Champions Decided in Second Season of Texas ProKart Challenge
Second year of Superkarts! USA and United States Rotax Max Challenge regional program sees great numbers and even better racing
The Texas ProKart Challenge – presented by 3G Kart Racing/Burger King/Fernelius Alvarez Attorneys/Dallas Karting Complex – ended its sophomore season the weekend of October 4-6 with the final two rounds contested in New Orleans at the astonishing NOLAMotorsportsPark. The 2013 season saw impressive growth from their inaugural season in 2012. US Rotax Max Challenge and Superkarts! USA racers filled the paddock at the some of the best karting circuits the southern portion of the country as to offer for a challenging 10-race championship chase that spanned five months of the calendar. Hosting great racing and an even better time by racers and their families that attended, the Texas PKC awarded more than $27,000 throughout the season in awards and prizes.
The highlight prize of the season went to each champion. In nine classes that reached the qualifying entry numbers throughout the season, the Texas ProKart Challenge awarded the championship driver with a free entry to the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals XVII or the United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals, dependant on their class. Those in the SKUSA divisions will also earn a guaranteed starting spot on SuperSunday in Las Vegas this past November. With all the prizes, awards and prestige on the line, the racers of the Texas ProKart Challenge stepped up throughout the year to provide some of the best racing in North America.
Scotsman turned Texan Ryan Kinnear claimed the class championship n the Pole Position/DR Kart S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto division. Kinnear was always near the front throughout the 10 race season. After two podium finishes at the opening two rounds, Kinear scored his first win of the year in Katy at round three. Back-to-back wins at in Denton and Oklahoma along with a four more podium finishes, Kinnear locked up the S2 championship. Garrett Boone showcased his consistency throughout 2013 en route to the runner-up position in the point chase. Boone and Kinnear split weekends at Gulf Coast Karters in June and again at Oklahoma Motorsports Complex in August. During both weekends, the days that Boone was not the victor he ran a close second to Kinnear each time. Racing out of Tyler, Texas, Miguel Lopez secured third place on the championship podium. Lopez kicked 2013 off with a weekend as hot as a Texas summer at rounds one and two in Dallas. Lopez scored a perfect score on Saturday and came back to win the main event the following day. Lopez returned to the top step of the podium in late June at North Texas Karters and once again at the season finale in New Orleans.
Easily one of the most exciting championship battles in ProKart Challenge history, Chris Jennings outran friend and rival Jordon Musser for the Swedetech S4 Stock Masters Stock Moto championship. Musser set the tone at the opening weekend, where he recorded back-to-back perfect days and left with a hefty point lead. Jennings answered back by scoring back-to-back main event wins the following event in Katy. Musser and Jennings would keep this storybook championship fight going as they split wins in Denton with Jennings coming out on top on Saturday, and Musser the victor on Sunday. On to Oklahoma, Jennings nearly won everything while Musser ran a close second all weekend. The championship would come down to the absolute wire in New Orleans. Musser scored the win on a rainy Saturday forcing Jennings to win on Sunday, or lose the championship. Sunday, as the skies cleared, Jennings qualified on pole, won the second heat race and the held Musser off for the main event victory and the S4 championship. Finishing up third was Mexican driver Jorge Galvan, earning three podium finishes on the season.
Nathan Adds outlasted Jesse Woodyard for the #1 position in the S5 Junior Stock Moto class presented by J&T Racing. Adds scored wins at round two at DKC, rounds five and six in Denton, round eight in Oklahoma and round 10 at NOLA. Along with four other podium trips, Adds only finished outside the top-three once to record a very successful 2013. Woodyard won both Katy weekend main events and followed with a strong weekend in Oklahoma before splitting wins with Adds in Louisiana. Third place points finisher, Raul Guzman gained a lot of attention after his impressive run at the SKUSA SpringNationals in Tucson back in April. After the SpringNats, Guzman and company headed to the Texas PKC where he continued to grow and impress. After back-to-back third place finishes the opening TPKC weekend, Guzman stood on the podium in six of the eight remaining feature races on the calendar.
Another very close championship race took place in the young TaG Cadet category as Maximilian Hewitt held Luis Alfonso Perez Pena off for the title. Hewitt had a terrific second half of the 2013 season. Hewitt finished outside of the top-five only once, recording two victories on the year. Pena made his presence known during the middle portion of the series, recording four straight runner-up finishes. Unfortunately, Pena’s round nine ended early but set him up for the ultimate comeback on Sunday as he scored his first win of the season. Coming home third in the final point tally was Jak Crawford. The start of the season did not go as Crawford and company would have liked, but by round six things began to change. Crawford ran third before scoring his first win of the season the very next round in Oklahoma.
After a season-long battle, Michael Bartholomew beat out Wyatt Maness by a slim 100 points for the TaG Senior championship. The two went back and forth all year as Maness scored the most points, however, Bartholomew claimed the championship when factoring in the drop event. Bartholomew’s title can be credited with a dominant performance on Sunday in New Orleans as he earned a perfect score. Maness kicked 2013 off in good fashion with a win at the opening round, and find the top step of the podium two more times in 2013, including the penultimate race of the year at NOLA. Matt Souza capped off a 2013 with a third place finish in the final point standings.
Micro Max saw impressive numbers in 2013 as 15 different drivers contested the season’s 10 rounds. Domination is the only word that can be used to describe Max Waithman’s 2013 season. Waithman entered in all 10 races, and stood on the podium in all 10, earning a victory seven times. Waithman swept rounds two and six, while scoring a weekend sweep in Oklahoma. Behind Waithman was round 10 winner Ethan Arndt and rounding out the championship podium was Kyle Dickinson.
The next step in the United States Rotax Max Challenge ladder system at the Texas PKC is the Enertech/Chase Racing Rotax Mini Max class, which saw another great point battle. Parker Chase narrowly edged out Maximilian Hewitt for the crown. The middle section of Parker’s season was rough, but came to a great end as he picked up two wins in the last four races of the year. Hewitt scored wins at round five in Denton and at round nine in New Orleans, but came up a slim 19 points short of the top spot in the standings. Luis Pena ended 2013 in third place overall, just 35 markers off Chase’s total. Pena put up back-to-back second place finishes at the opening weekend at DKC before picking up his first win at Denton. Two more podium finishes in Oklahoma helped to add to Pena’s point total.
Jesse Woodyard and Nathan Adds each pulled double duty in 2013. The two reversed roles in their second class, as Woodyard bested Adds in Rotax Junior sponsored by Champion Racing/Intrepid. Woodyard scored four feature wins in 10 races, while also collecting an astonishing five runner-up finishes. His worst finish on the year was a third, making it 10 for 10 in podium finishes. Adds picked up the first win of the year at his home track, DKC for round one. Coupled with podium finishes at North Texas Karters and a win in Oklahoma, Adds finished 2013 in the second position in the standings. Thomas Beaudoin displayed great consistency this season as he recorded top-five finishes at every race he entered with the except of one main event.
Alex Tartaglia had a great season that proved how versatile and talented the young driver is becoming, earning two championships on the year. In Rotax Senior, Tartaglia began the year with victory in Dallas, but it was the Denton weekend that put him at the top of the standings. At rounds five and six, he had a truly perfect weekend with two pole positions, won all four heat races and swept both main events. Two podium finishes in the first half of the season along with a win at round eight put Ronnie Price to the second overall spot in the year end points tally, as he finished behind Tartaglia. Round seven winner Conner Clay stood third on the championship, just 32 points back of Price. Tartaglia locked up his second championship in the DD2 class. A perfect round one set Tartaglia up well for his championship run that saw him go on a three race win streak along with five podium finishes. Nathan Mauel picked up the win at round two and another win at round nine was enough to earn him the second place honors in DD2 standings. Finishing third was CJ Cramm, who tallied an impressive five podium finishes along with a win at round eight.
Rotax Masters was won by Steve Clark, who was credited with two feature wins on the season. David Pergande finished in second spot, also earning two wins. Lance Lehrman absolutely dominated the competition in the Dallas Karting Complex DD2 Masters class. Lehrman was perfect five times on the year, sweeping all five rounds. Behind Lehrman in the final tally were Mike Wherley and Jason Morski.
Three categories in the Texas ProKart Challenge did not qualify for year-end prizes with the minimum 2.6 entries per race, or 26 for the season. However, that does not take away from the work and dedication put in by the three new series champions. Blane Toce Jr. picked up the championship in the S3 Novice Stock Moto presented by Blancken Insurance Group. After only making it to the final two rounds of the season at NOLA, Toce Jr collected the championship over Bernardo Quintanilla and Chance Kelly. Jesus Robles picked up the championship in TaG Masters. Robles won five of the 10 rounds in 2013. Behind Robles was round one winner Paul Jones finishing the year in second place as Patrick Roth earned third on the championship podium. Rodrigo Regon drove to a title in the Champion Racing/Intrepid TaG Junior category.
The season-end ceremony to recognize the 2013 Texas ProKart Challenge champions and award recipients is set to be held on January 11 at the Dallas Karting Complex facility. Full details along with plans for the 2014 Texas ProKart Challenge are in the works, with announcements set to come sometime after the month of November. Be sure to visit www.texasprokartchallenge.com and ‘Like’ them on Facebook to watch for updates.