SKUSA: PKC-S/N: West Coast Shootout event preview

FIRST ANNUAL PROKART CHALLENGE WEST COAST SHOOTOUT TAKING SHAPE Competitors from all over will determine who's 'Best in the West' TEMECULA, CA (May 8, 2009) -- The much anticipated ProKart Challenge West Coast Shootout is just one week away, set...

FIRST ANNUAL PROKART CHALLENGE WEST COAST SHOOTOUT TAKING SHAPE
Competitors from all over will determine who's 'Best in the West'

TEMECULA, CA (May 8, 2009) -- The much anticipated ProKart Challenge West Coast Shootout is just one week away, set for May 16 at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park kart track. The event will put together the PKC South and PKC North programs into one setting, with drivers battling for handsome trophies and exciting podium prizes from the series sponsors -- along with being crowned the 'Best in the West'. Drivers competing will receive points for their respective championships; however, any and all racers are invited to compete.

The event will see a total of 10 classes on track when combining the PKC South and PKC North divisions. S1, G1, S3, S4, TaG Senior, TaG Master and TaG Junior are part of both programs, with the KF2 and S4 Magnum racers coming from PKC South and the HPV 2 Juniors being a PKC North category. A look at the early entry list shows the event at the 7/10-mile circuit should be a good training ground for the upcoming SKUSA SuperNationals XIII later in the year, as most of the heavy hitters will be in attendance.

The S3 division has been a one-man show at both ends of the spectrum for the ProKart Challenge program. Jacob Neal has four wins total, three in the South and one in the North to lead both championships heading into the Shootout weekend. Neal is being chased by Patrick Cushenberry, Bobby Legate and Jimmy McNeil in the South while Steve Reasoner and Tommy Thompson trail Neal in the North. 2007 SuperNats S3 winner Tom Dyer will be making his 2009 debut at the Shootout and should be a factor.

The TaG Senior and KF2 fields are expected to field a number of national caliber competitors. Howie Idelson and Brett Felkins hold the top spot in the TaG Senior standings, but will have to fend off drivers like Will Martindale, Larry Fraser, Andrick Zeen, Nic LeDuc, and Brett Buckwalter. Both Martindale and Felkins, as well as Zeen, will be among the many looking to knock off Alex Speed from the top of the KF2 championship lead. Cody Hodgson, Devin Lindsey, young gun Gustavo Menezes and Indy 500 champion Buddy Rice are also expected to be at Buttonwillow.

In S4, Jeff Smith and Jamie Wilson will do battle as the South and North championship leaders. Smith has yet to earn a feature win this season, while Wilson took home one after two rounds in the North. Peter Workum sits third and second in the standings and will be a factor -- along with South winner Rob Whitley and defending champion Ken Schilling. Jared Woolf is another driver traveling from the North, already a victory on his 2009 CV.

The G1 division has a number of drivers representing the South program, including championship leader Troy Butts. He, along with fellow front runners Roy Montgomery and Brad Dhesi, will do battle against the best in the North, including Jim Kidd, Ethan Wilson, and defending champion Craig Corwin.

It will be Steve vs. Steve in the TaG Master category, as Wiener and Elo will face one another, with the likes of Mike Kelley, Jeff Bobbitt, Jim Zootis, Paul Hohlbein, and Jeff Deehan -- who has run both South and North campaigns thus far -- in the mix of the leaders. Aside from S3, Neal has been dominant in S1 -- and could be leading both regional championships after Buttonwillow. Peter Abba and Cody Hodgson, however, stand in his way, along with Gary Carlton, who's coming out to race S1, as well. Tony Morrison leads the South-based S4 Magnum division after their first three official weekends on the roster. His two feature wins puts him on top of the standings over Luke Bianco and Jim Miller.

A good field of TaG Juniors will be present at Buttonwillow, giving South championship leader Max Zacky some much wanted competition. North standings leader Kiel Spaulding and a host of others from the North will be on hand, along with new PKC competitors Kolton Griffin and Cole Loftsgard. The North-based HPV 2 Junior category will see the top competitors from that region on hand -- with Spaulding, Dylan Lupton, and Donavon Wheeler leading the way. A number of new competitors from other areas of the West coast are expected to be in attendance.

An extra flavor added to the outstanding show PKC produces at each event will be eKartingNews.com's Rob Howden, the premier announcer in North America, providing live commentary of the on-track action. Howden was the voice of the SKUSA ProMoto Tour in the late 90s and early 2000s, along with numerous karting events over the past decade -- including 11 of the 12 SKUSA SuperNationals.

Open practice will be run on Friday, May 15 from 9am to 5pm. The day will conclude with a complimentary BBQ sponsored by Courtney Concepts and Zacky Farms (drinks not included). Anyone who paid to practice or purchased a pit pass for the day will be allowed to sample some of the free food provided -- with nearly 350 people expected to be served. Pre-registration deadline for the event is Wednesday, May 13 at midnight, with competitors able to save money by entering early; however, entries will be taken at the track at the regular at-event prices. Pit spots and hotel rooms are filling up fast; thus PKC is recommending competitors reserve theirs as soon as possible. For more information on the Superkarts! USA's ProKart Challenge, head to www.prokartchallenge.com.

-credit: skusa

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Series Kart
Drivers Peter Workum , Rob Howden , Buddy Rice , Mike Kelley , Jeff Smith , Tom Dyer , Andrick Zeen , Gustavo Menezes