Series News: IKF Region 6 Northwest Gold Cup Series – Race Reports

Northwest Gold Cup logoThe region 6 Northwest Gold Cup Series made their way to the far east side of the region for round two of the seven round series, visiting the Glen Morgan Kart track in Boise, Idaho. Hosted by the Snake River Karter’s the .250 of mile sprint course is one of two remaining “True” sprint tracks left in the Northwest.

Because of the long drive and shortness of the track, attendance is usually down, but that does NOT mean that there is no a lot of spectacular racing at this facility. Personally? I love it, a low 19 second, up on the wheel, 6 turn course that offers a down hill left hand off camber turn that deposits you onto the front straight. It makes for thrilling racing, and constant wheel to wheel race action.

Saturday the weather was beautiful sunny skies and warm temps greeted the racers upon their arrival. Junior 1 Animal Light kicked the weekend off and it was Mr. Hollywood Parker Robb ( Nephew to Rotax standout Sting Ray Robb) taking the pole the pre-final and the final in dominating fashion. The closest anybody got to Robb were on the grid and pace laps, otherwise it was all a much improved and impressive Robb stealing the show with Hunter Mezo giving a great performance in his first race after stepping up from the kid kart division. Luke Birkinbine was also a freshman in the class and he would finish third and Carson Kunz who had issues in the final was fourth.

In Jr. 2 Animal Light action it was Stafford Smith taking the pole, pre,and final and was a rocket all day long. Smith has all the attributes that will take him as far as he wants to go in racing, a nice looking well spoken young man, Smith swept the weekends events with IKF Expert David Schorn filling the runner up sport both days. Spencer Kunz would fill the third spot on Saturday, and Gaetan Ertle on Sunday. One of the hottest Jr.2 drivers going at the moment, Tyler Besuyen from Hillsboro, Oregon filled the fourth spot on Saturday and had a great chance at the win on Sunday, but a sleepy start cost him any chance and he wound up fifth. Jacob Gulick who struggle on Sunday filled the fourth spot on Saturday. Thibout Ertle rounded out Sundays top five.

World Formula Heavy, Gas Animal Medium, and Gas Animal Heavy were won by a smoking hot driver by the name of Myles Pederson from Meridian, Idaho…Pederson took two out of the three pole spots with veteran Alan Cathey taking the pole in Sundays Animal Heavy, with Pederson right there to join him on the front row…In Sundays event, Pederson put on a driving clinic driving his way back through the field to catch veteran Roger Cathey with two to go to take the win on Sunday. Pederson and his team are hitting their peak at just the right time, and are prime to take home some serious hardware at this years IKF 4 Cycle Grand Nationals in McMinnville, OR July 14- 20.

Sundays Super Heavy action saw Jay Cook take the win. Glenn Young took the pole .022 quicker than cook. Young was a rocket early, only to have his set up go away both in the pre final and the final as Jay Cook paced himself and got by Young in the later stages in both the pre final and final, CMC’s Bill Gulick piloted his Gulick Trucking Swiss Hutless to a third both in World Formula Heavy and Super Heavy, Brent Galvan and Adam Smalley filled the top five in Saturdays action, and Don Miller and Trevor Donison filled the spots in Sundays Super Heavy final.

Young speedster Carson Kunz was flawless as he took the Rotax Mini Max checkers both Saturday and Sunday outlasting new comer Tanner McGuire. McGuire improved each and every time he hit the race track, and is the newest addition to Revolution Kart Racing which is owned by his Dad Joey “Show me the Money” McGuire. They are located in Wenatchee, Washington and are one of the northwest’s Birel dealers. It was Kunz’s teammate Adam Smalley securing wins in Rotax Junior both days, as he proved to be just to much for runner up Niki Johnston and second teammate Spencer Kunz who finished third both days.

One of the most impressive drivers as of late is the “Dew Boy” Jonathon Brown, who has very limited time in a 2 cycle power machine and his first time ever at the Boise facility was awesome on Saturday as he took the pole from Rotax Masters veteran “The Action Man” Tim Moss. It was Browns first ever pole in NWGC competition, it was short lived however as Brown encountered problems and finished 6th in Saturdays final but then put things back together for a second place finish on Sunday, behind first time winner and veteran driver Jerry Pitts. Pitts is a hard charging, seat of the pants driver that is very exciting to watch, and had been so close so many times and was extremely happy as he accepted his hardware, “Finally, I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to get one of these” said a smiling Pitts as he climbed to his top podium spot. “I’m going to savor it because I don’t when or if the next ones going to come”. It’s a safe bet that will not be Jerry Pitts last ever win, the guy is just to good, and to competitive to be denied another win. Renee Bine was solid both days finishing third and landing himself on the podium two straight days. Clark Kinghorn was fourth both days and Carl Beavers won both TaG Senior events.

Rotax Senior action saw one of the toughest and most consistent drivers of the series finally being able to run at his home track, and he did not disappoint as Michael Gutenberger took the pole both days, the win on Saturday and looked to have things well in hand until his left front tire came rolling off on the exit of turn five leaving him sliding of into the infield disgust. Right before Sundays final, the most ominous dark rain cloud was headed directly for the race track. NWGC officials scurried to get the classes gridded and off racing as quick as possible…but it would be no use, the rains opened up in a down pour of rain and winds that easily had gusts to

60 mph as the race teams switched from slicks to rains. Izak Hayda who finished third in Saturdays action, came unprepared and was without rains. He made a valiant effort to start Sundays final, but the rains would be to much and retired after going 3 circuits in the final…The win would go to Revolution Racings Joey “Show me the money” McGuire and even though he did not take the checkers, Gutenberger had a enough of a lead on the rest of the field ( lapping all but McGuire) that he finished runner up to McGuire. Miller took his second third place finish of the weekend and Hayda who came all the way from Utah, was fourth.

With rounds three and four in the books, NWGC competitors loaded up and left the desert and made the long roll back west to the base of Mt. Rainer for rounds five and six, as they made way to Spanaway, Washington home of the Puget Sound Go-Kart Association. The PSGKA is one of the oldest standing and still running associations in the nation, with over 50 years helping aspiring racers in there steps to the big time. The weather was happy, allowing partly cloudy skies and balmy temperatures the entire weekend. Late Sunday morning it looked a bit “Iffy”, but by pre-final time the sun was back out giving a great Sunday of afternoon racing, and a perfect ending to a weekend of Northwest Gold Cup racing.

JR.1 Gas Animal light kicked off Saturday’s round five racing action with Carson Kunz starting off what would be a sweep of the weekend with a pole, pre-final win, and a finals win. He battled a couple of hard charging brothers in Noah and Josh Holloway, Joseph Olsen, and Cam Raymond. Olsen had a strong showing as did the Holloway brothers and Raymond struggle a bit in Saturday’s action, but he would regroup to take the runner up spot in round six on Sunday, making his first ever NWGC podium finish. Kunz had a little trouble with the Holloways on Saturday and was unchallenged on Sunday in route to his sweep of Junior 1.

JR. 2 rolled out seven very tough competitors for Saturday’s action, pitting the hottest two JR.2 drivers in the series Stafford Smith and first year man Tyler Besuyen. Besuyen who won the series opening event back in April at Tri-Cities, has been a thorn in the side of four time NWGC winner Stafford Smith. Smith came back from an altercation in the series opening round to win day two’s action and has went on to win the last three straight rounds, winning both rounds in Boise, ID and Saturdays round in Spanaway, WA. Besuyen has been right there however along with hard charging Adam Smalley, his teammate Spencer Kunz, Jacob Gulick, and IKF Expert David Schorn. Shorn struggle most of the day Saturday and was never really a factor, with Gulick a tic better but both drivers had a tough Saturday. That left the quad of Smith, Besuyen, Smalley, and Kunz battling for the win. Win the smoke settled, it was Smith on top with his fourth straight NWGC Junior two win and his nemesis Besuyen in the runner up spot. Sundays action started out a carbon copy of Saturday with Smith taking P1 in qualifying. Schorn found something overnight as he came back strong to take the final Sunday podium spot. Smith took the pre-final and looked poised to win a fifth straight had trouble going into turn one of Sunday’s final, and fell back as far as seventh before composing himself, handing the point to Besuyen who took full advantage driving wire to wire, capturing his second win of the season and the point lead heading into round seven. Smith drove his way back through the field to salvage the runner-up spot. This is a class to keep an eye on, it’s a bit to early to say anything other than it’s going to be real interesting to see how everything turns out.

World Formula Heavy always “Brings it” as far as racing goes with a very strong and competitive field of quality competitors. Myles Pederson who swept the weekend in world formula acton in rounds three and four, would have a much bigger test in rounds five and six. Pederson did win Sunday’s World Formula Medium out dueling Justin Smalley for the top spot, Saturdays World Formula Heavy was a different story as Bryan Green re-emerged from a one race layoff to take the win. Dana McDonald dusted off his machine and little rust as he came out of partial retirement and showed the field that he still had a little something as he ran solid all day long, but would have issues in Sunday’s action along with Mark Reese as both retired early in the SUPERHEAVY final. Bill Gulick was third both days, Pederson in the runner up spot in Saturday’s heavy action and Mark Westcott making a quick Saturday night jaunt from Portland, Oregon for Sundays SUPERHEAVY action. Westcott made the drive worthwhile taking the runner up spot behind Green, Gregg Wick had a nice run and finished fourth.

Rotax Mini Max was a run away with Auburn, Washington’s Conner Wick dominating Mini Max all weekend. Elle Musgrave is determined young lady that has really made big strides behind the wheel and is on her way to what looks like a pretty promising career, with more seat and drive time being the main thing as is the case with most all young up and coming drivers. She made the podium on Sunday. Carson Kunz as well is promising young wheelman and he too had some issues that cost him a better weekend in Mini Max, after his stellar performance in JR. 1 Gas Animal. Revolution Racing’s newest driver, Tanner McGuire continued his strong improvement in Mini Max as he captured a runner up podium spot on Sunday. Conner Wick is also attempting to capture a spot in the Rotax Max Invitational, and event for Mini and Micro Max drivers that is run in conjunction with the Rotax Grand Finals coming up later this season.

Rotax Jr. provided a first on Saturday as Bryce “No luck, but stick to it tough” Peterson was for the most part unchallenged on Saturday as he went to dominate and take Saturdays round five win. It was such a deserving win for Peterson who has endured some of the most devastating and unbelievable luck ever seen in racing (Most would have tossed the kart first, and then jumped right behind it) but has fortitude of unmeasurable amounts the way he has hung in and continued to compete. It was his first ever pole and win for the never say die racer, and it was awesome watching everybody help him enjoy his first win. Peterson was in the runner up spot on Sunday, as Adam Smalley took the win and Job “Peanut Butter” Kandris taking Sundays final podium spot with some “WOW WEE” moves in the final that might have made things interesting had he stuck them, but without question a very much improved and mature Job Kandris.

Rotax Senior was a clinic on how to roll Mountain High Raceway by clinician Brandon Cusack. Cusack who has run a limited schedule in 2013, was for the most part unchallenged and swept Rotax Senior for the weekend. Andy Halbert had the house seat in Doug Hugglers HRE Top Kart entry and was very solid all weekend, just not enough experience to completely handle the roll by Cusack. Might we see Halbert in a HRE Top Kart seat in the near future?..for right now we wait and see. Revolution Racings “Front Row” Joey Miller took Saturdays podium spot, and Paige “They come no tougher than me” Wallin took Sundays’ podium spot in her first 2013 NWGC outing. Also notable was the run by Myles Pederson, who along with Jason G. Halls Team Xcell Racing warriors stayed up most of Saturday night putting together a new Veloux Chassis complete with engine for a first time Rotax try. Hall was very impressed with Pederson and offered him the ride if he could get it together…they did, and he rolled to a fourth place finish with less than 20 laps of practice. Pederson is no joke. He is very hard working, mature, and has extremely good decision making skills on the racetrack and I believe a talent if he chooses to stay with it.

Rotax Masters was a shootout between Tim Moss, Tim Rice, and new hot shoe Jonathon Brown. It was Moss proving just to tough as he went on to win both Saturday and Sunday’s Masters events, with Rice and Brown respectively following Moss under the checkers. Jonathon Brown brings a very interesting story to the series by being one of the few young drivers that pays entirely for his racing endeavours. Brown, at 16 years of age has owned and operated his own window washing business for the past three plus years, and for that same duration entirely paid for all his racing efforts. His Father Bill, (Who by the way is an outstanding cook) spots him a tank of gas to the event, but from there the young entrepreneur picks up the tab. He competes in both asphalt sprint and dirt speedway and from trailer to karts, from tires to his crew chief’s pit pass, this young man pays for it all. It’s not surprising to see young athletes make commitments to their respective sports, but to have to keep that commitment AND having to pay for it through the ups and downs is a whole different story, however this hard working young man has lived and done it and should be commended for a remarkable achievement. It is certainly something that gets easily overlooked or assumed otherwise…Congratulations Jonathon Brown on a remarkable racing journey thus far in your young career, I’m certain that there is more in store for this fine young man and racer. Mark Briant gets the weekends hard luck stick to it award as he battled brake issues all weekend but managed to make the final finishing fourth. Paul Kandris did not start.

Last but certainly not least was the Shifters. Brian Nixon aboard his new Team Xcell Racing Veloux took the overall pole honors and ICC top spot. Nixon a smooth, crafty driver was flawless all weekend and looked like he was molded into his new ride…Most definitely a plus for Team Xcell Racing Owner Jason G. Hall who has silently been working like a madman orchestrating and nabbing all kinds of quality drivers and getting them into the new rides that he is the new US importer for…You will be seeing much more of this unique racing effort and if curious can check them out on the web at http://www.Xcellracing.com, there you will find all the details on the Veloux chassis as well as owner Jason G. Hall and his mission statements. Ricky Worley struggled a bit over the weekend but still managed to pilot is ICC speedster to the runner up spot behind Nixon. Chris Worley started the final but only got about 10 feet before trying to avoid 125 stock shifter driver Scott Little who had stalled collecting him ending both racers weekend. It was then the RB 31 Red Bull machine of newcomer Christian Carlson taking advantage of the mishap and holding off the charges of Travis Henson and taking the checkers for his first ever NWGC shifter win and gave a lot of thanks to SKS (Seattle Kart Supply) for their help… “I would really like to thank Greg and Jeff Garner as well as TIm Rice for making ALL of this possible for me…They have worked so hard putting in countless hours getting me to this point and I most definitely would not be here without them”

Next stop on the NWGC tour is the Mac Track at McMinnville Raceway Park in McMinnville, OR. The Portland Karting Association is expecting a large turn out because it will be the last event before the Rotax Can/Am Pro Kart Challenge Series rolls into town as well as the IKF 4 Cycle Grand Nationals which are being held at the facility July 17-20. They encourage racers to arrive as early as possible as pit spots are first come first serve for all spots not already reserved. If you would like to reserve a spot in advance or would like to find out more about the upcoming Grand National event, you can contact the Portland Karting Association atwww.portlandkarting.com for more details. Until next time…I’m Terry Bridges thanks so much for reading!

The NW Gold Cup Series heads down south after an early season eastern swing and brings their fourth round of touring kart racing action to the Mac Track at McMinnville Raceway Park in McMinnville, OR June 28th-30th. Hosted by the Portland Karting Association, it will be a brief dry run rehearsal before the club hosts the 2013 IKF 4 Cycle Sprint Grand Nationals…the “Granddaddy” of all karting events nationwide. Round four of the touring series will feature the northwest’s finest kart racing drivers and race teams, all on hand for the final tuneup before the epic upcoming event.

The NWGC series is proud to be bringing round four of the series to the Mac Track to compete at the newly improved & repaved facility. The Portland Karting Association has made numerous improvements in preparation for the upcoming Grand National event, all of which to enhance the racers overall experience. New grandstands have been added, the track smoothed and reconfigured in places, and updated sound system are just a few of the improvements the club has made. Add to that a newly managed concession area and you have one of the nicest places to race in the northwest.

You can expect to see the best kart race teams and drivers that the northwest has to offer in a host of 2 cycle and 4 cycle powered divisions, ages ranging from 5 to 60. The series also showcases a shifter division which features 125cc powered machines complete with gearboxes, that will reach speeds of 70 plus miles an hour on a .7 of mile road course, and looks to be the strongest the series has seen in quite sometime. PKA club president Mike Schorn is excited for what’s to come and had this to say: “We’ve worked hard and spent a lot in improvements to try and make this years 4 cycle Grand National event the best one yet. There have been so many volunteers, club members, and vendors helping us with this and it really has brought us all together. So I don’t leave anybody out all I can really say is THANK-YOU to everybody who has helped in this monumental effort”

There is all day practice on Thursday June 27th and Friday June 28th. Registration will be open on Friday the 28th and two days of race action on Saturday and Sunday June 29th & 30th. Gates open at 7am, Drivers meeting at 8am and practice scheduled to start at 9am. Race action is set to get underway just after noon both days. General Admission is FREE! to all race fans, and those wanting a closer look can purchase a paddock pass which will get them into the pit area.

For a complete look at the event schedule, class rules & regulations, and more information on the upcoming 4 cycle Grand National event as well as event pricing for both can check out the official website for the 2013 IKF 4 Cycle Sprint Grand Nationals at http://www.portlandkarting.com

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