Winning Ways Continue for Drivers at Los Angeles Karting Championship
Crow, Harrelson, Smith, Morgan, Vasquez, Salas and Legend remain kings of CalSpeed Karting Center in LAKC competition
The Los Angeles Karting Championship hosted the penultimate round of the 2019 season on September 15 at the CalSpeed Karting circuit. The same ‘Classico’ layout of the Fontana, California karting center, located just outside the Auto Club Speedway, was utilized for Round Eight, this time in the counter-clockwise direction. Numbers were very similar to the previous events on the year, as were the drivers who stood on top of the podium with a number of them extending the win totals for the 2019 LAKC championship season.
Six different drivers have now won during the 2019 season in the 2 Wild Karting X30 Pro class. Three-time winner Billy Musgrave was the driver to beat early, edging out the nine-driver field for fast time in qualifying before leading all 10 laps of the Prefinal. Lurking all day was 2018 California ProKart Challenge champion Joseph Daniele. Starting fifth, Daniele worked his way up into second by lap six, and around Musgrave on lap 11. From there, Daniele pulled away and Musgrave slipped back. At the checkered, Daniele established a 2.7-second advantage for his first LAKC victory of the season. Round 5 winner Edward Portz was second with Round 2 victor Joey Brienza completing the podium. Musgrave fell to fourth with Jenson Altzman in fifth.
Making his first LAKC start in the HRT KA100 Senior division, Nick Ramirez came away with the victory. Three-time winner Jake Drew set the tone with fast lap in qualifying and leading all 10 laps of the Prefinal. Behind him was Ramirez as the two made up the front row of the Final. They ran 1-2 the entire main event with Drew out front. Ramirez waited until the final circuit, securing the lead and reaching the checkered flag first ahead of Drew. Dakota Tate completed the podium with Kameron Perry and Nathan Martin rounding out the top-five.
Blake Nash added his name to the list of three-win drivers on the season, earning victory in Round 8 in the Mack Motorsports X30 Junior class. Nash was one of three to qualify within 68 thousandths of each other at the top of the time sheet in qualifying, including Frankie Mossman and Cole Morgan. After earning the pole position, Nash led all 10 laps in the Prefinal ahead of both. Mossman was the lone challenger for Nash, leading two laps before Blake secured the lead for the final four to sweep the round. Mossman settled for second with Carson Morgan up to third ahead of Cole.
Cole Morgan added to his win total in the Sanner Racing KA100 Junior division. Kasey Gillis had control of the class early on, setting fast time qualifying before Morgan led all 10 laps of the Prefinal. A penalty dropped Morgan to third, moving Gillis to the win and pole position for the main event. Gillis led the first two laps before Morgan took over control, leading the remainder of the race to earn his sixth victory of the season. Gillis ran a close second as Logan Toke won the fight for third. Carson Morgan was fourth with Cole Schroeder in fifth.
Jesus Vasquez Jr. got back to his winning ways, scoring his first main event victory since Round 5. Vasquez swept the action in the P1 Engines Mini Swift class. After he cleared the field by two tenths in qualifying, Vasquez was challenged by Enzo Deligny in both the Prefinal and Final. Deligny led a few laps in both, only to see Vasquez led the majority of the laps to win both sessions. Vasquez won the main event by three-seconds. Izaac Gutierrez joined them on the podium with John Antonino and Dane Idelson completing the top-five.
A driver putting in a strong second half of the season is Caden Chrisman, winning his third main event of the year in the Empire Karts Micro Swift category. This was the first time Chrisman was able to sweep the round, as Chrisman set fast time and won the Prefinal. The action was exciting in the first half of the Final, with he and two-time winner G3 Argyros swapping the lead back and forth. Argyros would get shuffled down to fifth by the halfway point, as Chrisman led the remainder of the race for the victory. Alex Mercado landed his fifth podium finish of the season with a runner-up, ahead of two-time winner Alexander Gonzales. Argyros finished fourth ahead of Ryan Giannetta.
Tru-Tech Racing Engines X30 Master division Round 7 winner Alex Gutierrez was en route to a second straight victory. Gutierrrez held the top position through qualifying and the Prefinal, leading all 10 laps. He led the first 11 laps of the Final until he retired, handing the lead over to Brett Harrelson. Unchallenged, Harrelson would earn his fourth victory in five starts. Steve Martin and Branden Bell joined him on the podium.
John Crow won three categories on the day. He went unchallenged for the victory in X30 Super Master, matching pace with Harrelson all day. It was a seventh straight in the Nash Motorsportz G1 division, sweeping the day over Brett Harrelson and Jason Campbell. His third was in the Fleming Racing Engines KA100 Super Master class. It was his eighth straight and seventh perfect score, outrunning Howard Combee and Warren Kindberg.
Mike Smith completed his own sweep, earning a sixth victory in the Ruthless Karting KA100 Master class. Smith was pressured all day by Jonathan Silva, however, led all 18 laps of the main event. Ronnie Swaim joined them on the podium.
The Phil Giebler Racing Open Shifter class welcomed a first time winner on the year. Vicente Salas, making his second start of the year in the category, swept the action on the day. He would go unchallenged in both the Prefinal and Final for the victory. Myan Spaccarelli was second with Warren Kindberg in third. That win went along with a seventh triumph on the year in the MRC S3 Novice Stock Moto class. It was another perfect score as Round 5 was the only non-victory race of the season. Salas won the main event by 3.7 seconds ahead of Luca Bortone and Vincent Trommer.
Zate Legend record his sixth win of 2019 in the Formula Works Kid Kart Expert. First-time LAKC racer Landon Cordero-Dolph set fast time in qualifying before Keegan Ellsworth took over in the Prefinal for the win. Zate was third in the race, and worked his way up to the point by lap five. Ellsworth challenged in the closing laps, with Legend able to pull off a last lap pass for the victory. Keegan Rabicoff joined them on the podium in third. Gavin Lewis earned a fourth victory in 2019 in HPD Kid Kart Novice class. Lewis was able to move up to the top spot in the Prefinal and drive away to the win in the main event. Oscar Padilla was second with Julian Sanchez in third.
Other winners on the day include Jake French (Baldozier Racing Pro Shifter 1), Emon Fazlollahi (Mad Old Nut Racing Pro Shifter 2), Jacob Yesnick (Kimball Williams Racing S5 Junior Stock Moto), Antonio de Lis (DMG Motorsports S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto), and Wolfgang Kladde (MDG Karting X30 Intermediate)
The Los Angeles Karting Championship closes out the 2019 season and crowns this year’s champions on October 19 at their home of 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.