Exciting Racing Highlights Texas ProKart Challenge Weekend in Oklahoma
Rounds seven and eight held at Oklahoma Motorsports Complex
The Texas ProKart Challenge – presented by 3G Kart Racing/Burger King®/Fernelius Alvarez Attorneys/Dallas Karting Complex – hosted round seven and eight on August 16-18 at the Oklahoma Motorsports Complex. Revered as one of the top circuits in the country, Superkarts! USA and United States Rotax Max Challenge competitors from the southern states took on the challenging 8/10-mile course as the ten-round championship series looks to close out the 2013 season.
The weekend welcomed perfect racing conditions, with cooler than normal temperatures through the tree days in Norman, Oklahoma. Friday evening provided a great meal, courtesy of Rey Ferreyro and his local Chick-fil-A. All podium finishers received Motul products, with top end rebuild kits for the Stock Moto categories courtesy of Honda Performance Development, and three sets of Mojo tires to three Rotax drivers. In total, over $2,500 in awards and prizes were handed out on the weekend, including free entries and free hotels to the season finale. Of course, the weekend went smooth thanks to the great hospitality provided by the Berryhill family at the OMC facility. On-track, many of the usual suspects were found on top of the podium throughout the weekend, as the championship chases turned another page.
Garrett Boone and Ryan Kinnear continue to show the way in the Pole Position/DR Kart S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto division, as the two split the wins on the weekend. Kinnear led the way in round seven qualifying, as he edged out Boone by just two thousandths of a second, with Miguel Lopez just 44 thousandths off the fast time as well. Through the two 10-lap heat races, Kinnear held the advantage as he won both races, setting up for a main event battle. Boone gave a strong challenge early on in the 16-lap event, but fast laps over the course of the race would provide Kinnear with a 2.8-second advantage. Behind Boone, Lopez would finish third. Overnight, Boone found that extra speed to put himself on the pole position for round eight, with Kinnear and Lopez just a tick slower. Boone led early in heat one, but Kinnear was able to score the race win. They battled once again in heat two, with Kinnear scoring the win again. The final 16-lap event of the weekend was a hard-fought, clean battle between the two. Exchanging the lead numerous times, Boone was able to capitalize at the end and earn his second feature of the season. Kinnear settled for second with Lopez once again in third, setting up for a three driver battle for the championship at the season finale in October.
Former SKUSA SuperNationals winner Chris Jennings extended his point lead in the SwedeTech S4 Master Stock Moto championship chase, adding his fourth and fifth victories on the season. Saturday was a perfect score for Jennings as he swept the day from qualifying to the main event, while posting fast lap of the race. Championship rival Jordon Musser was second with Milton Rivera in third, making a return to the series after two runner-up finishes at the season opener. Jennings began round eight on top, securing the pole position in qualifying but was shuffled back in the heat race with Musser pushing past for the race win. Jennings came back in heat two for the win, and continued on to score the victory in the main event. Musser once again was second with Jorge Galvan third. Chance Kelly ran uncontested in the Blancken Insurance Group S3 Novice Stock Moto class on the weekend.
Nathan Adds and Jesse Woodyard split the weekend in Junior action, each taking a victory in the J&T Racing S5 Junior Stock Moto and Champion Racing/Intrepid Rotax Junior classes. The S5 category continues to display a number of talented young drivers in the region. Raul Guzman was the top driver in qualifying and through the heat races. The wins were not easy, as the top four drivers finished within six tenths of a second in the final heat, including Jacob Loomis, Adds and Woodyard. Numerous lead changes in the 12-lap race led to Woodyard taking over the top spot with two laps remaining. From there, he held off Adds for his third victory of the season. Adds however was penalized two positions for contact with Loomis. This moved Guzman up to second and Loomis third in the results as Adds was classified fourth. Adds fought back on Sunday to lead the entire day. From qualifying to the main event, Adds was at the front all day. Guzman challenge Adds early in the main event, but when the checkered fell it was Adds with his fourth victory of the year. Woodyard would finish second with Loomis and Guzman close behind.
Saturday was Woodyard’s day, as he scored the victory in Junior Max. Quickest in qualifying, he went on to win heat one. Woodyard led heat two, but was passed by Adds for the win with one lap remaining. Adds would be found to have an improper carburetor, and was removed and moved Jarret Voorhies on the pole position for the main event, as he worked past Woodyard on the final lap. The feature would all Woodyard, taking the lead from the drop of the green and stretching out to a four-second advantage. Voorhies finished second with Thomas Beaudoin third. Sunday began with Christian Duarte as the fast driver in qualifying, nipping Woodyard by 16 thousandths of a second. Adds fought his way forward in heat one, coming from mid-pack to the win. Woodyard struck back in heat two, edging out Adds and Voorhies. Trailing Woodyard in the first half of the main event, Adds moved to the lead and would not relinquish the position en route to his second of the year, and second total for the weekend. Completing the Junior categories was Champion Racing/Intrepid TaG Junior. New York driver Anthony Gangi Jr. was the class of the field all weekend. He swept the opening day, earning his first series victory of the season and was on his way to another dominating result when his bumper detached from his chassis. Ignoring the meatball flag, Gangi crossed the line first but was docked one lap to hand the win to Paige Evans with championship leader Rodrigo Rejon placed second.
Max Waithman scored three victories on the weekend, including a clean sweep of the Micro Max category. Earning fast time in qualifying both days, Waithman drove to the win in each heat race for both rounds of racing, and led at the checkered flags to earn each main event victory. Saturday, Marcello Garcia ran second with Ethan Arndt third. Sunday, Arndt gave a good battle but Waithman proved to be too strong and pulled away at the end. Arndt finished second, and recorded the fast lap bonus in both main events, with Garcia placing third in Sunday’s feature. During Sunday’s TaG Cadet action, Waithman overcame a DQ in heat one for a clutch issue to score victory. He would drive from 11th on the grid to first in just eight laps, earning the pole position for the main event. From there, he led all the laps to the victory over Arndt and championship leader Luis Alfonso Perez Pena. Saturday was a first victory for Jak Crawford. Riley Dickinson and Pena were the drivers to beat throughout the day, but Crawford was lurking. Challenging Pena for the lead, he secured the position with two laps to go and held on for the win. Dickinson slid past for second with Pena back to third.
The Enertech/Chase Racing Mini Max category saw Parker Chase put himself back into the title hunt with two victories in Oklahoma. Max Hewitt began the event as the top driver, posting fast lap in qualifying and winning both heat races. He and Chase battled in the first half of the main event until Hewitt retired early, allowing Chase a clear path to the victory by over four seconds ahead of Riley Dickinson and Luis Alfonso Perez Pena. Sunday, Chase turned the victory into a dominating performance all day, as he led the class in all on-track action. Hewitt ran three seconds back in second with Pena placing third. TaG Senior saw eight drivers on the weekend, as the category continues to draw solid numbers. Hector Alvarez made his series debut, and dominated the weekend with a clean sweep. Alvarez earned a perfect score Saturday, followed by Derek Proctor and Richy Yates. On Sunday, it was the same picture with Alvarez out front and scoring the victory. Luke Waller ran second with championship leader Michael Bartholomew third. Rotax Senior had Conner Clay and Ronnie Price taking the victories, each earning their first on the season. Price was the driver to beat through the first half of the day, leading the way in qualifying and heat one. Championship leader Alex Tartaglia drove to the win in heat two, with Clay following him through for second. Both had off-track excursions, with Clay able to recover and last all 16 laps for the win. Tartaglia was second with Troy Cowart third. On Sunday, Price dominated the day as he led all on-track sessions to his first victory of the year. Tartaglia was second with Clay third.
Tartaglia did score one win on the weekend, taking top honors in the DD2 category. He and Nathan Mauel fought for the top position all day in round seven, with Tartaglia outlasting the field for the victory. CJ Cramm was second with Mauel third, retiring three laps early. Cramm was the driver to beat Sunday, coming back from a DQ in heat one. After earning the fast lap in qualifying, Cramm won the opening heat race but was too wide on the rear width. Mauel led the field in heat two as Cramm drove to second, and took the lead and victory in the main event over Tartaglia and Mauel. Lance Lehrman ran uncontested in the DD2 Masters sponsored by Dallas Karting Complex.
The series will now turn toward the season finale, set for October 4-6 at the NOLAMotorsportsPark in New Orleans. Rounds nine and ten will be contested, and will also serve as a great warm-up weekend to the Rotax Pan-American Challenge international event scheduled for the following weekend. To find out more about the Texas ProKart Challenge program and event details for the season finale, be sure to visit www.texasprokartchallenge.com and ‘Like’ them on Facebook.