Buddy Rice and Matt Jaskol Take Victory at All-Stars Karting Classic
Seattle, WA -- (December 15, 2006) : After setting up their PRI Trade Show displays and showing their wares to the motorsports industry the teams from the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL shifted their focus to the inaugural All-Stars Karting Classic event just outside of the Convention Center. With one of the most star-studded karting fields ever in North America, practice kicked off at 4:00 P.M. and drew sizable crowds from the PRI Show attendees who wanted to catch a glimpse of the action outside. In the Masters division Bobby Wilson (Tony Kart), Wayne Taylor (SunTrust-First Kart), Memo Gidley (Secrets of Speed Trackmagic), and Buddy Rice (Tony Kart) put themselves at the top of the practice sheets. In the Karter Division Joel Miller (Tony Kart), Kyle Wiegand (Topkart), Matt Jaskol (Topkart), and Ron White (SSC East -- Zanardi Kart) led the time sheets. Then, at approximately 5:30, P.M. rain descended upon the circuit that would not cease for the remainder of the evening. Gidley, Bryan Herta (Topkart), and Steve Johnson (First Kart) all bolted on sets of Bridgestone rain tirs and took to the track to get some laps with wet weather setups.
Then, at approximately 6:00 P.M. the rain turned into a downpour, making the track unfit for the scheduled qualifying sessions. This meant that the Snap-on Stars of Karting officials had to retreat to reports from Doppler Radar to look for a spot in the weather forecast when the rains would let up in which the race could be run. It was decided that starting positions would be decided on practice times and both the Masters and Karter Divisions would run their respective prefinals and Final events, but the scheduled blending of the top Karters into the back of the Masters field would not take place.
At 7:30 P.M. when the rains let up the Karter Division took to the track for their first prefinal. Ron White made an impressive charge to take the lead on lap four from pole sitter Joel Miller. White would then spin in turn one, handing the lead to Wiegand who would secure the pole for the Final. Dion Von Moltke (SSC East -- CRG), Matt Jaskol (Topkart), Joel Miller (Tony Kart), and Stuart Marsell (Arrow) would round out the top-five.
In the Masters Division Prefinal Bobby Wilson would pull away to take an impressive victory with Tony Kart teammate Buddy Rice coming home second. Memo Gidley would come home third with Bryan Herta and Anthony Foyt IV (SSC East -- CRG) making an impressive run to round out the top-five. Interestingly, NHRA star Ron Capps (BTK-Arrow) took sixth with fast laps within three tenths of a second off of the front-runners.
In the Karting Division Final Topkart teammates Matt Jaskol and Kyle Wiegand would pull away from the field. Jaskol eventually was able to get by Wiegand and hold on to take the victory, with Joel Miller making an impressive charge up to third to round out the podium. Stuart Marsell and Ron White rounded out the top-five. Matt Jaskol, a graduate of and former winner in the Formula BMW series, would graciously gift the Jensen MotorSport provided Formula BMW test prize to his teammate, and race runner-up Kyle Wiegand.
Then all attention would turn to the Masters Division Final, with favorites Bobby Wilson, Buddy Rice, and Memo Gidley leading the field to the green. At the first corner however the complexion of the race would be set as Wilson and Gidley tangled, causing both of them to drop to the back of the field and handing the lead to Buddy Rice. Bryan Herta would make his best efforts but didn't have enough for Rice who would hold on to take the victory. The podium would be rounded out by Anthony Foyt IV, who quickly adapted to his CRG in his first return to competitive karting in six years. Bobby Wilson and Wayne Taylor would round out the top-five with Ron Capps proudly representing the drag racing contingent coming home in sixth.
Although the downpour conditions would take the on-site crowds out of the equation of the All-Stars Karting Classic, the intense nighttime wet-weather action with some of racing's top stars will make for two great television broadcasts, made possible by Snap-on Tools, on the Versus Network. The promotional avenues provided by the PRI Show organization including an appearance for 3,500 attendees of the PRI Show Grand Opening Breakfast appearance by Bryan Herta and Buddy Rice in their respective Topkart and Tony Kart machines, on-site fireworks, searchlights, and stage lighting all provided an element of pizzazz never before seen in North American karting. Most importantly, the karting exhibits on the PRI Show Floor have been packed with solid business taking place, solidifying the investment put forth by the elite operations in the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL to participate in the event.