Superkarts! USA regional programs to go head-to-head for bragging rights at Buttonwillow
Article By: Superkarts! USA
TEMECULA, CA (August 5, 2011) – Coming off of another successful edition of the Pro Tour, Superkarts! USA turns its attention to completing the regional programs for the 2011 season before heading to the famed SKUSA SuperNationals in November. Next weekend will be a smaller version of a Pro Tour event when the ProKart Challenge South and North programs collide for the third running of the West Coast Shootout. The top drivers from both regional series – and those along the west coast – will travel to the Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Buttonwillow, California on August 12-13 to compete on the #1 circuit layout in the counter-clockwise direction utilizing the kink.
Originally scheduled a week later for the Santa Maria Karting Association facility on the grounds of the Santa Maria airport, SKUSA was placed in a difficult situation and forced to move back to Buttonwillow, the site of the inaugural showdown in 2009. While bragging rights will be earned, so will championship points toward both regional programs. For the South series, the PKC Shootout marks the sixth and final stop on their 2011 schedule, with many championships on the line. The event will be round five for the North series, with their finale set for Atwater in September.
A battle to the end will be in the S1 Pro Stock Moto category, sponsored by Extreme Karting and Leading Edge Motorsports. Four drivers will wrap up their season-long battle with the South finale in Buttonwillow. Brad Dunford – a recent first-time Pro Tour winner and three-time PKC South feature winner this season – has just a 30-point advantage in the overall point chase over defending champ Clinton Schoombee. Peter Abba and Ryon Beachner, each on the podium throughout the year, are right there with the best five results of the six races to determine this year’s champion. Throw in the mix the North competitors Jason Toft and Brett Buckwalter, and the weekend’s results and championship chase is uncertain.
The race in TaG Senior, sponsored by Tony Kart West and Peterson Wealth Management, is down to two drivers for the South series - Travis Lowe and Devin Lindsey. Lowe was the hot ticket early on in the season, while Lindsey has come on stronger during the second half. Just 34-points separate them heading into Buttonwillow, with a host of drivers just looking to grab the win. Austin Elliott is currently the point leader in the North series, hounded by TJ Fischer – with Jess Peterson and David Harwin in the mix.
Nicky Freytag has a comfortable lead in the S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto class, sponsored by 2 Wild Karting and Sunshine Daydream Creations, for the South title chase. Vivek Tandon, Bryan Lemon, Michael Leib and Matias Podboj have kept him honest throughout the year – with Buttonwillow to decide the championship chase. The North series is bringing some tough competition, with point leader Jared Woolf leading the charge, scoring two feature wins on the season. Jamie Wilson, Chris Ouimet, S2 rookie Daniel Langon and others will compete in what is expected to be a stellar field.
The challenge has been made in the S4 Master Stock Moto class, sponsored by G-Phactory and Fastech Racing. PKC South title leader Jimmy McNeil comes into Buttonwillow on an eight-race win streak when combining the regional action and the four rounds on the Pro Tour. Fellow drivers, SKUSA, and members within the karting industry have laid out some contingency prizes for those who are able to outrun and outdrive the current S4 stud. The only driver to beat McNeil on the year was his father-in-law, Robert Marks, at the PKC South season opener. A number of PKC regulars and those that have been looking in on the season action will be in Buttonwillow – along with the top two drivers from the North, Nick Galante and Jim Kidd.
TaG Master, sponsored by Leading Edge Motorsports and Cambrian Go-Karts, sees four drivers in the championship chase for the South program while two drivers continue to stand out in the North. Steve Wiener holds the point lead over Will Jadiker, Kim Ryan and Allan Svela. The North comes into Buttonwillow stacked with talent, including Glenn McKinnon and Ethan Wilson, who have dominated the season results thus far.
The chase in the S3 Novice Stock Moto division, sponsored by Select Shifter/DR Kart, will put together some strong drivers that are sure to make the jump to S2 next season. Ryan Rasberry and Chris Yettito have gone back and forth all season long in the North and enter Buttonwillow in the middle of a tight title chase for the Nouth. Jessica Sollberger and Kellen Guthrie each have two feature wins on the year in the South, with Sollberger holding a 33-point advantage in the standings heading to the Shootout. Round one winner Sebastian Scaglia is right there to clean up if something happens to the top two.
The TaG Junior category, sponsored by EUSI and Bordogna Racing Engines, is sure to be a barn-burner of a race with a number of top-notch rising stars on the roster. The North’s leading drivers – Austin Dement, Blaine Rocha, Nick Sommers, and Jack Freese – have battled hard all season long and continue their title chase. On the South side, Carter Williams and Willy Axton are the only drivers left to run for the title.
Colton Herta will lock up the title for the South series this weekend in Buttonwillow in TaG Cadet, sponsored by Phil Giebler Racing and Cambrian Go-Karts. What will be on the line is the mini-series for an entry to the Rok Cup International Final. With Herta leading that chase, Noah Grey and Christian Brooks will look to knock him off the top for bragging rights and end the season with a solid finish. The North drivers are engaged in a heated point battle with five drivers in the mix. Hunter Corbitt currently leads the standings with Hunter Kelly, Davey Manthei Jr., Danny Rubino, and Scott Huffaker capping off the top-five, all still with a shot at the title.
Micah Hendricks will complete the 2011 season as the new ProKart Challenge South champ in S5 Junior Stock Moto, sponsored by EUSI. A class that is still growing year-by-year, a number of drivers moved up to the S2 category at the start of the season, leaving Hendricks without much competition. Also on the docket for the event will be the PKC South categories of S4 Magnum and G1, where each welcomed three entries at the last Buttonwillow event – with more scheduled to participate at this round.
The ProKart Challenge pre-entry online price of $295 (including race tires) will be available until Wednesday, August 10 at www.skusastore.com. Signup at the track will be allowed but will cost racers $85 more than the pre-race entry fee. Friday practice will be held August 12 from 9am to 5pm. The specially-branded MG-SK ‘SKUSA’ tire – the official tire for all Superkarts! USA events – will be utilized (for all classes except TaG Cadet, which uses the MG-HZ tire). Reserved pit spots are encouraged and are available for just $30. On-site camping will be allowed for just $50 for the weekend. More information regarding the ProKart Challenge West Coast Shootout at Buttonwillow Raceway Park can be found at the following link (www.superkartsusa.com/regional/pkc-south/round-6-2011.html).
For more info 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.