The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar Series will enter the second round of the Western Division this weekend, visiting the Miller Motorsports Park - located just outside Salt Lake City, UT - for the first time in series history. Many...
The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar Series will enter the second round of the Western Division this weekend, visiting the Miller Motorsports Park - located just outside Salt Lake City, UT - for the first time in series history. Many of the teams are have spent the last week testing at the 0.89-mile circuit as they try to adapt to the circuit and the weather conditions. This weekend, temperatures will be in the high 90s with a possibility to jump into the 100s.
Like New Castle, the event will revert back to the dual race weekend, with Qualifying, Prefinals, and Finals taking place both days rather than two main events on Sunday as was the case in Norman for the Race of the Americas. After the success of the podiums in New Castle following each race rather than waiting until the end of the day, the Stars staff will continue that format for Sunday with Saturday's award ceremonies taking place at the Legends Hall facility at the track.
One question on the weekend will be if anyone can stop defending ICC national champion Gary Carlton. The PCH Motorsports driver currently has a Stars four race win streak after sweeping both Norman and New Castle. Following the New Castle event, Carlton stayed overseas at the CRG factory for a few weeks, competing in a WSK International Series event and the second round of the European Championships. After scoring podium finishes at Salbris (France) it was a difficult weekend in Varennes-sur-Allier (France) scoring zero points toward the European Championship.
Three drivers will lead the charge against Carlton, has they have been the only drivers to challenge the Californian all year long. At the Mazda Race of the Americas, Wunder-Bar Racing's Fritz Leesmann trailed Carlton in both Finals, putting pressure on the defending champion but unable to strike. In New Castle, Team Intrepid/Champion Racing's Jordy Vorrath was the man on Saturday early scoring the Saturday pole position but Carlton stole the Prefinal and Final wins. Sunday was David Jurca's turn as he put his Italkart at the front in the main event, giving Carlton a strong challenge.
Silly season has already begun as EKN learned just this week that ICC driver Jan Velez will be switching from the PSL Karting team to Team Intrepid/Champion Racing. The Puerto Rican has been with the Canadian squad for quite some time and sits fifth currently in the Eastern Division ICC standings.
The PCH Motorsports ICA division will see a new 2007 winner or winners this weekend with the absence of current Eastern Division championship leader Scott Jenkins (Team Intrepid/Champion Racing). The British driver swept the first two events of the year and will be following just the Eastern schedule, leaving this weekend's victories up for grabs.
Defending PCH Motorsports ICA national champion Joel Miller (Tony Kart USA) and Jake Rosenzweig (PSL Karting) will be two of the front-runners this weekend. Rosenzweig currently leads the Western Division standings over Miller by 10 points. They will be joined by a handful of drivers that have a chance at victory, including Tyler Dueck (Team Intrepid/Champion Racing), Cody Jolly (Cameron Motorsports), James Kennedy (Sodi Kart USA/G-Phactory), Nicholas Tonkin (MRP-Birel America) along with ICA rookies Guillermo Freile (Tony Kart USA) and Jacob Neal (PCH Motorsports).
The largest class of the weekend may be the Spec Racer support class. With 39 pre-entries, it may also be the toughest class of the weekend with a long list of strong contenders, including those who ran up front in Norman and some making their first Stars appearance of the year. The top five drivers in the standings will be on hand in Miller - Chris Scribner (Scribner Plastics), Conor Daly (ArrowUSA), Will Martindale (Wunder-Bar Racing), Devon Sandeen (Checkered Flag Racing), and Jason Toft (MRP-Birel America). Joining them will be some of the West Coast top names, such as Msquared's Bonnier Moulton and Michael Self, Cory Pollock (DPK), and IKF Region 7 star Joey Licata Jr.