Number of new winners and repeat victors at Round Five for Southern California karting program.
The Los Angeles Karting Championship moved into the second half of 2018 with the fifth round of the season contested on June 24 at the CalSpeed Karting Center in Fontana, California. Typical California weather greeted the 150 entries to the ‘Nuovo’ circuit outside the Auto Club Speedway. Familiar faces remained at the front of certain fields to add to their win totals while new names snuck their way to the top of the podium in other categories.
Can anyone stop John Crow? The 2018 season has been a perfect year at LAKC competition in two categories for the veteran racer. Crow went wire-to-wire on the day in the PKS S4 Super Master Stock Honda division, capping the day off with a 15-second advantage in the main event over Myan Spaccarelli and Warren Kindberg for a fifth victory on the year. Crow also took his fifth feature win in the iKart West Briggs 206 Master class. He outran Mikey Griffin and Joon Maeng.
The Nash Motorsportz X30 Senior Pro class welcomed its fifth different winner on the season as Jake Drew made his 2018 LAKC debut with a sweep on the day. Drew cleared the field by three tenths in qualifying before leading all the laps of the Prefinal. Nick Ramirez challenged Drew in the Final, leading two laps before getting shuffled back outside the top-five. Drew took over the point on lap 15, leading the way to the checkered flag for the victory. Colby DuBato ended up second with Round Four winner Billy Musgrave on the podium in third. Aidan Yoder ran fourth with Ramirez back up to fifth.
A third victory on the year for Yuki Tanaka in the 2 Wild Karting X30 Senior Intermediate class. Round Four winner Gregory DiMaggio set the pace during the day in qualifying and the Prefinal. Tanaka stepped up in the Final, driving his way to the front of the field, running away to a 1.8-second advantage. DiMaggio slipped off the podium with Round Two winner Cody Diggs and Jordan Flores placing second and third. Michel Manning completed the top-five.
Bryce Stevens became the first double winner on the year in the Ryan Perry Motorsport X30 Junior Expert division. Round Two victor Alan Tang set fast time in qualifying with Stevens in third behind Blake Nash. Tang and Stevens went back and forth for the top spot in the Prefinal, with Stevens scoring the win. Stevens took control for good in the Final, leading all 18 laps for his second victory on the season. Marcus Rodriguez scored fast lap of the race, working up to second but penalized two positions to fourth, moving Jacob Yesnick to second and Tang to third while Nash rounded out the top-five.
Five different drivers have stood at the top of the podium in 2018 for the P1 Engines Mini Swift class. Round Five began with Dane Idelson at the top of the order following qualifying, edging out Round One victory Logan Toke by 65 thousandths. Idelson led the opening lap of the Prefinal until Kasey Gillis jumped up into the lead, showing the way to the checkered flag for the win. Gillis kept the lead for all 18 laps of the Final, driving away to a five-second advantage for his first victory of 2018. Fellow race winners Jesus Vasquez and Toke completed the podium with Enzo Deligny and Mathias Coito placed fourth and fifth.
For the fourth time in 2018, John Antonino finished the day on top of the Empire Karts Micro Swift category. Antonino set fast time in qualifying with Rocky Moran second. The two however did not complete a lap in the Prefinal, allowing Keagan Kaminski to take the race win. Antonino came charging through the field with fast laps of the race to retake the lead on lap 10, going on to score the victory. Kaminski held on to second with Round Three victor Truly Adams in third. Alexander Gonzalez and Kaytlyn Schwartz completed the top-five.
Tim Meyer made his Mike Manning Karting X30 Master class debut at the LAKC for 2018, earning victory. The seven-kart field was close in qualifying, with the top-five separated by just 44 thousandths of a second. Roy Steele set fast time with Meyer in fourth. Meyer worked his way forward in the Prefinal to the lead over Steele on lap six, scoring the race win. Leading all 18 laps of the Final, Meyer scored the main event victory. Round Three winner Tony Rossetti won the battle for second over Steve Martin with Steele falling down to sixth behind Larry Hayashigawa and two-time winner Branden Bell.
For a fourth time this season, Keawn Tandon scored the victory in the Mad Old Nut S2 Semi-Pro Stock Honda class. Royal McKee edged out Tandon for fast time in qualifying by just nine thousandths. Tandon was shuffled back to third behind Prescott Campbell in the Prefinal while McKee led all 10 laps. McKee paced the field for the first 12 laps until Tandon followed S1 driver Billy Musgrave past McKee for the overall lead. Tandon led the final five laps to score his fourth straight victory with McKee a close second. Carlee Taylor completed the podium in third.
New faces joined three-time MRC S3 Novice Stock Honda division winner Eddie Tafoya at the top front for Round Five. Vicente Salas secured the pole position in qualifying, besting Tafoya by a scant 33 thousandths. Tafoya bounced back to grab the Prefinal win over Round Two victor Jacob Pope with Salas back to third. Sitting fifth, only three seconds back was Quintin Bineau. A runner-up in Round Three, Bineau was full steam ahead in the Final. Tafoya was shuffled back at the start, allowing Pope to lead early. Bineau was up to second quickly, and took over the lead on lap five. From there, he ran fast laps of the race to pull away to a 1.5-second advantage for his first LAKC victory. Salas drove to second with Pope completing the podium.
For the fourth straight round, Rob Logan dominated the Kimball Williams Racing S4 Master Stock Honda class. Logan swept the day, driving to a 12-second advantage in the main event over Mike Mantel and Adrian Yong. JJ Ercse became a first-time winner at LAKC in the Mack Motorsports Briggs 206 Senior division. Ercse won the Prefinal and scored the main event victory by seven seconds ahead of top qualifier Fred Kamphues and Round Three victor Joey Paonessa.
The IAME USA West KA100 Senior class and Superkarts! USA KA100 Master division saw an increase in numbers for Round Five, however, finished with similar results. Luis Perez swept the Senior category, earning his fourth straight victory on the year. Jared Caylor was second with Sicheng Li in third. Robert Perez put in his own sweep in the Master class. Perez earned his fourth victory of 2018 ahead of Dana Estes and Round Three victor Arman Cornell.
Other winners on the day include:
Phil Giebler Racing Open Shifter Pro: Slava Prikhodko
Baldozier Racing S1 Pro Stock Honda: Billy Musgrave
Mike Manning Karting X30 Super Master: Larry Hayashigawa
Italcorse S5 Junior Stock Honda: Cash Baxley
MDG X30 Junior Novice: Hunter Hicks
Formula Works Honda Kid Kart Expert: Tristan Murphy
Formula Works Honda Kid Kart Novice: Sebastian Cortes