Industry News: Comet Racing Engines Win Four at Inaugural USPKS Race
There was a lot of excitement leading up to the inaugural United States Pro Kart Series event at Mooresville Motorplex. This would be the first event ever for USPKS as well as the first major karting event at the recently constructed MMX track and the Comet Racing Engines team was looking to make its mark on both.
Saturday started out strong with Derek Dignan and Ashley Rogero securing the front row in the hotly contested Leopard Pro qualifying both with Comet Racing Engine Leopards. In fact, 5 of the top 10 karts in Pro qualifying were Comet Leopards.
After two rounds of heat races it was time for the Finals. Mark Fineis was at the point multiple times in the Yamaha Rookie Final and crossed the line in second place by only .063 seconds after a great duel for the win followed by James Lynch, both with Comet Yamaha’s.
The Yamaha Senior main event seen Indiana drivers Camden Speth and Andrew Burton fill out the podium in 4th and 5th with their Comet Yamaha’s, Billy Lewis had a top 5 run going on the Eagle kart before an on track incident ended his day.
USPKS seen a number of top Junior Sportsman drivers move up to the Junior ranks for the USPKS season. Zach Holden proved that he is ready to make the move up with a dominate drive in Yamaha Junior with an impressive 3.775 second advantage at the checkered with his Comet Racing Engines Yamaha.
After qualifying 2nd and two top five runs in the heats, Luke Fineis was a definite contender for his first National level victory, leading early Luke moved into second and worked with the leader to help keep the pack behind him. Luke made a move for the win coming to line only missing victory by .082 of a second! Garrett Moran would cross the line in 9th with Gabriel Zellner in 10th all with Comet Yamaha’s.
Chuck Tate had a strong run in the Leopard Masters event finishing second with his Comet Leopard, missing fast time in the race by .010 of a second.
A new class for 2013 is the Leopard Semi-Pro for Junior aged drivers and up. After strong runs in the heat races Gresham Wagner, Dustin Stross and Chandler Horton were all quick enough to challenge for the win. After a dry event things got interesting as light drizzle began to fall right before the start of the Semi-Pro Final. Stross made the most of the conditions, winning the Final with his Comet Leopard, Wagner completed the podium with a 5th, Horton was 8th.
The final race of the day was Leopard Pro which was ran in wet conditions. Despite sweeping the front row in qualifying, Comet Racing Engine drivers had a tough go in the heats with on track contact hurting their results. With the rain coming down hard, it was a matter of who hit the set up and who could stay out of trouble for the 25 lap final. After the spray had settled Mike Giessen on the iKart finished in 4th, and Ashley Rogero would come from deep in the pack to finish a hard fought 8th.
Sunday was all rain, all day. Puddles became lakes and streams became rivers.
Mark Fineis led the way with the pole in Yamaha Rookie. Mark wasn’t done there with the Rainmeister sweeping both heats and taking the final win by over 10 seconds for his first National victory with his Comet Yamaha!
In Yamaha Cadet Simon Sikes made a daring last lap pass for third place in the Final with Garrett Moran taking the final step of the podium in fifth. Luke Fineis had two strong heat finishes but contact on the first lap of the Final would send him to the back with a lot of ground to make up in only 10 laps.
Taking the win on Saturday in Yamaha Junior, Zach Holden had an uphill fight in Junior on Sunday. Spending the heats getting the handling of his kart to his liking in the rain, Zach moved through the field to finish 4th in the Final.
After a tough Saturday that seen Billy Lewis almost end up upside down, Billy was on a mission in the final, moving his way up steadily in the race to finish third on the Eagle with Comet Yamaha. Cameron Spek had a fine drive in the rainy Final to finish 5th.
Gresham Wagner had the speed but not the luck in the Leopard Semi-Pro final when contact at the start sent the outside front row starter to the back on the first lap. Saturday winner Dustin Stross took the point before moving back to second. At the checkered Stross crossed the line in 2nd, Wagner moved his way back up to 4th and Chandler Horton was 7th.
The final race of the weekend was the Leopard Pro class. After a frustrating day for Comet Leopard racers on Saturday, Sunday, despite the rain and clouds, was looking quite a bit brighter. Jake Donald with a heat win and a second started on pole for the Final. Jake set the early pace but Mike Giessen on the iKart was in hot pursuit. On lap 8 Giessen had closed up to Jake’s rear bumper and made his move for the lead. Jake hung tough to Giessen but couldn’t make up any ground in the closing few laps and Giessen crossed the line in first to secure iKart’s first National win with Jake Donald in second completing the Comet Leopard sweep of the top two spots. Colton Ramsey and Ashley Rogero were 9th and 10th.
It was a fun and successful weekend for Comet Racing Engines with many poles, wins and podiums. We can’t do it without our hard working customers and we thank you all! Brandon Jenkins summed up the event, “It was a great weekend, we had victories in Yamaha Rookie and Junior, as well as Leopard Semi-Pro and Leopard Pro. I think that really says a lot about the depth of our engine program. Small carb, big carb, restricted header and pro, our drivers were fast in everything.”
Comet Racing Engines is gearing up for more National races with WKA Manufacturers Cup at New Castle Motorsports Park May 17th-19th and USPKS at NCMP June 7th-9th. No matter what chassis you run, Comet Racing Engines is always here to give you the best engines in the business. See our website athttp://www.cometkartsales.com or call us at 317-462-3413.