WKA: IRL SoK: 2008 Series rookie title winners

DeGrand, Zanella Take Home Rookie Titles With the 2008 Snap-on Stars of Karting Series wrapping up this past weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a host of awards were given away to deserving drivers during podium ...

DeGrand, Zanella Take Home Rookie Titles

With the 2008 Snap-on Stars of Karting Series wrapping up this past weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a host of awards were given away to deserving drivers during podium presentations. While five drivers received National Championship rings, two drivers were awarded the prestigious Rookie-of-the Year titles for the Junior and Senior level classes.

"Both of these drivers are deserving award winners," expressed series President Paul Zalud. "Tristan is a load of talent and watching him in his rookie year has been fun. Zanella drives every lap like it is his last one and is always seen at the front of the pack. I'd like to personally congratulate both drivers and their teams for their great success this season."

Taking honors in the junior class was J3 Competition's Tristan DeGrand. The first year Junior Intercontinental A (JICA) pilot showed a lot of maturity on his way to scoring one victory at USA International Raceway (USAIR) in Shawano, Wisconsin and a second place podium result at this past weekend's National Finals. DeGrand is a graduate from the Stars of Karting Cadet class where in 2007 he raced both the East and West divisions claiming a ninth place in the overall point standings.

With his strong runs and outstanding results in JICA competition in 2008, DeGrand will enter 2009 as a strong contender for the national title while running a two digit national number as a result of finishing in the top ten in the overall point standings in 2008.

Senior Rookie-of-the-Year honors were awarded to Tony Kart pilot Jose Zanella. The Floridian driver is no stranger to karting as in 2007 he competed in the JICA class having several strong runs throughout the season. 2008 saw Zanella move into the new TaG Intercontinental C (ICC) class where he had great success and battled for the championship to the very end. In the East division championship, Zanella scored double victories at USAIR as well as one win in Seattle in the Western division finale. Finishing second in both divisional championships, Zanella headed to the National Finals nine points out of the lead.

Scoring a solid result in final one, Zanella was found light at the scales and therefore disqualified ending his championship hopes. Looking for redemption in final two, Zanella took the lead early and never looked back as he drove to his fourth victory of the season claiming the third position in the national point standings.

The 2008 Snap-on Stars of Karting Series is now complete and the focus will begin to shift to the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) All-Stars Karting Classic held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. PRI and 2009 series news will continue to stream into the media in the weeks to come.

-credit: starsofkarting

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