Two intense days of racing crowned winners in New Castle Motorsports Park.
The field in the PSL Karting S1 Pro Stock Moto is filled with former champions and former Pro Tour race winners. Saturday’s action added another member to the club as AJ Myers gave TB Kart and himself their first Pro Tour victory. Championship leader Daniel Bray (GP) set the pace early on with the fast time in qualifying (1:02.722) and then won the opening heat race. Myers came on strong when the racing began, working his way to the point of Heat #2 to secure the pole position for the main event. With the holeshot at the start, Myers put his TB Kart out front ahead of an early battle for P2 between 2015 SuperNationals winner Danny Formal (DR Kart) and former Pro Tour champ Joey Wimsett (Ricciardo Kart). Myers was able to establish a solid lead early-on, maintaining this cushion with consistent lap times over the 20 circuits of the main event. At the checkered flag, the gap was 2.6 seconds as Myers earned his first Pro Tour victory. DRT Racing’s Formal settled for second although behind him, the third place driver kept changing late in the race. Jake French (SodiKart) had the position in hand until his engine expired a few laps short of the checkered, handing Oliver Askew (Birel ART) a podium position to cap off his impressive charge from the back. Championship leader Daniel Bray (GP), Billy Musgrave (Praga) and French all had tough days, opening up the championship chase heading into Sunday’s action.
There was no stopping AJ Myers sweeping the action on Sunday to secure his a second victory on the weekend. Myers put his TB Kart at the top of the qualifying sheet before walking away to the opening heat race win. The Saturday winner came under challenge in Heat #2, emerging as the race winner despite the fact that Jake French (DKC / SodiKart) and Danny Formal (DRT Racing / DR Kart) applied extreme pressure. The holeshot was all Myers needed in the main to secure his second Pro Tour victory, getting out and in front of the field to begin the 20-lap main event. While he was not the outright fastest driver on the track, Myers remained consistent to keep Formal from challenging, as they placed 1-2. Myers took home the $1,000 payday for most points on the weekend. French settled for third on the podium, bouncing back from having a podium finish taken away on Saturday due to a mechanical issue.
The Nash Motorsportz / CRG Nordam X30 Senior class honors came down to four drivers. Kyle Kirkwood (PSL Karting / Birel ART), Ryan Norberg (Tony Kart) and Austin Garrison (CompKart) were all at the top of the result sheets on Saturday. Norberg and Garrison had the race in their hands for much of the race, shuffling the lead while maintaining their positions up front. Garrison led as the duo took the white flag, but Norberg made his move at the I-70 hairpin. At the line, Norberg secured his second victory of the series, winning by four hundredths of a second. KartSport North America’s Jarsocrak crossed the line in third, just behind the top two as he was positioned to capitalize on any error.
Two-time race winner Ryan Norberg (Tony Kart) and national racing frontrunner Kyle Kirkwood (PSL Karting / Birel ART) were the class of the field on Sunday. Kirkwood took the top honors in qualifying before splitting the heat races wins with Norberg. At the start of the main, the Florida drivers worked together to pull away from the 44-kart field, leaving Brandon Jarsocrak (KSNA / Praga) alone in the third position with a multi-driver fight on track for fourth. Kirkwood set the pace for 19 laps of the main event. Norberg kept up the pressure, but was unable to work past before the checkered flag. Kirkwood crossed the line first, believing he had won his first Pro Tour victory. Officials, however, penalized Kirkwood two positions for blocking, handing the win to Norberg, along with the overall weekend win for the $1,000 payday. The podium shook up more with four positions added to Jarsocrak after he was penalized for pushing at the start. This promoted TJ Koyen to the second position, who had worked his way up from 15th in qualifying. It was a no-quit attitude for the Innovative Performance / Exprit driver, continuing to knife his was forward throughout the day after a very tough Saturday. In the end, Kirkwood was demoted to third on the podium as a result of the penalty.
A third different winner was crowned in the 3G Kart Racing S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto, and throughout the day it appeared that Aluminos driver Hunter Pickett would be that driver, as he secured the fast time in qualifying before winning both heat races. The main event began with Kyle Kalish (Merlin) securing the top spot after the opening lap chaos to pace the 34-driver field. Pickett kept is close through the first half of the 20-lap main event. Pickett took the lead briefly with a move at the end of the long start-finish straightaway, but Kalish dove back under him on the exit to retain the position. The shuffle allowed Round Two winner Hunter Kelly (Praga) to come through for the position, putting Pickett back to third. They ran this way until lap 10 when Pickett got into the back of Kelly and the two karts both went off course, ending their races. This promoted Round One winner Austin Wilkins (SodiKart) to the second position, that is, until a charging Salvador de Alba (GP) took the spot away. In the end, Franklin Motorsports’ Kalish drove away to a 3.7-second advantage by the checkered flag to post his first Pro Tour victory. Alba finished second ahead of Wilkins in the third position.
Thanks to his win on Sunday, Hunter Pickett is the fourth different winner on the season. The Aluminos driver fought forward throughout the day, coming out as the victor and setting up for a great chase for the championship heading to the 20th running of the SuperNationals this November. DKC / SodiKart drivers Austin Wilkins and Sky Finley posted identical fast times in qualifying (1:02.851) to fill out the front row. Each took a win in the heat races, positioning them as favorites heading into the main event. Pickett started fourth and slotted himself third after the opening lap. Once around Finley, Pickett ran down and worked past Wilkins for the lead. Pickett kept the Texan behind him all the way to the checkered flag, notching his first Pro Tour victory. Wilkins settled for second, earning most points on the weekend for a $500 payday. Finley ran third.
Looking at the Parolin Racing Kart X30 Master field, there were a number of drivers with previous Pro Tour experience you would have expected to be in the hunt. However, when it came down to the main event, three drivers drove away from the field with Laurentiu Mardan (Tony Kart) leading Erik Jackson (MMK) and veteran Scot Carapellatti (Formula K). None of the three had yet to win a Pro Tour event. Jackson set the pace throughout the day, but settled in behind Mardan after receiving a jump start penalty for Heat #2. The two pulled away from Carapellatti to decide between themselves, as Jackson got the better of Mardan. At the line, it was Jackson securing his first Pro Tour victory for himself and the MMK chassis. Carapellatti was able to close in down to the checkered flag to steal the second spot from Mardan, with all three earning their first Pro Tour podium. The fight all race was for fourth, with a mixture of the former race winners and Pro Tour champions. John Crow (MRC / Praga) put down fast laps to climb his way from the back after a tire failure in Heat #2, working past championship leader Derek Wang (BBR / FA Kart) and Round Two winner Jamie Sieracki (Franklin Motorsports / Merlin).
On Sunday Marios Barrios did his homework overnight to come out and sweep the day. Barrios set fast time in qualifying and won both heat races. Championship leader Derek Wang (BBR / FA Kart) was able to lead the opening lap until he was shuffled back. Barrios retook the lead and was then chased by two-time Pro Tour champion Ethan Wilson (PGR / FA Kart) as the lead challenger. Wilson both lost and closed ground on Barrios over the 18-lap event, but he was unable to mount a real challenge at any time. At the checkered flag, Barrios secured his first Pro Tour victory by one-second over Wilson. Wang completed the podium.
It was an Intrepid 1-2 in the Phil Giebler Racing / Ricciardo Kart S4 Master Stock Moto as Ryan Kinnear became the third different winner on the year, triumphing over Round One victor Jordon Musser. The two set the pace throughout the day and pulled away from the field in the main event, putting on a show. Kinnear was able to get the edge, reaching the checkered flag for the Champion Racing driver’s first Pro Tour victory in the category. 3G Kart Racing’s Musser settled for second, while defending champion Jimmy McNeil (PKS / CRG) battled his way up from 13th after needing to break his engine seal after Heat #2. Point leader Alan Michel (MRC / Praga) was fourth while Chris Jennings was a solid fifth all day.
The same three drivers set the pace on Sunday: defending champion Jimmy McNeil (PKS / CRG) posted the fast time in qualifying while Round One winner Jordon Musser (3G Kart Racing / Intrepid) and Saturday victor Ryan Kinnear (Champion Racing / Intrepid) split the heat races. The trio pulled away from the field once again in the main event, with Kinnear grabbing the holeshot. That was all he needed, as Kinnear led all 20 laps for his second victory on the weekend, placing himself as the frontrunner for the title heading into Las Vegas. Neither of the challengers were able to be as consistent as Kinnear, but Musser was able to steal second away from McNeil in the late going.
Nick Firestone and Lance Lane made it a 1-2 for DRT Racing and DR Kart in the Mad Old Nut Racing S4 Super Master Stock Moto. The championship leader was able to hold on in the main event over the charging Lane to secure his second win on the season. PP Mastro (Italcorse) completed the podium.
Robert Marks (PKS / CRG) came back from a tough Saturday to earn his second win of the season. Marks held off Texas driver Rod Clinard (CRG Nordam) with Lance Lane (DRT Racing / DR Kart) on the podium in third.
Despite some great racing throughout the day, the final race for the Pure Karting X30 Junior category belonged to Dylan Tavella (IRR / Tony Kart). Zoey Edenholm (Koene USA / Tony Kart) continued her growth as a driver, securing fast time in qualifying and winning the opening heat race, only to be penalized five positions for ignoring the meatball flag in the closing laps. The penatly promoted Merlin driver Alex Bertagnoli (Franklin Motorsports / Merlin) to the race win. It was short-lived at the front as Tavella (Tony Kart) drove his way to the second heat win. From there, Tavella jumped out quickly in front of the field to start the main, leading all 18 laps for his first Pro Tour victory. The battle all race long was for second, with Edenholm locking up the position over Jagger Jones (RPM / Tony Kart).
Dylan Tavella doubled the win this weekend. Now in his second year as a Junior, he set fast time in qualifying and won the opening heat race, only to be penalized two positions for scrubbing his tires past the commitment cone. The IRR / Tony Kart driver fought back to win the second heat race, earning the main event pole position. He and Dante Yu (J3 Competition / CompKart) broke away from the field on Sunday afternoon. Each took a turn at the point, but in the end, Tavella came out the victor. The fight for third was hard fought early until Zoey Edenholm (Koene USA / Tony Kart) came away with the position.
Sunday brought on a new look at the front of the Parolin Racing Kart X30 Master division, including a new winner in Marios Barrios. The BBR / Gillard driver and team did their homework overnight to come out and sweep the day. Barrios set fast time in qualifying and won both heat races. Championship leader Derek Wang (BBR / FA Kart) was able to lead the opening lap until he was shuffled back. Barrios retook the lead and was then chased by two-time Pro Tour champion Ethan Wilson (PGR / FA Kart) as the lead challenger. Wilson both lost and closed ground on Barrios over the 18-lap event, but he was unable to mount a real challenge at any time. At the checkered flag, Barrios secured his first Pro Tour victory by one-second over Wilson. Wang completed the podium as Saturday winner Erik Jackson (MMK) and Jim Russell Jr. (RKS / Parolin) completed the top-five.
In the Top Kart USA Mini Swift division, the momentum heading into the event was all on the shoulders of Reece Gold, having won several races leading up to this weekend’s event. On Saturday after qualifying first in the 34-driver field, Gold lost out on the win in Heat #1, which was won by Kyle Thome (Merlin) and he was then spun around in Heat #2, when Benik driver Luca Mars took the win. Mars was comfortably out front during the main with Thome on his bumper, until Benik driver Tyler Maxson closed up with Gold on his rear bumper. Thome was the only non-Benik hope for the rest of the field, until he looped it on lap 10, opening the door for Maxson and Gold to put pressure on Mars. It wasn’t until the last lap that the lead changed hands. Gold took over the position and the rest of the group ended up fighting for the second position. The victory was the first for Gold on the Pro Tour, with Maxson edging out Benik driver Anthony Willis for second over Mars and Elio Giovane. Devin Gomez made it a Benik top-six.
There is no question throughout the karting community that Reece Gold is among the top Cadet drivers in the nation. The Benik driver proved it once again with an amazing drive to victory on Sunday. Gold struggled early on in the day, and was involved in contact during the start of Heat #2, placing him 28th for a Row 14 spot in the main event. It was like he and the kart were in a higher speed range, as Reece knifed his way through the pack with clean, precise maneuvers to climb up the order. By lap 13 of the 16-lap main event, he was into the top-five. Coming to the white flag, he went from third to first, and was able to escape the rest of the lead group as they fought for position instead of working against him. Gold pulled away to a 1.6-second advantage at the checkered flag for his second victory of the weekend. Thomas Nepveu (PSL Karting / Birel ART) slotted himself into second with Kyle Thome (Franklin Motorsports / Merlin) in third. Devin Gomez (Benik) and Nicholas Terlecki (PSL Karting / Birel ART) completed the top-five.
Anything can happen with the young drivers of the Benik Kart Micro Swift division. Kai Sorensen (Praga) was the driver to beat on Saturday and remained that in the main event until Sebastian Ng (Top Kart) and Eli Trull (Fullerton) were able to match his pace. Ng took over the point for the first time with just a few laps remaining, sparking up some shuffling between the top-three. It continued to the final lap with Trull able to go from third to first in a three-wide move on the exit of turn one. Ng kept his head down and was able to close in, making a run to the checkered flag. At the stripe, it was Ng with the edge and the victory, notching his first Pro Tour win. Trull crossed the line in second, but was removed from the results for missing the battery. That promoted Sorensen to second and Alex Powell (Birel ART) to third. Calem Maloney (OK1) and Ben Maier (Top Kart) completed the top-five.
On Sunday after a great 16-lap main event by the youngest group of the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour, Indiana’s own Elliot Cox (Benik) was able to reach the checkered flag first ahead of Kai Sorensen (Praga) by 48 thousandths of a second. Alex Powell (Birel ART) crossed the line in third with Brandon Carr (Benik) and Piers Aspiras (Ricciardo Kart) ending up fourth and fifth.