California ProKart Challenge, Round 3Tweet
The 2012 California ProKart Challenge season reached the halfway point following this weekend’s round three proceedings at the Adams Motorsports Park. The historic 7/10-mile course hosted the Superkarts! USA regional for the second straight year, with 10 categories battling around the challenging circuit and more than half witnessed first time winners.
More than 80 drivers converged in Riverside, CA with the championship chases heating up, all vying for a part of the over $65,000 prize package up for grabs this season. Adding their names to the list of contenders in the headline categories are Nicky Freytag and Devin Lindsey, winners of the main events in S1 and TaG Senior.
Qualifying was a tight affair for the Extreme Karting-sponsored S1 Pro Stock Moto division, as the top three drivers came in within six-hundredths of a second. Ryon Beachner earned the pole position honor with his fast lap of 42.039 seconds. S1 rookies Freytag and Josh Lane, making his first California PKC start, clocked in second and third. Beachner went wire-to-wire in both 10-lap heat races with Freytag trailing. Lane had issues in heat one, allowing point leader Jimmy McNeil to advance to third in both moto races. As he did for the entire day, Beachner led the way in the main event early – until Freytag worked around to take over the point on lap three. From there, Freytag was able to stretch out to a sizable lead with the fast laps of the race. The Arizona driver would earn his first S1 victory, crossing the line 1.1 seconds ahead of Beachner. McNeil would cap off the podium with a solid point day, finishing in front of defending champion Brad Dunford and Clinton Schoombee, second in points entering the weekend.
Lindsey challenged for the TaG Senior title in 2011, coming up just short of the championship. After the first two rounds of 2012, Lindsey entered the Leading Edge Motorsports-sponsored category standings in sixth place. 2011 series champ Travis Lowe led things in qualifying with a 43.258-second lap time. Lindsey was second with Mexican driver Kevin Hernandez in third. Lindsey grabbed the point at the start of heat one, leading all 10 laps for the win. Lowe retired after lap six with a broken chain, handing second to Hernandez who edged out Shawn Cricca and Mason Daughters. Once again leading flag-to-flag, Lindsey took the win in heat two, this time trailed by point leader Matt Johnson, who climbed his way forward after a tough qualifying session. Joining them at the front in the main event was Lowe, who recovered from his heat one DNF. Lowe challenged Lindsey for the lead early on, until Lindsey reclaimed the point on lap four. From there, he was able to fend off any challenges to the checkered flag for his first victory of the 2012 season. Lowe came across in second, with Hernandez able to work by Johnson for the final step of the podium. John Wallace III capped off the top-five.
A new face visited the top step of the S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto class, sponsored by Phil Giebler Racing. Former TaG driver Justin Miller celebrated his California PKC debut on the top step of the podium in Riverside. Michael Leib was the top driver in qualifying over point leader Matias Podboj, Luis Martinez Jr. and Miller. Leib scored the win in the opening heat race, with Miller advancing to second. Miller continued his way forward in heat two, taking over the top spot on the opening circuit and going on to the race win. Miller kept his position at the front of the S2 field through the combined S1/S2 main event, putting an S1 driver between himself and Podboj to secure his first ProKart victory by over three seconds. Podboj settled for second, with Leib back up to third.
Trevor McAlister came through at the end of the day to score his first victory of 2012, outrunning the Pure Karting-sponsored S4 Master Stock Moto field. ‘T-Mac’ qualified on the pole position with a stunning lap – 41.922 seconds – to end up over four-tenths quicker than Rob Logan. Last year’s Adam’s winner Robert Marks made an early charge in heat one, challenging McAlister for the lead. On lap three, the two made contact that resulted in Marks dropping down the order and eventually retiring. McAlister continued on in the lead and crossed the finish line first. Officials ruled the contact to be avoidable, moving McAlister down to 16th place, one behind Marks. That gave the win to Troy Butts, with point leader PP Mastro in second. Butts and Mastro ran 1-2 in the second heat, as McAlister and Marks advanced to eighth and tenth. Trevor continued his charge back to the front in the 20-lap main event. By lap three, McAlister was into fourth – trailing the top three, which included Randy McKee. Butts led the first five laps before Mastro took over the point on the sixth circuit. At the same time, McAlister fought his way into second. The next time around, McAlister was at the front. From there, he posted the fast laps of the race to earn the main event victory. Mastro settled for second to extend his point lead, with McKee in third. Marks advanced up to sixth behind Butts and round two winner Rob Logan. S4 Magnum competed on track at the same time as the S4 class, with Luke Bianco scoring the event win over Ken Manning.
The Buddy Rice Karting TaG Master category looked to be a sweep for Randy Froom, but issues in the main event put him on the sidelines early. This allowed two-time SuperNationals winner Billy Cleavelin to score his second straight win on the season. Froom was quick in qualifying, posting a 44.099-second lap time to secure the pole position. Paul Grey challenged Froom in heat one, as they crossed the line just 27-thousandths of a second apart, with Froom earning the win. Froom led all 10 laps in heat two, with Cleavelin advancing to second after starting at the back of the field for an engine change. The two battled in the first half of the main event for the win until Froom retired on lap 10 for a stuck throttle. This allowed Cleavelin to drive away with the victory. Grey was just a bit back in second with 2011 PKC North class champion Glenn McKinnon in third.
The S3 Novice Stock Moto class, sponsored by Select Shifter and DR Racing Kart, went down to the wire. Todd Wilson led things early, qualifying first and earning the heat one win. Championship leader Steve Ryckebosch came back to win heat two ahead of Wilson. In the main event, Ryckebosch crossed the line first for the win – but ended up too wide in tech and was removed from the results. This put Chalee Siengthai on top of the podium for the first time, edging out Wilson. Al James finished third but was also removed in tech after crossing the scales underweight, handing third to Lauren Stark.
A solid field of TaG Junior drivers put on a great show during the Adams weekend. The Russell Karting Specialties-sponsored division saw class rookie Christian Brooks earn his first main event victory. Brooks topped the charts in qualifying, edging out defending champ Carter Williams by two-thousandths – with the remaining drivers in the top-five within a tenth of a second of Brooks. Jostling of positions took place in the opening lap of heat one, with Brooks falling down to fifth and by the completion of lap two, PKC newcomer Alex Keyes was at the point. He went on to score the win over Cory Davison, as Brooks drove back to third. Christian managed a better opening circuit, sticking with Keyes through three laps before taking the lead and going on to the win. Keyes and Davison finished second and third. In the main event, Brooks went wire-to-wire for his first PKC main event victory. Davison won the battle for second over Christian Munoz, Noah Grey and Williams. Keyes finished sixth but was penalized for avoidable contact, placed behind Curtis Paul in 15th. 2011 S5 Junior Stock Moto champion Micah Hendricks made his first PKC start of the season, completing the weekend with a sweep over current point leader Carter Williams.
Anthony Sawyer moved into the championship lead in the Sunshine Daydream Creations-sponsored TaG Cadet class with a sweep this past weekend. Sawyer was quickest in qualifying, won both heat races after tough battles, and scored the checkered flag in the main event. Sawyer was able to break away in the feature race, driving to a four-second victory. Hunter Kelly edged out Dante Yu for the second step of the podium, with former point leader Jack von Quilich in fourth.
The California ProKart Challenge staff would like to thank the Adams Motorsports Park and the SoCal Sprinters organization for their help in making the event such a great success. Next on the calendar for the California ProKart Challenge is the start of the second half of the season, Round #4 of the six-event championship, set for June 22-23 in a return to the Buttonwillow Raceway Park kart track in Buttonwillow, CA. It will be the final race taking place in California before attention turns to the second stop of the SKUSA Pro Tour – the SummerNationals – on July 20-22 at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Be sure to visit www.superkartsusa.com for updates on the California ProKart Challenge and the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour.