LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 26, 2012)—Carter Williams of Clovis, Calif., finished second in S5 shifter and Kiel Spaulding of Elk Grove, Calif., was third in TaG Senior to top the feature performances for Phil Giebler Racing in the prestigious 16th annual Superkarts! USA SuperNationals on Nov. 18 on a .85-mile temporary course at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
“It felt great to finish second even though I really wanted first,” Williams said. “It was a great finish for me and the team and I secured the number three national plate. It was also awesome getting my first SuperNationals pole.”
Spaulding started 15th in a 42-car field and drove through a multi-car wreck in the first turn to move up to third. The 16-year-old challenged for the lead in the 25-lap feature and had to fend off attacks to take third. Spaulding was ill the night before the race.
“In honesty, I felt I wasn’t going to get a top five,” Spaulding said. “Not after what I was going through Saturday night. I got really ill and I thought I wasn’t racing Sunday. But I felt good enough to race and went for it. The plan going into it came out like I expected, get as many spots in turn one as possible. During the race, we were missing a bit of speed, but I outraced the kids who were faster to hold onto third place.”
“It was a great result for Kiel after a bit of bad luck in the third heat that put him back at the start of the feature,” team owner Giebler said. “Plus, he was sick.”
Williams also finished 10th in the TaG Junior feature, which had 40 starters.
“I am very happy with my result in TaG Junior,” Williams said. “I’m not disappointed at all with finishing 10th after starting 27th. After qualifying 32md, my team worked really hard o improve my position for the main. My 10th place secured the number two national plate. I want to give a huge thanks to Phil and Everett Giebler, Alex Sanner and everyone at Phil Giebler Racing for an awesome SuperNationals.”
Marino Sato of Japan finished 13th in TaG Junior feature in his debut with the team. He started it in 30th.
“Sato is a great driver and has a lot of potential.” Phil Giebler said. “He’s very professional and impressive to watch. He had a great qualifying run to post sixth fastest time in qualifying and was running strong in the first heat before getting involved in a last lap accident that happened right in front of him. He had carburetor issues in the second heat and struggled in the third with the track and air temperature change in the evening.”
Joel Miller of Hesperia, Calif., who has stood on all three podium spots in the SuperNationals, finished 20th in the TaG Senior feature.
“Joel had an unlucky finish in one of the heats that put him in 18th starting spot,” Phil Giebler said. “He was stuck on the outside of turn one at the start and was collected in a big pileup. Joel was the favorite going into the race and it’s unfortunate that he was unable to fight for the win.”
Connor Wagner of Dallas finished 22nd in the S2 shifter feature in his first event with Phil Giebler Racing.
“Conner Wagner had a very impressive debut,” Giebler said. “He was always running in the top four in his heats and started third in the final. He showed the potential to finish on the podium, but was crashed out in turn four. He restarted from last and made it back up of 22nd. I am excited to work with Conner in 2013. I feel he has a great chance to win some championships in the future. He is a great kid with a good work ethic and lots of natural speed.”
Nick Freytag of Paradise Valley, Ariz., was an early casualty in S1 shifter, completing only seven laps in the 25-lap feature and finishing 22nd.
In the TaG Master feature, Paul Grey of Mission Viejo, Calif., recovered from contact on the first lap to finish 20th, Ethan Wilson of Campbell, Calif., was 34th and Vatche Tatikian of North Hollywood, Calif., was 42nd.
“All three had some difficulties in the heats,” Giebler said. “Ethan battled hard early in the race, but dropped out with around 10 laps to go in the final. Vatche was knocked out in an incident on the first lap.”
Noah Grey of Dana Point, Calif., finished second in the last chance qualifier to get into the feature, where he finished 29th.
Mason Daughters of Polo, Mo., and Dakota Dickerson of San Diego failed to advance out of the last chance qualifier to the feature in TaG Senior.
Daughters had electrical failures in practice and was pushed into the barriers on the first lap of qualifying. Without a timed lap, he was last in the field of 88 and had to start 43rd in the 12-lap heats. He passed 58 drivers in the combined 36 laps and started 11th. Daughters was taken out in the first corner of the last chance qualifier. He bounced back to finish 20th in the 40-car field.
Dickerson had a carburetor problem in qualifying and it put him in starting positions deep in the field in the heats. He finished 23rd in the last chance.
“Dakota Dickerson looked strong, 15th (out of 44) in the first practice, but he was 42nd in qualifying from a carburetor problem and it made the heats difficult to survive,” Giebler said.
Trenton Sparks of Bakersfield, Calif., finished 15th and Valentina Sarmiento of Venezuela was 29th in the TaG Cadet last chance qualifier and didn’t advance to the feature.
“Trenton didn’t complete a lap in qualifying and started all the heat races last,” Giebler said. “He damaged his frame in the first heat and had didn’t finish another heat. He started last in 42nd in the last chance qualifier and moved up to 18th on the first lap,but didn’t make it into the top six to transfer to the feature. This was Valentina’s first time racing in a world-class event and she did a great job of improving all weekend.”
Dallas Hollins of Fontana, Calif., also made progress in TaG Junior, finishing 40th, 34th and 31st in her heats.
“Dallas gained some valuable experience in the most competitive event in the United States this year,” Giebler said.
Ten drivers out of the 15 entered by the team drove in the features.
“Our results were a mixed bag,” Giebler said. “Every driver had at least one heat that was a DNF or involved in an incident that put them way at the back of the field, really hurting their chances of a solid starting position for the final. There was a lot of aggressive driving by many drivers in the SuperNationals.”
Owned by the 2007 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, Phil Giebler Racing is based in Orange, Calif., and competes nationally at the highest level of karting in the United States. Giebler is a resident of Huntington Beach, Calif. The team uses Fernando Alonso and Tony Karts.
For more information, go to www.philgieblerracing.com.
Phil Giebler Racing feature results at the SKUSA 16th SuperNationals at Las Vegas, Nev., on Nov. 18:
S5 shifter: 2. Carter Williams, Clovis, Calif.; TaG Senior—3. Kiel Spaulding, Elk Grove, Calif; 20. Joel Miller, Hesperia, Calif.; TaG Junior—10. Williams; 13. Marino Sato, Japan; 29. Noah Grey, Dana Point, Calif.; S1 shifter: 22. Nick Freytag, Paradise Valley, Ariz.; TaG Master—20. Paul Grey, Mission Viejo, Calif.; 34. Ethan Wilson, Campbell, Calif.; 42. Vatche Tatikian, North Hollywood, Calif.; S2 shifter: 22. Connor Wagner, Dallas.
Drivers who did not qualify for features:
Last chance qualifier results: TaG Senior--20. Mason Daughters, Polo, Mo.; 23. Dakota Dickerson, San Diego; TaG Cadet—15. Trenton Sparks, Bakersfield, Calif.; 29. Valentina Sarmiento, Venezuela.
Heat results: TaG Junior—40., 34., 31. Dallas Hollins, Fontana, Calif.