CSOT: Las Vegas Grand National summary

Ron White wins Stars of Tomorrow Grand National. Ron White of San Jose, California captured the Grand National victory in the ICC class of the CART Stars of Tomorrow presented by Snap-on.com in Las Vegas, Nevada. White's lightning start was made...

Ron White wins Stars of Tomorrow Grand National.

Ron White of San Jose, California captured the Grand National victory in the ICC class of the CART Stars of Tomorrow presented by Snap-on.com in Las Vegas, Nevada. White's lightning start was made a bit easier by the disqualification of pole sitter Lorenzo Mandarino for non-approved tires prior to the start of the race. The Extreme Karting pilot steadily increased his lead over CRC Racing/Arrow driver Preston Peebles, winning easily in the 30 lap race. Trackmagic driver Kyle Martin finished third, surviving a fierce late race assault by Canadian Juliana Chiovitti, who took her Birel kart from 11th on the grid to just miss a podium finish. Although White had the race in hand, there were several heated battles behind him. The most dramatic exchange was a confrontation between karting giants Memo Gidley and Darren Elliott. Elliott, aggressively making his way through the field from a 15th starting position, dove in on Gidley, who was struggling with handling. The two collided and Elliott flipped his CRG, collecting Gidley in the process. Neither driver suffered injury from the spectacular accident.

The Rotax Max final featured a duel between Californians Chris Carmody and Andrew Alfonso. Carmody used his first starting position to establish a lead while Alfonso battled a few karts before taking aim at the Pitts Performance driver. Alfonso's TonyKart reached Carmody's rear bumper with just a few laps left and Andrew valiantly attempted to pass, with no success. Veteran Robby Mott finished third in the Birel, with revelations Clark Sanchez-Figueras and Jordon Musser rounding out the top five. The ICA demonstration race represented the first time the 100cc direct drive class so popular overseas has been run in the Stars program. Accentuating this debut was the inclusion of several star drivers from different disciplines including five-time karting world champion Danilo Rossi, European star Ben Horstman, and open wheel car drivers Bryan Herta and Danica Patrick.

Pennsylvanian Adam Pecorari started from pole in his Biesse kart with teammates Horstman and Robbie Pecorari close behind. All eyes would be on Rossi, though, as he started from the sixth position. The legendary Italian driver would not disappoint, as he picked off positions in dramatic fashion, exhibiting the car control that has produced so many championships. After assuming the lead before halfway and giving it back to Horstman, Rossi's motor inhaled a small piece of debris and his day was over. J&J Biesse teammates Horstman and Robbie Pecorari, in his first ICA race, dueled nearly by themselves on the Vegas track as attrition took all but five competitors out of the race. Horstman held off several late challenges by the younger Pecorari to capture the victory.

In other classes, Alan Sciuto won yet another 80cc Junior title in what has become a stellar year. Kyle Longmore bested Ryan Perry by less than a second in Junior Superbox while Chris Clark and Sage Karam won in Cadet and Kid Karts, respectively.

The CART 'Stars of Tomorrow' karting series is the official first level in CART's driver development system. Specifically designed as a driver development series, Stars focuses on recognizing the skills of the drivers rather than the technology development within the machines, using FIA/CIK international standards. More information can be found at www.cartstars.com.

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Series Kart
Drivers Memo Gidley , Bryan Herta , Kyle Long , Juliana Chiovitti , Adam Pecorari , Preston Peebles , Robbie Pecorari , Andrew Alfonso , Alan Sciuto , Jordon Musser , Ron White , Lorenzo Mandarino , Christopher Clark , Danica Patrick , Sage Karam