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ProKart Challenge South Tackles Streets of Willow Circuit

5/18/2011

Lindsey scores first TaG Senior win with Dunford earning second S1 win of season

Article By: Superkarts! USA

ROSAMOND, CA (May 14, 2011) – Running over 100mph just one inch off the ground is an adrenaline rush like no other. That was just one of the many factors why karters gathered at the Streets of Willow complex inside the Willow Springs International Motorsports Park in Rosamond, California this past weekend. Superkarts! USA hosted round four of the six-race ProKart Challenge South championship series, coming off the very successful SKUSA Pro Tour opener just two weeks earlier. The title hunt for the ten categories competing on the 1.8-mile course raged on, with Brad Dunford establishing himself as the driver to beat for the championship in the headline S1 Pro Stock Moto category with win two of the season, while Devin Lindsey tossed his name in the hat for the TaG Senior chase with his first victory of the year.

The California karting scene is a hotbed for some of the best TaG Senior drivers in the country. Many of them took on the fast-paced Streets circuit searching for more glory in the Tony Kart West-sponsored category. Mason Marotta and Matt Johnson were the leaders of the pack through much of the day. Marotta posted the fast lap in qualifying (1:19.231), with Johnson in second. The Cricca brothers, Chris and Shawn, were third and fourth – all within a two-tenths of one another. Marotta and Johnson partnered up to drive away to a five-second win in the opening 10-lap heat race, and worked together in the second – only to have Johnson slingshot around Marotta for the win. In the 16-lap main event, Lindsey would join the mix at the front of the field after running inside the top-five all day. Once to the lead by lap five, Lindsey and Johnson would push themselves to a 1-2 finish, with the victory and fast lap credit with 10 important championship points going to Lindsey. Adrian Starrantino was able to track down Marotta on the final circuit to steal the third podium step, with Shawn Cricca in fifth over point leader Travis Lowe.

With the championship close in the Extreme Karting-sponsored S1 Pro Stock Moto class, the three contenders returned for round four of the battle. Dunford led the way in qualifying (1:16.196), with Ryon Beachner just 0.093-seconds off his time. The top four, including Clinton Schoombee and a returning Bobby Legate, battled for the lead heavily in the first half of heat one. The race fell to three in the lead group as Dunford retired on lap eight. At the line after 10 laps, Schoombee edged out Beachner by just 0.041-seconds for the win, with Legate beating out Peter Abba for third. Things continued to heat up in the second moto, this time with Abba showing the way until a last lap slingshot by Schoombee earned him another win – while Dunford recovered to third over Beachner and Legate. Schoombee, Abba and Dunford were able to pull away in the 16-lap main event to fight it out for the win. After numerous lead changes, Abba led as they took the white flag. Coming around for the checkered, Dunford made his way to the front and scored the victory over Schoombee and Abba, with Beachner and Legate rounding out the top-five.

The first half of the 2011 season has been pleasing for Jimmy McNeil in the G-Phactory-sponsored S4 Master Stock Moto division. McNeil earned his third straight PKC South main event win to add more distance on his competitors toward the championship. Title contender Robert Marks edged out McNeil for the top honor in the qualifying session, posting a 1:17.087-lap. McNeil came in just 0.063-seconds slower, with Doug Hayashi just two-tenths back. McNeil never looked back once the lights went out to begin heat one. Leading all 10 laps in both heat races, McNeil went wire-to-wire in the main event for the victory. McKee won a great battle for second, edging out Rob Logan at the line for the position, with Robert Marks and Wayne Mello placing fourth and fifth.

The 2 Wild Karting-sponsored S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto category witnessed its fourth different main event winner in as many events, this time with Matias Podboj taking the checkered flag. Podboj was quick off the trailer, leading the way in the qualifying session over Bryan Lemon and point leader Nicky Freytag. After battling for the win with Freytag, Podboj powered away to the win by six seconds. Freytag drove to the win in heat two over Michael Leib and Lemon, as Podboj retired on the opening lap with a seized piston. With his Honda CR125 repaired, Podboj got a great launch off the grid and put down a quick opening lap to lead the way to begin the feature. Freytag trailed, but was unable to stay in the draft as Podboj drove on to a four-second victory – with Leib completing the podium. Peter Workum earned his second straight victory in the G1 class, sweeping the day’s action over PKC newcomer Gary Cheek and a returning Thomas Cerny. Mark Lewis swept the day in S4 Magnum Stock Moto over Robert Morales, while Kellen Guthrie was nearly untouchable in the Select Shifter/DR Kart-sponsored S3 Novice Stock Moto class, outrunning point leader Jessica Sollberger and Vatche Tatikian.

The second round of the Rok Cup International Final Shoot-out within the Phil Giebler Racing-sponsored TaG Cadet category took part on a modified course for the younger drivers. Colton Herta continued his dominance in the category, scoring his third straight main event win of the season and two-for-two in the mini series. Herta began the event by posting the quickest lap in qualifying (1:03.914). The win in heat one slipped away for Herta, as they went the opposite way with the set-up, leaving Anthony Sawyer the top spot and race win. Herta regrouped from there and assumed the point quickly once heat two began, scoring the win by over four seconds after 10 laps. From green to checkered, Herta led the entire 16-lap feature with a nearly 15-second advantage over Noah Grey and Sawyer.

Kevin Manning looked to have the Leading Edge Motorsports-sponsored TaG Master division in his hands up until the main event. Showing the way in qualifying and the opening heat, Manning crossed the line in front in heat two but was penalized for a jump start, giving the win to point leader Steve Wiener. During the opening lap of the feature, Manning was off-pace and eventually retired a few laps later with mechanical issues. This allowed Wiener and Will Jadiker to fight it out for the win. After 16 laps, Jadiker took the victory over Wiener – with Kim Ryan edging out Allan Svela for third. Carter Williams extended his point lead in the newly sponsored E.U.S.I.-TaG Junior category with an event sweep. Williams began the day with a 1:24.097-lap in qualifying before scoring the win in the heat races and then the main event over Willy Axton and Dallas Hollins.

SKUSA’s ProKart Challenge South returns to action on June 17-18 as the series heads further south to partner with the San Diego Karting Association to race the parking lot course outside the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. Prior to that, the Superkarts! USA organization will host round three of the ProKart Challenge North program, making its first trip to the Desert Park Raceway in Reno, Nevada on May 27-28.

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About Superkarts! USA:

Established in 1995, Superkarts! USA is dedicated to shifterkart and TaG racing and is the leader in the field, currently promoting five regional racing series. Racing programs are currently running in Southern California, Northern California, Hawaii, Colorado, Missouri and Iowa, in cooperation and support from official tire supplier MG Tires. In 2011, the organization is promoting the second edition of the SKUSA Pro Tour, which features a pair of major events in Arizona and Colorado, all leading up to the annual SKUSA SuperNationals, the biggest shifter kart race in the world, held every November in Las Vegas, NV. For more information on SKUSA, please visit www.superkartsusa.com.

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