ABBA AND KELLEY CLAIM THEIR FIRST WINS AT PROKART CHALLENGE SOUTH Parity at the top continues in SKUSA regional program during round three at Grange APPLE VALLEY, CA (March 27, 2010) - The competition continues to heat up in the sixth year of...
ABBA AND KELLEY CLAIM THEIR FIRST WINS AT PROKART CHALLENGE SOUTH
Parity at the top continues in SKUSA regional program during round three at Grange
APPLE VALLEY, CA (March 27, 2010) - The competition continues to heat up in the sixth year of the ProKart Challenge South program, as the third round of the 2010 season completed at the Grange Motor Circuit last weekend. The Apple Valley, California facility saw a number of first time winners, which continues to be the trend on the year, thanks in part to the strong contingent of drivers competing in the series. That trend shows in the headline classes, as the S1 and TaG Senior categories have seen three different winners in each of the three features - this month seeing Peter Abba and Bobby Kelley taking the checkered flag.
The journey to his first PKC S1 victory was a battle for Abba. In qualifying, point leader Tommy Thompson was the quickest - as his 52.126 lap was just 0.028-seconds better than round two winner Clinton Schoombee. Abba was fourth in the order behind Brad Dunford, and they would start the first heat from row two. Schoombee grabbed the holeshot as Thompson fell back to third in the order behind Dunford. Abba, however, would not complete more than a lap as he encountered mechanical issues. Schoombee led most of the way, until a charging Thompson took over the point and led the final two laps for the win in Heat 1. Thompson and Schoombee would again run 1-2 in the second heat, as Thompson stretched out to a five-second advantage - with Jimmy McNeil moving up to the third spot and Abba going off track after a racing incident in lap 2. The field would shuffle up in the opening lap of the feature, as Schoombee had an off-track excursion. His trip dropped him to fifth, while Abba acquired the point ahead of Thompson and Dunford. Abba posted some fast laps early and would gain a solid distance over the fight for second to score the victory. Thompson held off Dunford for second to earn his second straight podium finish, securing his point lead. With Schoombee fourth and McNeil fifth, the fight remains very tight with three rounds down, and three rounds to go.
TaG Senior was a great duel between point leader Kyle Shriver and Bobby Kelley. Round one was won by Kelley, as he posted the fastest lap in qualifying (54.224) with Shriver just one tenth off. The two went toe-to-toe in the first heat, with Shriver getting the advantage at the checkered flag. Kelley would come away with the win in the second heat as the two were joined by Travis Lowe, until he retired on Lap 10 with a broken chain. In the feature, the battle would be for not as Shriver would fall victim to contact multiple times, dropping him back in the field and eventually finishing sixth. Out front, Kelley led all 20 laps to score a two-second victory over former Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Phil Giebler and Billy Cleavelin, holding off a charging Lowe for the final podium spot.
Just like the two headline divisions, the S4 category also saw its third different winner in as many races. Willy Musgrave bested the largest field of the weekend for his first win of the 2010 season. The third round saw the return of former PKC champion Phil Conte, and he made a early statement in his debut by posting the fastest lap in qualifying (53.695). Conte held the position through the first heat race, leading all 12 laps to the win over Randy McKee and Willy Musgrave. After a great opening lap to start the second heat, Musgrave overtook the point and held off Conte for the rest of the race to the win. The two went head to head for the feature win, but it was all Musgrave as he led all 20 laps to score the checkered flag. Conte was a close second with Rob Logan, also making his 2010 debut, completing the podium with a solid drive forward. Point leader Jeff Littrell had a tough time, as motor problems plagued him for most of the day. He fought through those, and then contact in the start of the main and a couple of spin-outs put him in a ninth place finish. Lucky for Littrell, he is still in the running for the class title.
The event saw four drivers perform an event sweep, leading all of their class trials on the day. Fernando Diaz returned to his winning ways to score his second event sweep on the year. After missing round two, Diaz returned to best multi-time class champion and current point leader PP Mastro on the day. Robert Marks nearly disrupted Diaz's perfect performance from the start as he came just 0.082-seconds from stealing the top qualifying spot. Once the racing began, Diaz and Mastro engaged in an epic day long battle. Despite leading in both heats and the feature, Mastro would come up short each time as Diaz would get the advantage at the line every time out. In the end, Diaz would score the feature win by 0.209-seconds - with Troy Butts moving up to complete the podium.
TaG Masters saw the return of Rob Soares behind the wheel, who just dominated the proceedings in the class. Pasha Mirhadi would claim the runner-up spot in his 2010 PKC debut, while point leader Ron Rossetti drove to a third place finish. Jason Attwood earned his second straight event sweep in the S3 Novice Stock Moto category. Attwood scored the feature win by an 18-second margin over Tristen Orear and Steve Berg, who are occupied in a fight for the second spot in the points. Defending S4 Magnum champion Luke Bianco returned to the top step of the podium for his second straight win and his first event sweep of the year. His performance put him at the top of the points chase, as he outran Marc Lewis and Larry Metter.
The S2 class saw Billy Musgrave score win number two on the year to extend his points lead. Ryon Beachner posted the fastest lap in qualifying; however, Musgrave got the jump in the first heat to take the win. In the second heat, Musgrave would lead all 12 laps, with Beachner retiring after just five laps. The feature would be all Musgrave once again, as he took the victory by eight-seconds over Bryce Miller and Corey Neveau. Scott Phillips and Matias Podboj had a great dice in the S5 Stock Moto Junior class, with Phillips taking the feature win. Phillips was best in qualifying by just 0.091 seconds over Podboj. Each would then have troubles in the heats as Podboj had issues in heat one to retire early while Phillips was caught up on the warm-up lap by an S3 driver in heat two. At the start of the main, Podboj grabbed the holeshot; however, he jumped the gun. Despite holding off Phillips to the line first, Podboj would be penalized after the race to hand the win to Phillips, which will now tighten up their championship fight.
The ProKart Challenge and SKUSA organization continues to go above and beyond in returning back to the racers. Prior to the event getting underway, SKUSA's Tom Kutscher announced that the winners in the S1, S2, S4, S5, G1, TaG Senior and TaG Masters divisions would receive a free entry into the upcoming Superkarts! USA Pro Tour debut event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on April 16-18. Following the podium ceremonies, a raffle was held that awarded two free entries to the next PKC South event - James Butts and John Irving were the lucky recipients, as well as Ken Schilling who won a free set of MG Tires and Troy Butts who won a free five-gallon jug of VP MS98 fuel.
With the opening round of the SKUSA Pro Tour on deck, the ProKart Challenge South program will take the month of April off, returning May 14-15 to the Willow Springs International Motorsports Park, this time on the 'Streets of Willow' circuit - run in conjunction with the Gatorz Karting program. The ProKart Challenge North program will host its third round at the Jim Russell International Karting Center in Sonoma on April 30-May 1. To find out more about the ProKart Challenge South or Superkarts! USA, visit the new www.superkartsusa.com website or phone their office at 951-491-0808.