PROKART CHALLENGE NORTH BOASTS SUCCESSFUL SECOND ROUND Veteran Buckwalter puts on a show in TaG Senior, while Alcorn and Toft sweep Stock Moto divisions SONOMA, CA (May 10, 2008) - The new ProKart Challenge North series returned to the Jim ...
PROKART CHALLENGE NORTH BOASTS SUCCESSFUL SECOND ROUND
Veteran Buckwalter puts on a show in TaG Senior, while Alcorn and Toft sweep Stock Moto divisions
SONOMA, CA (May 10, 2008) - The new ProKart Challenge North series returned to the Jim Russell International Karting Center at Infineon Raceway on May 10 for the second round of the six-race series. The word is spreading throughout the Northern California area as to the professionalism and positive atmosphere that the Superkarts! USA and the ProKart Challenge staff are bringing to the region. As the season goes on, numbers are expected to grow, as well as the quality of racer who comes out to compete. The racing this past weekend was even more impressive than Round One, with tight finishes and dominating performances by the early championship contenders.
TaG Senior was a tight-knit group all day long, with the top four drivers in qualifying separated by just five-hundredths of a second -- led by Craig Digrazia, Brett Buckwalter, Will Martindale and Cameron Pringle. DiGrazia would get shuffled back in the first heat race with Buckwalter advancing to the point, followed by Martindale and Pringle. Jason Toft would slide into fourth ahead of DiGrazia. Buckwalter would get the short end of the stick in heat two, as he was taken out and was forced to start in the back of the main. This development allowed Martindale to take the win ahead of Toft in heat two. Colin Katzakian moved into third ahead of Pringle, with Alex Speed - making his TaG debut - charging to fifth after starting last in the opening race.
The results from the second heat set the field for the main event, meaning that Buckwalter would come from the 12th spot on the grid as Martindale and Toft led the field to the green flag. Martindale held the point at the start with Toft in tow, as the rest of the field shuffled around behind them. Buckwalter was quick to get toward the front, getting up to fifth by the halfway mark behind Toft, Speed, and Pringle. On lap 10, Toft would get pushed back to fifth as the rest of the top-five moved up, including Buckwalter to third. Looking for a way past Speed, the former SKUSA SuperNationals winner completed the pass as they received the white flag, immediately setting his sights on Martindale, who had led all the laps to this point. As they made their way around for the final circuit, Buckwalter made his move in the final left hand corner, getting inside of Martindale with an incredible pass to take over the point. At the line, it was Buckwalter by 0.181-seconds over Martindale, who has returned to form after an early-season rib injury in 2007. Speed was a half-second back for third, edging Pringle by just five-hundredths of a second.
Toft redeemed himself in his second class on the day, by sweeping all the on-track S3 sessions, including the main event victory. Leading green-to-checkered, Toft drove to a four-second victory over Marc Elliott, as the duo now sits 1-2 in the championship with Toft holding the advantage. Matt Hauff was able to get by Jason Berry for the final podium spot. Matt Alcorn joined Toft in the 'Spring Cleaning' effort as he swept the other Stock Moto division, S4. Alcorn defeated nine other drivers, putting in some fast laps throughout the day for his second main event win of the year. This victory has put him in the driver's seat for the championship chase. Sergio Machado ran to a solid runner-up finish, while Mark Drennan completed the podium in third.
Craig Corwin earned maximum points in the G1 category for the second straight weekend, besting his eight competitors in qualifying, the two heat races and the 15-lap main event with the fastest lap of the class. JP Cadoux and Ethan Wilson had a good battle early on for the second spot with Cadoux eventually pulling out to a comfortable gap to claim the position when the checkered flag fell.
Jacob Neal was the only driver to break the 47-second mark in S1 qualifying, earning him the pole position for the first heat. Neal would cruise to the win in the eight-lap race, but he was assessed a two-position penalty for jumping the start, handing Cody Hodgson the victory. Starting on pole for heat two, Hodgson would take the win with Neal advancing to second, setting up a two-man battle in the main event. Hodgson led the field early on with Neal in tow, until lap six when he made his move to the top spot. Holding Hodgson back, Neal looked to have the victory sealed until lap 14 when Neal's engine let go, setting up Hodgson to score his first PKC North win. Gregory Liefooghe came from dead last to nip Jess Peterson for the runner-up spot during the final few laps.
In TaG Masters action, Herman Ip swept the Light division, edging Jim Zootis by just half a second in the final, with David Oroshnik earning third place and fast lap honors. Aluminos owner Rob Soares took the victory in the Heavy category, winning over Jeremy Hillhouse and Steve Elo.
The PKC North program will return to the Sonoma facility on June 13-14 for the third round of the 2008 season, and this race day is expected to be the biggest draw and most exciting yet, as the National track configuration will be run backwards -- for the first time ever. For more information about this event and to check out the line-up of year-end prizes available to ProKart Challenge competitors, go to www.prokartchallenge.com .