EKN Trackside: United States Pro Kart Series – Mooresville Preview Series – Yamaha

A look at the four Yamaha divisions set to battle at inaugural series event

USPKS United States Pro Kart Series logo

This weekend marks the inaugural United States Pro Kart Series event, set for the Mooresville Motorplex in North Carolina. The new series is aimed at providing a new and fresh karting organization to promote the sport for the racers – in a four weekend program. Created by Route 66 Sprint Series director Mark Coats, a number of industry members have stepped behind this new program that will host over 100 drivers at the opening rounds, presented by GoPro.

The USPKS is fielding seven categories for 2013, based around the Yamaha KT-100 and IAME Parilla Leopard engines. The Yamaha holds four classes, from Rookie to Senior, with the Leopard divisions for Pro, Semi-Pro and Masters. The event format will feature two rounds of racing – one Saturday and one Sunday – consisting of qualifying, two heat races and a main event. The Mooresville weekend will see the heat races last 10 laps each with 20 laps scheduled for the mains. Bridgestone tires will be the spec tire of choice for the USPKS, with YLC compound used in all classes except for the Pro category, which is set to use the softer YLB tire.

The Mooresville Motorplex is a state-of-the-art karting facility that opened at the end of the 2012 season. The 7/10-mile course is based on the famous and historic Kartdromo Parma in Italy, recreated to match the specifications of modern world karting championship standards. The United States Pro Kart Series will be the first national event at the North Carolina facility.

eKartingNews.com will be onsite for the inaugural USPKS event weekend – providing the ‘EKN Trackside Live’ broadcast presented by DRT Racing athttp://www.ekartingnews.com/live . Live audio play-by-play action, live timing and forum discussion is available all on the one page, in addition to a mobile audio link for those on the go. Follow updates at the Official Discussion ThreadFacebookTwitter and now on Instagram.

EKN is providing a two-day preview program leading up to the weekend’s action of the USPKS Mooresville event, highlighting each of the seven categories. Today reviews the Yamaha categories.


Senior

Tony Jump is among the top contenders contesting the Senior category (Photo: Sean Buur - Go Racing Magazine)

Tony Jump is among the top contenders contesting the Senior category
(Photo: Sean Buur – Go Racing Magazine)

The field for the inaugural USPKS Yamaha 100 Senior division is a young one, with only three drivers old enough to vote and a combined for more years in the sport then the age of some of their competitors. Tony Jump and Billy Lewis are the veterans of the pre-entry list. Both Jump and Lewis have victories and championships on their resume, Jump showing strong at the recent Daytona KartWeek in his Margay chassis while Lewis is a New Castle Motorsports Park regular – driving the American made Eagle chassis for Comet Kart Sales.

Adam Crepin (Merlin) is another driver who has been seen on the national scene in the Yamaha categories, running double duty as he will contest the Pro division as well. Collin Griffin (Arrow) was a championship contender in last year’s Route 66 Sprint Series, and racing at the KartSport North America’s home track could be an advantage.

Among the young guns who will give the veterans a headache is Joel Jens (Tony Kart). The Wisconsin driver is a former Junior champion and has quickly adapted to the racing styles in the Senior divisions. Camden Speth (Arrow) Andrew Burton (Arrow), and Sam Cate (Tony Kart) round out a solid group coming from the New Castle facility, sure to be strong contenders in Mooresville. Anthony Granata is making his Senior debut at the USPKS event after contending for a Route 66 Junior championship last year. A handful of more drivers are expected to enter trackside, as the top level of the Yamaha categories will see some fierce racing for the win.

Senior Provisional Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis
1 Camden Speth Comet Kart Sales Arrow Comet Racing Engines
7 Billy Lewis Comet Kart Sales Eagle Comet Racing Engines
11 Sam Watson Arrow
14 Kenlen Morse Top Kart
19 Andrew Burton Arrow Comet Racing Engines
22 Tony Jump Margay
35 Joel Jens Joel Jens Racing Tony Kart
37 Adam Crepin Laukaitis Racing Merlin Laukaitis Racing
49 Cameron Spek Spek Kart Racing Tony Kart
55 Collin Griffin KartSport North America Arrow Adkins Speed Center
69 Anthony Granata
88 Sam Cate Tony Kart BBS Engines


Junior

Mike McAndrews is no stranger to winning in the Junior categories (Photo: NCRM)

Mike McAndrews is no stranger to winning in the Junior categories
(Photo: NCRM)

While the numbers are not as large as expected, the competition level is strong in the Yamaha Junior class for the USPKS debut weekend. The large majority have raced with each other for the past few years, both at the Cadet level and now into the Junior ranks. At the top of the list are two drivers already winners on the national scene in Junior competition – Mike McAndrews and Gresham Wagner. McAndrews (Birel) – a champion in last year’s WKA season – is coming off two victories in Kershaw a few weeks ago, so momentum is on his side. Wagner (Arrow) has podiums already on the season, looking for his first victories of the 2013 season.

Emerson Reed (Top Kart), Matt Solarczyk (Birel) and Olivia Horn (Tony Kart) continue to improve as they gain more experience in the Junior division categories. Two drivers to watch, making their Junior debuts on the weekend are David Malukas and Anthony Gangi Jr. Malukas (Birel) is a multi-time Cadet winner and champion, making the transition to the Junior ranks. Gangi (Tony Kart) had one of the best seasons in 2012, winning the US Rotax Grand Nationals and SKUSA SuperNationals victories in the same season. Their transition racing against the older kids will be something to watch as the weekend progresses.

Junior Provisional Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis
1 Mike McAndrews MRP Motorsport Birel
5 Gresham Wagner KartSport North America Arrow
7 Becker Reardon JET Karting Birel
7 Anthony Gangi, Jr. GT7 Motorsports Tony Kart
10 Emily Hurlbert Franklin Motorsports Merlin
10 Dean Durrett
12 Matt Solarczyk High Velocity Racing/MRP Birel
15 Sheldon Mills
72 Oliva Horn H3 Racing Tony Kart
79 David Malukas MRP Motorsport Birel
81 Joseph Budzinski Team Brock Motorsports Birel
88 Emerson Reed Top Kart USA Top Kart


Cadet

Cadet rookie Sam Mayer already has a victory in 2013, looking to add more at the USPKS (Photo: NCRM)

Cadet rookie Sam Mayer already has a victory in 2013, looking to add more at the USPKS
(Photo: NCRM)

The Cadet category in the USPKS Yamaha group is strong, welcoming over 20 drivers for the inaugural event with a number of young drivers looking to make a name for themselves. Sam Mayer (Merlin) is on a roll in his first season in the Cadet level. A Route 66 Series double champion in the Rookie category last year, Mayer scored his first national win last month in Kershaw. John Paul Southern (PCR) is among the more experienced drivers in the field with a few years in the category under his belt. Dillon Schwanbeck (Tony Kart) is among the young drivers making their national debut at the USPKS inaugural event, with more names to stand out as the weekend progresses.

Cadet Provisional Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis
1 Ian Nelson Tony Kart
2 Connor Cass Merlin
2 Maks Kowalski RK Kart
3 Luke Fineis Birel
4 Gabriel Zellner
5 Spike Kohlbecker Margay Racing Margay
6 Simon Sikes Arrow
7 Tommy Burke Birel
7 Stephen Dial Express Karts and Parts Merlin
8 Garrett Moran Birel
9 Lance Fenderson Top Kart
14 Dylan Tavella Tony Kart
18 Austin Schaff Franklin Motorsports Merlin
20 John Paul Southern, Jr. Checkered Motorsports PCR
22 Sam Mayer Franklin Motorsports Merlin
23 Michael Cruz Birel
24 Emory Lyda Arrow
26 Samuel Paley North Star Karting PCR
27 Dillon Schwanbeck Verde Speed Resources Tony Kart
29 Blake Bauman Bauman Motorsports PCR

Rookie

The Rookie category is filled with a number of new names, including Mark Fineis (Photo: NCRM)

The Rookie category is filled with a number of new names, including Mark Fineis
(Photo: NCRM)

The Rookie category was created in the Route 66 Sprint Series and over the last few years has reached the national level. The USPKS is taking it to the next level, along with the other categories in the series. The inaugural Rookie field currently has 17 drivers, ages 7 to 10 years old. A vast majority of the drivers have already raced this season in WKA series, with seven drivers competing this weekend who currently sit in the top-12 in the WKA standings. Brian Temper Jr. (CRG), Mark Fineis (Birel), Carter Cass (Merlin), Andrew Castelucci (Birel), Griffin Kunz (Praga), Nic Sheppard (PCR), and Parker Abed (PCR) are those drivers. This weekend’s battle will crown the first inaugural USPKS winners and set the stage for the series championship chase.

Rookie Provisional Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis
1 Carter Cass Merlin
5 Cameron Christ
5 Mark Fineis Birel
6 Mason Maine Tony Kart
8 Caleb Tate Racersites Arrow
9 Andrew Castelucci Birel
11 Parker Abed Excel Racing PCR
13 Brian Tremper, Jr. CRG
18 Tylan Drake Drake Racing Margay
20 Nic Sheppard PCR
21 Griffin Kunz Praga
25 Kyle West Franklin Motorsports Merlin
26 Austin Kendig
76 James Lynch Tony Kart
76 Massimo Sanchee-Lara
88 Chandler Moran Birel
91 Elliott Budzinski Team Brock Motorsports Birel

EKN Global Members Discussion: