Johnson earns first in S1 while Roch bags second straight in S2 at second round of 2011 season
Article By: Superkarts! USA
ST. LOUIS, MO (June 21, 2011) – The Superkarts! USA Central States Challenge regional got back to action over the June 11-12 weekend with the second round of the 2011 season. TNT Kartways in West Quincy, MO was the location of the event, with the facility celebrating it 50th season hosting kart races. The historic and challenging course set up for another weekend of great racing for the regional program feature TAG and shifterkarts. Current SKUSA Pro Tour S1 Pro championship contender Lukas Johnson earned his first regional victory of the season while Joe Roch scored his second straight in the competitive S2 Semi-Pro category.
The S1 Pro Stock Moto category, sponsored by Crockett Motorsports, held three of the top shifterkart drivers with defending SKUSA Pro Tour S2 champion Derek Crockett posting the fast lap in qualifying. He edged out fellow S2 graduate Lukas Johnson by just 0.006-seconds with a 27.628-lap in the session. Californian Nic LeDuc, a former top-10 in the eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings now living in Indiana, was unable to record a lap due to engine issues. Johnson grabbed the holeshot and led all of the 15 laps of heat one with Crockett trailing, matching the same results in heat two. LeDuc continued to have engine issues and was unable to make a lap until the main event. Able to get rid of the gremlins, LeDuc shot off the line and was into the lead by the completion of lap one with Crockett and Johnson right behind. LeDuc led until lap eight when Johnson was able to work by for position. The top two ran nose to tail with Johnson prevailing with the victory. LeDuc was a close second as Crockett had to settle for third.
Joe Ruch solidified his series debut with a victory at the opener in Anderson, Indiana, backing it up with a second straight win in the S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto class, sponsored by Unique Heating and Cooling. Ruch posted a 27.960-lap in qualifying to set the bar for the field. Nick Lougee was second with Kyle Gnau third. Ruch led wire-to-wire in both heat one and heat two with Gnau edging out Lougee and Austen Duncan in each moto. Keeping up a solid pace, Ruch continued on to sweep the event. Gnau was a solid third as Duncan was able to work around Lougee for the final podium position.
Kurt Mathewson joined the Central States Challenge for his first start of the season, going on to score victory in the River Lake Racing-sponsored S4 Master Stock Moto division. Ron Petersen began the event as the driver to beat, posting a 28.515-lap to secure the top spot in qualifying. Mathewson clocked in second with Chris Dickson third. Mathewson scored the holeshot to begin heat one, and held the lead through the 15 laps for the win with Petersen on his bumper en route to posting the fast lap of the race. The heat two event was even closer, however, with the same result as Mathewson edged out Petersen once again with both drivers running near identical fast laps. The 18-lap feature duplicated the previous results as Petersen kept the pressure on, but Mathewson would keep him at bay for the feature win. Dickson would complete the podium in third. The local option G1 category hosted three racers as race promoter and national race director Terry Riggins completed his first career event sweep. Riggins led the way in qualifying, both heat races and the main event to score the victory. Jordan Lake ran second with Kyle Donahue in third.
The action was exciting in the S5 Junior Stock Moto division right out of the box into qualifying. Erik Nelson posted the fast lap of 29.422 to nip round one winner Jenna Grillo and Collin Willis for the pole position with the top-five separated by less than a second. Grillo took the holeshot and the heat one win as she led flag-to-flag with Joe Reed advancing up to second ahead of Nelson and Willis. She continued to show the way in heat two, scoring the win as they fought for second behind them. Nelson came away with the spot and the fast lap of the race over Colt Masewich. Reed and Willis retired early on lap seven after contact. Grillo continued her pace at the front and was getting pressured from Reed for a number of laps to begin the main event. Lap six, the two went side-by-side and Grillo went wide and off into the marbles. Making contact with a barrier, she was able to walk away but her race was done. Reed inherited the lead and ran there until lap 10 when Nelson caught and passed for the lead. Nelson put down a solid final few laps to secure the victory. Reed held off a final push from Willis for the second spot.
Justin Vancil made his first start of the season a successful one as he swept the action in the TaG Senior category. Brad Winkelmann ran a solid second on the day with Kyle Koetters coming home in third. Alanmykael Polley won the Clone Sportsman division with Ryan Joehl scoring the victory in the Mates Concrete-sponsored TaG Cadet category while Connor Stuart took the local option Yamaha Jr. Sportsman class. Tate Steinmann and Krystian Polley made up the Kid Kart division.
The SKUSA Central States Challenge, part of the new Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine program, will be back in action on July 23-24 as they will partner once again with the Great Lakes Pro Series. The weekend will be a double-header for both programs, with Central States Challenge hosting rounds three and four of the season. SKUSA Central States Challenge would like to thank all of the 2011 partners: Crockett Motorsports, MG Tires, Mates Concrete, Unique Heating and Cooling, Riverlake Racing (RLR), and WaltersWebDesign.com. For more information on the 2011 Central States Challenge, be sure to visit their website - www.centralstateskarting.com
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, Central States, Hawaii and Colorado – in cooperation and support from official tire supplier MG Tires. In 2010, the organization launched its new SKUSA Pro Tour, which featured a pair of major events in the Midwest and Western United States, 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.