13 Karters Capture Rock Island Grand Prix 'Rocks'
Mason Chelootz and Connor Lund were double winners on the weekend and Jordon Musser won the King of the Streets crown at this year’s Rock Island Grand Prix kart races.
More than 230 race entries representing competitors from coast to coast as well as Bermuda and Canada competed for cash payouts sponsored by Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, a rich list of contingency prizes, and the coveted “Rock” trophy.
With an economy still struggling, the 4-cycle classes produced the largest fields of the weekend – both the utilitarian Clone classes and the new sealed, purpose-built for racing Briggs & Stratton 206cc motor.
Chelootz (Top Kart) from Hoston ,Texas, and Lund (Arrow) from Davis, Illinois, were the big winners. Chelootz won the TAG Senior race sponsored by AT&T and Rotax Senior sponsored by Sunbelt Rentals. He also crossed the line in first in the Leopard event, but was DQ’d in tech giving the win to Canadian Cory Cacciavillani (Kosmic). Lund edged Cale Downs (Coyote) and Scott “Skitchy” Barnes from Bermuda (Birel) to win the Briggs & Stratton 206 race, sponsored by Briggs & Stratton, and followed with an easy win in 4-cycle Clone Heavy sponsored by Schurr Power Racing while finishing third in Clone Medium.
For the second time in his career, Musser (Birel) won the King of the Street stock Honda race sponsored by McDonalds Restaurants, with Jake French (Birel) second and Colton Aldridge (Tony Kart) third. Lance Lane (DR Kart) won the 125cc gearbox Masters class sponsored by CBS Channel 4.
"In 2009, four of the top six qualifiers were all from the same town, but we were friends, not teammates,'' Musser said. "This time, three of the top four finishers were working together. Both feelings are pretty cool, getting bragging rights on the guys you see all of the time, to being part of a real team effort this weekend.''
Runner-up Jake French, the polesitter, and fourth-place Cordell Secrest (Birel) are teammates of Musser's. Together those three also swept the top three qualifying spots.
"I don't think a team has ever done that here,'' said Musser. "After the rain in qualifying, we all got together and said, `What can we do to get faster? What do we know works here?' So we made some great adjustments together that paid off.''
The big prize of the weekend was awarded to Brennan Harrington, a 17 year-old driver from Illinois. He received a scholarship to the three-day Skip Barber Driving School at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. That will be followed by a scholarship to the Skip Barber Karting Shootout at Virginia International Raceway where he could win a fully-paid season in the Skip Barber racing series. Scholarships were presented by Skip Barber Racing Schools and the IZOD IndyCar series. Alternates are Alex Mayer of Pennsylvania and Georgia Henneberry from Missouri.
All winners also received Oakley sunglasses and top finishers in the Briggs 206, Clone Medium Series and Komet Senior received a karting jacket and gloves from K1 Race Gear. There were also contingency prizes from Honda Performance Development, Rotax Max Challenge/MAXSPEED, MG and Vega tires, X30 engines and DR chassis.
A number of regular winners did not make the trip this year, opening the door for a number of first-time winners to take the checkered flag from flagman Tommy Argy III. Tony Jump (Margay) from Illinois won Yamaha SuperCan Heavy sponsored by Casey’s General Stores, Wisconsin’s Jesse Clossey (Coyote) won Clone Medium, Dustin Stross, Florida, (DR Kart) won the TAG Junior race sponsored by 61 Kartway, Killian Keaveny from Minnesota (Top Kart) won Junior SuperCan and Bill McLaughlin Jr., Indianapolis, (Birel) won the Yamaha SuperCan Medium race.
After a four-year drought at Rock Island Grand Prix, Jump said winning one of the Rock trophies ranks right up there with anything else on his racing resume.
"I'm going to take this flag and plant it right in front of my house so everybody can see it,'' Jump joked while waving the winners' checkered flag. “`The Rock' will go right up there on the mantel with the national titles. This has been a long time in coming. Finally I got one.''
Jump said the win was important because the world's largest karting street race is an unofficial national title, with top-flight competitors coming from all over the country, as well as some other parts of the globe.
"We always seem to contend here, but we always seem to run into bad luck, too,'' Jump said. "Last year, I was running second when I hit the barrier. But this time, we finally got it done.''
There were some repeat winners. Caleb Loniewski from New York (Margay) won the Pro Open class sponsored by L&W Bedding, Ohio’s Brian McHattie (Exprit) won TAG Masters and Tony Neilson, Iowa, ((Margay) won Komet Senior.
Loniewski, 26, a professional mechanic and tuner at a New York kart shop, used his knowledge to craft a dominating winner in the unrestricted class with Lynn Haddock providing the engine.
"We just had a beast to handle,'' Loniewski said after a seven-second victory over Jump. "I wonder what we could have done if we would have been able to turn her loose Saturday instead of running in the rain.''
The only challenge for the polesitter was on the start, where Indiana's Bill McLaughlin Jr. got the jump. Loniewski quickly regained control and clipped off record-setting laps after that.
"I wish more pros would race in this class,'' said Loniewski. "It's a blast, getting to do anything you can think of to go faster. It's a flashback to the old days of karting. It's pure racing.''
McHattie was equally thrilled with the win.
"So it's nice to finally turn it around,'' McHattie said. "We spend god-awful amounts of money to compete in this sport, but to take the checkered flag, and do a victory lap, and get a chance to talk to (the media). Well, hey, that makes it all worth it.''
His winning margin was the smallest of the day -- 0.274 seconds ahead of defending champ John Dixon of Indiana. The victory also was McHattie's first since claiming a Superkarts! USA national title last year.
"We made a last-minute change going to a different wheel set on the kart and it made a big difference,'' McHattie said. "I can't thank my guys enough.''
Neilson was happy to win in front of home-town fans.
"It takes a lot of hard work and effort to win at this race and a lot of people don't understand that,'' said Neilson. "You don't just show up and drive here. The wins are not just given to you.”
The weekend started out with a show and race demonstration by the Vintage Kart Association in light rain Saturday featuring karts from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Despite the lack of rain tires, these old-timer racers took to the track and put on a show.
There was also a Car Show, Super Cup Car demonstration and nightly outdoor concerts and other entertainment.
2012 Rock Island Grand Prix Final Results
1. Briggs & Stratton Local Option 206
1. Connor Lund, Davis, Ill. -----
2. Cale Downs, Odell, Ill. 4.839
3. Scott Barnes, Bermuda 8.174
4. Travis DeVriendt, Sherrard, Ill. 8.518
5. Jeff Stamper, Plano, Ill. 9.208
6. Cory Cacciavillani, Canada 10.335
7. Mark Beamish, Arden Hills, Minn. 10.687
8. Matt Pewe, Bettendorf, Iowa 15.571
9. David Cole, Comstock Park, Mich. 15.703
10. Jordan Bernloehr, Lakesville, Minn. 18.606
11. Randy Raridon, LaSalle, Ill. 34.153
12. Eric Nelson, Pasadena, Calif. 34.622
13. Charles Assell, Elburn, Ill. 38.578
14. Patrick Beamish, Arden Hills, Minn. 40.864
15. Richard Eisgruber, Shelbyville, Ind. 53.033
16. Bernie Lacotta, Glendale, Ariz. 1 lap
17. Tony Spalding, Shelbyville, Ind. 1 lap
18. Brian Miller, Frankfort, Ill. 1 lap
19. Michael Riemer, New Lenox, Ill. 1 lap
20. Charles Karau, Silver Spring, Md. 2 laps
21. Kirk Bendix, Waconia, Minn. 9 laps
22. Jerry Miller, Carlinville, Ill. 10 laps
23. Greg Jasperson, Apple Valley, Minn. 12 laps
24. Rod Swenson, Silver Lake, Minn. 14 laps
2. TAG Senior
1. Mason Chelootz, Houston, Tex. -----
2. Alex Nowysz, Adel, Iowa 1.455
3. Will Owen, Castle Rock, Colo. 13.479
4. Chris Bogart, Cuddebackville, NY 16.563
5. Morgan Schuler, DeWitt, Iowa 21.105
6. Kent Schonberger, Evansville, Ind. 25.904
7. Colton Aldridge, Carmel, Ind. 1 lap
8. Cory Cacciavillani, Canada 2 laps
9. Logan Bearden, Leander, Tex. 5 laps
10. Paul Russo, Lincolnshire, Ill. 5 laps
11. Andrew Coulter, Quincy, Ill. 13 laps
12. Brennan Harrington, Des Plaines, Ill. 15 laps
13. William McLaughlin, Mooresville, Ind. 16 laps
14. Alex Mayer, Harleysville, Pa. 18 laps
15. Aaron Snyder, North Aurora, Ill. 18 laps
16. Kurt Fisher, Richland, Wash. 19 laps
3. 125cc Shifter Masters
1. Lance Lane, Algonquin, Ill. -----
2. Eric Chappell, Saginaw, Mich. 5.201
3. Steve McCaffery, Katy, Tex. 8.541
4. Darrick Lang, Oshkosh, Wis. 12.329
5. Dave Doogan, Lockport, Ill. 14.701
6. Dan Roe, Chanhassen, Minn. 17.264
7. Tom Wood, Plainfield, Ill. 17.779
8. Matt Sriver, Carpentersville, Ill. 1 lap
9. John Meier, Bellevue, Iowa 1 lap
10. Randy Pierson, Avon, Minn. 6 laps
11. Kurt Mathewson, West Palm Beach, Fla. 7 laps
12. Chris Enderlein, St. Paul, Minn. 7 laps
13. Paul Makarucha, Rahway, NJ 7 laps
14. Patrick Beamish, Arden Hills, Minn. 7 laps
15. Terry Riggins, Anderson, Ind. 12 laps
16. Chris Prey, Oshkosh, Wis. 16 laps
17. James McMahon, St. Paul, Minn. 17 laps
4. 2-Cycle Super Can Heavy
1. Tony Jump, DeKalb, Ill. -----
2. Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa 0.079
3. Tim Goettsch, Bettendorf, Iowa 6.590
4. Tommy Andersen, Spring Grove, Ill. 7.819
5. Garrett Nimmick, Clinton, Iowa 12.454
6. Alex Angel, Speedway, Ind. 13.979
7. Brandon Cather, Rock Island, Ill. 14.066
8. Jason Ewers, Fishers, Ind. 21.122
9. Quentin Fischlein, Davenport, Iowa 24.188
10. Dave Doogan, Lockport, Ill. 1 lap
11. Travis Porter, Rock Island, Ill. 4 laps
12. Michael Dittmer, Davenport, Iowa 6 laps
13. Nick Ricketts, Avon, Ind. 10 laps
14. Dustin Blomme, Eldridge, Iowa 11 laps
15. Leo Carr, Bettendorf, Iowa 13 laps
-- Disqualified: Eric Bartsch, Hazel Green, Wis.
5. TAG Junior
1. Dustin Stross, Fort Myers, Fla. -----
2. Bucky Hewitt, Angleton, Tex. 0.258
3. Nicholas Martin, Overland Park, Kan. 15.112
4. Chase Jones, Greenwood, Ind. 4 laps
5. Killian Keaveny, Annandale, Minn. 12 laps
6. Christian Duarte, Seminole, Okla. 13 laps
-- Did not finish: Georgia Henneberry, Fenton, Mo.
-- Disqualified: Jesse Woodyard, McLoud, Okla.
6. 2-Cycle Pro Open
1. Caleb Loniewski, St. Louis, Mo. -----
2. Tony Jump, DeKalb, Ill. 7.282
3. Brennan Harrington, Des Plaines, Ill. 17.349
4. Scott Truempi, Waconia, Minn. 2 laps
5. William McLaughlin, Mooresville, Ind. 10 laps
6. John Dixon, Evansville, Ind. 14 laps
7. Tim Pierson, St. Cloud, Minn. 19 laps
7. King of the Streets (Stock Honda)
1. Jordan Musser, Coppell, Tex. -----
2. Jake French, Katy, Tex. 2.583
3. Colton Aldridge, Carmel, Ind. 14.336
4. Cordell Secrest, Houston, Tex. 20.191
5. Nicholas Lougee, Minneapolis, Minn. 20.316
6. Josh Lane, Palm Desert, Calif. 6 laps
7. Nicholas Johnson, LaCrosse, Minn. 15 laps
8. Joe Ruch, Frankfort, Ind. 17 laps
9. Eric Batt, Noblesville, Ind. 19 laps
10. Scott Barnes, Bermuda 19 laps
11. Connor Iseli, Lone Oak, Tex. 19 laps
12. Ryan Lankenau, Warrenville, Ill. 20 laps
-- Did not start: Cole Mathewson, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Carlos Lopes, Roselle Park, NJ.
-- Diqqualified: Scott Barnes, Bermuda
8. 4-Cycle Clone Heavy
1. Connor Lund, Davis, Ill. -----
2. Michael Dittmer, Davenport, Iowa 3.393
3. Travis DeVriendt, Sherrard, Ill. 5.088
4. Kyle Flores, Freeport, Ill. 5.423
5. Jesse Clossey, Janesville, Wis. 5.685
6. Cale Downs, Odell, Ill. 5.721
7. Ken Williams, High Ridge, Mo. 16.533
8. Camden Calland, Columbus, Ohio 22.294
9. Jerry Miller, Carlinville, Ill. 22.900
10. Ian Pavelonis, Silvis, Ill. 38.314
11. Albert Cram, Iowa City, Iowa 1 lap
12. Tim McMeekan, Matherville, Ill. 1 lap
13. Casey Newmarch, Clinton, Iowa 1 lap
14. Richard Eisgruber, Shelbyville, Ind. 1 lap
15. Jeff Yeich, Franklin, Ind. 1 lap
16. Tim Mayer, Fenton, Mo. 2 laps
17. Mark Petersen, Clinton, Iowa 2 laps
18. Garrett Nimmick, Clinton, Iowa 11 laps
19. Leo Carr, Bettendorf, Iowa 11 laps
20. Lance Newmarch, Clinton, Iowa 12 laps
21. Mike Hayes, Greenwood, Ind. 14 laps
22. Matt Pewe, Bettendorf, Iowa 14 laps
-- Did not finish: Austin Louck, Eldridge, Iowa.
9. Rotax Senior
1. Mason Chelootz, Houston, Tex. -----
2. Adam Taylor, Shorewood, Ill. 10.291
3. Brennan Harrington, Des Plaines, Ill. 11.177
4. Andrew Coulter, Quincy, Ill. 21.740
5. Will Owen, Castle Rock, Colo. 24.816
6. Morgan Schuler, DeWitt, Iowa 30.340
7. Aaron Snyder, North Aurora, Ill. 6 laps
-- Disqualified: Cory Cacciavillani, Canada.
10. 2-Cycle Super Can Medium
1. William McLaughlin, Mooresville, Ind. -----
2. Nick Ricketts, Avon, Ind. 4.960
3. Blake Deister, Mooresville, Ind. 5.072
4. Tommy Andersen, Spring Grove, Ill. 5.438
5. Eric Bartsch, Hazel Green, Wis. 5.489
6. Brandon Cather, Rock Island, Ill. 8.932
7. Jackson Mears, Greenwood, Ind. 15.585
8. Travis Porter, Rock Island, Ill. 32.632
9. Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa 1 lap
10. Brett Vincent, Racine, Wis. 1 lap
11. Quentin Fischlein, Davenport, Iowa 5 laps
12. Michael Dittmer, Davenport, Iowa 8 laps
13. Rob Knox, Orion, Ill. 9 laps
14. Troy Porter, Rock Island, Ill. 9 laps
15. Alex Angel, Speedway, Ind. 16 laps
16. Adam Johnson, Chicago, Ill. 18 laps
17. Dustin Blomme, Eldridge, Iowa 18 laps
-- Did not finish: Tony Jump, DeKalb, Ill.; Tim Goettsch, Bettendorf, Iowa.
-- Disqualified: Jason Ewers, Fishers, Ind.
11. Yamaha Junior Super Can
1. Killian Keaveny, Annandale, Minn. -----
2. Grant Sandberg, Davenport, Iowa 0.819
3. Erik Nelson, Stillwater, Minn. 13.886
4. Dillon Morley, Moline, Ill. 13.961
5. Georgia Henneberry, Fenton, Mo. 31.280
6. Miranda Gallagher, Franklin, Ind. 1 lap
7. Chase Jones, Greenwood, Ind. 12 laps
12. TAG Masters
1. Brian McHattie, Youngstown, Ohio -----
2. John Dixon, Evansville, Ind. 0.274
3. Kurt Fisher, Richland, Wash. 11.948
4. Eric Chappell, Saginaw, Mich. 12.261
5. Tim Hannen, Cuddebackville, NY 18.774
6. Dean Leifheit, North Aurora, Ill. 18.936
7. Ryan Starzyk, Arlington Heights, Ill. 23.826
8. Paul Hohlbein, Reno, Nev. 25.006
9. Douglas O'Horo, Long Branch, NJ 28.749
10. Brian Wake, Geneseo, Ill. 32.846
11. Donnie Cluck, Irving, Tex. 1 lap
12. Scott Truempi, Waconia, Minn. 6 laps
13. Matt Sriver, Carpentersville, Ill. 7 laps
14. Paul Russo, Lincolnshire, Ill. 9 laps
15. Michael Richey, Seymour, Ind. 18 laps
16. Shane Wells, Milan, Ill. 18 laps
17. Tony Spalding, Shelbyville, Ind. 18 laps
18. Jeff Salak, Antioch, Ill. 19 laps
1. Cory Cacciavillani, Canada -----
2. Alex Nowysz, Adel, Iowa 8.540
3. Keenan Hertzner, Ottawa, Ill. 9.441
4. Will Owen, Castle Rock, Colo. 9.809
5. Barry Schonberger, Evansville, Ind. 14.168
6. Andrew Coulter, Quincy, Ill. 22.869
7. Jordan Towery, Owensboro, Ky. 23.435
8. Douglas O'Horo, Long Branch, NJ 1 lap
9. Mark Bollaert, Moline, Ill. 1 lap
10. Logan Bearden, Leander, Tex. 5 laps
11. Mike Hoff, North Liberty, Iowa. 18 laps
-- Disqualified: Mason Chelootz, Houston, Tex.
14. 4-Cycle Clone Medium
1. Jesse Clossey, Janesville, Wis. -----
2. Travis DeVriendt, Sherrard, Ill. 1.126
3. Connor Lund, Davis, Ill. 7.737
4. Ken Williams, High Ridge, Mo. 12.287
5. Garritt Powell, Indianapolis, Ind. 18.620
6. Leo Carr, Bettendorf, Iowa 20.752
7. Garrett Nimmick, Clinton, Iowa 20.833
8. Matt Pewe, Bettendorf, Iowa 23.572
9. Kyle Flores, Freeport, Ill. 29.826
10. Austin Louck, Eldridge, Iowa 31.130
11. Jerry Miller, Carlinville, Ill. 31.239
12. Michael Dittmer, Davenport, Iowa 1 lap
13. Cale Downs, Odell, Iowa 1 lap
14. John Carter, Kansas City, Kan. 2 laps
15. Dan Dahlgren, Rock Island, Ill. 2 laps
16. Camden Calland, Columbus, Ohio 4 laps
17. Mike Hayes, Greenwood, Ind. 4 laps
18. Ken Paulson, Unknown 7 laps
19. Bob Cole, Wyoming, Mich. 12 laps
20. Ian Pavelonis, Silvis, Ill. 13 laps
21. Richard Eisgruber, Shelbyville, Ind. 13 laps
22. Kent Schonberger, Evansville, Ind. 15 laps
23. Dustin Blomme, Eldridge, Iowa 15 laps
24. Eric Fagan, Columbus, Ohio 15 laps
25. Albert Cram, Iowa City, Iowa 15 laps
-- Did not start: Shane Wells, Milan, Ill.
-- Disqualified: Tim Mayer, Fenton, Mo.
15. Komet Senior
1. Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa -----
2. Brandon Cather, Rock Island, Ill. 1.207
3. Dustin Blomme, Eldridge, Iowa 11.157
-- Did not start: Tony Jump, DeKalb, Ill.; Tim Goettsch, Bettendorf, Iowa.