Article by: Superkarts! USA
Fritz Leesmann will look to clinch the S1 Pro Stock Moto series championship at the PKC North finale over Labor Day weekend
Coming off the very successful 2010 edition of the ProKart Challenge West Coast Shootout, the ProKart Challenge North regional program will wrap up its 6-race season over the Labor Day weekend (September 3-4) at the Jim Russell International Karting Center in Sonoma, California. The event at the Infineon Raceway facility is sure to be a solid one, with it tapped as the final Superkarts! USA west coast regional race prior to the SKUSA SuperNationals in November. Above all, championships for all nine regional categories will be decided with the final laps around the ‘National’ circuit of the JRIKC complex.
The headline S1 Pro Stock Moto category has been largely the domain of Fritz Leesmann since the opening round in February. The former ICC national contender made the move to the Stock Moto program this season and has not lost a beat. While he has not won since the first round, Leesmann has stood second on the podium in the last three events – including the PKC West Coast Shootout. Barring any issues during the final round, Leesmann should clinch the title – though he will have Brett ‘The Jet’ Buckwalter lurking nearly. Moving from TaG Senior back to the shifter ranks, Buckwalter has had an impressive 2010 season thus far, with three podiums in five events.
Similar to Leesmann, Matt Alcorn has been head of the class in the S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto division. Alcorn has accumulated three podium finishes, including two main event victories, in five races. Though he struggled at the PKC Shootout, Alcorn will look to bounce back with a victory to clinch the class championship. Neil Joseph and Cameron Pringle have been strong as of late, both recording two podium finishes in the last three events. Each have a victory on the season, as well, but only Joseph is close enough to pressure Alcorn for the title at the finale.
The fight in the TaG Senior championship is now a two-dog fight between Bobby Kelley and Larry Fraser. Starting the season with a victory, Fraser was the driver to beat early on; however, Kelley’s four straight podiums after the opener – including the victory at the PKC Shootout – have propelled him to the top of the standings. Both will need to be on their game in Sonoma for the finale, with a host of others looking to challenge them for just the race win itself.
The tightest point battle heading into the finale is in the TaG Master class, with Jeff Deehan and Ethan Wilson looking to end their season-long fight. Wilson’s absence at round four cost him the point lead, as he now sits just 25 points behind Deehan. Head-to-head virtually all year, Wilson – who has won three features this season including the PKC Shootout – has bested Deehan four times. Unless Deehan steps up at the finale it could become five, thus giving the championship to Wilson.
One title that has already been clinched is the S4 Master Stock Moto – with Jeff Smith taking the honors. His five straight feature wins, including a big victory at the PKC Shootout, has Smith as the favorite heading into the SKUSA SuperNationals. The championship race for the runner-up spot continues with the fight between Alex Keith, Jim Inglebright, and Jack Arluck still raging on. The S3 Novice Stock Moto title has also been clinched, with Chris Yettito taking the honors prior to the finale in Sonoma.
The Junior competition has been stout in 2010 for the PKC North program, with the TaG Junior and HPV-2 Junior title chases expected to come down to the final laps. In TaG Junior, Deven Sanchez currently holds the point lead over Kathryn Cornell, who led the way until a disqualification in round four cost her valuable points in the championship. The gap is 190 markers, with anything possible at the finale. Cornell leads the HPV-2 Junior standings, thanks to her three victories on the year. She comes into round six with a 186-point advantage over Daniel Langon. No matter what happens in that division, Langon will leave Infineon with a championship in hand, as he will be crowned the first S5 Junior Stock Moto champ in series history.
The sixth and final round of the PKC North championship will begin on September 3 with a practice day, as on-track activities will take place from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Tentatively scheduled will be a Friday night complimentary BBQ dinner at the track (PKC is looking for a sponsor). Race pre-registrations are currently being accepted, with racers able to save $35 on their entry fees by submitting an entry prior to midnight on Wednesday, September 1. SKUSA memberships will be mandatory for the event, and forms are available on the SKUSA/ProKart Challenge website. Trailer parking is available starting Thursday afternoon. Camping on site will be permitted Friday and Saturday night at no charge. A tentative event schedule is posted on the website, as well – with racers needing to understand that just one round of practice will be given on Saturday due to the addition of the Jim Russell Arrive and Drive racers to the event schedule. Additional details on this event, including host hotel info, can be found at the PKC event page: www.superkartsusa.com/regional/pkc-north/round-6-2010.html
The PKC North finale will have live timing and blogging provided for those not able to attend the race first-hand. Those looking to follow the action are asked to watch www.superkartsusa.com/live. For more information on anything related to SKUSA and the ProKart Challenge, visit the redesigned and updated www.superkartsusa.com website or call the SKUSA head office at 951-491-0808.