Race Report: WKA Manufacturers Cup Series – Kershaw
Stross and Malukas Win IAME Cup Bonuses, Southern Scores Four Wins at Kershaw
John Paul Southern Jr., Dustin Stross and David Malukas were the big winners this past weekend at round two of the WKA Mazda / Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina.
The Mazda Zoom Zoom Nationals took center stage in the 2-cycle sprint karting world with 268 entrants at Kershaw. Close competition and exciting racing was the norm throughout the weekend at CMP’s 0.7-mile sprint track while WKA’s VEGA / TS Racing National Road Racing Series provided a fitting backdrop on Kershaw’s 2.3-mile road course.
John Paul Southern Jr. backed up his four-win performance at the Daytona KartWeek Margay Sprint Championships with another impressive weekend at Kershaw. Southern rode his Checkered Motorsports PCR chassis to four Junior Sportsman wins on the weekend.
The Ohio racer swept both Yamaha and Komet Sportsman divisions to post the four wins. He nearly swept the Cadet Sportsman main events, as well, however Wisconsin’s Sam Mayer was the top runner in the Cadet mains with wins both days. On Sunday, Mayer denied Southern of a fifth victory on the weekend by holding off the PCR racer at the stripe to accomplish his double-win weekend.
Florida’s Dustin Stross dominated the Franklinkart.com Parilla Senior races to score the IAME Cup championship and the $1,000 bonus posted by HYTORC of Texas. Stross out-raced New Jersey’s Garrett Johnston to the win in Saturday’s Parilla Senior main before besting fellow Floridian Corey Towles to the victory in Sunday’s final to wrap up the $1,000 bonus. In addition to the cash award, Stross won the beautiful crystal IAME Cup trophy for his efforts. Stross rode a Tony Kart to his weekend wins.
Stross added a third win to his weekend total with his victory in Kartwerks / Praga Chassis TaG Senior 2 on Sunday afternoon. Mick Gabriel, who was also on a Tony Kart, scored the win in Saturday’s Grand Products TaG Senior 1 final over Stross and G. Johnston.
Chicago’s David Malukas won Saturday’s TSRacing.com Parilla Junior main and finished a close second to Connecticut’s Tazio Torregiani in Sunday’s Parilla Junior final. Malukas’ first- and second-place runs were good enough to garner the Top Kart racer the IAME Cup and $500 bonus posted by Arai Helmet and Butler Built Seat Technology as best average finisher in the Parilla Junior division. Malukas edged out Torregiani and Zach Holden for the prestigious award.
Sam Mayer wasn’t the only double-winner at Kershaw this past weekend. Elliot Cox, Scott Ferris, Alexander Kardashian, Brandon Lemke and Luca Mars each drove their mounts to a weekend sweep in the respective divisions.
Cox led the introduction of the CRP Racing Kid Karts to the Manufacturers Cup Series with wins both days in the new class. The youngster wheeled his Top Kart to impressive wins both days by edging Jacob Putnam to the line in Saturday’s main event and besting Nick Snell on Sunday.
In Saturday’s Kid Kart 1 main, Cox and Putnam led Caleb Gafrarar, Benjamin Maier and Sebastian Wheldon across the stripe. On Sunday, Cox and Snell finished ahead of Putnam, Wheldon and Gafrarar. Nine Kid Karts were in attendance to make it a successful debut for the new class.
New Jersey Top Kart racer Scott Ferris surprised no one with another dominating performance in DRT Racing / Margay Racing Products TaG Masters. Ferris wasn’t seriously challenged all weekend on his way to the pair of feature victories.
Scot Carapellatti finished 2.4 seconds back of Ferris in Saturday’s Masters main while Carapellatti did the same on Sunday, this time finishing only one second behind Ferris’ Top Kart.
Georgia’s Jim Fry and New York’s Kim Carapellatti split the RainSoft TaG Masters Legends $500 bonus as the best average finishers of drivers age 50 and up. Fry recorded a pair of fifth-place finishes while Kim Carapellatti finished sixth Saturday and fourth Sunday. The two drivers agreed to split the bonus. RainSoft will award the TaG Masters Legends $500 bonus throughout the remainder of the 2014 Man Cup circuit.
Alexander Kardashian left little doubt who was the top Checkered Motorsports Komet Junior racer at CMP. Kardashian rode his Top Kart to a pair of impressive wins in the KPV Junior category. On Saturday, the Minnesota racer bested Adam Sturgill by 1.4 seconds and backed it up with a 2.3-second win over Sturgill and Torregiani on Sunday.
Eagle, Wisconsin’s Brandon Lemke had a big weekend in South Carolina. On Friday night Lemke was awarded his 2013 WKA Triple Crown championship for his four Sportsman class national championships on last year’s Man Cup tour.
On Saturday and Sunday, Lemke wheeled his Franklin Motorsports-backed Merlin chassis to wins in the Yamaha Junior main events. Lemke won Saturday’s Woltjer Racing Engines Yamaha Junior 1 main by a half-second margin over Holden while Braden Eves, Emerson Reed and Malukas rounded out the top five.
Sunday’s Zero Error Racing Yamaha Junior main was closer as Malukas and Reed provided stiff competition for the Wisconsin driver. But Lemke was able to motor past Malukas on the outside into turn one on the final lap and fend off the Chicago racer for the remainder of the final lap to earn his second win of the event. Malukas had to settle for second with Reed third, Eves fourth and Holden fifth.
Luca Mars was the star in the Comet Kart Sales / New Jersey Sprint Series Yamaha Rookie Sportsman category. Mars raced his sleek blue and pink Praga chassis to wins both days in the Rookie division.
Mars bested Georgia’s Tyler Maxson to the win in Saturday’s race. Mars and Maxson raced wheel to wheel for most of the race with Mars scoring the close win. Donald Whorton II, Jayden Larson and Gunnar Bischoff finished third, fourth and fifth.
On Sunday, Mars picked up his second win of the weekend in another close contest over Maxson. Larson, Whorton and Caleb Bacon rounded out the top-five positions.
The SeniorPistonPort main events, sponsored by Zero Error Racing and RLV Tuned Exhaust Products, saw Haase racer Austin McCusker and Top Kart wheelman Chase Jones split the main events.
McCusker rode his Mike Doty Racing Haase to a close win over Jones in Saturday’s main. Jones rode on McCusker’s rear bumper for the entire race but didn’t have enough to challenge the New Yorker down the stretch.
On Sunday, Jones found some added speed and won going away. The Indiana Top Kart racer finished over three seconds ahead of Patrick Olsen for the win. McCusker was third, Derek Hughes fourth and Brett Schneider fifth. The KPV engine was the powerplant of choice over the Yamaha at Kershaw as the top-three finishers both days were powered by the Komet.
Zoom Zoom Nationals MYLAPS results are posted HERE: http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/1000152
Manufacturers Cup point standings will be updated on WorldKarting.com next week.
Next up for the WKA Man Cup Series is the Checkered Motorsports / Zero Error Racing Grand Nationals June 27-29 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in western Pennsylvania. The Man Cup Grand Nationals event entry form will be posted later this week.