SKUSA: Graham Rahal Phoenix ProMoto report

Rahal with Moosespeed/Shift Kart potent combination at Phoenix. (Columbus, OH) -- The pairing of Moosespeed and Shift Kart for the ProMoto efforts of Graham Rahal showed early success as the young driver scored a pair of second place runs. The...

Rahal with Moosespeed/Shift Kart potent combination at Phoenix.

(Columbus, OH) -- The pairing of Moosespeed and Shift Kart for the ProMoto efforts of Graham Rahal showed early success as the young driver scored a pair of second place runs. The team worked well with Rahal, keeping him focused despite some difficulties during the pre-event practice session. "Overall, I thought Graham did a great job in what was his first ProMoto event with this team," said Moosespeed owner Sean Mossgrove. "There are clearly areas where we need to develop but those are things we have all season to address. This is a long-term effort and to get great results this early, is very impressive."

A recent addition to the Moosespeed/Shiftkart effort is Greg Bell from Leading Edge Motorsports. Leading Edge has been well known in the industry for building top-flight power plants in both the 125 and 80cc classes. "We were very happy with the motors we got from Leading Edge," added Mossgrove. "It was clear that we had a power advantage that helped us maintain our second place Sunday. Right now, there aren't many other teams running Bell's motors, a few more results like this and Greg might become a lot busier."

Attending the race on Sunday was Shift Kart owner Paul Zalud who supplies the team's Birel chassis. Zalud has long been recognized in the shifter kart industry as a top-level business manager as well as talent spotter. "The team dynamic is critical in any race program, but it becomes essential when you're working with a driver as young as Graham," said Zalud. "What we have to be able to do is find a good level where we are pushing the driver to dig a little deeper yet not pushing so hard he looses confidence. It's a difficult task and Sean and AJ Whisler are doing a good job in that role."

The second place finishes continue a streak of podium finishes for Moosespeed-tuned drivers dating back to last season's ProMoto Tour. At the Pat's Acres race last July, Sean McIntosh, driving a Moosespeed-tuned Birel raced from deep in the pack to finish third in the S1 class. At the World Finials in Norman, OK, Mossgrove guided Tyler Lewis to a second place finish. Lewis used that second place to capture the #4 national number plate.

"I have the same goals for Graham as I have for every other driver I work with. First, we have to learn every time we turn laps on the racetrack. Second, we have to take what we learned and get a little better. As long as we do those things, I am convinced the results will come," Mossgrove said from his shop in Columbus, OH.

Mossgrove is hoping the results he generates at the racetrack yield more sales for his Moosespeed business. "It's rather boring to talk about the `win on Sunday, sell on Monday' cliché, but in my case it's true. I put the same effort into a kart I am building for a club racer as I do building Graham's karts. When I attach the `Ultra-tuned by the Moose' sticker at the end of the assembly process, that's my guarantee that that kart is 100% prepared for the ProMoto Tour. I realize that not many of my customers will ever race at that level, they deserve a kart good enough to run there."

Moosespeed builds several brands of chassis through supplier agreements with several shops covering all major chassis brands. For racers wish to do their own kart preparation, Moosespeed now offers a kart brokering program where Mossgrove will locate the chassis and motor of the customer's choice and have them piece shipped directly to the end user. "I found that some racers really want to get a kind of a customer race package but just don't have the time to call 10 places to get all the deals done. With the brokering program, they can make one call to me and I do all the leg work for them."

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About this article
Series Kart
Drivers Graham Rahal , Sean McIntosh