Sabre Cook leads team with runner-up finish and championship
Article By: CRG-USA
GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO (December 4, 2012) – In only their second season as a true team, the youngest CRG importer in North America went head-to-head with the big guns of the karting industry last weekend in Las Vegas. CRG-USA pulled into the parking lot of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for the 16th running of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals and came away with podium finishes and the prestigious S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto championship thanks to the performance of team driver Sabre Cook. It was the culmination of a successful year for the upstart squad.
Heading into Vegas, the Grand Junction, Colorado based team had plenty of expectations, as well as lots of karts riding in their trailer. Providing support to 20 drivers, CRG-USA had one of the strongest presences at the world’s largest karting event.
The first class to hit the track was the backbone of SKUSA racing, the seasoned S4 drivers. Leading the charge for CRG-USA in the Stock Honda Masters class was SoCal racer Robert Marks. Marks put his CRG on the front row of his respective heat races after clicking off the second fastest lap in his group’s qualifying session on Friday afternoon. Marks ran in the top-five in his first two heat races to gain a solid starting position on SuperSunday, but after botching the start in the main, he had to come back aggressively to salvage a hard fought eighth place. Fellow SoCal racer Darrell Tunnell entered Vegas putting a ribbon on his first year running under the CRG-USA tent. Tunnell recorded a top-10 in his first heat race, and went on to finish 26th in the main event. Jet Davis came in to the Rio knowing that he was guaranteed to see the starting grid on Sunday, thanks to winning the S4 title in the Rocky Mountain ProKart Challenge (RMPKC). Davis had what could only be described as a rough weekend. Qualifying 18th in a stacked field of 68 entries, Davis struggled to crack the top 15 for the rest of the run. Recording a weekend high finish of 14th in the third heat race, Davis finished his SuperNats weekend in 28th on Sunday.
Two drivers making their respective debuts with CRG-USA drove to top-15 finishes in the S4 category. Former Team USA Rotax Grand Finals team member Derek Wang was among the quickest at the event. After he qualified tenth overall, a wreck in one of the heat races dropped him down the order for the main event. He recovered to score an impressive 14th place finish in his S4 debut. Tim Ulmen enjoyed his first event with Team CRG-USA by recording a 12th place in the feature race. The Florida driver qualified 19th and was able to improve it to 17th for the start of the main even. Ulmen put three CRG-USA drivers inside the top-15, a solid accomplishment for the second year operation.
In one of the closest and most competitive classes of the weekend - TaG Cadet - CRG-USA only had one driver carrying the black and orange banner. Factory driver, and ball of energy, Riley Cook was making his first trip to the SuperNats and played the role with enthusiasm. Cook, like other RMPKC racers, was coming off a regional championship, so he knew his spot in the main on Sunday was safe. After a dismal qualifying effort, Cook held is own against the national talent. Cook showed poise after a lap one incident causing him to finish last in the second heat race. The youngest driver under the tent drove from a dead last starting spot on the grid Sunday to finish a respectable 25th in class.
In S5 Junior Stock Moto, CRG-USA fielded three young shifter pilots. Last year’s third place points finisher and SuperNats runner-up in S5, Ryan Rudolph, was making what is expected to be his last race for quite some time. The young and talented Mianna Wick stepped up to the plate in her second SuperNats, switching from TaG Junior last year, to Junior Stock Moto, while Yigal Rached raced with the team in Vegas as well. Wick just missed the top-10 in qualifying with an 11th place effort, while Rudolph sat two spots behind his teammate on the grid in 13th. Both youngsters had strong runs in the first heat. Rudolph beat Wick to the checkers by one spot as he came home seventh, and Wick eighth. The two teammates stuck together again in the finishing order for the second heat race, but unfortunately, this time they were on the opposite end of the grid. The main saw Wick crash out in the first lap, while Rudolph went on to finish a solid 10th place. Rached brought his #33 CRG home in 14th place on Sunday after Qualifying 16th then running 19th, 12th and12th thru the heat races. The talented Mexican driver finished between his two teammates in 14th place in the final.
Brendan Baker and Chase McDaniel represented the CRG-USA brand in a record breaking TaG Junior class in Vegas. Chase McDaniel had a down right rough weekend at his first Supernats event. Chase showed signs of speed but did not have luck on his side and missed the start to his first heat race after a poor qualifying weekend, the young TaG driver did not make the grid for his third heat race, or the LCQ. Brendan Baker had his share of ups and downs getting as high as 5th in the opening heat race before making contact with a driver on the last lap and dropping to 18th. He came back to finish in the top ten in his last two heat races with two 8th place finishes and then drove to a 17th place finish in the final. Baker did however come home with a 3rd in the National Championship point's chase.
In TaG Master Sandrei Da Silva from Brazil steered through a NASCAR sized field of 43 drivers. Da Silva had a weekend that he is not likely to write home about. A dead last place finish in the third heat race put him in the back for the main on Sunday, in which he salvaged a 17th place finish.
Sabre Cook came in to Vegas as the national point leader in the highly competitive S2 class in the Pro Tour. Accompanied by a pair of teammates, and long time Mountain Region racers Jack Bradley and Ben Schermerhorn, the trio sought Vegas glory. Cook shot into the early lead from her P2 starting spot and her and eventual winner Billy Musgrave pulled away from the field to wage their own battle for the win. Cook played it smart and did not put up much of a fight as she settled for 2nd and the National Championship! It was history in the making, as she became the first female ever to win a Pro Tour title. Bradley and Schermerhorn stayed close together under the CRG-USA tent as well as on the track. Both recorded solid top-20 results, as Schermerhorn claimed a 15th place finish and Bradley came home 20th.
S1 showcased the largest field of CRG-USA drivers on the weekend. Leading the way in qualifying for the team was Northwest racer Joey Wimsett followed up directly by two fellow CRG-USA drivers, Vegas native Matt Jaskol and S4 convert Jimmy McNeil. Last year’s S2 Pro Tour champion Kyle Hathcox struggled and spent most of the weekend chasing the track. Wimsett capped off a strong weekend with a fourth place finish on Sunday to earn himself the #2 SKUSA plate for 2013 with his runner-up in the Pro Tour standings. Jaskol spent a good part of his weekend racing with old teammate and NASCAR racer AJ Allmendinger, earning him a 13th place finish, two spots in front Hathcox. Jimmy McNeil was racing within the top-10 when contact forced the California ProKart Challenge champion to fail to reach the checkered flag and was classified 20th in class.
In the premiere class of the SuperNats, KZ2, Ron White waved the banner for CRG-USA. White stuck his CRG just outside the top ten in an incredibly stacked field of international drivers. Recording a weekend high of finishing ninth in the first heat, White was only able to complete four laps after contact between he and fellow American Gary Carlton ended Whites race early.
CRG-USA owner Stacey Cook summed up the weekend as simply as he could, “I just feel blessed to have such a great team and drivers! We felt our program at the SuperNationals was among the most professionally run operations in the paddock. We had some of the most experienced and successful people in the karting industry leading us - CRG factory driver and 5-time world Champion Davide Foré acting as drivers coach and Euan Jeffrey, a CRG Factory Team manager working with us. We recorded some strong results and took home some hardware in the Pro Tour standings. It was an excellent way to wrap up the 2012 season.”
CRG-USA is an official K1 RaceGear and MG Tires race team, and ready to provide the best trackside service in 2013 at the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour, the Rotax Challenge of the Americas, Rocky Mountain ProKart Challenge and other selected events and series. The company is also continuing to add to its growing dealer network with new locations throughout the United States. If you are interested in becoming part of the CRG-USA network, or becoming part of this growing professional race team, please contact Stacey Cook at info@CRG-USA.com or phone 855-TEAMCRG.
Located at the Grand Junction Motors Speedway in Colorado, CRG-USA is the newest importer for the CRG chassis brand. Operated by Stacey Cook, the company will focus their distribution and marketing on the western and central portion of the United States. In addition, the operation is fielding a national race team program through the 2012 season at all the major karting events on the year. If you want to race with the best product in karting, jump on board with CRG-USA today. Visit www.crg-usa.com or phone 855-TEAMCRG (832-6274).