The eKartingNews.com Awards was launched in 1999 with the stated goal of honoring the sport’s best drivers. Past winners of this national award include Darren Elliott, Kyle Martin and Scott Speed. In 2009, Pacific Northwest’s Stepanova Nekeel is amongst the five nominees for the “Rising Star” award. This award is given to a competitor who is in their first or second season at the senior level of karting and is destined for greatness at the headline level in the near future. Successful results at the regional level and consistent finishes at the national level are what is needed to be considered for this award.
The winner will be chosen based on EKN reader votes. Please support Stepanova by emailing EKN at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘EKN Awards 2009 - Username’ and your vote for Stepanova as EKN Raising Star. The ‘Username’ must be the name you have registered for the EKN Forum. To discuss the EKN Awards 2009, visit the EKN Official Discussion Thread.
Having started his racing career at the Puget Sound Go Kart Association in Tacoma, WA, Stepanova Nekeel has blossomed into one of the brightest young stars in the Northwest. Having won club championships at the Cadet and Junior level at Westwood, Canada and PSGKA, Nekeel went on to win at the regional level in the highly competitive Northwest Gold Cup Rotax Senior class in his first attempt. Racing with Rolison Performance Group in 2008, he burst onto the National scene with a podium finish in the Stars of Karting Seattle event and had incredible speed at the Rotax Grand Nationals in Shawano, WI.
Often arriving at the race track with his kart strapped onto the bed of his dad's compact pickup truck, the low budget Nekeel solidified his name amongst the top national karters in 2009 by contesting in the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas winter series, finishing on the podium at the Rotax Summer Shootout, running amongst the leaders at the Rotax Grand Nationals, and representing the USA at the Rotax Grand Finals in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Stepanova Nekeel is able to compete at this level thanks to his father and mechanic, Tim Skeel, and support from Rolison Performance Group. With a limited racing budget in 2010, Nekeel plans to race the entire Gatorz Challenge of Americas series and select Pro Kart Challenge West, Northwest Gold Cup, Northwest I-5 Corridor, Rotax Pan American series races. He will also compete in the Rotax Grand Nationals, and SKUSA Supernationals.
Rolison Performance Group provides a range of services from complete race-weekend support to one-on-one driver development through instruction, on-track practice, testing, and training. Race weekend support packages and driver instruction days are available in 2010. For more information, please visit www.rolisonperformancegroup.com