WKA: IRL SoK: Tucson race notes 2006-04-24

Tucson Sees Carlton Take Heroic Win for Trackmagic in the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL Seattle, WA (April 24, 2006) -- Racers in the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL were faced with desert heat, wind, and dust at ...

Tucson Sees Carlton Take Heroic Win for Trackmagic in the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL

Seattle, WA (April 24, 2006) -- Racers in the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL were faced with desert heat, wind, and dust at the opening round of the series' West Division held at the P1 Kart Circuit in Tucson, AZ.

Saturday's action saw Jordy Vorrath return to the series aboard a Leading Edge-Intrepid in the Cytomax ICC (shifter) class to take the Zoombang Pole Award. He would see close competition from Tad Funakoshi (Italkart), Fritz Leesman (GP) and Gary Carlton (Trackmagic) in the prefinal. In the final, Vorrath jumped to an early start as Funakoshi got shuffled back. Vorrath would stretch out to a comfortable lead to take the victory while Leesman made an impressive charge to take second. Top Kart's Matt Jaskol took the last step on the podium with Funakoshi and Carlton rounding out the top five.

The mood in Sunday's paddock was clouded by the news of Trackmagic team owner Fausto Vitello's passing the previous day. The Trackmagic team, with Carlton in the driver's seat and Andrew Alfonso tuning, persevered and decided to compete in honor of Vitello. Matt Jaskol took home the Zoombang Pole Award in Gatorz Pole Qualifying with Carlton a close second. A stuck throttle saw Matt Jaskol spin off in the prefinal, allowing Carlton to take a 1.588 second win and with it the first starting spot in the Final. The Final saw Tad Funakoshi jump out to an early lead, but Carlton snatched it right back only to then be passed up front by Intrepid's Jordy Vorrath. Carlton was not to be denied however, taking the lead back from Vorrath in the final laps and holding off an aggressive charge from the Canadian to take the victory. Keith Spicer (Tony Kart) finished third with David Jurca (Tony Kart) and Phil Giebler (Intrepid) rounding out the top five. Carlton showed extreme strength and character at the awards ceremonies, paying tribute to his team owner and mentor Vitello who gave him a break when no one else would, while also thanking his team members and engine builder Reine Pierson.

Reliability would turn out to be the name of the game in the ICA class. Intrepid's Tyler Dueck was the man to beat on Saturday. He scooped up the Zoombang Pole Award in Gatorz Pole Qualifying, prefinal win, and the Final victory. He didn't go unchallenged however as Italkart's Colby Jenn and Intrepid teammate Jess Peterson gave strong pursuit. The hot and dusty desert weather took its toll on the high-revving ICA motors however and karts began falling by the wayside. In the end Dueck survived to take the win with James Kennedy (Birel) in second and Grant Hebner (Top Kart) in third. Don MacGregor (GT Kart) was the only other driver to make it to the checkers in fourth while Colby Jenn rounded out the top-five with a final lap engine failure. Maranello's Nick Johnston took the Zoombang Pole Award on Sunday over Saturday race winner Dueck and Costa Rican driver Juan Sanso (CRG). Johnston jumped out to an early lead in the final but succumbed to motor failure midway through the race. Nick Tonkin (Birel) inherited the lead and had an exciting battle with Sanso at the point. Tonkin ended up taking the victory with Sanso second and Saturday's winner Tyler Dueck coming home third after an opening lap melee forced him to charge from the back. Jess Peterson (Intrepid) and Garrett Napier (Maranello) rounded out the top five.

The Spec Racer category saw a healthy 22-kart turnout in Tucson. On Saturday Chris Guimarra (Biese) scooped up the pole in Gatorz pole qualifying. Come race time however it was all Devon Sandeen (First Kart) who took the point and was not to be challenged in his Checkered Flag Racing prepared entry. Jordon Musser (Birel) took second Justin Miller (Birel), Guimarra, and Eric Gerrits (First Kart) rounded out the top five. On Sunday Sandeen started off the day by taking pole. In the race he held point the entire distance while Justin Miller (Birel) took second and Nicholas Fairney (First Kart) taking the last step on the podium. Tyler Mann (Italkart) and Andy Lee (Tony Kart) rounded out the top five.

PCH Motorsports pilot Garrison Masters stepped up his game this weekend in the PCH Motorsports JICA category. Masters started out by taking pole on Saturday. In the Final, Masters had to battle Gustavo Menezes' (Tony Kart) for the lead in the first portion of the race. That battle however came to an end when Menezes' dropped out with a clutch failure on lap 14. This left Masters a comfortable margin to protect and take his first victory in the class. Brendan Langlois (Maranello) drove to an impressive runner-up spot after a battle with KRT pilot Connor DePhillippi. Taylor Miinch (Birel) and Christian Stover (Tony Kart) came home in fourth and fifth respectively. Sunday's action once again saw Masters take pole in Gatorz pole qualifying. The Final however was to be a much more closely contested battle for the win. Masters and Menezes hooked up to pull away from the field. On the final lap Menezes got by Masters heading into turn three. On the final turn, Menezes took a protective inside line while Masters took a wider approach to gain speed on the exit. The two battled neck and neck to a photo-finish which Masters won by just .003 seconds in one of the most exciting races seen this season. Taylor Miinch joined Masters and Menezes on the podium with Dusty Davis (Maranello) and Connor DePhillippi rounding out the top-five.

The King Taco Cadets saw some old and new faces at the front of the pack. Devin Jones (Nevoso) took the pole in Saturday's Gatorz Pole Qualifying. In the final Jones actually crossed the line in second position, however, after a fuel related technical disqualification removed Andrew Murray (Birel) from his first place result Jones took the top step of the podium. Colombia's Oscar Tunjo Sanchez (Nevoso) and Sage Karam (Birel) slotted into second and third positions with Dylan Kwasniewski (KRT) and Racquel Martinez (Top Kart) rounding out the top-five. On Sunday Andrew Murray bounced back from his Saturday disappointment to take pole in Gatorz Pole Qualifying. In the main event he was able to stretch out to a comfortable 2 second lead and take the victory. The consistent Racquel Martinez took second on her Top Kart with Oscar Tunjo Sanchez rounding out the podium. Nicholas Silva (Kart Mini) and Camden Geise (Top Kart) rounded out the top five.

The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL would like to extend a special thank you to all of the competitors who braved the heat, wind, and dust in the Arizona desert this weekend. "We came into this event with very high hopes; unfortunately, a lot of our expectations on a facility level were not upheld. We want all of our teams, participants, and supporters who took part in this weekend's action in Tucson to know that we intend to uphold the highest standards for all of our events and appreciate their support," said Series President Paul Zalud.

The next race in the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL will take place May 19-21 on Bump Day weekend for the Indianapolis 500 in New Castle, IN at the first-class New Castle Motorsports Park. The event will be the first in the East Division of the series. Those with any promotional or media inquiries should contact jeff@starsofkarting.com.

Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League is based out of Seattle, Washington, sanctioned by the World Karting Association (WKA) and owned and operated by 1986 Indianapolis 500 champion and IRL IndyCar Series team owner Bobby Rahal, IndyCar Series driver Bryan Herta and veteran karting promoter Paul Zalud. www.starsofkarting.com, www.worldkarting.com.

Snap-on Tools Company, LLC is a subsidiary of Snap-on Incorporated, a leading global developer, manufacturer and marketer of tool and equipment solutions for professional tool users. Product lines include hand and power tools, diagnostics and shop equipment, tool storage products, diagnostics software and other solutions for the transportation service, industrial, government, education, agricultural, and other commercial applications, including construction and electrical. Products are sold through its franchised dealer van, company-direct sales and distributor channels, as well as over the Internet at snapon.com. Founded in 1920, Snap-on is a $2 billion-plus, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wis., and employs approximately 11,500 people worldwide.

Formed in 1996 by Tony George, Stars' presenting sponsor Indy Racing League provides the ultimate in wheel-to-wheel racing excitement through the IndyCar Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series. The 2005 season marks the 10th year of competition for the IndyCar Series, the pinnacle of open-wheel racing in America. The 17-race schedule, featuring 14 ovals, two road courses and a temporary street circuit, consists of the most events in season history. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series, an essential stepping-stone for drivers and teams striving to reach the IndyCar Series, will feature a series-high 14 races in 2005, including three events on road courses and one street course. www.indyracing.com.


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Series Kart
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Chris Guimarra , James Kennedy , Tony George , Andrew Alfonso , Jordon Musser , Matt Jaskol , Andy Lee , Tyler Dueck , Oscar Tunjo , Sage Karam , Dusty Davis , Gustavo Menezes , Devin Jones