Former national karting star returns to home track to score TaG Senior win at round four of Superkarts! USA regional series
Article By: Superkarts! USA
TEMECULA, CA (July 7, 2011) – Superkarts! USA celebrated the Fourth of July holiday weekend hosting the fourth round of the ProKart Challenge North program at the Marina Airport Kart Track – home of the Monterey Bay Karters. The two day event was held July 1-2 on the temporary 1/2-mile course that provided a challenging new facility for the racers to adapt to. Marking the start of the region’s second half of the season, this event supplied enough drama and excitement to change the look of quite a few championship chases. One driver mixed up the championship challengers as former national karting star and nearby Salinas native Ryan Yop stole the round victory from the PKC regulars in the TaG Senior division.
Yop joined the other season competitors in the Peterson Wealth Management-sponsored TaG Senior class with championship contender and round two winner TJ Fischer leading the way in the qualifying session with a 35.253-lap. Chelsi Wagner posted her best qualifying performance of the year in second, with Yop in third. Yop used his home track knowledge to his advantage in heat one, blasting forward to the point by lap two and holding off Fischer for the win by two-tenths. Championship leader Austin Elliott recovered from a poor qualifying effort to end up third. Yop and Fischer once again battled in the second heat, this time with Fischer gaining the edge in the final lap to score the win – while Elliott fell victim to David Harwin and Wagner, ending up fifth. Yop stepped up the pace in the 20-lap main event, posting the fast laps of the race en route to a five-second victory. Behind him was a heated battle for the runner-up position with the remainder of the field. Fischer and Elliott took control of the position early on, but it was round three winner Jess Peterson who emerged with the spot at the checkered flag. Fischer ended up third with Elliott fourth and Harwin completing the top-five.
The Sunshine Daydream Creations-sponsored S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto category witnessed its third different feature winner in as many events with Chris Ouimet shining through to score his first of the season. Jamie Wilson began the event as the top qualifier – posting a 34.492-lap – with point leader Jared Woolf, Ouimet and Justin Casey capping off the fast-four. Wilson was unable to get off the line clean to begin heat one, falling to fifth by the completion of lap one. This allowed Woolf to assume the lead and take the win. Wilson battled back to finish second over Casey and Ouimet. Woolf once again was able to get away early in heat two, driving to a six-second victory with Wilson holding second. Woolf and Wilson resumed their positions at the front of the field to begin the main event, this time with Wilson at the point. They ran 1-2 until lap nine when Wilson missed a shift. The two made contact and Wilson was sidelined. Woolf continued on after getting restarted but fell to second as Ouimet took over the point. Despite posting the fast lap of the race early on, Woolf would not be able to track down Ouimet. At the checkered, Ouimet took his first win of the season by just over one second – with Wilson able to complete the podium after Casey was unable to make the starting grid. Nick Galante ran unchallenged to the victory in the Fastech Racing-sponsored S4 Master Stock Moto class, while Chris Yettito prevailed in the S3 Novice Stock Moto division over Ryan Raspberry.
Cambrian Go-Karts-sponsored TaG Master point leader Glenn McKinnon added his third main event victory to his 2011 resume to assure his status at the top of the category. McKinnon found himself in chase-mode early on as Randy Froom was the driver to beat in Monterey. Froom edged out JP Cadoux in qualifying by just 37-thousandths of a second with a 35.919-lap in the session – while McKinnon ended up third in his 10th and final lap. In the opening lap of heat one, Cadoux would be shuffled back to the tail of the field as Froom led the lead train. McKinnon challenged as did defending SKUSA Pro Tour champion Ethan Wilson, but Froom held on at the end for the win. Wilson ended up second with McKinnon third. At the start of heat two, Wilson this time was the odd-man out, dropping to the tail of the field through the opening lap. Froom and McKinnon hooked up and ran 1-2 to the checkered flag. Cadoux ended up third with Wilson able to work his way back up to fourth. Froom’s luck, however, would run out before the green flag waved to begin the main event as his rear tire broke off and ended his chance at victory. With Froom on the sidelines, Cadoux and McKinnon were left to fight it out for the win. Cadoux led early, until lap six when McKinnon took over the position. After 20 laps, McKinnon took the victory by just over one second ahead of Cadoux, with Wilson completing the podium in third.
Austin Dement extended his point lead in the Bordogna Racing Engines-sponsored TaG Junior championship chase, sweeping the day’s action toward feature win number two of the season. Dement broke the 36-second mark, posting a 35.853-lap in qualifying to lead all competitors in the session. After going wire-to-wire in the two 12-lap heat races, Dement came under fire by Curtis Paul. The two exchanged the top spot a number of times over the course of the main event, before Dement sealed the deal on the final lap to score the victory. Paul ran a respectable second for his best showing of the year. Nick Sommers gained valuable points with a run in the third position.
The Cambrian Go-Karts-sponsored TaG Cadet division entered the second event of the Rok Cup International Final Shoot-out – as the chase for the PKC season championship continued on. Series point leader Davey Manthei Jr. was best in show during the qualifying session, putting down a 39.156-lap to edge Scott Huffaker by 85-thousandths – with Shoot-out leader Hunter Corbitt in third. The top two pulled away early in heat one, and ran nose to tail until the final lap when Huffaker pulled the trigger. At the line, Huffaker took the win by just one-hundredth of a second over Manthei. Huffaker continued the pace in heat two, driving away to a six-second victory, as Manthei fell back to fifth after 12 laps with Hunter Kelly, Corbitt and Danny Rubino able to work by for position. All of that went away in the main event, as the playing field leveled out. After some jostling for position early on, Huffaker was joined out front by Kelly and Corbitt. By lap 10, Corbitt had established himself as the leader and took the checkered flag for his second straight feature win. Kelly ended up second with Huffaker in third. Manthei would retire early, black-flagged for a broken rear bumper and then disqualified for ignoring the flag the first few times he was given the signal, which could come into play when the championship is decided.
Next on the calendar for Superkarts! USA will be the much-anticipated Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2011 SKUSA Pro Tour – The Mothers SummerNationals – to be held July 15-17 in Grand Junction, Colorado. For more information on anything related to the ProKart Challenge or Superkarts! USA, visit their website – www.superkartsusa.com – or call the SKUSA head office at 951-491-0808.
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.