SKUSA: PKC-S: Santa Maria preview

PROKART CHALLENGE South TO WRAP SEASON AT SANTA MARIA Championships on the line as program heads to popular SoCal circuit TEMECULA, CA (August 22, 2008) -- After six months of hard racing and traveling around the Southern portion of...

Championships on the line as program heads to popular SoCal circuit

TEMECULA, CA (August 22, 2008) -- After six months of hard racing and traveling around the Southern portion of California, the Superkarts! USA ProKart Challenge South program will host its sixth and final event of the 2008 season at the Santa Maria Kart Track in Santa Maria, Calif. on August 30. The event could the be the last at the facility, as it is rumored to be closing in the near future and the PKC event may be the last chance to compete at the 7/10-mile circuit, which is located on the city's airport grounds. Ten different title winners will be determined next Saturday -- and with the championship counting the best five of six races, nothing will be decided until the final checkered flag falls.

The class that everyone has been keeping an eye on throughout the year has been the S3 Light category. It has seen some heavy hitters make one-off appearances; however, the PKC contingent has stepped up continuously throughout the year. Leading the championship chase heading into round six is Bobby Legate. After winning the opening two round of the years, Legate went winless until round five in San Diego. Round four victor Patrick Cushenberry sits second, 163 points behind before dropping his worst finish. With a race this tight, a win in Santa Maria could see the championship decided by a couple of points. Clinton Schoombee sits third, and will need some help if he wants to leave Santa Maria with the title. S3 Heavy is even tighter, with Phil Conte and Marty Henderson separated by just 20 points heading into the final round. Each driver has two feature wins on the season, but with PKC counting points from qualifying and both heat races, each lap will be key for both drivers.

In the S4 divisions, Willy Musgrave has 173 markers over Bryce Miller in the Light category, with Ken Schilling up by 241 points over Alex King in the Heavy class. Musgrave has four feature wins on the season while Miller is still searching for his first on the season. A win will be crucial if Miller hopes to raise the championship trophy at the end of the campaign. Billy Musgrave sits just 250 points out of first but, looking at a drop race, a victory in Santa Maria could give him the title. Schilling enters Santa Maria with three victories to King's one feature win. King will need a complete weekend sweep and some help to gain ground on Schilling's advantage.

Robert Marks has had the bulls-eye on his back since the start of the year in G1, taking three straight wins to begin the season. Looking to return to the top step of the podium at the finale, Marks will enter the event with a 171-point lead over Troy Butts, who has been fast all year -- although he has not earned the checkered flag this season. A win will keep the point totals close when the final tally is calculated. Steve Donia has been near perfect on the season, with four feature wins to lead Eric Ortega in the G2 standings. The gap that Ortega will have to overcome in the final round is 135 points before the drop is calculated, so he will need to be at the front of the field in Santa Maria.

In S1, Jimmy McNeil has 338 points over Peter Abba, who continues to improve on the year, earning his first feature win in San Diego during the most recent round of the series. Zach Dericco, Travis Whitehead and Ryon Beachner will decide the TaG Senior title in the final round. The three are separated by just 249 points heading into Santa Maria. Whitehead and Beachner each have one feature win on the season while Dericco has a zero in the win column, hoping to earn his first to clinch the championship. In TaG Masters, Billy Cleavelin came short of perfection on the year, losing only the feature race in San Diego. However, he will be looking to add his fifth win of the season to bag the class title this time around. With over 400 points on second place Allan Svela, Cleavelin has just about wrapped up the championship.

The end of the season also marks the beginning of change for the ProKart Challenge and the Superkarts! USA organization. The spec MG tire has been the MZ compound, but that particular tire saw round five as its last event. Round Six will mark the first time that the series will use the new FZ compound, which will also be utilized at the SKUSA SuperNationals XII in November at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. With this exciting race coming up as well, PKC expects a larger than usual turnout at Santa Maria, with some of the PKC NorCal racers coming down to get track time in on the FZ tires ahead of their final round and the season-ending SuperNats.

PKC will not be sponsoring a Friday night BBQ at Santa Maria, in order to allow attendees to enjoy the best of what the town has to offer; however, the Moose Lodge will be on hand both Friday and Saturday to provide food concessions, including the famous tri-tip sandwiches. The pre-entry cutoff for the race is August 27 at midnight, where you can save money and guarantee a spot along with getting your fuel and tires set early. On-site registration will be allowed at the track starting Friday at 7am and Saturday at 6:30am. For more information about this event and to check out the line-up of year-end prizes available to ProKart Challenge competitors, head to

-credit: skusa

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Series Kart
Drivers Bryce Miller