SKUSA: PCK-CS: Series Pevely round seven preview

CENTRAL STATES CHALLENGE ENDS 2009 AT PEVELY Championships decided at seventh and final event of the 2009 season at I-55 Raceway ST. LOUIS, MO (August 30, 2009) -- The Superkarts! USA AMB i.t. Central States Challenge (SCSC) completed the...

Championships decided at seventh and final event of the 2009 season at I-55 Raceway

ST. LOUIS, MO (August 30, 2009) -- The Superkarts! USA AMB i.t. Central States Challenge (SCSC) completed the sixth round of the 2009 season, the final edition of the program's second year. The event at the I-55 Raceway in Pevely, MO on August 29-30 took place on the 6/10-mile kart circuit south of the metropolitan St. Louis area. With the end of the season came the final round for drivers to gain the needed points to clinch their respective championships.

The S3 chase came down to the final laps of the year with Matt Zeis and Derek Crockett locked in a heated battle. Crockett was able to edge Zeis for the 10 bonus points in qualifying, putting down the fast lap of the session a mere 0.052-seconds. Crockett was able to lead all eight laps of the heat with Zeis retiring early. This put them tied in the standings heading into the feature. The two ran nose to tail the entire race until contact while lapping another kart sent Crockett off course with a bent kart. This handed Zeis the victory and the championship.

S4 point leader Rick Freund began his quest to clinch the title with a solid fast lap in qualifying, just 0.084-seconds quicker than rival Jack Kloeber. In the heat race however, Kloeber would have the advantage as he led the last five laps of the Prefinal for the win. In the feature, Freund challenged early, posting the fast lap of the race, but Kloeber was more consistent around the track to go on to take his third victory of the season. Freund settle for second, earning himself the championship in the process while Eric Burkard joined them on the podium in the third spot.

Carly Mandarino needed to put in her best weekend of the season in hopes of a championship crown and began the finale strong with the fast lap in qualifying. Derek Crockett was second in the order with Kyle Gnau in third. Once the racing began however Crockett showed the way as he cruised to wins in the Prefinal and Final to clinch the point championship. Gnau and Jake Rathert stood on the podium for their feature results however Mandarino gained enough points with her fourth place finish to end up second in the chase with Gnau a close third. Crockett earned a second title before the event began as he clinched the TaG Senior title. Chris Berg ran to the class win over Jerry Henry.

As he has all year, Lukas Johnson was on his game for the finale to sweep the weekend and score the S5 Junior title. A smoking lap in qualifying gave him the 10 bonus points followed by the Prefinal win after duking it out with Kevin Donahue. Johnson then went on to lead all 16 laps of the feature for his fifth straight victory. Donahue was second with Colton Brooks third. Kaylee Granberg's fourth place finish was just enough to edge Donahue for the runner-up spot in the standings with Brooks ending the year fourth.

The TaG Junior group was exciting to watch all weekend. Colton Brooks showed the way early on, claiming the top spot in qualifying over 61 Kartway winner Richy Yates. Things went crazy at the drop of the green as contact took out Brooks. Point leader Drake Ostrom went on to take the provisional win in the Prefinal but officials disqualified him for rough driving, handing the win to Kaylee Granberg. Yates paced the field in the first half of the feature race until Kevin Donahue was able to close in and take the lead with three laps to go. He would hold off Yates to score his second victory of the season with Collin Willis placing third. Ostrom managed to run sixth, earning enough points to claim the class championship over Yates and Donahue.

SCSC TaG Masters guest Joe Sturm swept the class on the weekend in his return to action after a non-racing injury. The championship however was decided behind him as Jim Donahue gained a few points on Brit Phillips as they finished second and third. Phillips however scored the necessary points to claim the class title.

Local driver Kyle Kennedy showed the way early in the popular TaG Cadet division, posting a fast lap just ahead of championship leader Kyle Donahue. At the drop of the green, Donahue got the jump and went on to lead all eight laps of the Prefinal ahead of Kennedy. The start was very similar in the Final, except Donahue held the inside line through the opening corners. From there, Donahue was able to stretch out to a two-second victory to claim the class championship. Kennedy ended up second with Zach Bohmer winning the tight battle for third to earn his spot as series runner-up in the standings.

The Kid Kart group was a race of two - Jacob Winslow and Owen Leatherberry. Winslow was the top qualifier and was able to win by an uncharacteristic five-second margin in the Prefinal. In the feature however, the two went back and forth several laps until being joined by Nicholas Cory. After Cory took a few laps at the point, he retired and handed the spot to Leatherberry, who held off Winslow by 0.156-seconds at the checkered flag for the victory. Winslow however still smiling afterwards, taking home the championship.

Following the day's action during the awards ceremonies, one lucky driver was chosen by a random draw with the winner given the all-expense paid trip to the Granja Viana 500 race in Brazil - thanks to MG Tires. S3 champion Matt Zeis was the lucky name pulled out of the hat by TaG 60 driver Nicholas Nufer. Zeis will join other Superkarts! USA drivers from across the country to represent the United States and MG Tires at the prestigious event, competing against some of the biggest names in motorsports.

The awards for the 2009 championship winners will be handed out at the season end banquet, set for October 10 at the Microtel Inn in Quincy, IL. More information regarding the banquet or SKUSA Central States Challenge in general can be found at the series website - The series would like to thank the following sponsors for their support in 2009; AMB i.t., MG Tires, Car-Car Motorsports, Crockett's Mobile Car Wash, Digatron, Nado Alley Printing, PG Racing, Russell Karting, and Unique Heating and Cooling.

-credit: skusa

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Series Kart
Drivers Joe Sturm , Lukas Johnson