Driver News: Kyle Kalish Victorious at WKA Grand Nationals

Kyle Kalish (Photo: WKA)

Kyle Kalish
(Photo: WKA)

After strong showings all season long, Kyle Kalish is finally on the top step of the podium at the World Karting Association Mazda / Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series Grand Nationals. Held at Jet Karting at MRP in Indiana, Kyle showed his speed aboard his Franklin Motorsports tuned Parilla Leopard on his Merlin chassis to go wire to wire all day to secure his 2nd career Grand National title in the Parilla Senior class.

In qualifying, Kyle went P1 on his first lap, and stayed there for the rest of the session, still improving on each of his laps. Starting on pole for the pre-final, Kyle went uncontested, gaining breathing room in the opening laps which lead to over a 2 second win in the 10 lap race. With rain on its way, it was a race to get the final finished before it started coming down on the track. Once again starting on pole, Kyle was able to pull away in the opening stages of the race. He held a comfortable lead over Jacob Knueven until about 6 laps to go after the bolt securing the steering wheel to the steering shaft broke, causing the wheel to start to come off. With the steering wheel getting looser and looser, the rain was starting to get closer and closer too. With about 3 laps to go, it started to drizzle on the track. But that didn’t last long as the last 2 laps of the race were in a near down pour on slick tires. With the track extremely wet, it was a battle to just hold on. Kyle was able to conquer the changing weather to regain his comfortable lead and secure the Grand National win by .8 seconds.

“It was one of the best race weekends I have ever had,” Says Kalish, “I’ve been pushing hard to get my first senior win, and to get it like this is a truly amazing feeling! Getting pole, the pre-final win, and the final win is just unbelievable, but going wire to wire all day and having fast time in each race just makes it that much better!”

Kyle elected not to try and defend his win on Sunday as his sister, Hannah, had to visit the local hospital with severe strep throat, a 100.5 degree fever, and a possibility of needing her tonsils removed. Now home, she is starting to feel better, and we are all hoping she has a quick recovery.

“I knew right when it happened that I was not going to race on Sunday. My family, especially my sister, means the world to me, and I couldn’t risk not being there for her if something was to happen. And with my grandmother passing away a few weeks ago, I want to dedicate my win to both of them. I would also like to thank everyone who helped make this possible. I want to thank my dad for his truly amazing mechanic work, Jamie and George Sieracki of Franklin Motorsports for the amazing Merlin karts and motors, Gary Osterholt at GO Designs, and for all their support. Without my dad, Jamie Sieracki, and my Merlin kart, I don’t think I would be anywhere near where I am today! There is no kart in this country that is better than that Merlin chassis! I will look to keep up this momentum into Round 3 of the United States Pro Kart Series!”

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