WKA: IRL SoK: Woodbine season finale summary

Carlton and Miller Win National Championships, Trueman and Barber Awards at Woodbine Seattle, WA -- (September 25, 2006) : The 2006 Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL Finals at Woodbine Entertainment Complex in Toronto saw series ...

Carlton and Miller Win National Championships, Trueman and Barber Awards at Woodbine

Seattle, WA -- (September 25, 2006) : The 2006 Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL Finals at Woodbine Entertainment Complex in Toronto saw series standouts Gary Carlton and Joel Miller lay their mark on the elite 2006 Cytomax ICC (shifter) and ICA (direct drive) class seasons respectively. The two were able to lock up the 2006 National Championships in their classes as well as the prestigious Jim Trueman Memorial Award and Skip Barber -- Snap-on Stars of Karting Scholarship between them. Additionally, National Champions were crowned in the Spec Racer, PCH Motorsports JICA, and King Taco Cadet classes at a race weekend that saw awards worth over $100,000 in cash and prizes awarded.

In the Cytomax ICC division a heated final saw intense battling between Jan Velez-Walter (PSL Karting CRG), David Jurca (Tony Kart USA), Lorenzo Mandarino (KLS Racing GP), and Jan Velez-Walter (PSL Karting CRG) up front. Carlton (PCH Motorsports CRG), winner of the Zoombang Pole Award, was close behind in a battle with Wesley Boswell (MRP Birel America) and Tad Funakoshi (Italkart). David Jurca took the point at halfway point but was then overtook with an aggressive move by Mandarino, who held onto to take home the victory with fellow CRG pilot Jan Velez-Walter working his way up to second and Jurca slotting back in third. Boswell and Funakoshi rounded out the top-five. Carlton's sixth place finish was enough to clinch the 2006 Cytomax ICC National title for him and the $5,000 prize that goes along with it. He was also chosen as the winner of the 2006 Jim Trueman Memorial Award, which provides $25,000 towards the advancement of Carlton's future racing career. Canadian Michael Vincec (Cameron Motorsports CRG) was named the 2006 Rookie of the Year which will provide him with free entry fees for the 2007 season.

The action in ICA saw 2006 series runner-up Joel Miller (Tony Kart USA) take the Zoombang Pole on Saturday morning, and then put on an impressive display in the three prefinal races that saw him start up front for the final. The Hesperia, CA native then put on an impressive display in the final that saw him take a dominant win to clinch the 2006 ICA National Championship and the $5,000 prize that goes with it. Prime Motorsports Gillard pilot Chris Larson capped off an impressive 2006 season with a runner-up spot at the Final, with Indiana's Eric Morrow (Margay) taking the last step on the podium. Mike Giessen (Birel) made another visit to the series to follow-up his Charlotte victory and took fourth with Great Britain's Joe Patterson (Kosmic) in fifth. Additionally, a panel of Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL officials, as well as karting media, chose Joel Miller as the winner of the 2006 Snap-on Stars of Karting -- Skip Barber Scholarship which will provide him a full season of racing in the 2007 Skip Barber National Championship presented by Racer. Eric Morrow was awarded the SunTrust Youth Racing Scholarship which provides $1,500 towards his participation in the Skip Barber Karting Runoff as well as a weekend at a 2007 Grand American Road Racing event as the personal guest of Wayne Taylor and SunTrust Racing.

In the Spec Racer category Canadian Eric Gerrits took the Gatorz pole at the home event for both he and his First Kart North America team, but an impressive showing by his First Kart teammate and fellow Canadian Devon Sandeen would see Sandeen on the pole for Sunday's Final. Sandeen would back up the West Division championship that he and the Checkered Flag Racing team won by taking a dominant 11-second win over Will Martindale (GP Racing) and Max Riddle (First Kart). Zach Beard (Margay) and Tucson, Arizona's Jamie Slone (Intrepid) rounded out the top-five. East Division champion Brandon Adkins finished tenth in the final, but his dominant lead built up in the divisional season was enough to assure him the 2006 Spec Racer National Championship crown and the $1,000 prize that goes with it.

Richard Benitez (Kosmic J3 Racing) took the Gatorz Pole in qualifying for the PCH Motorsports JICA class and dominated much of the prefinal races. In the Final, Dusty Davis (Nevoso Racing Maranello) charged to the front to take the lead and his first win in the PCH Motorsports JICA category, ahead of Intrepid's Scott Rossi and Benitez. Carlos Munoz (MRP Birel America) took fourth to clinch the PCH Motorsports National Title and the $1,000 team prize that goes with it. Ontario driver David Ostella (CRG) rounded out the top-five. At Thursday night's banquet and year-end party Zoombang Products presented JICA pilot Brett Smrz with the Zoombang High Impact Award, providing him three free entry fees and free Zoombang product for his 2007 move to the Cytomax ICC division of the series. Jacob Neal received the runner-up prize in the Zoombang Pole Award competition.

Remo Ruscitti (Italkart) took the top spot in Gatorz Pole Qualifying for the King Taco Cadet class. In the race, championship contenders Oscar Tunjo (Nevoso) and Sage Karam (MRP Birel America) battled for most of the race, Karam coming out on top with a scant .078 second victory. Floridian Spencer Pigot (Juncos) completed the podium with Sebastien Ordonez (Juncos) and pole sitter Ruscitti rounding out the top-five. Tunjo's runner-up finish was enough for him to be crowned the 2006 King Taco Cadet National Champion and secure the $1,000 team prize.

Other prizes awarded this weekend courtesy of Snap-on were customized champion tool carts to all 10 of the 2006 divisional champions, a customized leather jacket for all five National Champion's, as well as a $1,000 bonus to the lead mechanic's for the Cytomax ICC and ICA champion's Gary Carlton and Joel Miller. Jam Air Paint provided free helmet paint jobs to all 2006 National Champions. Memo Gidley's Secrets of Speed will also provide guidance and assistance to deserving JICA drivers in the 2007 season.

The 2006 Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL boasted a record cash purse payout of $86,200, Snap-on Certificate prizes worth $64,000, and additional career advancement prizes worth $66,500. Entries hit record levels at many venues and were up a total of 18% over 2005 numbers. The series also produced two Speed Channel television broadcasts, bringing TV coverage to the series for the fourth time in five years thanks to support from Snap-on, Bridgestone, and Lucas Oil. The series will feature an exhibition event at the PRI Show in Orlando on December 14 that will feature top series drivers as well as motorsports celebrities such as the IRL's Bryan Herta, NHRA's Doug Herbert and Ron Capps, and Grand-Am stars Wayne Taylor and Memo Gidley. The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL would like to thank all their competitors for their 2006 participation and helping to make it the elite series in North America. All promotional inquiries regarding the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL 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.

-credit: sok

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Series Kart
Drivers Doug Herbert , Memo Gidley , Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Wayne Taylor , Brandon Adkins , Skip Barber , Jamie Slone , Eric Morrow , Joel Miller , Carlos Munoz , Brett Smrz , Spencer Pigot , Sage Karam , Remo Ruscitti , Dusty Davis , Max Riddle