Third Event of Los Angeles Karting Championship Completed
Southern California program welcomed Round Three of title chase at CalSpeed Karting
The Los Angeles Karting Championship continued their 2019 season, hosting Round Three of the championship program on April 14 at CalSpeed Karting. Nearly 150 entries filled the paddock of the Fontana, California facility, with competitors battling around the ‘Sportivo’ layout. Weather was perfect for racing with the 21 divisions adding to the title chases in the nine-round series.
Racing began with the Kid Kart divisions as Zate Legend and Gavin Lewis returned to the top of the podium. Round One winner Legend swept the action in the Formula Works Expert class, posting P1 results in all three sessions, including a 2.3-second advantage in the Final over Sebastian Cortes and Round Two winner Keegan Ellsworth. Lewis backed up his Round Two triumph with another victory in the HPD Novice Final. He set fast time in qualifying, but fell back to second behind Ruby Murphy in the Prefinal. Lewis reclaimed the top spot, going on to win by seven seconds. Murphy ended up second with Round One winner Christian Johnson in third.
The second race taking to the course was the first of two shifterkart groups. Vincente Salas remains perfect on the year, earning maximum points in the first three rounds of the season in the MRC S3 Novice Stock Moto division. Round Three was capped off by a seven-second advantage over Luca Bortone and Jake Hood. Brett Harrelson has three wins of his own in the PKS S4 Super Master Stock Moto division, besting Robert Roper on the day. Mathias Coito is a third driver to win three straight, grabbing another in the Kimball Williams Racing S5 Junior Stock Moto class. Ansel Baldovin won the Prefinal, but ended up second in the Final behind Coito with Kailey Meris in third. Nikita Lastochkin (DMG Motorsports S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto) and Chris Muecke (Nash Motorsportz S4 Master Stock Moto) ran uncontested in their respective categories.
The second shifter group featured four sweeps in four classes. Billy Musgrave grabbed his second straight perfect score round in the Baldozier Racing Pro Shifter 1 class. Musgrave held off former SKUSA Pro Tour champion Jake French in all three on-track sessions, with Keawn Tandon completing the podium in third. Slava Prikhodko has three perfect scores to start out 2019 in the Phil Giebler Racing Open Shifter Pro class. Prikhodko was P1 in all sessions, winning the Final by six seconds over Willy Axton and Warren Kindberg. After an issue in Round One, Crow has gone undefeated in the Nash Motorsportz G1 division. Crow added a second perfect round, besting Luke Bhola. Connor Robles secured his first victory in the Mad Old Nut Racing Pro Shifter 2 division, sweeping the round over Round Two victor Michael Korody.
The Sanner Racing KA100 Junior division saw a second straight victory for Cole Morgan. It was Tyler Ruth showing the way in qualifying, edging out Morgan for fast time, before running away with the Prefinal win. Ruth was not able to get away in the Final, as he and Morgan had a great duel for the top spot. Morgan secured the position late, earning a second victory in the class while Ruth recorded his third straight runner-up finish. AJ Zarcone rounded out the podium with Cole Schroeder fourth and Jacob Yesnick in fifth with fast lap of the main event.
In his first 2 Wild Karting X30 Pro start of the season, Billy Musgrave grabbed the main event victory in Round Three. Musgrave started the day fourth in qualifying with Round Two winner Joey Brienza setting fast time. Brienza crossed the line P1 in the Prefinal, with a penalty dropping him down to sixth. That put Musgrave to the pole position for the Final, where he led wire-to-wire in the 18-lap race. Edward Portz crossed the line second, but was removed from the results. That promoted Brenden Delorto to second with Branden Underwood completing the podium. Bryce Stevens was fourth with Joseph Daniele in fifth. The MDG Karting X30 Intermediate category raced at the same time, with Wolfgang grabbing his first win of the season in a perfect score effort over Ian Bland and Ian Bier.
The sweeps continued when Empire Karts Micro Swift hit the track as Alexander Gonzalez earned a second victory on the season. Gonzalez swept the action in Round Three, leading the entire Prefinal before getting challenged early on in the Final. Eventually, he escaped to a two-second advantage at the checkered flag ahead of Caden Chrisman and Rocky Moran.
Things were very tight at the front of the 14-driver HRT KA100 Senior class for Round Three with two drivers holding the edge. Round Two winner Jake Drew struck first in qualifying, posting the fast lap, only to be nipped at the line by 72 thousandths by Brendan DeLorto. They fought each other again in the main event, with DeLorto once again reaching the line first, this time by 15 thousandths to earn his first victory of the season. Drew settled for second with Alex Siragusa in third. Kameron Perry and Alan Tang completed the top-five.
Cole Morgan was the second driver to win twice in Round Three, earning victory in the Mack Motorsports X30 Junior class as well. Morgan swept the round, including leading all 18 laps of the Final to earn his first victory in the category. Colin Queen crossed the line in second with Round Two winner Carson Morgan in third. Carson was penalized, removing him from the podium to promote Ayden Aquino to the third step of the podium. Jacob Yesnick and Blake Nash rounded out the top-five.
P1 Engines Mini Swift rookie John Antonino had his best performance going in Round Three, beginning the day with fast time in qualifying and winning the Prefinal. Antonino led the first 13 laps before an issue on track dropped him back to ninth, where he would finish. That brought the battle for second up to a fight for the victory. Ryan Persing was able to secure the spot with two laps remaining, holding on to the checkered flag to earn his first on the season. Two-time winner Jesus Vasquez Jr. came up short with Izaac Gutierrez joining them on the podium. Evan Reuben was fourth with Parker DeLong in fifth.
Coming off victory at the California ProKart Challenge in March, Steve Martin carried the momentum over to LAKC in the Tru-Tech Racing Engines X30 Master class for his first win in the program. Branden Bell set the pace in qualifying until Martin took over in the Prefinal. The two went back and forth for the lead in the Final with Martin scoring the victory by 1.4 seconds over Bell. Myron Massey finished third for his first podium of the year. Mike Smith won his second race of the season in Ruthless Karting KA100 Master ahead of Edison Noba and Robert Perez. John Crow ended the day as the third driver to win twice in Round Three. Crow had his third perfect score of the season in the Fleming Racing Engines KA100 Super Master, sweeping the entire round for the victory. Kelly Heil and Howard Combee completed the podium.
The Los Angeles Karting Championship returns with Round Four over Memorial Weekend, set for May 26 at the CalSpeed Karting facility. For more about the Los Angeles Karting Championship program, please visit LAKC.org and ‘Like’ them on Facebook and follow on Instagram.