WKA's Pit Board - 09.01.2009 *** Foley and Beasley win twice, McMurray victorious in TaG Final 2 on weekend off 09.01.2009 -- With no nationals scheduled for Labor Day weekend, last weekend's Show Hauler Trucks Nationals for the George...
WKA's Pit Board - 09.01.2009
Foley and Beasley win twice, McMurray victorious in TaG Final 2 on weekend off
09.01.2009 -- With no nationals scheduled for Labor Day weekend, last weekend's Show Hauler Trucks Nationals for the George Kugler / Bridgestone Manufacturer's Cup Series driven by Mazda at Indiana's New Castle Motorsports Park marked the unofficial end of summer racing for WKA's five national series. And if the summer has to end, what better place to close it than at New Castle, a fabulous facility just east of Indianapolis where three of WKA's five premier series held events over the past two weekends.
The Manufacturer's Cup Series again showed why it's considered one of the premier national kart tours in the country. The unofficial entry count topped off over the 500 mark with eight of the 18 national classes featuring at least 30 racers vying for spots in the Final fields. Twelve classes saw at least 25 entries and 10 talented young kid karters hit New Castle's 1.1-mile course during breaks.
Starting from the top, here's a rundown of some of what took place over the weekend at the Show Hauler Trucks Nationals:
Cadet Final 1 point leader Kyle Kalish extended his lead in Saturday's version of the Cadet class. The Illinois racer won over Santino Ferrucci, who entered the weekend second in points. Joel Jens, Collin Campbell and Emerson Reed filled out the top-five positions. All top-five finishers crossed the line within a half second of Kalish in what was an extremely close race. Thirty karts took the green flag.
Neither Kalish nor Ferrucci could duplicate their Final 1 performance in Sunday's Cadet Final 2. Ferrucci finished seventh while Kalish started deep in the pack and wound up a disappointing 14th. Their struggles left the door open for Gresham Wagner and James Bennett, who waged a terrific battle for the top spot over the course of the 12-lap Final. Wagner ended up getting the win in his Birel, crossing the line about a half second ahead of Bennett for his first Cadet triumph of the season.
Campbell finished third to have the best overall weekend of any Cadet driver. Collin was the only racer to finish top five in both Cadet Final 1 and 2. Austin Osborne and Ashley Rogero rounded out the top five.
James Bennett drove his Birel to victory in Saturday's HPV Sportsman Final, finishing only 0.122 seconds in front of Jared Thomas. Ferrucci finished third, while Karl Weber and Kalish were fourth and fifth. Kalish should take over the point lead with his fifth-place effort.
Garrett Johnston, the point leader heading into New Castle, had a tough day that will cost him the lead heading into the season finale in November at Lowe's. The New Jersey racer only managed a 19th-place qualifying effort and was mired in traffic throughout the Final, ultimately finishing 13th in the 28-kart field.
Arrow pilot Sam Beasley entered New Castle with the point lead in HPV Jr Lite, but he won't be able to do that this fall at Lowe's. Beasley finished 11th in the Final, but what's worse for the Ohio driver is that his closest challenger, Nick Neri, who entered New Castle only 15 points back, won the Final in an exciting race with Sage Karam. Neri, driving a Tony Kart, crossed the line only 0.086 seconds ahead of Karam with Trent Hindman less than a half second back in third. Taylor Miinch and Tyler Thomas completed the top five.
Beasley came back in HPV Jr Heavy to drive to an exciting win over California's Taylor Miinch, but it wouldn't last as Beasley was disqualified in post-race technical inspection. That handed the win to Miinch, who was competing in his first ever Manuf. Cup event. Point leader Neri will pad his already comfortable point lead in the class with a second-place finish. Tristan Degrand finished third; Hindman and Tyler Thomas rounded out the top five in the 12 lapper.
Thirty-seven karts attempted to qualify for both HPV Jr Lite and Heavy.
Jason Foley kept Patrick Olsen and point leader Ryan Stewart at bay to win HPV Lite. Olsen and Stewart crossed the line each only a couple tenths back in second and third. Wisconsin shoe T.J. Koyen was only 0.603 seconds back in fourth while Bill McLaughlin Jr. completed the top five.
Foley came back Sunday in HPV Heavy and wouldn't be denied behind the wheel of his sleek No. 7 Merlin. The Wisconsin racer qualified fourth and finished third in the Prefinal, but turned it up a notch when the green flag flew for the 12-lap Final, winning over Koyen by 0.389 seconds. Stewart finished third for the second day in a row. Tommy Anderson was fourth, just ahead of Olsen in fifth.
HPV Heavy point leader Wyatt Gooden fell out on lap 1 and was unofficially credited with 19th. Luckily for Gooden, second-place point man Jamie Thiel fell out on lap 2, unofficially finishing 17th.
All eyes turn to the track when the TaG finals hit the track, and for good reason. Featuring many of the best 2-cycle sprint-kart racers in North America, the TaG races always provide some of the most exciting action of the weekend. Marco DiLeo continued his strong 2009 campaign with a statement win in Saturday's TaG Final 1. Driving an Intrepid powered by a Rotax engine, the Canadian finished about a second ahead of Kyle Wiegand for the win. Second-place point man Chris Wehrheim finished third, but not ahead of the point leader, who is DiLeo. McLaughlin Jr. netted another top five with a fourth-place run. Roush-Fenway Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup star Jamie McMurray took advantage of the Cup Series' weekend off to travel to Indiana and finish a strong fifth.
But McMurray's fifth on Saturday wouldn't be the highlight to his weekend. Behind the wheel of a fast CRG, McMurray dueled with DiLeo in Sunday's TaG Final 2 before taking the lead for good just past halfway and driving to the popular victory. DiLeo then had his hands full with Wiegand, Michelle Bumgarner and Wehrheim. Trying to make a pass for second on the final turn, DiLeo and Wehrheim made contact, allowing Wiegand to retake the runner-up spot. DiLeo crossed the line third, but officials moved him to sixth on account of the last-lap incident. The final running order was McMurray winner, Wiegand second, Bumgarner third, Hunter Short fourth, Wehrheim fifth and DiLeo sixth.
Racing in his home state, John Dixon extended his TaG Masters point lead with a dominating win in the class' Final Saturday afternoon. Dixon and his Birel won over Tennessee's Jeff Jewell. Michael Busse, Michael Unger and Ruel Ellis completed the top five.
Birel driver Karl Weber won his first ever race in the Yamaha Sportsman Heavy class with a fine victory in Saturday's Final. Weber finished just 0.092 seconds ahead of Mike McAndrews' Margay, while Wagner added another top-five result to his fine weekend with a third-place finish. Tristan Van Wieringen finished fourth; Michael Goodyear was fifth.
M. Goodyear, son of 1992 Indy 500 runner-up finisher Scott Goodyear, entered his first Manuf. Cup event of the season in his home state and wasted little finding victory lane. After qualifying fourth and finishing the Prefinal in the same position, the Margay pilot drove to a big win over Bennett and Wagner in Sunday's Yamaha Sportsman Lite Final. Ferrucci garnered another top five with a fourth-place run; McAndrews rounded out the top five.
A disappointing weekend in the HPV Jr classes did nothing to deter Sam Beasley from an outstanding weekend in Yamaha Jr Lite and Heavy. Beasley joined Foley as the only double winners of the weekend with a dominating win in Lite, and a very close triumph in Heavy.
Finishing behind Beasley in Yamaha Jr Lite were Karam, Neri and Hindman, all some five seconds back. Tyler Thomas had another good run to finish fifth.
Neri appeared to have Beasley covered in Sunday's Yamaha Jr Heavy contest, leading much of the race before Sam found a way by on the final corner to take the win. Neri ended up second, while Hindman, Karam and Miinch were all over six seconds back in third, fourth and fifth.
Forty-four karts attempted to qualify for Yamaha Jr Lite and Heavy, making them the largest fields of the weekend.
Cody Robinson, Ryan Phillips and Ryan Stewart swapped positions between Saturday's Yamaha Supercan Heavy Final and Sunday's Yamaha Supercan Lite main event. Phillips won Heavy behind the wheel of his Bandit chassis, finished a half second ahead of Robinson with Stewart completing the top three. C.J. Lintner and Brandon Adkins filled the top five.
Jason Foley, who led the Supercan Heavy points heading into New Castle, most likely will lose that spot to Stewart, who entered Indiana only 30 markers back. Foley finished eighth in Saturday's Final.
Driving an Arrow, Robinson won Sunday's Supercan Lite by about the same margin that Phillips won Heavy. This time, Stewart moved up a spot to take second and Phillips rounded out the top three. Tony Jump was fourth and Lintner dropped a spot from Saturday to finish fifth.
Kevin Nelson won Yamaha Pipe by 2.449 seconds over Koyen. Stewart finished third with Josh Call and Steve Rumsey completing the top five. Jump, who entered New Castle with a 100-point advantage over Stewart, now is in jeopardy of losing the top spot. Jump only completed four laps in Final and was credited with 11th spot.
Gary Monnett entered his first Manuf. Cup event of the season and promptly won the Yamaha Masters Final. Monnett finished about a half second ahead of Michael Burrell. Jewell was third, while Larry Ubell and Craig Newforth completed the top five.
Manufacturer's Cup competitors will now have September and October off from national competition before heading south to Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Nov. 6-8 SSC East / CRG Grand Nationals at the Lowe's infield sprint-kart track. Bonus points will be on the line at Lowe's as well as the prestigious Grand National Eagles and other fine awards.
Of course, the 2009 national championships will be on the line at Lowe's, as well. Official points through New Castle will be tallied and should be available online at www.worldkarting.com by the end of the week.
For the SSC East / CRG Grand Nationals entry blank, visit www.worldkarting.com/downloads/eb-2009/1106_lowes_mc_gn.pdf.
"Karting News Live" tonight at 9 p.m. ET on RaceFanRadio.com
09.01.2009 (Indianapolis) -- Karting expert Greg Wright and multi-series "chief starter" Matt Long bring you up to speed with the latest in the world of karting.
Tonight's show will feature longtime industry veteran and "karting dad" John Wiegand.
"The sport of karting has evolved tremendously in the gazillion years I've been around it", says co-host Wright. "Just about every top driver today can trace their roots back into competitive karting and will tell you how important it is in remaining at the top of their game, regardless of what they race!"
For more information about Karting News Live and all of RaceFanRadio.com's shows or to hear "On Demand" content, please log on to: www.RaceFanRadio.com for full details.
For guest appearances or advertising opportunities on any of our shows, please call 877-596-7223 or send an e-mail to: submit@RaceFanRadio.com.
Upcoming WKA Divisionals
Northeast Sprint Series
Cherry Valley Raceway in Lafayette, N.Y.
Saturday, Sept. 5
Contact: Dan Stowell 203-264-4606
Delaware Dirt Divisional Series
U.S. 13 Kart Club Track in Delmar, Del.
Saturday, Sept. 5
Contact: Jay Darling 302.363.4894
New Jersey Sprint Series
New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J.
Friday, Sept. 11 -- Sunday, Sept. 13
Contact: John Ferris 908.876.9023
Mid-Atlantic Sprint Divisional
Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, W. Va.
Saturday, Sept. 12 -- Sunday, Sept. 13
Contact: Dave Koehler 410.882.2375
Midwest Sprint Series
Concept Haulers Motor Speedway in Norway, Ill.
Saturday, Sept. 12 -- Sunday, Sept. 13
Contact: Missy Nelson Tate 704.496.1046, Tim Koyen 608-235-4761, Rick Jump 815-827-3832