Portland, OR - Intense Karting Imports, fielding a two-car effort of Tony Kart Mitox 125's for drivers Marc Miller & Ronnie Swyers, posted a 1st & 2nd place effort in the inaugural Satsystems Shifter Kart Challenge held at Portland ...
Portland, OR - Intense Karting Imports, fielding a two-car effort of Tony Kart Mitox 125's for drivers Marc Miller & Ronnie Swyers, posted a 1st & 2nd place effort in the inaugural Satsystems Shifter Kart Challenge held at Portland International Raceway's Freightliner / G.I. Joe's 200 Champ Car race on June 24.
The race, run in wet conditions prior to the Champ Car race, was full of many passing maneuvers that most of the 70,000 + fans at the event would rarely see otherwise. Miller started from the third position and didn't put a wheel wrong once during the race. After slipping back to sixth place early, he steadily climbed to third when the first and second place drivers went out heading into turn one. Miller crossed the line just ahead of teammate Ronnie Swyers who, like Miller, made no mistakes and worked from his eight starting to position to stand next to his teammate on top of the podium in their very first race together.
"This was one of the best events I have ever been to," said Miller, a Grand Rapids, MI native. "It is rare that we have the opportunity to put on a show like this in front of this many people. I was happy for the entire Intense Karting team today. We couldn't have planned a better outcome. We were both capable of winning today because of good preparation and help from many sponsors and I think we have proven how good this team is in just our first race. I have to personally thank Intense Karting, MG Tires, SKI Magazine, PSL Racing and My-Chron for all their help in making this event happen for me."
Ronnie Swyers, a veteran car racer at Portland International Raceway and from the Portland area was instrumental in the team's success.
"I knew we had a good chance of being front runners here at Portland," said Swyers. "With my experience at this track in wet & dry conditions and Marc's road racing and chassis set-up experience, we figured we should be a force to be reckoned with. It was a great weekend all around."
The Intense Karting Imports team started putting together a program for this race a few months prior. The country's newest TonyKart importer quickly signed Swyers and Miller for this one race program based on the drivers' good track record and professionalism. With that in mind, the team arrived at Portland with nearly identical team karts, matching racing suits from Intense Safety Gear, professional media kits and the goal of a one-two result. Although the drivers utilized different engine packages, Miller using his PSL Racing TM 125 and Swyers mounting a SwedeTech prepared CR125, both drivers worked together on chassis settings and racing tactics.
"I am ecstatic that both Miller and Swyers did such a fine job in representing Intense Karting Imports and our new product line," said David Musial, Intense Karting Imports President. "TonyKart was well represented at this race as well as our new safety apparel line, Intense Safety Gear. We couldn't be more proud."
The duo qualified in third and sixth respectively in the 54 kart field on Saturday morning and maintained good finishing positions during Saturday's qualifying race to finish third and eighth. Miller missed the victory by a mere .025 of a second as he, Scott Holmboe and AJ Allmendinger crossed the line separated by a seven inch margin from the front of Holmboe's winning entry to Miller's front bodywork. Swyer's finished in the eight position after running in the lead group throughout the race.
Ronnie Swyers will continue his relationship with Intense Karting on the West Coast, running his TonyKart Mitox in the SKUSA Cascade Region while making a stop on Round #4 of the SKUSA ProMoto Tour at Pat's Acres Raceway. Miller will continue to run in the Midwest racing for the SSC Pro Shifter Series title and plans to attend the SKUSA Long Track Nationals event in Talladega, AL.