WKA: IRL SoK: Sears Point West Division finale summary

Carlton and Peterson Sew Up West Division Titles at Infineon Seattle, WA (August 20, 2006 ): The intensity ratcheted up another level this weekend at Infineon Raceway as racers from the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL battled...

Carlton and Peterson Sew Up West Division Titles at Infineon

Seattle, WA (August 20, 2006 ): The intensity ratcheted up another level this weekend at Infineon Raceway as racers from the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL battled for the West Division titles at the final event before the series finals at Woodbine. The $25,000+ purse announced by the series for the series finals at Woodbine added even more excitement to an already first rate weekend.

Saturday's action in the Cytomax ICC class kicked off with PCH Motorsports driver Gary Carlton winning the Zoombang Pole Award on his CRG. West Division points leader Jordy Vorrath (Leading Edge/Champion Intrepid) would drop out of the prefinal early after contact with Tad Funakoshi (Italkart). This set the stage for a shuffle atop the points standings and Saturday's Final saw Carlton and Funakoshi run away from the pack and swap the lead several times with Carlton finally assuming point on the final circuit and taking the victory with Funakoshi second and Lorenzo Mandarino (KLS Racing GP) third. Fritz Leesman (KLS Racing GP) and David Jurca (Tony Kart USA) rounded out the top 5. Sunday's action saw Carlton follow-up with his second Zoombang Pole Award in as many days. Come time for the Finals he wasn't to be stopped, sweeping the weekend for the PCH Motorsports team and taking the West Division crown with him. Matt Jaskol (Top Kart) had an impressive run to finish second; the talented Las Vegas native has had all the speed, but none of the luck to snag a victory yet this season. Lorenzo Mandarino took his second third place finish of the weekend with Landon Yee (Italkart) and Jordy Vorrath rounding out the top-five. This sets the stage for a heated showdown between Carlton, Vorrath, Funakoshi and Phil Giebler for the National title at Woodbine in September.

Texan Cody Jolly showed impressive form by taking his Zoombang Pole Award in the ICA division on Saturday. In the Final, Tyler Dueck (Champion Racing/Intrepid) would cross the line first in the Final, but his rear tires were found to be placed too wide resulting in a disqualification. This moved Sodi Kart pilot Aaron Neliton to the top step of the podium for the first ICA win of his career. Jess Peterson (Intrepid) and East Division titlist Joel Miller (Tony Kart USA) were second and third respectively with Brandon Bealer (Kosmic) and James Kennedy (Sodi Kart) rounding out the top five. Nick Tonkin (Birel) would step forward to take the Zoombang Pole Award on Sunday, the Canadian showing impressive speed all year. Tonkin would follow that up with a decisive victory over fellow Canadian Dueck who was seven seconds back. Mitch Cobb (Italkart) would take the last step on the podium with James Kennedy and Joel Miller rounding out the top-five. Jess Peterson's ninth place finish allowed him to wrap up the West Division title in the ICA class. The battle between Peterson and reigning Jim Trueman Award Winner Joel Miller will be interesting on the temporary circuit at Woodbine.

Matt Hauff (Tony Kart) would take the pole in Spec Racer on Saturday after a battery violation knocked James Toft (Birel) from his top time. The action in the Final was some of the best racing seen all year with Clayton Snow (Top Kart) and James Toft dicing for the majority of the race. The two would get together on the final lap, allowing Chris Scribner (Tony Kart) to take his first series victory. Kyle Heckman took the runner-up spot for GT Race Karts and Caleb Kenney (Italkart) rounded out the podium. Eric Gerrits (First Kart) and Matt Hauff rounded out the top five with Snow and Toft falling back to sixth and ninth respectively. Snow would fight back from his Saturday disappointment by taking the pole on Sunday in Gatorz Pole Qualifying. Toft however would have his redemption in the Final, taking his first victory of the season. Kyle Heckman capped off another impressive weekend for GT Race Karts with another runner-up finish and Eric Gerrits took the last step on the podium. Max Riddle (First Kart) and Jared Woolf (Intrepid) rounded out the top-five. It was Devon Sandeen however who would take the West Division title for First Kart. He will now head to Toronto to square off against the dominant Brandon Adkins (Margay) and teammate Eric Gerrits for the National Championship.

Maranello's Dusty Davis took the Gatorz Pole Award on Sunday in the PCH Motorsports JICA class. The battle in the Final however would come down to experienced JICA pilots Carlos Munoz (Birel), Brett Smrz (First Kart), Davis, and Gustavo Menezes (Tony Kart USA). Menezes would drive a very calculated race, picking off karts one-by-one and eventually taking the top spot and holding onto it with the young Californian rookie to the PCH Motorsports class taking his first victory in the category. Munoz and Smrz rounded out the podium with Davis and Jacob Neal (PCH Motorsports CRG) rounding out the top-five. Sunday would belong to Jacob Neal however. The likable Californian turned around some of the bad luck that has plagued him this year to take the Gatorz Pole. He would follow that up by driving to a 1.8 second victory in the Final on his Mike Speed tuned CRG. Canadian Brendan Langlois (Maranello) would take second and Menezes would wrap-up his impressive weekend with another podium in third. Birel teammates Brendan Phinny and Taylor Miinch rounded out the top-five. Brett Smrz would take the West Division PCH Motorsports JICA title and head to Toronto to square off against his rival Carlos Munoz for the National Crown.

The West Division racers of the King Taco Cadet class were battling for all-expenses paid trip for two to a 2007 Indy Racing League event courtesy of King Taco for the Western titlist. Philip Orcic (WTP) put his name atop the charts in Gatorz Pole Qualifying on Saturday. A three kart drafting pack would provide a photo finish in Saturday's final with Devin Jones (Nevoso) taking the victory by .070 seconds over Oscar Tunjo (Nevoso). Camden Giese (Top Kart) would take third with Orcic and Nobile (Nevoso) rounding out the top-five. On Sunday Andrew Murray (Birel) took the Gatorz Pole Award in Cadet. The tight racing action would see an even closer finish than on Sunday with Joey Teves taking the victory in his Bordogna Racing Engines powered PCR by just .019 seconds over defending National Champion Sage Karam (Birel) and another Bordogna/Comer powered driver Luis Tyrell taking the last step on the podium. Dylan Nobile and Louie Pagano (Birel) would take a close fourth and fifth respectively. Oscar Tunjo took home the West Division King Taco Cadet series crown and all-expense paid trip for two to a 2007 IRL event courtesy of King Taco.

The Infineon round provided some of the best racing action of the season in the West Division. Extra prizes were provided by Hitch Hiker Kart Stands who gave away free stands to the Sunday winners in the Cytomax ICC, ICA, and PCH Motorsports JICA classes and free Cytomax Sport and Energy Drink product was provided to all courtesy of series sponsor Cytomax.

Now the series will focus on its September 22-24 National Finals at the high-profile Woodbine Racetrack and Casino in Toronto. The facility did an excellent job in promoting its inaugural event in 2005 and is a fitting venue to see the hot shoes of the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL face off for the $100,000 + in cash and awards that will be up for grabs at the event.

-credit: stars of karting

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Series Kart
Drivers Brandon Adkins , James Kennedy , Phil Giebler , Matt Jaskol , Lorenzo Mandarino , Joel Miller , Carlos Munoz , Caleb Kenney , Brett Smrz , Tyler Dueck , Oscar Tunjo , Sage Karam , Clayton Snow , Louie Pagano , Dusty Davis , Gustavo Menezes , Max Riddle , Devin Jones