SKUSA: CS-C: Missouri I-55 seaon finale summary

BURKARD EARNS FIRST VICTORY AT CENTRAL STATES CHALLENGE FINALE PEVELY, MO (October 27, 2008) -- Over 90 entries converged for the sixth and final round of the Superkarts! USA Central States Challenge at the I-55 Speedway complex in Pevely, MO.


PEVELY, MO (October 27, 2008) -- Over 90 entries converged for the sixth and final round of the Superkarts! USA Central States Challenge at the I-55 Speedway complex in Pevely, MO. Bright sunshine and the best attendance of the year graced the season finale and although some of the class championships had been decided before the weekend took place, those categories still up for grabs saw heated battles right through until the final checkered flag fell.

Already clinching the S1 championship, Derek Crockett sat out the final event of the season, allowing a new driver to stand on top of the podium. The pilot in questions was Eric Burkard, who swept all of the class sessions. After six years of karting, beginning in TaG, Burkard earned his first ever victory with a 25-second triumph in the S1 main event. Kyle Gnau and Kris Dickson completed the podium.

The largest class of the season was the S3 division with eight drivers battling in the season finale. At the front, however, it was just one man: Matt Zeis. Already a three-time class winner on the year, Zeis again put in a dominant performance to earn his fourth victory and the championship. With the top honors in qualifying, he would lead all eight laps in the Prefinal to start the main event from the pole position. At the start, Jack Kloeber may have got the better jump but he would only lead the opening two circuits before Zeis assumed the top spot, eventually cruising to a 21-second victory in the 24-lap race. Kloeber would finish second ahead of Burkard.

Joe Strum was a new face at the front of the TaG Masters field, as the S1 regular swapped his shifter for a TaG machine at the finale to debut with the pole position in qualifying. The Prefinal would be highly contested, however, as Strum fell back to fourth in the eight-lap race with Jim Donahue edging championship contender Greg Watters and Greg Seep to the line for the win. In the main event, it came down to a fight between the 'Gregs'. Seep was able to earn the checkered flag to go three-for-three in the races he entered this year. With his second place, Watters earned the class championship, while Strum completed the podium in his first SCSC TaG performance.

Justin Vancil made his second start in the SCSC TaG Senior class, performing a perfect sweep in Pevely. After topping the charts in Qualifying, he would go on for green to checkered wins in the Prefinal and Final. In the feature race, he outran Jason Birdsell, a veteran street circuit pilot who jumped back into the seat after a long break. Sturm ran double duty for his second-third place finish of the day.

The TaG Junior field had its highest entry count of the season with nine drivers in the field, led throughout the event by the Vogel brothers, Grant and Christian. Both compete regularly at the national level and ran with SCSC for the first time this season. Grant Vogel led the way in Qualifying and the Prefinal with Christian in tow. In the main event, Grant once again held the point during the first half of the race before Christian took his turn, edging his brother to the checkered by 0.103 seconds. Drake Ostrom ran alone in third. Behind them was a battle for the class championship between Gregory Gerst, Natalie Fenaroli and Kaylee Granberg. With her fourth place run, Fenaroli was able to edge Gerst both on the track for position and for the class championship. Granberg ran seventh to end third in the title chase.

Granberg would earn her fifth victory in the S5 category, however, beating Joe Reed for the win. Having already won the championship, Granberg was moved to the second spot for an 'unknown' reason, handing Reed the first place trophy as a show of sportsmanship. Reed continued to improve each weekend out and that 'never give up' attitude will help him in the future seasons of his karting career. Kevin Donahue had engine trouble and finished third. Kaleb Allison earned the win in the TaG 60 Cadet class, ending Coltan Brooks' win streak at three, but a total of four wins was enough for Brooks as he won the title after finishing fourth behind Collin Willis and Colt Masewich. In Powder Puff action, Dana Granberg took her second win of the season to clinch the class championship ahead of Sheree Kulp. Mandi Carlton ran second in the main event.

In local option class action, Brad Brittin won the Yamaha Junior Sportsman Final, while John Baird earned the checkered in Yamaha Senior Sportsman with a victory for Grant Sandberg in Yamaha Rookie. In addition, 15 Kid Karters had the entire paddock enjoying their wheel-to-wheel action.

The 2008 championship awards will be presented to the drivers at a banquet during the opening weekend of the 2009 season. Plans are already in the works for the '09 opener, set to take place on May 9 inside the Gateway International Raceway. A new modified sprint track is currently being designed within the infield of the facility. For more details on this event and other information you need to know to become part of the SKUSA Central States Challenge, visit their website at

-credit: skusa

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Series Kart
Drivers John Baird , Joe Strum