Team News: Coyote Racers Storm South Carolina for WKA Gold Cup Closer
Coyote Motorsports and Coyote teams and drivers from across the eastern half of the country traveled to South Carolina this early October for the 2013 World Karting Association Gold Cup Series season finale at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, S.C.
The event was originally to be held at Rockingham Speedway, but internal problems at “The Rock” led WKA to announce in August that the series closer would be moved to the 0.7-mile Carolina Motorsports Park Sprint Track, a twisty, challenging kart track that had hosted the Gold Cup on only one previous occasion in 2010.
Coyote owner Jim Lipari, who raced Senior Clone at Kershaw, commented on the series’ return to the popular Carolina Motorsports Park.
“We were all looking forward to going to Rockingham for the first time in several years, mostly because of the nostalgia surrounding the track from all those Thanksgiving Gold Cup shows there years ago,” Lipari said. “But I’ll tell you, I can’t say I’m disappointed one bit with the racing and facilities at Kershaw. The track is very technical, and I believe it demands focus and improved driving skill from all drivers, junior sportsman up to senior. The staff is great and very friendly, and WKA did a great job switching their plans after the Rockingham issues to make sure a professional, well-run event was put on at Kershaw. The turnout looked good, especially for the series’ last race, and I think most everyone left the facility happy and open to returning.”
Most Coyote racers became quickly acclimated to the CMP course during Friday’s official practice. Following practice, Friday evening’s special Sportsman Pro Gas Shootout and Senior Animal Money Race brought race teams and fans to the fences to watch the first racing action of the weekend.
Of the Money Race’s 21 starters, 12 were on a Coyote! Top Coyote finishers in the 24-lap contest were Lipari, who took third, Sean Meier (fourth), Dylan Zobkiw (sixth) and Josh Stiefel, Jacob Heavlow and Jason Zobkiw, who finished seventh through ninth, respectively.
In the Sportsman Pro Gas Shootout, young Nick Fauci wheeled his Coyote to a fifth-place finish in the 14-kart main event. Joshua Stark was seventh and Trevor Vargo finished in the 11th position.
Two full days of racing were on tap for Saturday and Sunday to close out the five-race 2013 Gold Cup national tour.
Saturday’s racing saw two Coyote talents wheel their machines to national wins. Florida’s Patrick O’Neal scored the Senior Clone feature win over Lipari. O’Neal would go on to win Sunday’s Clone main event, as well, to give him a sweep of the Senior Clone classes on the weekend.
Ohio’s Sarah Luoma raced her Coyote XP to a win over fellow Coyote racer Tyler Stiefel in Junior Lite. Luoma’s victory wrapped up the national championship, making 2013 the second straight season Luoma has won a Gold Cup national title.
Nick Fauci accomplished a couple of solid top-five finishes on Saturday. The Brockport, N.Y., racer finished second to Jason Alder in Sportsman 1 Lite and added a fifth-place run in Sportsman Pro Gas Animal 1.
Nick returned Sunday and took a hard hit into the outside barriers while battling for the win in Sportsman 1 Heavy. After some brief medical attention, the talented youngster was deemed OK and raced in the day’s final event, Sportsman Pro Gas Animal 1. Nick drove his Coyote to a fine third-place finish in the 14-kart race. Fellow Coyote racers Trevor Vargo and Joshua Stark finished ninth and 10th.
Perhaps Stark’s best run of the weekend came in Saturday’s Sportsman Pro Gas feature. The New York racer ran tough with some of the best junior 4-cycle racers in the country and came home with a very respectable sixth-place result, just behind teammate Nick Fauci. Stark also added a pair of fourth-place runs in Sportsman 2 Lite and Heavy.
Gold Cup rookie Trevor Vargo gained more experience racing against drivers mostly older than him in Sportsman Pro Gas, and he also ran in the 7 to 10-year-old age category in Sportsman 1. Vargo scored a couple of strong finishes in Sportsman 1, taking fourth in Saturday’s Sportsman 1 Lite and netting his best finish of the weekend with a fine third-place result in Sunday’s Sportsman 1 Heavy. We look forward to watching Trevor’s continued improvement in 2014 in the Gold Cup!
The Stiefel family once again made up about 10 class entries at Kershaw. Father Tim and his sons, Joshua and Tyler, all entered multiple classes and all ran well.
Josh drove his Coyote to a pair of third-place finishes in Animal Medium and Animal Heavy, and he also picked up a solid top-10 result in Saturday’s 25-kart Senior Pro Gas Animal main event. Josh finished seventh in the largest class of the weekend.
Tyler Stiefel capped a championship season in Restricted Junior with a win. Tyler also finished third in Junior Medium and Junior Heavy, behind Tanner Lee and Luoma in both contests. Tyler’s third-place run in Junior Medium netted him a special certificate good for a new set of rims from Van-K Wheels.
The youngest racer in attendance at Kershaw was New York’s Blake Boon, who entered his first-ever Gold Cup race in the LO206 Kid Kart division. Blake finished second to Tanner Carter on Saturday and returned Sunday to net a big national win in the main event! Blake did a great job all weekend and we’re looking forward to his progress over the coming years.
College freshman Cayla Chapman flew into Charlotte Thursday and traveled down to Kershaw to race three classes between Saturday and Sunday. The Michigan native finished third in Animal Lite and fourth in Amateur Medium. Cayla also added a 18th-place finish in the big Senior Pro Gas Animal main event Saturday afternoon.
Speaking of Senior Pro Gas Animal, it was great to see 25 karts take the green flag in the Saturday version of this class. The 25 starters made it the largest Gold Cup field of the season, and many veterans of the series noted the race reminded them of big Gold Cup fields from years past.
Coyote racers finished second through fourth in the Saturday race. Michigan’s Jeff Beatty took second, Dylan Zobkiw third and Michael Fauci fourth. As noted, Josh Stiefel was seventh on his Coyote, while Sean Meier drove to a hard-fought ninth-place run.
Other Coyote racers placing in the top 20 were Clone winner Patrick O’Neal (11th), Jason Zobkiw (12th), Todd Horton (13th) and Chapman (18th).
Sunday’s Senior Pro Gas Animal race boasted 22 starters with Dylan Zobkiw taking top laurels for the Coyote camp with a fine third-place run. With the national championship and brand-new Coyote XP chassis on the line, Zobkiw drove a workingman’s race. He fell back to fifth place early but was not rattled. Zobkiw raced past top-runners Michael Fauci and Dakota Bell to settle into third, a position good enough to net him the national championship by a mere three-point margin over Beatty, who finished sixth.
Zobkiw and Beatty waged a spirited battle for the Senior Pro Gas national championship, one that will go down as perhaps one of the best national championship races in WKA history. If Beatty were to gain one more position and finish fifth, he would have won the title by a seven-point margin over Dylan.
The hype around the Senior Pro Gas national title centered around one of the greatest year-end awards packages in WKA history. A brand-new, turnkey Coyote XP was on the line to the titlist, complete with everything but a gauge. Zobkiw earned the title and the championship, but great respect goes out to Beatty, who as a series rookie nearly stole the class championship and new go-kart from the Gold Cup Series veterans.
Also in Sunday’ Senior Pro Gas main, Florida’s Corey Towles ended his string of weekend bad luck to finish a strong fifth and net the race’s $250 Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions in the main event. Congratulations to Corey and the Towles team, who say they’re looking forward to competing in more Gold Cup events in 2014.
Other Coyote finishers in Senior Pro Gas Animal 2 on Sunday were O’Neal in seventh, Meier 10th, Jacob Heavlow 11th, Jason Zobkiw 12th, Tim Stiefel 16th, Michael Fauci 18th and Joshua Stiefel and Brad Farmer were DNF’s in 20th and 22nd, respectively.
With the Gold Cup season now in the books, the Coyote team will have winter off from traveling until the 2014 season kicks off next spring.
The winter months will include the normal research, development and building the newest Coyote sprint chassis. And look for Coyote to be represted once again at the National Parts Peddler Trade Show this November 22-24 at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse! More news coming soon!
About Coyote Motorsports:
Coyote is one of the original production go-kart chassis manufacturers in the United States. Based in the Rochester suburb of Spencerport N.Y., Coyote is now owned and managed by longtime kart racer Jim Lipari. In addition to chassis manufacturing, Coyote is a full-service kart shop and machine shop capable of in-house manufacturing nearly all of the components on its popular line of karts. Coyote is proud to conduct nearly all of its services at its home shop, including bending tubing with a computer-operated Pines 1000 tubing bender, TIG and MIG welding and painting with a state-of-the-art Nordson powder-coating system. To learn more about Coyote Motorsports, visit www.CoyoteKarts.com