WKA: IRL SoK: New Castle preview

The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar Series will enter the second round of the Eastern Division this weekend at the New Castle Motorsports Park, located just outside Indianapolis, IN. This is a busy weekend for the Indy area and the...

The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar Series will enter the second round of the Eastern Division this weekend at the New Castle Motorsports Park, located just outside Indianapolis, IN. This is a busy weekend for the Indy area and the world of motorsports as the final two days of qualifying, including what is looking to be a good 'bump day, for the Indy 500 will take place while those drivers in the Stars circuit will be do some 'bumping' of their own around the 1-mile course at the Mark Dismore owned facility.

The weather forecast for the weekend has Friday and Saturday clear and sunny with a small chance of rain during Sunday's action, a bit of a change from the rainy and muddy weekend in Norman for the Race of the Americas.

Another change from the opening weekend of the year is Stars appointing Tim Musch to the new National Race Director position. Musch will be taking over the reigns from Kevin Williams, who has been appointed the new National Race Steward. Musch will now be the eyes over the racing surface while he and Williams will be in direct contact with one another as Williams will now be more accessible to drivers and crew to discuss incidents, penalties and ruling should the need arise.

The format of the weekend will also revert back to the dual race weekends, with Qualifying, Prefinals, and Finals taking place both days, rather then two main events on Sunday. Included in the daily schedule format will be the moving of podiums to follow directly after each Final for all five classes. Stars is hoping to bring back some excitement back to the awards ceremony along with allowing those you may have to leave right away a chance to stand on the podium steps. Of course, competitors will be racing for significant cash prizes as well, including the Zoombang Pole Award for all winners in ICC and ICA ($100 cash for each pole position plus $100 of Zoombang Product), the Mazda Zoom-Zoom Award ($250 to the driver with the fastest race lap in ICC and ICA), and the Gridsport Dash for Cash where the top two qualifiers from Saturday from the ICC, PCH Motorsports ICA, and Spec Racer classes will duke it out in Gridsport.

Among the favorites to step up on the ICC podium this weekend includes defending champion Gary Carlton (PCH Motorsports). After earning his first podium finish at the European Championships less then two weeks ago, the Californian will be making his first start at the New Castle facility. After returning back from Europe, the Race of the Americas winner made a stop off in Indy to get some testing in for this weekend.

The quickest driver to run around the 1-mile circuit is Las Vegas native Matt Jaskol (Team Topkart). After fighting with walking pneumonia at the Race of the Americas, he was still able to post a fourth and a third in the two Finals. This weekend, Jaskol will be running at 100% and will look to break his current track record of 1:00.387, possibly breaking the 1-minute mark in the process.

Other to watch this weekend include ICC sophomore Michael Vincec (Cameron Motorsports), hometown hero Kyle Wiegand (Team Topkart), David Jurca (Italian Motors) and Jan Velez (PSL Karting) - each having a great deal of laps and success on the NCMP circuit.

Nearly all the same drivers who were in Norman for the opener will be in New Castle for the PCH Motorsports ICA division. 39 drivers will be looking to stop British pilot Scott Jenkins (Champion Racing/Intrepid). The JICA European Championship runner-up put on a dominate performance at the Race of the Americas, becoming the third straight non-American to win the event.

ICA rookie Federico Montoya (Indie Race Development) had an outstanding debut in Norman, picking up a second and a fourth. The 2006 Easykart World Champion will look to back that up this weekend along with many of the top contenders looking for a way to stop Jenkins. Including Jake Rosenzweig (PSL Karting), defending champion Joel Miller (Tony Kart USA), rookie Guillermo Freile (Tony Kart USA), and many others.

Along with ICC and ICA, the three support classes of Spec Racer, JICA and Cadet will be on hand to continue their runs toward the championship. One race of note running in the Spec Racer category includes track owner, Mark Dismore Sr. Normally seen driving the four-wheeler, picking up dead karts throughout the three days, Dismore will strap on the helmet and battle against drivers half his age, including his son Mark Jr.

EKN will be trackside all weekend long, bringing live updates via the Official Discussion in the forums, full results including chassis and engine information, and a daily report. The duo of EKN Publisher Rob Howden and Editor David Cole will be sitting down Friday to tape the next Happy Hour with Howden show with a few guests and some lively debates.

-credit: sok

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Series Kart
Drivers Mark Dismore , Kyle Wiegand , Matt Jaskol , Joel Miller
Teams Williams