EKN Trackside: SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – Sunday Report

Nicastro, Fisher, Campbell and Tavella double up, Leesmann bags another in S1

Italian Motors USA driver Andre Nicastro swept Sunday's action for his second victory of the weekend
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

The competition level at the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour has continued to elevate year after year. Now into the fourth season, the numbers grow with each event, and the challenge of earning a main event victory increases. This year’s SummerNationals ended Sunday under a hot sun in the Grand Junction mountains in Colorado at the Grand Junction Motor Speedway. The eight categories competing on the outstanding 9/10-mile circuit provided some of the best racing seen to date. A number of drivers were able to double  up on their wins from Saturday, but other categories welcomed their fourth different winner of the season – showing just how tough the competition truly is. Brazilian Andre Nicastro and NorCal’s Fritz Leesmann were the top drivers in the Pro categories, taking home $1,000 for the weekend with Troy Diede and Dylan Tavella another $500 each for their efforts in the categories above the 30-kart mark.

DRT Racing TaG Senior

The TaG Senior category was the final group of the day, and it began how Sunday ended. Andre Nicastro put his Italian Motors USA/Italkart on the pole position with a time of 54.770-seconds. His teammate and returning SKUSA racer David Jurca nearly matched his pace to make it a Italkart 1-2 on the front row for heat one. Austin Elliott (Top Kart) was third with Derek Dignan finding some extra speed in his KartSport North America/FA Kart. Championship leader Andrew Zimmer (ART GP) was fifth in the order, looking to rebound from a 18th place finish on Saturday. Yesterday’s contender Remo Ruscitti (Italkart) was out early in session, back in 30th position at the end of the session while round three runner-up TJ Koyen was back in the P10 position.

Nicastro got the jump at the start of heat one with Elliott moving up into second as Nicastro pulled away lap after lap with Elliott trying to fight off the group behind him for second. In that group, Jurca came under pressure and continued to get shuffled back. Out front, Nicastro drove to a one-second advantage with Elliott holding on to second. Zimmer had to fought off Mason Chelootz (Top Kart) and Louie Pagano (Birel) in the final laps for the third position. Ruscitti had a great drive, moving up from 30th to 15th.

The second heat race started out with Elliott able to work past Nicastro for the lead early on, but the former SuperNationals winner would not be denied. Retaking the lead, he drove away to a near three-second advantage for the race win. Elliott would once again find himself driving in the second position, with his Top Kart USA teammate Chelootz fending off a charging Nick Neri (FA Kart) and Koyen.

The 18-lap main event solidified the dominance of Nicastro on the weekend. The only time the competition was close was in the opening corners. The Italkart driver was like a machine, dropping consistent lap times with every circuit and never put a wheel wrong. At the checkered, Nicastro scored his second win of the weekend and a $1,000 payday. Behind him was some extreme action for the fight for second. Chelootz got a great start, and was into the second position, but only for a short time as Elliott retook the spot and brought Ruscitti with him. He and Ruscitti would go back and forth for the position with a group of others trailing. Among them was Zimmer as the double SpringNats winner charged his way through the top five and into the second position by lap 13. From there, Zimmer put some gap on the group and secured the second position, helping him in the title chase. Elliott was able to hold off Ruscitti at the line, however, officials penalized him two positions for passing under yellow, putting Ruscitti on the podium and Elliott back to fifth behind Pagano. Koyen was in the mix for the top-five finish but retired after the chain broke. Jonathan May (FA Kart), second in points heading into the event, was sixth to record his best finish of the weekend, as did Chris Cricca (ART GP). Neri came home in eighth, but it was Jacob Knueven who was credited with the fast lap of the race in ninth. Driving from the tail of the grid, the KartSport North America driver passed over 30 drivers in the 18 laps, in his first Pro Tour start. Rounding out the top-10 was Jurca.

CRG-USA S1 Pro Stock Moto

Defending champ Fritz Leesmann drove to his second victory of the season in S1 (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Defending champ Fritz Leesmann drove to his second victory of the season in S1
(Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca)

Defending champion Fritz Leesmann (CRG) was the final driver to hit the track for the S1 qualifying session, and the last to hit the P1 position on the time sheet. Leesmann’s out lap put him at the top of the order to secure the pole position and 10 bonus points with a lap of 52.151-second lap. Tyler Bennett (Tony Kart) took some notes from his MSquared Karting teammate to place second in the session. S1 rookie Billy Musgrave (Tony Kart) was third with Bennett’s partner Mike Beeny (Tony Kart) in fourth. Joey Wimsett (CRG) completed the fast-five with Saturday’s winner Daniel Bray (Aluminos) in the sixth position.

Leesmann was able to take the holeshot to begin the opening lap of the first heat race with Musgrave jumping ahead of Bennett for the second spot. Bray was up fourth on the opening circuit with Beeny into fifth. Both Bray and Wimsett were able to move around Bennett in lap three, with Beeny working past by the end of the lap to put him back to sixth. Out front, Leesmann held a solid advantage over Musgrave while Bray and Wimsett pulled out a small gap on Beeny. The top-five ran unchanged in the final laps with Leesmann taking the win by over a second with Musgrave second. Bray ran third with Wimsett coming under pressure from Beeny in the final lap.

Heat two was Musgrave grabbing a huge holeshot as his Tony Kart rocketed off the line with Leesmann slotting into second, feeling the pressure of Bray behind him until Wimsett dove inside for the third position at the top of the hill to complete one. The top two were able to pull away as the fight continued behind them for third with Bray and Wimsett exchanging the position. Leesmann waited till the final lap, working inside of Musgrave in turn 10 and they went side-by-side in the final corners with Leesmann securing the spot and the win. Musgrave settled for second with Bray holding off Wimsett and Beeny for the third position.

Leesmann was able to gain the holeshot to begin the 18-lap main event with Musgrave and Bray slotting in behind. Wimsett was running fourth but as they entered turn one for lap two, he went off track with a band out of the race. This put Beeny into fourth with Christian Bird (GP) up to fifth from the sixth grid position. Before lap five, Leesmann had stretched out to over a one second advantage in front of Musgrave, continuing to run the fast lap. The remainder of the race was uneventful for the podium positions as Leesmann drove away with a two-second victory, earning his second of the season and adding to his championship lead. Musgrave held on for second to record his first S1 podium of his rookie season. Bray would cross the line in third. Beeny was fourth with Jimmy McNeil (CRG) earning the battle for the fifth spot over Sabré Cook (CRG) returning to the track after sitting out the heat races due to illness and Bird in seventh. Calculating the weekend total, Leesmann would take home the $1,000 check for his efforts, while Bray and Beeny would complete the money podium.

Pure Karting S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto

Ryan Kinnear become the fourth different winner in the stacked S2 cateogry (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Ryan Kinnear become the fourth different winner in the stacked S2 cateogry
(Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca)

The Diede brothers returned Sunday morning after a 1-2 finish in round three to be among the contenders for the pole position in the qualifying session. Troy Diede (CRG) was able to secure the top spot on the time sheets with a 52.036-second lap. Breaking up the Diede’s was Christian Schureman (CRG) to slot into the second spot and the outside row one position for heat one. Saturday winner Cody Diede (CRG) ended up third with Austin Schimmel (GP) and championship leader Garrett Boone (Birel) rounding out the fast-five.

The Diede grabbed the holeshot when the lights went out to begin heat one with Troy out front and Cody in second. Schureman slotted into third with Schimmel and Boone making up the top-five. Lap four, Troy nearly went off track through the esses and Cody capitalized in turn 11, taking over the lead from his brother. The order remained unchanged to the checkered flag with Diede’s 1-2. Schimmel slipped into third around Schureman with Boone trailing.

Heat two began with the Diede’s breaking away with Schureman as the rest of the field fought for the fourth position, held by Schimmel as Ryan Kinnear (Intrepid) and Augie Lerch (Tony Kart) looked for a way around. By the halfway point, Schimmel got some space as the two fought for the fifth position. Schureman put the pressure on Cody and the two nearly made contact as they tried to out-brake each other into turn 11. Schureman would take the position with Diede losing another spot to Schimmel a few corners later. Diede was able to get back around Schimmel for the third spot with two laps remaining as Schureman began closing on Troy out front. Schureman kept the pressure on but was unable to make a move around Troy Diede, as he took the win. Cody Diede ran to third over Schimmel with Kinnear able to score the fifth position.

The start was a wild one with the front drivers getting together on the exit of turn two. Troy Diede was able to get away with the lead with Kinnear, Miguel Lopez (GP), Schimmel and Luis Tyrrell (Energy) making up the top five. Schureman and Cody Diede were involved along with championship leader Boone and many others during the aftermath. Cody retired and out of the race with Schureman dropping out of the top-10 as Boone rejoined the race toward the back of the field. Carnage continued with the fight for third taking Lopez off the track, and more contact in several other corners. Out front, Diede and Kinnear ran 1-2 until Kinnear took over the lead before the lap five mark and began to pull a couple of kart lengths. At the halfway point, Kinnear kept the lead in tack but Diede remained close. Tyrrell led Don Whittington (Tony Kart) and Schimmel inside the top-five. Lap 10, Diede returned back to the lead as they continued to stretch out their lead over the pack. With five to go, they swapped the lead once again as they fought tough through turns six, seven, eight and nine section. In the closing laps, Kinnear was able to pull out a gap, little by little, as he looked to secure the win. At the line, the Champion Racing/Intrepid driver went unchallenged for his first Pro Tour victory of the season, becoming the fourth different winner on the year. Diede held on for another runner-up finish, scoring the most points on the weekend to earn the $500 check. Tyrrell held on to third, earning his first podium finish in the S2 category. Schureman was able to recover to a fourth place finish, posting the fast laps of the race for 10 bonus points toward the championship, with Schimmel in fifth.

GT7 Motorsports S4 Master Stock Moto

DRT Racing's Brian Fisher rebounded from a heat one DNF to steal the S4 win in the closing laps (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

DRT Racing’s Brian Fisher rebounded from a heat one DNF to steal the S4 win in the closing laps
(Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca)

A new brought on new names at the top of the order in the S4 Master qualifying session. Former SuperNationals winner Chris Jennings (DR Kart) was able to find big speed overnight and was the only driver to dip below the 53-second bracket in the session. Fellow Texan Jordon Musser (Birel) ended up second in the session with defending champion Eddie Olpin (Kosmic) in third. Curtis Cooksey (CRG) and Ryan Pool (Kosmic) completed the fast-five with Saturday winner Brian Fisher (DR Kart) back in the eighth spot, unable to find a clear track.

Jennings was able to grab the holeshot over his former teammate Musser as the lights went out to begin heat one. Musser struck just a few corners later, able to move into the lead at turn six. Olpin, Cooksey and Pool slotted in behind with Fisher up to sixth after the opening lap. Lap three, Fisher and Pool made contact in turn 10, dropping Fisher down and out of the race with some damage done to his DR Kart as Pool continued. Out front, Jennings was able to get back around Musser for the lead on lap five with Olpin and Cooksey waiting for an opportunity to move up. A lap later, Musser took the spot away again, as the two friends continued to fight it out. At the line, Musser took the win over Jennings with Cooksey, Olpin and Robert Marks (CRG) making up the top-five.

As the lights went out to begin heat two, Musser took the holeshot over Jennings with Cooksey, Marks and Olpin slotting in behind. After two laps, they continued to run nose to tail with not much distance between the leader and the rest of the top-10. Lap four, Cooksey took over the second spot from Jennings and began to close up on the bumper of Musser. Behind them, Marks tried to work past Olpin but dropped a wheel on the exit of turn three, losing a few spots. This gave Jennings a small clearing in the third spot as the top two ran nose to tail in front of him. Cooksey tried to move inside of Musser, but he shut the door in turn 10 on lap seven, allowing Jennings to close up even more. Cooksey recovered and pulled up on Musser in the final lap, getting inside at turn six and scoring the pass. Pulling out enough room, Cooksey held on to score the win with Musser and Jennings trailing. Olpin held on to fourth with Marks getting back up to fifth over Mike Smith (CRG). Fisher, who started 25th, drove up to the ninth spot to place him within striking distance of the leaders for the main event.

Cooksey grabbed the holeshot over Musser, and held the lead through the opening corner of the 18-lap main event. Jennings, Olpin and Musgrave made up the early top five with a total of 13 karts making up the lead group. Cooksey was quick on cold MG Tires, pulling out a small lead over Musser after three laps, with Jennings pushing to give the top three a little distance on the group. With the help of Jennings, Musser was able to push past Cooksey as they began lap five at the end of the front straight. The hard chargers early on were Marks and Fisher, as they both worked up into the top five and ran down the top three to make a five-driver lead pack by the lap eight mark. Lap 10, Fisher was able to finally work past Marks for the fourth position as the top five continued to run nose to tail, all measuring each other up. Lap 12, Fisher took another spot as he dove inside of Jennings for third in turn three, and put some kart lengths on him as Marks tried to move for fourth. The shuffling brought in Olpin to make it a six-kart pack again. Marks was able to make the move on Jennings for fourth in turn six, halfway through lap 14. Cooksey however continued to lead the group as Musser kept to his rear bumper. Two laps to go signal was given and Musser pulled the trigger in turn six. They went wide and Fisher went from third to first in the corner. Musser reclaimed second with Cooksey back to third. From there, the DRT Racing driver was able to pull away to his second victory of the weekend and put him in the championship contention. Musser held off Cooksey in the final corners. Marks drove to the fourth position, with Jennings and Olpin rounding out the top-six.

Italcorse America TaG Master

Brian McHattie repeated his SummerNats victory from two years ago in TaG Master  (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Brian McHattie repeated his SummerNats victory from two years ago in TaG Master
(Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca)

On the second day of any two-day race weekend, there are always the same two story lines. For one driver, staying on top and keeping the momentum is the goal. For every other driver in the field, day two means a shot at redemption. In the TaG Masters class, the driver looking to rebound from an up and down day on Saturday was Brian McHattie. The DB Motorsports/Exprit driver laid down the fastest lap early in qualifying and stayed there through the length of the session. Behind McHattie was teammate Anthony Honeywell (Tony Kart). Keeping his momentum rolling from round three the day before was Scott Falcone as he put his Arrow third on the grid. Also looking to rebound from a very tough day on Saturday that was filled with mechanical issues was Ethan Wilson (FA Kart) as he qualified fourth with Saturday frontrunner Chuck Gafrarar slotting his Parolin fifth on the starting grid.

The first heat race saw Falcone’s chances at a repeat win be diminished after contact ripped his nose cone off the kart in the opening corners and was pulled off the track. The path to redemption continued for Wilson as he ran in the lead three kart pack the entire race doing his best to hang with McHattie and Honeywell. The heat one win would go to McHattie, with Honeywell finishing in second. Behind the front three, a good race was taking place between defending champion Paul Bonilla (Italkart) and the Russell Karting/Parolin teammates of Chuck Gafrarar and Jim Russell Jr. An impressive pass allowed Russell to get around Bonilla for fourth place that opened the door for Gafrarar to get by Bonilla before the checkered flag also.

The second heat race main was all McHattie. From the start of the race to the checkered flag, McHattie led the way driving to nearly a three-second gap over second place. The last laps of the race saw the patience and respect demonstrated by the drivers. Wilson led a five-kart train that included Gafrarar, Bonilla, Honeywell and Russell Jr. McHattie made a statement in the second heat as he led the whole way en route to his second heat win of the day. Doing his best to erase a day of mechanical issues the day before, Wilson drove ahead of Honeywell to a second place finish. Gafrarar slipped by Honeywell at the halfway point as he drove to a third place finish in the second heat. Honeywell was left to race with Bonilla for the fourth spot. Bonilla, who was relatively quiet on Saturday threw his number one national plate into the fight in the second heat race. Bonilla ran Honeywell hard for the final five laps, actually passing and holding the fourth position for lap six. Honeywell would pass Bonilla back and pick up the fourth place finish with Bonilla coming home in fifth.

The story of the main event was one of a hard charging Falcone. After recording a DNF due to a knocked off front bumper in heat one, Falcone picked his way through the pack demonstrating patience and superb race craft on his way to a seventh place finish in the second heat. After picking up the holeshot down into turn one, McHattie lost the lead to Gafrarar in the turn six hairpin on lap one. McHattie would return to the lead on lap four as he took the top spot back in the turn 11 right hander. Mean while, Saturday winner Falcone was laying down fast lap after fast lap. Falcone drove aggressively on his way back to the front as he attacked the curbs in the turns seven, eight and nine esses. Falcone’s aggressive style proved beneficial as he ran down the lead pack. From there Falcone went to work on getting around Russell for the final step on the podium. With two laps to go, Falcone utilized all the braking power his Arrow chassis would allow as he dove to the inside of turn 11 and passed Russell for third place.

At the front, McHattie had pulled away from Gafrarar by several lengths. McHattie drove the final two circuits crisply as he picked up the main event victory ahead of Gafrarar. Falcone would showcase one of his best drives of the year, proving that his commitment to seat time and logging laps is the key to his success as he finished in third while Russell and Bonilla completed the top five.

Karting Coach S5 Junior Stock Moto

Earning his third victory of the season, Jarred Campbell is in the driver's seat for the S5 title (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Earning his third victory of the season, Jarred Campbell is in the driver’s seat for the S5 title
(Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca)

Starting off where he left off on Saturday, Jarred Campbell (Intrepid) posted the fast lap of the qualifying session. His 53.691-second lap was best in the 10-minute session to clear the field by over a tenth of a second. Raul Guzman (GP) was second in the order with defending champion Jim McKinney (KGB) in third. Carter Williams (FA Kart) was fourth in the order while Salvador de Alba (Kosmic) completed the fast five.

Campbell grabbed the holeshot to begin heat one as the field raced hard on the opening lap. Guzman slotted into second with Williams up to third with McKinney back to fifth behind Alba. Campbell and Guzman were able to pull away as the race progress with the rest of the pack fighting behind them for a position in the top five. At the checkered, Campbell took the win over Guzman who ran his fast lap of the race on the final circuit. Williams ran third with Alba able to hold off McKinney and a host of others for the fourth spot.

It was Campbell all alone at the front of the field in heat two for S5 as the fight for second between Williams and Guzman allowed the two-time feature winner to hold a two-second advantage after the first two laps. After eight laps, Campbell had a near four-second advantage over Guzman, scoring the second spot. McKinney pushed Williams back to fourth with Jesse Woodyard (Intrepid) to fifth from ninth on the grid.

The day belonged to Campbell as he stamped his name in the title contention, earning his third victory of the season. Out front by a large gap in just the first few laps, Campbell drove to a sweep on the day and a near four-second margin. The fight was for second with Guzman and McKinney, until contact separated them with Guzman securing the position. Williams would drive to a third position, his fourth straight podium finish to keep him in the championship chase. Woodyard would place fourth for his best result of the season, with McKinney back to fifth.

Phil Giebler Racing TaG Junior

A last lap pass gave Davey Manthei Jr. his first TaG Junior victory (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

A last lap pass gave Davey Manthei Jr. his first TaG Junior victory
(Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca)

Looking to rebound from a DNF while leading in Saturday’s main event, Yurik Carvalho (Italkart) came right back into the top spot of the qualifying session. His 55.462-second lap was best in the session. Nearly stealing the pole position was Cole Davis, as the Energy driver found some speed overnight, missing out on the fast time by just 13-thousandths of a second. Top Kart USA pilot Emerson Reed was another driver to move up the order on the new day, ending up third ahead of Saturday’s runner-up Blaine Rocha (Kosmic) and Nick Ramirez (Top Kart). Round three winner Austin Versteeg (Kosmic) would end up ninth overall. The speed for Davis however was found to be too much as he was removed in tech with the wrong exhaust header, thus moving the rest of the field up and Davey Manthei Jr. (Arrow) into the fast-five.

A red flag came out on the original start of heat one with Christian Brooks (ART GP) and Luke Selliken (Komsic) were involved in a wreck in the first corner. Once restarted, Carvalho led the field with Reed and Ramirez slotting in behind. Rocha however would move from fourth to second in the second circuit, attaching himself to the bumper of Carvalho with the top six pulling away while Anthony Gangi Jr. (Tony Kart) trailed after starting 12th. Gangi was the quick driver on the track, working past Ramirez for fifth after receiving the halfway mark of the eight lap race, setting his sites on the top-four. Working past Manthei, he narrowed in on Reed. On the final lap, turn three was the spot as he took over third from Reed. Up front, Carvalho blocked to turn 11 and was hit from behind by Rocha. On the exit, Carvalho lost a number of positions as Rocha, Gangi and Reed all went past in the final corners with Rocha crossing the line first. Manthei finished fifth with a host of others trailing the lead group. Rocha however was penalized for contact earlier in the race, dropping him one position and giving Gangi the win from the 12th position.

Gangi started on the pole position for heat two, but was quickly shuffled back to fourth in the opening lap with Rocha, Manthei and Reed sliding by. The top seven drivers ran nose to tail with Carvalho, Colton Herta (ART GP) and Carter Williams (FA Kart) in the mix. Carvalho was on the charge, moving up to third on lap two and taking second away from Manthei the following circuit. Rocha was next, as Carvalho closed up on his bumper with Manthei and Gangi right there. The top three drove away until the final lap when Carvalho was able to work inside of Rocha in turn 11, stealing the lead and the win away. Manthei ran third with Williams working past Gangi for the fourth position.

Carvalho was able to get a great jump to start off the 18-lap main event with Manthei, Gangi and Reed pushing Rocha back to fifth after starting outside row one. Manthei locked on the bumper of Carvalho early, pulling a little bit away from Gangi with Rocha back into the fourth spot after lap three. Rocha would move into third, working past Gangi and set his sights on the top two. By lap seven, his Rolison Performance Group teammate Selliken was up to the sixth position after starting 15th, closing in on Herta in the fifth position with some of the fastest laps of the race. Once there at the halfway point, he drafted down the front straight and took the position through turn one. The front two however kept the space on Rocha as they continued to work together, rather than fight for the lead. The lap times of the top fiver were so close lap after lap, that no one was really making any advancement on the driver in front of them. Selliken was however able to close in on Gangi, making the move for the fourth spot on lap 15. With two laps to go, attention turned to the top two with Manthei still on the bumper of Carvalho. Through the final lap, it was turn 11 with Manthei sliding inside of Carvalho for the lead. Holding to the checkered flag, Manthei would score his first Pro Tour victory aboard his KartSport North America/Arrow entry. Carvalho ended up second with Rocha capping off the podium. Selliken was fourth, making a good recovery to help toward the point standings with Williams able to get around Gangi for fifth.

Rolison Performance Group TaG Cadet

Dylan Tavella doubled up in the TaG Cadet category (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Dylan Tavella doubled up in the TaG Cadet category
(Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca)

A new contingent of drivers showed up on Sunday looking to take over in TaG Cadet after Dylan Tavella had a dominant day on Saturday. At the start of qualifying however, it looked like Tavella (Tony Kart) would stay on top as he went P1 early in the session. Very soon though the top spot went to Dante Yu (Energy) as he bumped Tavella from the provisional pole position. By halfway through the session, Thomas Mejia (Top Kart) was sitting atop the time charts. As the session continued, Tavella dropped down the leader board. As the checkers flew in qualifying, Mejia had earned the pole position with Yu behind him in second. Front row starter from Saturday Sting Ray Robb (Tony Kart) qualified third alongside Jonathan Shone (Top Kart) with Chase Farley (Energy) rounding out the fast five. Tavella would finish the qualifying session in the 10th position.

The first heat race of the day for TaG Cadet got off to a rough start. Red flags were displayed halfway into the opening lap after an incident in turn one which unfortunately involved Colorado racer Tristin MacLeod (CRG) flipping over. After confirming that MacLeod was healthy and not serious injuries, the field was re-grided and got the race underway. Just as the day before, long trains of karts became the norm on Sunday. A group made up of Robb, Mejia, Yu, Ryan Schartau (Top Kart), Shone, defending champ Hunter Kelly (Tecno) and Tavella ran as the lead pack most of the race. As the white flag flew Mejia, Robb and Schartau found themselves as the breakaway lead pack. As the three drivers swapped spots on the final lap, it was Mejia and Schartau door to door coming out of the final corner as the checkers flew ahead of them. As the two crossed the line the finish was too close to call. Schartau beat Mejia to the line by two one hundredths of a second.

The second heat went much smoother than the first of the day. Schartau led the way with Mejia behind him. Behind the two leaders was Robb in third. Tavella climbed from his mid-pack starting spot to run with the top five. The last half of the race was the pack of Schartau, Mejia, Robb and Tavella. Several times Tavella and Robb swapped spots trading the third place position. At the end of the second heat, Schartau edged out Mejia by two tenths of a second for the win. Tavella finished third after an impressive drive from the middle of the pack. Farley and Kelly ended the second heat in the fourth and fifth positions respectably, assembling the head of the grid for the main event.

Tavella got a great start in the main and grabbed the lead in turn one from his third place starting spot. As Tavella continued his domination of the Cadet class, he left Mejia, Schartau and Robb racing behind him. As the race reached its midway point, the already present theme of large packs of karts running together continued in the main event. A pack of karts which had Mejia, Robb, Farley, Schartau, Yu and Kelly ran together as they chased down Tavella ahead of them. Big packs often carry big risks though. In the turn 11 hairpin on lap nine, several karts got together in the 10th through 15th area in the running order. Taken out of the running was Anthony Wills, while Kelly who was running fifth at the time fell all the way to 24th. Kelly would salvage a 22nd place finish out of the day. After the turn nine wreck the field spread out more from fifth on back. At the front Tavella continued to pull away. The race to watch as the laps clicked off became the fight for third between Farley and Mejia. Farley got around Mejia with four laps to go, even though the pair swaped positions several times with in the final four circuits. As the checkers flew on day two of TaG Cadet racing, they also flew on Tavella’s second win of the weekend. Tavella scored back to back wins as he crossed the line over four seconds ahead of Robb. Farley was able to hold off a strong and calculated Mejia for the third spot. Yu rounded out the Cadet top five on the final day of the SummerNationals. To no ones surprise, Tavella left with a SKUSA check for scoring the overall weekend win in TaG Cadet.


With the weekend complete, the championship chases are down to just one more round – the SKUSA SuperNationals XVII in November. Those able to be in contention for one of the eight titles will have a chance to earn the crown over the four-day event outside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the months leading to the event, EKN will be profiling those in the hunt.

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