. Kyle Wick took the honors away from Parker McKean and Matt Morgan was all alone as the MicroMax class was in its first year. In the 'Racers Choice' category, several different categories were voted on by Racers, Crews, & Club Members.....This year the "Rookie Jr. Driver of the Year" was Parker Portalski, (who also finished 2nd in Championship points in the MicroMax division) Junior "Driver of the Year" was Kyle 'Mr. Smooth" Wick (and also the '09 MiniMax champion). Rookie Sr. "Driver of the Year" honors went to two drivers Jeff Wheeler, (who was also crowned champion in the Stock 125-shifter class) & Brandon Cusak ('09 Yamaha Heavy champion).... Senior "Driver of the Year" honors this year also went to 2 drivers, Chris Sodden (‘09 Tag Sr. Champion), & Jerry Filgiano (World Formula Heavy '09 Champion)... The 2009 "Most Improved" Driver of the Year was Matt "the Young Gun" Morgan ( and also the '09 MicroMax Champion)....The "Hard Luck" award was won by Zach "Stinky" Bothell (the '09 runner up in the MiniMax division)....The prestigious PSGKA "Mechanic of the Year" honors were given to two very deserving & top notch tuners, Craig Wick (Who along with son Kyle were "Fast" everywhere, every week) & Doug "the Juggler" Huggler...(for his amazing ability to do more than one thing)....and the "Sportsman" of the Year honors went to Vice President & the 2009 125 Shifter Heavy champion, Lyle Pickering.
The celebration continued... Announcing the 2009 PSGKA Class Champions...TAG JR- Champion was Tessa Daniels, in World Formula Heavy-3rdplace was Dana McDonald, 2ndplace went to Norman Austin, and the 2009 Champion was Jerry Filgiano.
In Tag Cadet- finishing 2nd in championship points was Job Kandris, & the 2009 Cadet Champion was Justin Taylor.... In the always competitive Tag Masters- division, Shawn Kinney finished 2nd, & Doug Taylor was crowned 2009 champion....In Rotax MicroMax- It was a one, two finish with Parker Portalski in the runner up spot, & the 2009 Championship going to Matt Morgan....In Tag Senior-Dylan Kinney was 2nd, & last years hard luck award winner, Chris Sodden was crowned 2009 Champion....The 2009 Rotax MiniMax- Champion was Kyle "Mr. Smooth" Wick, with 2nd place honors going to Zach "Stinky" Bothell.....In Shifter Kart competition, Jeff Wheeler was crowned 2009 Stock 125 Shifter Champion, and Lyle Pickering took home the 2009 Championship hardware in 125 Shifter Heavy. In Yamaha Heavy- Doug Waterman was 2nd & Brandon Cusak was crowned 2009 Champion.
Great food, Great friends, & a 50-year Anniversary celebration made the 2009 PSGKA "Crowning of Champions" one to remember...Congratulations to all the PSGKA officers, competitors, members & supporters. Here's to another 50 Consecutive years!
Terry Bridges-Pro Sound Audio Services
3915 Kings Valley Highway
Dallas, OR 97338