KENT, Wash. — (June 21, 2010) Round 2 of the I-5 Corridor Series wrapped up Sunday at PGP Motorsports Park, with Jim Lilleberg and Stepanova Nakeel completing weekend sweeps of the top spots on the podium in the Stock Moto Light and Rotax Senior categories, respectively.
Lilleberg used a strong jump off the start-finish line to take the lead heading into Turn 1 in Sunday’s Stock Moto Light final, and then he held off a strong push from polesitter Cameron Egger, who later dropped out with a mechanical problem on lap 4.
“I got lucky and started the weekend with my baseline setup and I was 2 seconds faster than the field,” said Lilleberg, owner of Kenmore Electric and a resident of Bothell, Wash. “I didn’t touch the kart the whole weekend. But it was lucky for me Cameron broke (in Sunday’s final), because he was coming.”
Sean Naslund finished second in Stock Moto Light on both days, with Cameron Kingsley and Steve Perdue flip-flopping third and fourth over the weekend — Kingsley was third on Sunday and Perdue took it on Saturday. Chuck Eaton rounded out the top five on Sunday and Trevor Thompsen was fifth on Saturday.
Nakeel started from the pole and led flag-to-flag in winning Sunday’s Rotax Senior final. Derek Wang was second, Darren Ward finished third, Jerry Peterson was fourth and Brittney Cusack rounded out the top five. On Saturday, Drew Revord was the runner-up, followed by Peterson, Travis Henson and Cameron Grimes-Hess.
The I-5 Corridor series was conceived by PGP owner Paul Zalud and Chris Egger, owner of Pat’s Acres Racing Complex in Canby, Ore. With four rounds of action — two at PGP and two at PARC — and racing both days, travel expenses are minimized while limiting the number of classes means track time is maximized. Round 1 was held at PARC May 15-16, and although the weather wasn’t ideal for Round 2, the racers enjoyed competing on PGP’s state-of-the art .82-mile, 14-turn track.
“I thought we left this stuff in Oregon,” said a laughing Chris Egger of the rainy conditions. “PGP and PARC are very different. PGP is big, long and wide — it will test horsepower setups. PARC has been called the most technical in the country by some. … But PGP is, in my opinion, one of the best tracks anywhere.”
That sentiment was echoed on Sunday by Ed Portz of Corvallis, Ore. While getting his son ready for the Rotax Micro final Portz said PGP was “a good track that is deceivingly technical.” Edward Portz Jr. loaded up on the hardware over the weekend, with the 8-year-old sweeping the TaG Cadet and Rotax Micro classes. Hunter Melahn finished second in the TaG Cadet class both days. In the Rotax Mini class, Marco Eakins and Jake Preston finished 1-2 both days, while Tessa Daniels swept top honors in the TaG Junior category.
In Rotax Junior, Brandon Scheiber and Parker McKean pulled away from the field at the drop of the green flag on Sunday, with Scheiber notching the victory. Joseph Schwager was third, Dalton Egger finished fourth and Luke Selliken was fifth. Schwager took the victory on Saturday, followed by Austin Hudson, Selliken, Dalton Egger and Niko Pagones.
Brandon Brock won the Stock Moto Heavy final on Sunday, with Bruce McKean finishing second. McKean won Saturday’s final, followed by Preston Pearson and Brock. In Rotax Master, Stuart Barney and Todd O’Neel swapped being winner and runner-up, with Barney taking the top spot on Sunday and O’Neel getting the victory on Saturday. Dorion Ford in Junior Moto and Jason Hall in the Stock Moto Open earned uncontested wins on Sunday.
PGP will host Round 3 of the I-5 Corridor Series Aug. 21-22, with the series finale at PARC on Sept. 11-12. Both Zalud and Eggers have high expectations for the series, which is now halfway through its inaugural run.
“Anytime you start something new, you start with a base and grow it,” Egger said. “We have more racers here today than we had for Round 1, and I’m sure there will be more again here in August, and more again in September.”