Giebler, Drew and Calvo Among the Big Winners at Los Angeles Karting Championship June Event
Fourth round of championship sees veterans returning for victory, drivers extending their win streaks
It was another successful event for the Los Angeles Karting Championship program, holding their fourth round of the 2015 season at the popular CalSpeed Karting Center in Fontana, California. Thanks to a number of series supporters and class sponsors, the season prize package is worth over $30,000 this year, and a number of the top drivers from the southwest area of the United States continued their chase to earn a piece of this lucrative awards program. Over 160 entries took part in the categories ranging from Kid Kart to Open Shifter, enjoying another perfect California sunshine day around the ‘Nuovo’ circuit. Five sets of tires were given away along with a PRD Senior engine package at the drivers meeting, thanks to the great support form Vega, PRD-USA and Superkarts! USA.
The largest category on the weekend was the Mack Motorsports PRD 2 division, with the class reaching its highest count of the season at 22 drivers. The championship lead has changed as well, with Jake Drew scoring the event sweep to take over the title chase. Drew posted a fast time of 47.382 to secure the number one position by over a tenth of a second. The Prefinal was all Drew, leading all eight laps to a near four-second margin of victory. The gap remained the same after 18 laps in the main event, with Drew picking up his second victory of the season. Colby DuBato won the battle for second over Hannah Grisham, with Dante Yu and Greg Osborne completing the top-five. Point leader Jordan Turner came back from no laps in qualifying to finish the day in eighth.
Veterans dominated the day in the Adams Motorsports Park TaG Senior division with former Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Phil Giebler returning to the seat of a kart, showing the way to the checkered flag in the main event. Point leader Matt Johnson, who has gone winless so far in 2015, set the pace in qualifying with a lap of 46.148 to secure the pole position, edging out Giebler and Cody Kelleher by under 66-thousandths. Johnson led early in the Prefinal before Giebler took over to score the race win ahead of Johnson. They ran 1-2 the entire distance of the main event. Giebler led the first 15 laps until Johnson took over the point for two circuits. On the final lap, Giebler reclaimed the top spot, scoring the victory. Johnson settled for second, earning maximum points ahead of his championship rivals. Carlee Taylor drove to third with Bobby Kelley beating out David Vasquez for fourth.
Oliver Calvo scored his first DR Kart TaG Cadet class victory of the season to put himself closer to the top of the championship standings. Dominic Gorden was the only one in the 21-driver field to dip below the 51-second mark in qualifying to secure the pole position for the Prefinal. Point leader Ryan Schartau came from deep in the field to take over the point from Gorden and scored the 8-lap race win. Gorden would get shuffled back at the start of the Final with Schartau out front followed by Colin Queen and Calvo. On lap five, Calvo took over the point and led until a second red flag was displayed on lap eight. The race was called and Calvo was declared the winner. Schartau and Queen dropped down the order after contact before the red flag, allowing Joseph Daniele to place second ahead of Shea Weston, Daniel Inzunza and Cole Cotham.
The other Cadet victory on the day went to Cotham in the Fleming Racing Engines Jr. 1 Comer category. Jalen Mack was best in the qualifying session, with the top-three separated by just 95 thousandths of a second. He relinquished the top spot to point leader Colin Queen, who won the eight-lap Prefinal. Cotham was among the top-five contenders throughout the day, and led at one point in the main event until a group of drivers began mixing up the positions heading to the checkered flag. On the final circuit, Cotham was fifth taking the white flag. The shuffling continued and coming to the checkered flag first was Cotham. Rylee Martinez ended up in the second spot with Jace Jones in third. Aden Dodge was fourth as Kasey Gillis placed fifth. The Empire Karts Jr. 1 Comer Pilot division was led by Chance Gibson once again, earning a fourth straight victory. Cooper Hicks stole fast time in qualifying, but Gibson went on to win the Prefinal and Final with Mathias Coito in second and Devin Newcomb in third.
The only driver to leave the day with two wins to his credit was Billy Musgrave. It was an uncontested win for Musgrave in the 2Wild Karting S1 Pro Stock Moto class, while coming from behind to win in the TM Racing Open Shifter division. Musgrave elected to start in the back of the six-driver field along with the S4 Super Master group. Billy drove his way up to the lead in the eight-lap Prefinal, and won the 18-lap feature. Matias Podboj ran second in his debut in the category with Slava Prikhodko third.
The MMK PRD Senior Pilot category is providing the stepping stones for the futures stars of LAKC in the Senior divisions. This weekend welcomed the fourth different winner in as many races with Drew Zeller recording his first victory. Tyler ReviereVerninas, who has yet to win this season, began the day as the driver to beat, edging out point leader Ivan Urueta for the pole position. Tyler led all eight laps of the Prefinal as Zeller climbed up to the second spot. The advancement continued into the main event, taking over the lead on lap six and showing the way the remaining laps for the victory. Derek Esquibel slipped into second over ReviereVerninas for his second runner-up result of the year. Michael Mork and Alyssa Yauney completed the top-five.
Alan Michel ended the win streak of Chandler Campbell in the PKS S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto class. The Arizona driver made his first start of the season at LAKC, sweeping the day. Campbell drove to the second position with Tyler Coffman on the podium in third. Willy Musgrave bagged his second win of the season in the MRC S4 Master Stock Moto class, also sweeping the race day. Musgrave out-ran Erik Jackson and Kalvin Chen in the main event. Chen was double-duty on the day, completing his fourth straight victory in the Acceleration Kart Racing S4 Super Masters Stock Moto division with a sweep of his own. Chen bested Ron Rossetti with Troy Starheim placing third in his LAKC debut.
Smokin Fast Racing S3 Novice Stock Moto championship leader Royal McKee earned his second victory of the season. Round Two winner KC Cook set the pace in qualifying with a blistering 45.100-second lap. Aaron Schmitt bettered the pace in the Prefinal, pulling out to a one-second advantage over Cook for the race win. Both Schmitt and Cook had trouble in the first half of the main event with a flat tire and the broken wheel. This left McKee to pick up the crumbles and score the victory. Dekota Fripp was runner-up for the second straight month, with Michael Korody in third for his best finish of the season. Nicky Hays evened up the score in the win column to make it two on the season in the Nash Motorsportz S5 Junior Stock Moto class. Josh Early, making his second start on the season, set the pace early on with fast time in qualifying and winning the Prefinal. Hays picked up the pace in the feature, going on to win his second of the season by a comfortable margin. Early finished second, but was removed in the tech barn, promoting two-time winner Cruz Fiore to second and Prescott Campbell to third.
Sheldon Andrews made it four straight in the HMS Honda Kid Kart class. It did not come easy, as Dane Idelson challenged early on. Idelson posted the provisional fast lap in qualifying, but had his times removed which promoted Andrews to the Prefinal pole position. The eight-lap race saw Idelson come from the tail of the nine-kart field to win with Zackary Martinez slipping through for second. Andrews responded in the main event, taking over the lead at the halfway point and cruised to victory. Martinez ran second with Logan Ainsworth on the podium for the first time.
Erik Jackson made four for four on the season in CRG of Southern California TaG Master, battling with Tony Rossetti. Through qualifying and the Prefinal, it was Rossetti with the advantage. Jackson made his move early in the Final, taking over the lead on lap two and holding for the remainder of the 18-lap feature. Both Nick De Graf and Roy Steele were able to move past Rossetti for position to land on the podium. Phil Giebler Racing PRD Masters division saw Bob Montgomery earn his second straight of the season, out running Scott Brown. It was also the second win for Logan Calvin in the iKart West Senior PRD class. Calvin swept the day over Joey Paonessa and Connor Funk.
The next event for the LAKC program will take place July 19 at the same CalSpeed facility. For more about the 2015 Los Angeles Karting Championship program, please visit LAKC.org and ‘Like’ them on Facebook.