EKN Trackside: 2018 United States Pro Kart Series – Carolina Grand Prix Preview

Season reaches halfway point with sixth trip to GoPro Motorplex

The 2018 United States Pro Kart Series is set for its second event of the season, scheduled for this weekend at the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, North Carolina. This is the sixth straight year that the series – which is presented by MG Tires USA and Nitro Kart – has visited ‘Race City USA’. Numbers have increased from the opening event in Ocala this April, reaching 121 pre-entries spread out over the seven IAME categories that are set to compete in what is forecast to be a hot weekend for the Carolina Grand Prix.

The GoPro Motorplex opened in late 2012, and the USPKS’ inaugural event in April 2013 was the first major karting series to visit the new facility. The course’s layout was designed to mirror the famed Kartdromo Parma in Italy, featuring elevation changes, as well as tight and flowing corners, and it’s all primed and ready to provide great racing in all the categories this weekend. The facility has grown to host one of the largest club series in the country, which is also helping to support the numbers at the club, regional and national levels, including this weekend’s USPKS event.

EKN continues its long-term partnership with the USPKS, providing unmatched Trackside Live coverage throughout the weekend and the season. The entire Carolina Grand Prix will be available at the EKN Live page – www.ekartingnews.com/live – with USPKS announcer Tim Koyen providing the play-by-play call. Daily reports and updates on the EKN Social Media network will fill up your timeline throughout the weekend. We’re thrilled to have Bell Racing USA, Klotz Lubricants and the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires on-board as Broadcast Partners for our live coverage of the event.

Austin Garrison looks to continue his domination in IAME Pro (Photo: EKN)

The IAME Pro numbers are growing again on the USPKS program with 25 drivers pre-entered for the GoPro weekend. The spotlight heading into the weekend is on championship leader Austin Garrison. The Florida driver dominated the Ocala weekend, sweeping Sunday’s action after a pushback bumper penalty took away the sweep on Saturday, putting him third in the main event results. Garrison has won at least once in the last four weekends aboard his Fullerton machine, and heading to the team’s home track, more wins could be on the horizon. The competitor who took the victory in Round Two was April EKN Driver of the Month Zach Hollingshead (Tony Kart). At his home track of Ocala Gran Prix, Zach left with three wins in total, including a IAME Pro victory in his Senior debut. Hollingshead is second in the title chase behind Garrison, with a group of hungry drivers behind him. Third is series vet Armin Cavkusic (FA Kart), who was runner-up in the opening round. Defending champion Brandon Jarsocrak (Kart Republic) came away with a runner-up on Sunday, and will be looking for more hardware heading to KartSport North America’s home track. Alex Bertagnoli (FMS / Kart Republic) was the fifth driver to earn a podium finish in Ocala, and will set his sights on his first victory of 2018 at a track where he won twice last year. Jacob Donald (Kart Republic), who is now working at the GoPro Motorplex, and Senior rookie Pauly Massimino (Kart Republic), could be among the others that contend for podium finishes.

Two wins in Ocala have Zach Hollingshead at the top of the KA100 Senior division (Photo: EKN)

The KA100 Senior category provided some amazing racing at the opening event at Ocala, which has continued on from the inaugural season last year. Another field of 20 or more will tackle GoPro with Hollingshead the leader in the championship chase. Aside from qualifying both days, the OGP / Tony Kart driver was at the top of the results. He enters Mooresville leading by 100 points over Josh Hotz. The FMS / Merlin driver produced two runner-up results at the opener, and will need to improve his heat races in order to gain in the title chase. Colton Ramsey (Innovative / Kart Republic) scored a podium at Ocala, and is just one point back of Hotz. TJ Koyen (Innovative / Exprit) and PJ Lyda (Merlin) should be in the hunt on the weekend. Local drivers could be the spoilers, including Emory Lyda (Merlin), Blake Hunt (Fullerton), Dusty Davis (FA Kart), and Daniel Tate (KSNA / Kart Republic).

Numbers have improved in the IAME Junior division from the opener in Ocala, increasing the competition level as well. Championship leader Tyler Gonzalez has moved over to the CRG Nordam operation after sweeping the Ocala weekend aboard a Tony Kart. Gonzalez competed in Texas last weekend, however, he is not scheduled to be in Mooresville. The same can be said for former SCR teammate Kyffin Simpson, who is not on the pre-entry list. Team FMS / Merlin drivers Kyle Thome and Nicholas Terlecki each earned a podium finish in Ocala, and are looking to match or improve their results at GoPro. A number of top drivers are making their first USPKS start of 2018, including Justin Arseneau (SCR / Tony Kart), Jeremy Fairbairn (MDD / Kosmic), and Luca Mars (Kosmic), along with local talent Caleb Bacon (Tony Kart), Matthew Duncovich (KSNA / Kart Republic) and series finale winner Gray Leadbetter (Tony Kart).

Jacob Graham leads the KA100 Junior standings heading to GoPro (Photo: EKN)

The KA100 Junior class made its USPKS debut at Ocala, and is improving its numbers heading to GoPro. Jacob Graham (Kosmic) and Spencer Lofton (Tony Kart) split the victories at the opener with Graham coming away with the championship lead by 40 points. Erickson Evans (Tony Kart) and Tyler Wettengel (FA Kart) were the other two podium finishes in Ocala.

The IAME Masters division is a great addition to the USPKS program, with the top drivers from the east coast and beyond taking part in Ocala. Two different winners surprised the paddock, as former Formula One driver Scott Speed took Saturday’s victory while Todd Shambo gained the big W on Sunday. At the top of the standings, however, is former national champion Scott Falcone, who made a return to the seat after a two-year break. Falcone (KSNA / Formula K) holds the lead by just two points thanks to his top-five finishes in Ocala with Florida driver Danny Robertson (Tony Kart) in second. Laurentiu Mardan (Tecno) and Shambo (FA Kart) are within 23 points, making each and every session in GoPro very important for the title chase. A new addition to the Masters field is veteran Scott Kopp (Innovative / Exprit), who should be among those challenging on the weekend with a number of others that struggled for results in Ocala.

Ben Maier holds the advantage in the Micro Swift standings (Photo: EKN)

It was a very exciting weekend in the Mini Swift division at Ocala, with five different drivers standing on the podium, as they all left within 46 points in the standings. Alex Powell (Energy) and Paul Bocuse (Energy) sit on top of the standings. Powell had a best finish of second, while Bocuse grabbed his first big victory on Sunday. The Saturday winner was Christian Miles (Formula K), who is third in the standings ahead of California driver Kai Sorensen (Benik) and Florida’s Jeremy Fletcher (Tony Kart). With GoPro as the home track from the Nitro Kart contingent, watch for Brent Crews, Adam Brickley, Sebastian Ng, Frankie Iadevaia and Sofia d’Arrigo to challenge on the weekend.

The weekend in Ocala was a two driver-battle in the Micro Swift division. Caleb Gafrarar (Parolin) struck first with Ben Maier (Nitro Kart) coming back on Sunday to split the wins. Maier holds the advantage in the points by just 15 markers, while Gafrarar holds the slight advantage with GoPro as his home track. The field in GoPro is looking to challenge the top-two, including recent WKA winner Gavan Boschele (Nitro Kart) and SKUSA Winter Series winner Max Garcia (Benik).


IAME Pro Provisional Entry List

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS HOMETOWN
006 JACOB ANDREW TONY KART CRESTON, OH
304 ALEX BERTAGNOLI KART REPUBLIC VILLAGE OF LAKEWOOD, IL
97 MICHAEL BOVIM COMPKART WAXHAW, NC
61 ARMIN CAVCUSIC FA KART HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL
77 STEPHEN DIAL COMPKART ELWOOD, IL
21 JUSTIN DITTRICH SWISS HUTLESS WEST BABYLON, NY
301 JACOB DONALD KART REPUBLIC JEANETTE, PA
8 DALTON DOW BIREL ART CHARLOTTE, NC
7 CADE DOWNES FULLERTON EVANS, GA
329 AUSTIN GARRISON FULLERTON CORNELIUS, NC
342 JOSH GREEN KOSMIC Mount Kisco, NY
10 KEITH HOLBROOK TONY KART HICKORY, NC
386 ZACH HOLLINGSHEAD TONY KART
317 BLAKE HUNT FULLERTON MOORESVILLE, NC
3 BRANDON JARSOCRAK KART REPUBLIC SHILLINGTON, PA
320 MAKS KOWALSKI MERLIN BARRINGTON, IL
13 DIONISIOS MARCU TECNO DES PLAINES, IL
370 COLIN NEAL KOSMIC PEEBLES, OH
308 PAULY MASSIMINO KART REPUBLIC CHARLOTTE, NC
116 KRISTIN RHEAUME TOP KART MOORESVILLE, NC
16 SEBASTIAN RIVEST KART REPUBLIC CHARLOTTE, NC
118 AUSTIN SCHAFF MERLIN SUSSEX, WI
155 LUKE STROUD COMPKART MOORESVILLE, NC
55 LANE VACALA COMPKART ERIE, PA
17 BEN VARNER BIREL ART METAMORA, MI

KA100 Senior Provisional Entry List

37 ADAM CREPIN TONY KART ST. LOUIS, MO
7 DUSTY DAVIS FA KART Melbourne Beach,NC
96 GREG DELLA EXPRIT HARTLAND, WI
95 ZACH DELLA KOSMIC HARTLAND, WI
56 ROMAN HANES TOP KART HIGH POINT, NC
386 ZACHARY HOLLINGSHEAD TONY KART
22 JOSH HOTZ MERLIN MUKWONAGO, WI
917 BLAKE HUNT FULLERTON MOORESVILLE, NC
68 TJ KOYEN EXPRIT SUN PRAIRIE, WI
91 BEN LYDA MERLIN PLAIN CITY, OH
941 EMORY LYDA MERLIN CONCORD, NC
10 JEFF LYDA MERLIN PLAIN CITY, OH
9 PJ LYDA MERLIN PLAIN CITY, OH
17 BRENNAN MCINTOSH TOP KART MIDDLETOWN, OH
11 MAX MUIR KOSMIC ATLANTA, GA
920 ROGER MYERS DR KART VERONA, PA
388 COLTON RAMSEY KART REPUBLIC
3 CHUCK TATE PAROLIN DAVIDSON, NC
158 DANIEL TATE KART REPULIC GRAHAM, NC

IAME Junior Provisional Entry List

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS HOMETOWN
773 JUSTIN ARSENEAU TONY KART MORIN HEIGHTS, QB, CAN
718 CALEB BACON TONY KART MOORESVILLE, NC
260 BOBBY BEARS PAROLIN OLDSMAR, FL
745 ISAAC BEEKMAN KOSMIC ROUND HILL, VA
25 AARON BENOIT COMPKART ERIE, PA
245 MATTHEW CHRISTENSEN FA KART ORLANDO, FL
761 MATTHEW DUNCOVICH KART REPUBLIC ISLIP TERRACE, NY
287 JEREMY FAIRBAIRN KOSMIC WELLINGTON, FL
14 JACOB GRAHAM KOSMIC GARNER, NC
716 HAYDEN JONES TONY KART MATTHEWS, NC
812 GRAY LEADBETTER TONY KART MORGANTON, NC
747 LUCA MARS KOSMIC SEWICKLEY, PA
710 LUCAS SMALEC MERLIN GLENVIEW, IL
188 NICHOLAS TERLECKI MERLIN ELGIN, IL
361 KYLE THOME MERLIN DOUSMAN, WI
789 HUNTER YEANY BENIK VIRGINIA BEACH, VA

KA100 Junior Provisional Entry List

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS HOMETOWN
604 WILLIAM COX FA KART RALEIGH,NC
18 TALAN DRAKE KOSMIC CONCORD, NC
29 ERICKSON EVANS TONY KART ALPHARETTA, GA
14 JACOB GRAHAM KOSMIC GARNER, NC
822 DALTON HANES TOP KART HIGH POINT, NC
716 HAYDEN JONES TONY KART MATTHEWS, NC
623 SPENCER LOFTON TONY KART HENDERSON, TN
95 DRU LYDA MERLIN RAVENNA, OH
19 MATT LYDA MERLIN PLAIN CITY, OH
635 JONATHAN OCASIO TB KART AVON, OH
23 GRAYSON UPCHURCH PRAGA DENVER, NC
42 DONALD WHORTON II FA KART Montpelier, VA
13 WESTIN WORKMAN COMPKART CHARLOTTE, NC

IAME Masters Provisional Entry List

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS HOMETOWN
5 KIM CARAPELLATTI COMPKART OLEAN, NY
512 SCOT CARAPELLATTI OTK OLEAN, NY
9 LOGAN COZZIE TOP KART SHERRILLS FORD, NC
99 SCOTT FALCONE FORMULA K LONE TREE, CO
580 PETE FRITSCHE TONY KART OCALA, FL
38 SCOTT KOPP EXPRIT MUKWONAGO, WI
88 PETE MALETTO TRACK KART POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ
82 LAURENTIU MARDAN TECNO ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL
2 BRIAN McEVOY MERLIN OREGON, WI
543 SCOTT ROBERTS TONY KART WINTER PARK, FL
509 DANNY ROBERTSON TONY KART OCALA, FL
557 JOHN ROBICHEAUX KOSMIC GULFPORT, MS
54 CHRISTOPHER ROCK SWISS HUTLESS Kerhonkson, NY
55 TODD SHAMBO FA KART MONROE, GA
16 RYAN SPIEROWSKI TOP KART FOREST PARK, IL
28 CRISTIAN VOMIR TECNO Hoffman Estates, IL

Mini Swift Provisional Entry List

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS HOMETOWN
149 NOAH BAKER KART REPUBLIC
1 ADAM BRICKLEY NITRO MOORESVILLE, NC
14 SAM CORRY KART REPUBLIC CORNELIUS, NC
105 MIGUEL COSTA BENIK MIAMI BEACH, FL
125 MICHAEL COSTELLO BENIK DALLAS, PA
127 PAIGE CRAWFORD BENIK COMMACK, NY
111 BRENT CREWS NITRO DENVER, NC
113 SOFIA D’ARRIGO NITRO CLOVER, SC
122 JEREMY FLETCHER TONY KART
176 FRANKIE IADEVAIA NITRO SEAFORD, NY
196 JAKUB KOLAR PRAGA KEY WEST, FL
181 ANDERSON LEONARD BENIK ST. PETERSBURG. FL
177 CHRISTIAN MILES FORMULA K PALOMA, IL
109 SEBASTIAN NG NITRO KANNAPOLIS, NC
156 JACE PARK PAROLIN OVERLAND PARK, KS
115 KAI SORENSEN BENIK LODI, CA
146 ALEX STANFIELD ENERGY LEWISVILLE, TX
48 ELI TRULL ENERGY MOORESVILLE, NC

Micro Swift Provisional Entry List

NO. DRIVER CHASSIS HOMETOWN
5 GAVAN BOSCHELE NITRO KANNAPOLIS, NC
99 CAMERON BRINKMAN MERLIN SPRINGFIELD, IL
014 VINCENT CAPITILLO NITRO MARIETTA, GA
77 SPENCER CONRAD NITRO SUFFOLK, VA
42 NICHOLAS DANIELL FA KART KENNESAW, GA
44 CALEB GAFRARAR PAROLIN MIDLAND, NC
40 MAX GARCIA BENIK COCONUT GROVE, FL
021 ARYTON GRIM NITRO HILLIARD, OH
67 BEN MAIER NITRO STEVENSVILLE, MD
03 HOYT MOHR NITRO WAMPUM, PA
23 JAMES NEWELL KART REPUBLIC OLD HICKORY, TN
21 SAMUEL NEWELL OK1 OLD HICKORY, TN
11 JT NOVOSIELSKI PCR RICHFIELD, OH
91 LUCAS SZABO PAROLIN GLENDALE, NY

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