eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month – November 2013 – Joey Wimsett
CRG-USA driver podiums at two biggest 2013 events in back-to-back weekends
Wimsett drove to the S1 SuperNationals victory, clinching the season championship (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.
The month of November was an exciting time for North American karting, especially for Americans. Two of the largest and prestigious events of the season were held on USA soil in back-to-back weeks, with the United States shining at both. The first week saw the best 288 Rotaxians from around the world travel to the NOLAMotorsportsPark in New Orleans, before over 600 drivers converged on the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for the 17th running of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals. A handful of drivers had the opportunity and honor competing at both events – first for their respective country and then for the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. One of those drivers include American Joey Wimsett.
It was the third trip to the Rotax Grand Finals for Wimsett, his second in the DD2 category. Each time the Oregon driver competed with Team USA, he finished as the top American. He was the previous Team USA best result in Senior Max, placing 4th during the 2009 event in Egypt. Last year in Portugal, Wimsett was the top driver for Team USA in DD2, ending up 16th after contending for the podium early on. Racing only the Can-Am Karting Challenge for his Rotax Grand Finals ticket, Wimsett entered the NOLA weekend as a solid top-5 contender. A miscue in qualifying dropped him to 22nd in qualifying, about four tenths off the polesitter – fellow Team USA driver Daniel Formal.
Wimsett bounced back to drive himself up to two fourth-place finishes and sixth to start fourth in the prefinal. He would hold the position through the intense 14-lap race where he dropped a couple of spots after leading with a fuel supply issue. He and mechanic Wesley Boswell remedied that for the main event, with Wimsett fighting for the lead before he settled into the third spot. As the laps clocked off, he set up to steal the second spot as the leader had checked out. Through the final laps, Wimsett won the drag-race to the stripe to secure the runner-up in DD2, recording the best finish ever by an American in the class.
Here is EKN’s Rob Howden talking with Wimsett prior to the podium ceremonies at the Rotax Grand Finals on his runner-up finish.
The next day, Wimsett jumped on a plane for Las Vegas as it was the season finale for the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour – the SuperNationals XVII. Aboard his CRG-USA ride, Wimsett entered the weekend third in the points and trailing by 161 markers. Thinking it would be difficult to imagine leaving Vegas with the championship title, Wimsett felt no pressure once action began as he was focused on reaching the top step of the podium. That and the rainy conditions led to Wimsett showing his skills to earn the top spot in qualifying. Following a opening heat win, Wimsett was spun in the second heat fighting for the early lead, but he drove back to finish fifth. The final heat would see Joey fall to just third in the order, earning the P1 grid spot for SuperSunday.
Grabbing the holeshot, Wimsett would lead the way early on in the main event. As they fought for second place behind him, Joey extended his lead to pace the field comfortably. Kiwi driver Daniel Bray moved into the second spot and began closing in. Wimsett countered, dropping down a quicker pace to maintain the lead. After 25 laps, the CRG-USA driver completed a wire-to-wire victory to earn his first SuperNationals victory. The title chase came down to the end, with Bray needing second place and the fast lap bonus to take the title. Wimsett would get a little help from his Rotax Grand Finals Team USA teammate Nick Neri, who powered his way to second and stole the fast lap honors. That gave Wimsett a 19 point advantage in the point standing for his first ever SKUSA Pro Tour championship.
With the victory, Wimsett took home $3,000 with SKUSA awarding a $7,000 bonus for a Pro Tour competitor winning the S1 SuperNationals feature. Add in the $3,000 payday for the 2013 championship, the inclusion of the SKUSA ‘Circle of Champions’ program worth about $3,000 in free entry next season, and the B.R.M timepiece worth about $3,000 – Wimsett left Vegas about $19,000 up after his performance over the five days.
Here is EKN’s Rob Howden talking with Wimsett after his victory in S1 and clinching the Pro Tour title.
Wimsett will look to continue the momentum going into the 2014 season. He will be competing for another ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals, this time racing at the Rotax Challenge of the Americas in the Senior Max category. He will defend his SKUSA #1 plate in the SKUSA Pro Tour throughout the year, and plans to work as a driver coach and tuner when not behind the wheel. Away from the track, Joey is continuing his education as he is trying to wrap up his college degree.
November 2013 EKN Driver of the Month – Joey Wimsett
Hometown: Beavercreek, Oregon
Marital Status: Single
Height/Weight: 5’10” / 155lbs.
Education: Full time student (Clackamas Community College) – Business
Occupation: Driver Coach, Tuner, and the ‘do it all man’ at Pats Acres Racing Complex
Engine/Engine Builder: SwedeTech Racing Engines
Sponsors: UIS, CRG-USA, Shark Shifter, Columbia River Cont., Smart Race Paint
Series You Compete In: SKUSA Pro Tour, Rotax Can-Am Karting Challenge
Years Karting: 10
How did you get started in karting? Used to race motocross growing up, and saw too many friends breaking bones. Thought karting was a safer option.
What has been the high point in your racing career? Winning the SuperNationals in S1, and getting second at the Rotax Grand Finals
What are your goals in racing? In karting, I would love to go race in Europe full time.
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? I would say that I am calculated, and aggressive
Funniest moment at the race track? Too many over the years!! I have so many funny memories from the Champion Racing days, always a fun time when you hang around Rodney Berryhill.
Favorite Track: Pats Acres Racing Complex
Favorite form of professional motorsports: Formula 1
Favorite karting driver: Davide Fore
Favorite professional driver: Sebastian Vettel
Favorite website: eKartingNews.com of course, and Brotocross.com
Favorite movie: The Big Lebowski
Favorite actor/actress: Danny Mcbride
Favorite music/group: I enjoy all music so it’s hard to narrow it down.
Favorite vacation/activity spot: We go camping up on Mt. Hood every memorial day. It is for sure the best week of the year for me.
Favorite food: Any Pasta
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? I enjoy spending time with the family and loved ones, and I ride dirt bikes as much as possible with my friends. I also like working on my car with my dad in the shop. Nothing beats spending quality times with the pops.
What are your goals outside of karting? Have a successful career, and start a family.
What type of street car do you drive? Nissan 240sx, Ford f-250, and a 76 Mazda Cosmo
What type of street car would you like to drive? R34 Skyline
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? Arrogant people
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? Better exposure of the sport, and cutting the cost down
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? The passion within competitors. Karting is so pure, and there isn’t a better feeling in the world than driving a kart.
November 2013 Driver of the Month – Honorable Mention:
– Yurik Carvalho: SKUSA SuperNationals XVII – TaG Junior winner to clinch Pro Tour title
– Juan Manuel Correa: Rotax Grand Finals – Junior Max Winner (First American to win)
– Daniel Formal: Rotax Grand Finals – DD2 top qualifier
– Kyle Kirkwood: Rotax Grand Finals – Junior Max top qualifier / SKUSA SuperNationals XVII – S5 Junior Stock Moto winner
– Alan Rudolph: Rotax Grand Finals – DD2 Masters top qualifier/top Team USA finisher (12th)
– Connor Wagner: SKUSA SuperNationals XVII – S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto winner