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Leesman, Alcorn, Smith and Kelley: ProKart North

9/13/2010

Nine championships decided after final round over Labor Day weekend in Sonoma

The third year of the Superkarts! USA ProKart Challenge North program completed on September 4 with the sixth round of the 2010 season. Following the event, the championship standings for the nine categories were tabulated with the champions decided. The series continues to call the Jim Russell International Karting Center home, contesting five of the six events at the Sonoma, California facility with the only event outside the Napa Valley region the PKC West Coast Shootout in Santa Maria last month.

With the new Stock Moto ladder system that Superkarts! USA implemented for the 2010 season, the regular Stock Moto division broke into two groups the headline S1 Pro Stock Moto and S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto. Coming into the PKC North finale, former ICC front-runner Fritz Leesmann showed the most consistency on the year in S1 that saw five different winners in six events. Leesmann led the way in the standings from the beginning with the feature win at the season opener, adding three runner-up finishes heading into the final round. Poised for his second victory at round six, Leesmann was leading the way until five laps to go when his carburetor came off his Honda powerplant. Scoring enough points up to that point in the event, Leesmann scored the title championship. Brett Buckwalter the 2009 TaG Senior champion made his return to shifter kart racing in S1 as well, scoring second in the standings with four podium finishes despite no victories. Inaugural Stock Moto series champ Jason Toft completed 2010 third in the order with a win at round four.

Scoring his second series championship was Matt Alcorn, as he took home the inaugural S2 title. The S4 (Stock Moto Heavy) champion in 2008, Alcorn was the driver to beat early on this year. Sweeping the opening round, Alcorn ended the season with two total wins and three additional trips to the podium. Alcorn edged-out round three winner Neil Joseph for the title, with Cameron Pringle scoring two wins in five events to sit third in the final tally.

After starting out the year poorly in TaG Senior, Bobby Kelley bounced back to rip off five podium finishes including two wins in the final two events to score the championship. The Riverside, CA driver scored a solid win at the PKC West Coast Shootout to move into the point lead heading into the final round. Over the Labor Day weekend event, Kelley stamped his name on the trophy with the victory. Larry Fraser was the early standings leader, scoring two wins in the first three events. The second half of the season was downhill for the veteran as fourth was his best finish, including a DNS at the North vs. South battle. Like Kelley, Jess Peterson had a great second half, standing on the podium three times in the last four races to end up third overall.

Coming off of a championship in the PKC South program, Jeff Smith made his PKC North debut in 2010 and nearly posted a perfect season in the S4 Master Stock Moto division. Smith took home the main event victory at all six events, earning the pole award four times and losing only two of the 12 heat races. Certainly his mark left on the 2010 season will be hard to match in future editions of the PKC North program. The fight for second came down to the final laps, with Alex Keith able to edge Jim Inglebright for the runner-up position in the standings. In the new S3 Novice Stock Moto class, Chris Yettito took the inaugural title over Todd Wilson.

Former two-time vice-champion in the G1 category, Ethan Wilson made the move over to TaG Master with success. Starting the year out with the victory, Wilson scored three more wins and a runner-up spot on the podium to score the highest points on the year for the championship. 2009 champion Jeff Deehan challenged Wilson throughout the season, but came up 45 points short in his title defense. Arizona driver Peter Workum ended up third in the standings following his three podium trips on the season.

Kathryn Cornell became the first female champion in PKC North history as she dominated the HPV-2 Junior division. Standing on the podium in five of the six events, her two wins on the season and consistency up front helped her earn the title over Jack Freese and Daniel Langon who also scored the S5 Junior Stock Moto championship. Cornell battled for the TaG Junior title, as well. However, Deven Sanchez was more consistent down the stretch in order to score the class championship. Sanchez won the opening round and stayed out of trouble the remainder of the season to score the title. Cornell and Austin Dement each earned two main event victories, settling for second and third in the final standings.

Now that the 2010 season for the PKC North program is wrapped up, the drivers will be able to accept their awards at the season-ending banquet, scheduled for October 16. The ProKart Challenge staff is currently finalizing the details of the awards ceremony with the location to be announced in the near future.

Also on tap is the PKC South banquet award ceremonies rescheduled to Sunday, September 26 at The Grand/Long Beach Event Center from 2pm to 6pm. The location is the same as in 2009 with information on the event and tickets available on the SKUSA website. Also building is the anticipation for the SKUSA Pro Tour finale, the SKUSA SuperNationals XIV, at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on November 17-21.

For more information on anything related to SKUSA or the ProKart Challenge, visit the www.superkartsusa.com website or call the SKUSA head office at 951-491-0808.

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