WKA: IRL SoK: Tucson to host West Division opener

Tucson Welcomes the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL for West Division Opener Seattle, WA (April 19, 2006) -- Following a wet and intensely fought start to the 2006 season in Norman, OK the contingent of racers in the Snap-on...

Tucson Welcomes the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL for West Division Opener

Seattle, WA (April 19, 2006) -- Following a wet and intensely fought start to the 2006 season in Norman, OK the contingent of racers in the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL will split into East and West Divisions for the middle portion of the season. The West Division begins this weekend at the brand-new P1 Kart Circuit in Tucson, AZ. The P1 track is fashioned after the world-famous karting circuit in Suzuka, Japan and has proven to be incredibly quick and demanding in pre-race testing sessions there.

The Cytomax ICC (shifter) class is stacked with talent heading into this round. Intrepid looks to be a class favorite with Norman runner-up, and defending ICA National Champion and A1 Team USA driver Phil Giebler lining up for the squad. His teammate, Canadian Jordy Vorrath, will be back in action following a pre-season injury that forced him to miss the Norman round. Perennial contenders Alan Rudolph (RBI), Gary Carlton (Trackmagic), David Jurca (Tony Kart), and Matt Jaskol (Top Kart) all pose serious threats to take victories this weekend. Indy Pro Series veteran Arie Luyendyk, Jr. is also entered in a GS 610 Brake Fluid backed entry.

The direct drive hot shots in ICA will see a mixture of veterans, and new faces to the class contend for the top spot. Joel Miller, last year's West Division ICA champ, is slotted to run for Tony Kart with last year's Easykart National Champion Cory Pollock set to follow-up on an impressive first race on his Birel. Longtime karting ace Howie Idelson (RBI) will make his return to the series this weekend and most expect Costa Rican Juan Sanso to be near the front for CRG.

The Spec Racer category seems to be gaining steam. Norman winner Jordon Musser returns aboard his Birel. Devon Sandeen (First Kart) aims to pick up in top form from the speed he showed in round 1 while Chase Cotlow (KGB) and Jamie Slone (Intrepid) are local guns who will try their hand at the national level this weekend.

In the PCH Motorsports JICA category the top junior pilots will battle in their usual tooth and nail manner on the lightning fast track. Jacob Neal (CRG), Brett Smrz (First Kart), and Brendan Langlois (Maranello) are all favorites for the victory. The Kart Racing Technologies team could have a very strong showing with Connor DePhillippi and Miles Maroney both showing potential. Hayden Duerson also looks to have a strong run on his Italkart.

The King Taco Cadets always have a strong showing in the West and this weekend's action looks no different. Defending National Champion Sage Karam (Top Kart) will travel west for this weekend's event with Dylan Nobile (Nevoso) who came on strong at the end of last season sure to give him a run for his money. Racquel Martinez (Top Kart) should bring some of her early season form from 2005 to Arizona. Oscar Tunjo Sanchez (Nevoso), a regular contender in the East will also travel to Tucson to start the divisional season. As always, with drafting packs of up to 15 karts it usually comes down to the last corner of the last lap in the King Taco Cadet class where each 2006 divisional champion will walk away with an all-expenses paid trip for them and a guardian to a 2007 Indy Racing League event (courtesy of King Taco) where they will be treated as the guests of series co-owners Bryan Herta and Bobby Rahal.

The desert sun and wind should be a welcome change from the cold and wet conditions all of these racers faced at the season opening MINI Cooper Race of the Americas as these karters open up the western season. Any promotional inquiries about the event can be directed to 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.

-sok-

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Series Kart
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Tony George , Alan Rudolph , Phil Giebler , Matt Jaskol , Jamie Slone , Joel Miller , Brett Smrz , Hayden Duerson , Oscar Tunjo , Miles Maroney