EKN Trackside: 2017 WKA Manufacturers Cup Series – New Castle Preview

Team Empower Nationals to serve has halfway point for 2017 championship chases

(Photo: EKN)

The 2017 Bridgestone World Karting Association Manufacturers Cup Series is set to return back to action after taking the month of June off. The third stop of the 2017 championship chase takes teams and competitors to the famed New Castle Motorsports Park for the Team Empower Nationals. The July 14-16 event will host Round Five and Six on the season to mark the halfway point for those vying for the eight championship titles in a best 8 of 10 format. Over 100 entries have pre-entered for the weekend with a number of additional drivers and teams scheduled to arrive in New Castle, Indiana to contest the 1-mile circuit owned by IndyCar driver Mark Dismore.

The weekend also marks the second event for the Bridgestone Mid-Season Shootout. Opening in Pittsburgh, the mini-series that includes the Dousman weekend will award tickets to the Rok Cup International Final in Lonato, Italy. Bridgestone will send the top point earner in the mini-series from Pro IAME Senior, Pro IAME Junior, Pro Swift Sportsman and Mini Swift to the October event. Those who finish the mini-series at the top of the standings in the Yamaha Senior, Yamaha Junior, Yamaha Sportsman and Briggs 206 divisions will receive entry fee, race tires, and drivers pit pass to the WKA Grand Nationals at the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, North Carolina on October 13-15.

Be sure to catch all the action from the weekend at the EKN Live page – www.ekartingnews.com/live

Braden Eves leads both the Pro IAME Senior and Yamaha Senior championships heading to New Castle (Photo: EKN)

With his victory in Round Four, Braden Eves (MDD / Kosmic) has taken over as the championship leader in the KartSport North America Pro IAME Senior standings. A 25-point advantage over Round One winner AJ Myers (TB Kart USA), as the two are the clear favorites reaching the halfway point. Four different drivers have been victorious on the year, including Daytona winner Brandon Jarsocrak (KSNA / Praga) returning for New Castle after missing Pittsburgh. Former WKA champion Brandon Lemke (Top Kart USA) got back on the winning ways with the triumph in Wampum, ready to move up into the championship chase.

Eves (MDD / FA Kart) moved into the lead of the FranklinKart.com Yamaha Senior standings as well following his Pittsburgh performance. Winning Round Three, Eves is the only non-Top Kart driver to win on the year thus far. Round One winner Alexander Kardashian (Top Kart) sits second in the standings with two-time winner Dakota Pesek (Top Kart) trailing by 90 points after four rounds of racing. Merlin driver Jake Venberg and Carter Pease (Top Kart) complete the top-five in the standings, with another solid field of Yamaha drivers expected in New Castle.

Defending champion Pauly Massimino continues to lead in the Pro IAME Junior category (Photo: EKN)

Four different drivers have won on the year in the Woltjer Racing Engines Pro IAME Junior category. Round Three winner and defending champion Pauly Massimino (Top Kart) holds the lead in the standings with a 100-point advantage over Tahlon Yockel (Tony Kart). Tyler Ferris (Top Kart) is the only other 2017 winner scheduled to compete in New Castle, currently sitting fifth in the standings behind Colin Gasparini (Tony Kart) and Max Peichel (Tony Kart).

Colin Neal (Tony Kart) and Elliott Budzinski (Tony Kart) have exchanged wins through the first two events of the season in the Comet Kart Sales Yamaha Junior category. The two have posted the same amount of points over the first four rounds of racing, heading into New Castle to break up the tie. Tyler Ferris (Top Kart) is not too far behind with four straight top-three finishes to sit 15 points back of the duo. Caiden Young (Tony Kart) and Emory Lyda (Merlin) round out the top-five in the standings with nearly 20 drivers already pre-entered for the weekend.

Ashton Chilton remains at the top of the standings in the Pro Swift Sportsman category (Photo: EKN)

Two wins and two additional podium finishes have kept Ashton Chilton at the top of the standings for the IAME USA East Pro Swift Sportsman. The Nitro Kart driver holds a 180-point advantage over Round Three winner Connor Zilisch (Energy) heading into New Castle. Brent Crews (Nitro Kart) left Pittsburgh with two runner-up results to move him into third in the standings ahead of Santiago Trisini (Benik) and Logan Adams (Benik).

The Allison Racing Engines Yamaha Sportsman class also holds four different winners on the season. The most recent winner, Mateo Rubio-Luengo (Benik), leads the championship chase. Mateo holds a 35-point advantage heading into New Castle over hometown boy and Round Two winner Garrett Adams (FA Kart). His brother, Logan Adams (FA Kart), is third in the standings over Sam Hinds (FA Kart) and Thomas Schrage (PCR).

Caleb Gafrarar leads both Man. Cup and Mid-Season championships for Mini Swift heading into New Castle (Photo: EKN)

It is two wins a piece for Caleb Gafrarar and Mateo Rubio-Luengo in the CRPRacing.com Mini Swift division. Gafrarar won Round One and Four, with Mateo (Benik) earning the other two rounds. Gafrarar (Parolin) holds the advantage in the standings by 55 markers heading into the New Castle weekend. Ben Maier (Nitro Kart), Elliot Cox (Energy) and Miles Murray (Nitro Kart) compete the top-five in the standings to this point.

Zach Linsell has been the most consistent driver over the first four rounds in the Briggs 206 Senior championship chase. Linsell (MGM) leads by 102 points over Pittsburgh double winner Eric Fagan (Keener Kart). Jeremy Warren (Track Kart) sits third over Dustin Demattia (Keener Kart).

Below are the top-five in the standings for the Bridgestone Mid-Season Shootout:

Pro IAME Senior

1. Braden Eves – 415
2. Brandon Lemke – 380
3. Alexander Kardashian – 370
4. AJ Myers – 335
5. Ryan Raffa – 280

Yamaha Senior

1. Dakota Pesek – 403
2. Braden Eves – 368
3. Alexander Kardashian – 338
4. Nick Landi – 323
5. Jake Venberg – 298

Pro IAME Junior

1. Pauly Massimino – 397
2. Tahlon Yockel – 392
3. Tyler Ferris – 382
4. Colin Gasparini – 337
5. Alex Yankowski – 282

Yamaha Junior

1. Caiden Young – 393
2. Colin Neal – 383
3. Elliot Budzinski – 363
4. Tyler Ferris – 353
5. Evan Stamer – 263

Pro Swift Sportsman

1. Ashton Chilton – 392
2. Brent Crews – 387
3. Connor Zilisch – 377
4. Logan Adams – 332
5. Annie Rhule – 287

Yamaha Sportsman

1. Connor Zilisch – 402
2. Mateo Rubio Luengo
3. Thomas Schrage
4. Annie Rhule
5. Logan Adams

Mini Swift

1. Caleb Gafrarar – 391
2. Ben Maier – 341
3. Elliot Cox – 331
4. Miles Murray – 291
5. Mateo Rubio-Luengo – 281

Briggs 206 Senior

1. Eric Fagan – 420
2. David Kalb Jr. – 350
3. Jeremy Warren – 315
4. Zach Linsell – 285
5. Evan McCorquadale – 280

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