Flashback Friday: 2009 Snap-on Stars of Karting Grand Prix of Sonoma

(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

A #FlashbackFriday back to the 2009 Snap-on Stars of Karting Grand Prix of Sonoma. The April 24-26 event took place at the then-named Jim Russell International Karting Center. It became the final event for the organization that was the premier national karting series throughout the 2000s, founded by Bryan Herta and Hollis Brown along with Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal as ‘Stars of Tomorrow’. The program was led by karting industry member Paul Zalud.

The 2009 event in Sonoma, California ended up becoming the last under the ‘Stars’ name as the series would shut down following the weekend. Veteran Ron White won the ICC aboard his CRG, as did Phil DeLaO in the KF3 division (similar to OKJ). Leading Edge Motorsports driver Brett Felkins won the TaG ICC class while local legend Brett Buckwalter aboard an ItalKart was triumphant in the Senior National (TaG) division. Taylor Miinch on a Top Kart took top honors in Junior National (TaG) while Birel driver Hunter Corbitt won the drag race to the checkered flag in Cadet.

Many drivers from the 2000s established themselves through the Stars of Karting program, including Alex Speed, Gary Carlton, Gustavo Yacaman, Sebastian Saavedra, Joel Miller, Phil Giebler, Jordy Vorrath, Cole Whitt, Zach Schiff, Cory Pollack, Sergio Pena, Sage Karam, Trent Hindman and many more.

The weekend was also a chance for the EKN Trackside Live broadcasting to find its way on the internet airways. EKN’s Rob Howden and David Cole, along with NorCal’s Carlos Calderon did a video/audio broadcast with one camera, one laptop and very poor internet and video quality. It was a learning weekend for the EKN crew, and would eventually pave the way for the EKN Trackside Live broadcast program you hear today.


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EKN Trackside: Snap-on Stars of Karting Grand Prix of Sonoma – Friday Report

Phinny earns first KZ2 pole position while Felkins goes two for two in qualifying

It was an exciting first day of official on-track action at the Snap-on Stars of Karting Western Division opener. The Jim Russell International Karting Center at Infineon Raceway is a challenging 3/4-mile course that the nearly 70 competitors attacked Friday with a full day of practice completed with the qualifying sessions that will line up the six divisions being contested on the weekend for their three heat races on Saturday. Five of the categories saw drivers earn their first top qualifying honors in their respective divisions.

Though all three former national champions – Alex Speed, Gary Carlton and defending champ Michael Vincec – are absent from competition, a good field of drivers took to the challenging circuit in their qualifying session. Taking the provisional pole was Brendan Phinny (Top Kart) with a 47.992 while Marc Elliot (Arrow) held the second spot. Local NorCal pilot Gregory Liefooghe (Intrepid) would take the spot with nine minutes remaining until Phinny would steal it back the next lap. Turning laps quicker as the session progressed Phinny knocked his time down to a 47.546. When the checkered flag flew, it was Phinny earning his first KZ2 pole position of his career. Liefooghe ended the session in the second spot with the CRG of Cody Jolly in the third slot while Elliot edged out the only former winner in the field – Ron White (CRG) – to compete the fast five.

With Senior National championship contender Joey Wimsett in the pits with a broken clutch, fellow Intrepid driver Brett Felkins took the pole early in the session. With the session winding down, Wimsett got on track with six minutes remaining and quickly climbed into the top-10. With hard work from mechanic Mike Rolison, Wimsett advanced up to P3 by the time the checkered flag flew to end the session. No one was able to find the speed to knock Felkins off the pole, scoring the Stars of Karting track record in Senior National with his 50.575. Canadian Remo Ruscitti (Italkart) looked to have a strong run early before pulling off to the inside of the front straightaway mid session with motor issues to end 12th overall. Rounding out the fast five behind Felkins was Brazilian Andre Nicastro, Wimsett, privateer Nic Le Duc (Tony Kart) and Brett Buckwalter (Italkart).

Felkins made it two for two as he put his Intrepid TaG ICC entry on the top of the qualifying charts in their 15 minute session to begin his bid at the $5,000 check to win Sunday’s feature race. Ocala runner-up Remo Ruscitti (Italkart) was unable to knock Felkins off the top and will start the heat races from outside row one. Italkart will fill row two with Andre Nicastro and Neil Joseph. Championship runner-up in ’08 Michael Hogg (Top Kart) completed the fast five. An interesting note is four the of top five are competing in the Senior National category on the weekend as well.

A field of 17 drivers took to the track in the Junior National class with Eastern division winner Phil DeLaO and his CRG looking to take the pole. Standing in the way was a Top Kart pilot by the name of Luis Tyrrell. Tyrell took the early pole against a deep field of juniors with Alessandra Madrigal (Kosmic) close on his heels. Californian Taylor Miinch (Top Kart) took the second spot briefly before Madrigal took the position back. The driver mechanics had their watch on during the session was Trackmagic’s Kiel Spaulding as he began to move up the order late in the session. With the session coming to a close, a few drivers were able to make moves forward but no one could touch Tyrrell – who earned his first pole position honor in his first start in a Stars of Karting junior division. Coming home in second was the charging Spaulding who came just 0.075-seconds short of Tyrrell’s time. Madrigal ended up third ahead of Miinch and Dylan Lupton (Birel). De La O would claim the sixth position in the session, leaving some work to be done in the heat races.

DeLaO would however find the way to the top of the time charts in the KF3 category. His 50.696 lap would put him on the pole for all three heat races with Alessandra Madrigal (Kosmic) to start outside row one. Taylor Miinch (Top Kart) was third with Broc Yocom (Kosmic) ending the session in fourth.

The battle for pole started early in Cadet with Top Kart pilots Jacques Saurino and Carter Williams. Saurino held the provisional pole Noah Hermanson (Birel) stole it at the checkered flag to end the first group’s session. With the faster drivers in the second group, a group of Californians took to the circuit as they looked to knock down Hermanson’s time. One of the top drivers were out early with Zane Smith (Top Kart) pulling into the pits with a leaking gas tank and was unable to get back on the racing surface. Getting below the one minute barrier was JR Raczko (Energy) with a 59.541 lap time to take the pole position ahead of Riley Reyes (CRG), Hermanson, Williams and Saurino.

With the grids set, the drivers will get down to wheel-to-wheel action on Saturday with three heat races per classes scheduled on the day. The Sonoma circuit offers great racing and though the numbers are lower than expected, good battles for the wins are in the forecast for the day. For complete coverage, visit the Official Event Page with links to results and the Official Discussion Thread and make sure to tune into the EKN LIVE page with the final heat races of the day to be aired through the EKN TV section.

EKN Trackside: Snap-on Stars of Karting Grand Prix of Sonoma – Saturday Report

White races to KZ2 Prefinal pole while Felkins tops in TaG ICC and Sr. National

Sunny skies and steady winds greeted the competitors at the Jim Russell International Karting Center this morning and once things got underway, it appeared as though Ron White and Brett Felkins would step into the limelight in the Senior categories of the Snap-on Stars of Karting Western Division opener.  White (CRG) may have started fifth in the short-fielded KZ2 class, but he quickly took the lead in the opening two heats en route to victories, chasing rookie Brendan Phinny (Top Kart) across the line in the final moto to secure the pole position for the Prefinal on Sunday morning. Leading Edge Motorsports’ Brett Felkins (Intrepid) stole the show in the other two senior classes, taking two wins in both TaG ICC and Sr. National, finishing up with a pair of top-fives in the final round of heats to clinch the pole for both Prefinals.  Simply put, the racing was amazing but both of these drivers are going to need to step it up on Sunday as their competition was able to outrun them in the final round of heats, opening the door for some challengers to vie for the top of the podiums.

Rookie KZ2 driver Brendan Phinny (Top Kart) grabbed the holeshot from the pole position ahead of Gregory Liefooghe (Intrepid) and Ron White (CRG), who got a great jump from fifth to third at the green flag. The move of the race was laid down when Liefooghe went inside of Phinny into turn one, with White watching it all unfold to go further inside to make it three wide. White came out with the lead and went on to earn the win with Phinny holding onto second ahead of Liefooghe. Texan Cody Jolly (CRG) ran fourth ahead of Colorado pilot Marc Elliott (Arrow).

Phinny and Liefooghe were slow off the line at the start of the second heat race as White grabbed the holeshot. Through the opening corner, Jolly spun on the exit and fell to the tail of the field while Phinny slotted into second as the two pulled away from the rest of the field. White would go on to lead all 11 laps to the win with Phinny giving chase. Liefooghe ran a solid third as Elliott took fourth after battling nicely with Derek Tillett (CRG).

The third race featured another great battle within the top three. Phinny showed the way early but White and Liefooghe were right there to make it fun. The veteran White put the pressure on Phinny to the point where the rookie missed a shift coming out of the tic-tac-toe section of the track, which allowed White to come alongside into the next corner. Phinny pulled an outside-inside move to get a better exit, getting alongside White heading into the esses. White had to give way to Phinny, who retained the lead, completing an impressive defense against one of the sport’s finest gearbox racers. White continued on to try another attack but he came up short, watching as Phinny pulled away to take his first ICC heat win. Jolly was able to work by Liefooghe for third while Elliott again completed the top-five.

With his two runner-ups and victory, Phinny will start alongside White on the front row. Liefooghe and Jolly will grid on row two with Elliott and Tillett one row back.

Brett Felkins (Intrepid) and Andre Nicastro (Italkart) went wheel to wheel on the start as Nicastro looked to pinch Felkins to the inside. Starting third, Wimsett moved into second in the opening lap and went for the lead at the end of lap one but Felkins would retake the position on the exit of turn one. Tyler Wheeler (Italkart) benefitted from the battle and moved to second on the exit of tic-tac-toe however Wimsett would come back to retake the second spot. Neil Alberico, who started 18th after a disqualification in qualifying was up to seventh by the end of lap three and closing in on the battles within the top five. Felkins would go on to lead the rest of the laps to take the win as he pulled out to a 1.4-second advantage over Wimsett. Wheeler ended up third ahead of Brett Buckwalter (Italkart) and Nicastro.

Felkins and Nicastro led the field around to begin the second heat race. Wimsett joined the fight and made a bid for the lead but didn’t get it and ended the opening lap in fourth behind Buckwalter. Alberico looked to begin his charge forward until a broken throttle cable force him to go by hand control to accelerate. Wimsett then cleared Buckwalter for third and easily pulled away but Felkins and Nicastro were too far ahead to finish one-two. Buckwalter settled for fourth behind Wimsett with Jess Peterson (Top Kart) rounding out the top-five.

Unlike the opening two heats, Felkins did not get the jump he previously experienced and was back to third after the tic-tac-toe section behind Nicastro and Le Duc. Buckwalter and Wimsett made up the early top-five until the two went side by side resulting in Buckwalter taking a path through the grass that put him at the tail of the field. Lap three however would be the turning point of the event as Wimsett got inside for position and the two made contact. Wimsett continued on after returning his chain back on his Intrepid machine but a lap down while Le Duc watched from the side lines. Nicastro would put in the best laps of the race to pull out to a three-second victory over Felkins. Wheeler was third at the line with Stepanova Nekeel (CRG) and Peterson crossing in fourth and fifth.

Felkins will lead the Senior National field to the green flag with Nicastro joining him up front. Wheeler’s string of solid results put him third in the order following the heat races with Buckwalter able to recover in his third heat to start outside row two. Wimsett will go from row three, next to Ocala podium finisher Nigel Saurino.

The TaG ICC division was the first to begin the wheel to wheel action of the day with pole sitter Brett Felkins (Intrepid) grabbing the holeshot to begin their opening heat race. Michael Hogg (Top Kart) got a great start to go from fifth to third on the start to slot in behind Remo Ruscitti (Italkart). The top three gapped on rest of field and would finish that way with Don McGregor (Italkart) and Nic Le Duc (Tony Kart) completing the top-five until Ruscitti was excluded from the results for an altered airbox boot.

Felkins would show the way in heat two with Hogg blasting off the line into the second spot as they exited the opening corners. Andre Nicastro (Italkart) started third but slowed half way through lap one and pulled off with a flat tire. Felkins ran alone up front until Ruscitti slide into second to get by Hogg and began to run down Felkins. Ruscitti turned quick laps and closed in on the leader but ran out of time. Felkins took his second win ahead of Ruscitti, Hogg, McGregor, and Le Duc.

Three for three at the drop of the green, Felkins earned the hole shot once again as Nicastro was even slowing off the line as the rest of the field scrambled around him. Ruscitti gave chase to Felkins as McGregor found himself in third early on. Behind him was a great battle for fourth with the rest of the field. Felkins looked to have the race in hand until a spin with two laps to go put Ruscitti to the point. The same lap, Hogg spun in turn 1 following some contact in the race for fourth. When the checkered flag fell, Ruscitti took the victory with McGregor placing second. Neil Joseph (Italkart) won the battle for third with Nicastro finishing fourth. Despite his spin, Felkins managed to get up to fifth place at the line.

Felkins will grid from P1 with McGregor earning a spot on the front row starting position. Hogg and Ruscitti will fill row two with Joseph and Le Duc in row three.

Phil DeLaO showed the way in the opening KF3 heat race with Taylor Miinch (Top Kart), Alessandra Madrigal (Kosmic) and Broc Yocom (Kosmic). The top three ran similar lap times but DeLaO was just too strong. The order was static for the rest of the race and order was unchanged until Miinch was excluded from the results for an altered airbox boot.

DeLaO led early and pulled away to open the second heat race until he slowed on lap three. Miinch and Madrigal would get by and then DeLaO would pull off track with his axle shifting which caused his chain to fall off. Madrigal kept close to Miinch by setting the fast lap but would settle for second behind Miinch with Yocom finishing third.

The third heat was similar to the first with DeLaO leading all nine laps to take the win. Miinch and Madrigal were close early but DeLaO put down a couple laps to pull out to a good size lead in the end. Yocom continued to improve his lap times but would finish fourth behind Miinch and Madrigal.

The opening heat race for Junior National was a bit chaotic while halfway through the first lap, officials decide for a complete restart with the front row inverted. Taylor Miinch (Top Kart) and Alessandra Madrigal (Kosmic) went to the front row with Luis Tyrrell (Top Kart) and Kiel Spaulding (Trackmagic) back to row two. Big contact on the second start involving Spaulding and Miinch along with others resulted in a red flag as Spaulding needed medical attention. Once restarted, Tyrrell went on to take the win by 1.459-seconds over Madrigal. Miinch held on to third ahead of Ocala winner Phil DeLaO (CRG) with Mason Chelootz (Top Kart) rounding out the top-five.

Following heavy contact through the opening corner, Madrigal escaped to lead the early portion of the second Junior National as the second row once again started on the front row. Miinch, who started second, went off track in the opening corner to fall to the tail of the field, joined by DeLaO as well. Madrigal would go on take the win with Spaulding running a close second. Tyrrell and Thomas were third and fourth with Miinch climbing back to fifth.

Spaulding would be penalized to start from row two after two false starts for the third and final heat. Once starter Matt Long gave them the green, Miinch used the outside line to exit the opening corner as the leader. Tyrrell slotted into second with Spaulding, Madrigal, and Austin Elliott (Top Kart) the early top-five. Things got interesting when Spaulding tried to get by Tyrrell on the outside of the final corner and the two made contact, sending Spaulding off track and to the tail of the field. This allowed Miinch to cruise to the victory by just over two-seconds with Madrigal ending up second. DeLaO advanced up to third in the race with Thomas up to fourth and Louie Pagano (Birel) all the way from 17th to fifth.

Madrigal and Miinch will lead the field to the green flag in the Prefinal with Tyrrell and DeLaO in row two. Chelootz and Tyler Thomas (Top Kart) will go from row three.

The opening Cadet heat race came down to a photo finish after seven laps of racing. Pole sitter JR Raczko (Energy), Carter Williams (Top Kart) and Riley Reyes (CRG) came to the checkered flag three wide. At the line it was Reyes who had his nose out in front with Williams beating Raczko for second. Zane Smith (Top Kart) beat out Jacques Saurino (Top Kart) for fourth.

The second heat came down to just Reyes and Raczko in the end. Raczko lead early with a small gap while Reyes battled with Hermanson and Saurino. Once he got away from them, Reyes turned the quickest laps of the race to catch Razcko. Once he caught the leader, the two went back and forth until Raczko drafted by Reyes on the last straight to take the win by 0.037-seconds. Williams was third with Smith and Hermanson rounding out the top-five.

The start of the final heat race was not what Reyes hoped for as he would fall back to fourth while Raczko, Hermanson, and Saurino showed the way. Saurino would get by Hermanson for second as would Reyes. With the field battling behind him, Raczko would go on to take the win after posting his fastest laps near the end to pull out to 1.382-second win. Saurino held off Reyes at the end for second with Hunter Corbitt (Birel) finishing fourth ahead of Williams.

With his two wins, Raczko will start the Prefinal from P1 with heat one winner Reyes in P2. Williams and Saurino are third and forth in the heat point standings with Smith and Hermanson in row three.

The final day of action at the Grand Prix of Sonoma will see the championship standings begin to take shape with Sunday’s Prefinal and Final for the six categories. For complete coverage, visit the Official Event Page with links to results and the Official Discussion Thread and make sure to tune into the EKN LIVE page with the day’s action to be aired through the EKN TV section.

EKN Trackside: Snap-on Stars of Karting Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sunday Report

White and Buckwalter return to top of podium in KZ2 and Sr. National, while Felkins takes home $5,000 in cash from TaG ICC win

Completing a picture perfect weekend on the hillside of the Sonoma Valley mountains, the Grand Prix of Sonoma wrapped up with an action packed day featuring Prefinals and Finals to close out the Snap-on Stars of Karting Western Division opener. The Jim Russell International Karting Center is a premier circuit in North American karting and provides the opportunity for some great racing. Sunday was a perfect example of this trait as veteran Ron White (CRG) returned to the top step of the podium as he outran the competition in KZ2. Leading Edge Motorsports’ Brett Felkins was the biggest winner, however, as he ran away to a dominant victory in TaG ICC, cashing in on the long list of incentives offered up by Italian Motors which include a winner’s check for $5000. Keeping with the NorCal theme of winners, Brett Buckwalter cruised to the victory in his Cameron Motorsports Italkart in Senior National.

White got the holeshot to begin the Prefinal as outside row one starter Brendan Phinny was slow off the line with his Top Kart, bunching up the rest of the field behind him. That gave White clear sailing to go one to win the 16-lap race. Phinny would fall back to third but recover with the fastest laps of the race to finish second ahead of Gregory Liefooghe (Intrepid) and Cody Jolly (CRG). Phinny got off the line better to begin the feature race, attaching himself to White’s rear bumper. The chase for the final podium spot was changed dramatically on the opening lap as Liefooghe, Jolly and Marc Elliott (Arrow) collided with one another. The result put Liefooghe and Jolly at the tail of the field and Elliott on the sidelines. Up front, the rookie KZ2 driver Phinny pressured White the entire 24 laps but would come up short, earning his first trip to the podium in the runner-up spot. Derek Tillett (CRG) ran third the entire race but was penalized for ignoring the black flag, moving Bermuda driver Brandon Frank to the podium.

After dropping from the lead only during the final heat race, Felkins stormed back with a 5.949-second victory in the TaG ICC prefinal over Brazilian Andre Nicastro (Italkart), who was chased by Remo Ruscitti (Italkart) for the entire 13-lap duration.  Nic Le Duc, who was subbing in for Ethan Wilson aboard the veteran’s Tony Kart, advanced to fourth ahead of Tyler Wheeler (Italkart).  Ocala winner Don McGregor (Italkart) went out early after contact, but he would still figure in the final results.  In the main, Felkins made short work of the field as he powered away from the line while Nicastro bogged and fell back to dead last.  With Felkins checking out en route to the win, McGregor was the driver on the move as he is certainly shining in this spec motor category.  McGregor knifed through the field to take second in the final tally, coming home 8.130 seconds behind Felkins.  Michael Hogg (Top Kart) would cap the podium in third.

For his efforts, Felkins will take home a check for $5,000 along with a Skip Barber Racing School course and a set of Bridgestone tires. VIP all-access trip with Michael Shank Racing to the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Grand-Am Rolex event in addition to Oakley racing gloves were awarded to the complete podium.

The most exciting racing of the day came virtue of the Senior National category. Felkins and Nicastro led the field to the green with a number of drivers making contact as they entered the opening corner. Joey Wimsett (Intrepid), the Stars TaG championship runner-up from last season, was one of the victims and fell to the tail end of the running order after starting fifth. Nicastro showed the way ahead of Felkins as the two began to put some distance on the fight for third. While running a defensive line into turn one, Nicastro got sideways through the corner and Felkins spun around as well. The field shuffled around the duo as they tried to turn themselves around to the right direction. Buckwalter benefitted from their mistakes to assume the lead and go unchallenged to a two-second win. The Top Karts of Nigel Saurino, Neil Alberico, and Jess Peterson crossed the line second through fourth with Nicastro recouping to fifth.

Buckwalter brought the field to the green flag at a more optimal pace for the feature as they managed to get through the opening corners clean. The start would be the nearest anyone would be to the NorCal veteran as he went on to lead all 20 laps for a 1.714 second margin of victory. The charging Nicastro made way to second but was unable to gain ground on the eventual winner. Saurino crossed the line third to score his second straight Stars podium. After starting 14th, Wimsett battled his way forward to come out on top of an exciting mid-pack battle to finish fourth, edging Mason Marotta at the checkered flag.

After drawing a field of 10 drivers at the Eastern opener in Florida, Stars pulled just four competitors in the KF3 class this weekend.  Some not-so-subtle posturing by a few teams has left the category with a lesser field that we would have expected, although Phil DeLaO (CRG), Taylor Miinch (Top Kart), Alessandra Madrigal (Kosmic) and junior rookie Broc Yocom (Kosmic) all made the call.  DeLaO was the driver to beat all weekend as he continued his domination from Saturday, running away to win both the Prefinal and the Final.  Miinch and Madrigal were very equally matched, just a couple tenths off DeLaO, and they fought it out all day with some entertaining dicing.  Madrigal was able to outpace Miinch in the Prefinal, but she would run unchallenged for second in the main as Miinch had a chain issue on the grid and was forced to quickly reset the drivetrain, missing the initial start.

In the final, Yocom was the surprise driver coming out in the lead after the opening corner mayhem, holding off DeLaO for half of the opening lap before the more experienced junior pilot slipped through.  Madrigal would work past as well to assume second, while Miinch would eventually track down Yocom to move the rookie back to fourth in the final tally.  For the young Kosmic driver, it was certainly a learning experience, advancing up an extremely steep curve.  Comparing Yocom lap for lap with the likes of DeLaO, Madrigal and Miinch is a tough approach at this point, as they have much more Junior level experience under their belts.  Running with Utah’s Reaction Karting this season, Yocom got quicker and quicker as the weekend progressed and he laid down some great sector times, struggling primarily in the tough tic-tac-toe complex.  Many expect him to be right in the thick of things at New Castle during the East vs. West Race of the Americas.

A much larger and deeper field hit the track for the Junior National category, with the top guns rising to the top as expected.  An opening corner melee gathered up Miinch, DeLaO, Luis Tyrrell (Top Kart) and Tyler Thomas (Top Kart), sending them to the tail of the field with 13 laps in which to recover to salvage starting spots for the main.  In their absence, Mason Chelootz (Top Kart) took the helm and held off all challengers for the win, only to be put behind Madrigal after contact with the Kosmic driver on the front stretch sent her into a 360° spin.  Madrigal recovered nicely to rejoin in the fifth spot and stormed back to second, minimalizing Chelootz’ penalty.  James Michael Sullivan (Top Kart) also took advantage of the opening turn wreck to power up to third ahead of Adrian Starrantino (CRG) and Raquel Martinez (Top Kart).  Miinch made up the most positions are the incident, scratching his way back to sixth, directly in front of DeLaO and Thomas.  Tyrrell ended up in tenth.

In the main, no one was going to stop the attack of Miinch.  The sophomore junior is really coming into his own and he looked stellar in picking his way from sixth to the lead, pulling away from Thomas to score a big win.  Thomas was equally impressive in following Miinch through the field, joining the Californian on the podium.  Madrigal capped her weekend with another top-three finish, although she needed to scrap for the position, as there was some great racing behind the lead duo.  DeLaO looked to be on the advance for a time, but he would need to settle for fourth in the final tally ahead of local driver Dylan Lupton, the new Andersen Racing recruit who will run this year under the guidance of Team Manager Wesley Phillips (Birel).

Though numbers were low in the Cadet category, any one of the drivers on hand could have scored the win Sunday however it was Hunter Corbitt (Birel) who scored his first win at his Stars of Karting debut. The Prefinal was a full-field lead pack with the drivers swapping positions each circuit. After 10 laps, Riley Reyes (CRG) was in front to earn the checkered flag and start the final from P1. Reyes bid for the feature win went into the dust after he went wide on the exit of the final corner on the opening lap, eventually retiring on lap three. In the end the race for the win came down to double heat winner JR Raczko (Energy) and Corbitt. Raczko took the lead with two laps remaining and looked to have it locked until Corbitt ran him down on the final corner of the final lap to steal the spot and the win while Raczko held off Carter Williams (Top Kart) for second at the line.

The Western Division opener was a successful event considering the multiple circumstances surrounding the karting industry and nation itself. Only one red flag on the weekend that resulted in no serious injuries showed the drivers were kept safe all weekend in each of the six categories despite the close wheel to wheel action. The early championship contenders have been established now for both the East and West, which will meet in the next outing for the Race of the Americas.

For complete coverage, visit the Official Event Page with links to results and the Official Discussion Thread and make sure to click over to the EKN LIVE page for recordings of the Prefinal and Final in the EKN TV section.

KZ2 – Final

Pos No. Name Model/Engine Laps Diff Best Lap
1. 171 Ron White CRG/ Maxter 24 47.333
2. 166 Brendan Phinny Top Kart / Maxter 24 0.372 47.319
3. 165 Brandon Frank Intrepid / Maxter 24 30.433 48.281
4. 109 Gregory Liefooghe Intrepid / Maxter 24 38.979 47.316
5. 128 Cody Jolly CRG / Maxter 23 1 Lap 47.485
6. 118 Derek Tillett CRG / TM 24 17.454 47.987
7. 184 Alex Grandahl Top Kart / TM 19 5 Laps 48.820
8. 149 Marc Elliott Arrow / TM 0 No time

TaG ICC – Final

Pos No. Name Chassis Laps Diff Best Lap
1. 535 Brett Felkins Intrepid 20 48.789
2. 571 Don McGregor ItalKart 20 8.130 49.047
3. 515 Michael Hogg Top Kart 20 10.699 49.129
4. 548 Nic LeDuc Tony Kart 20 11.531 49.142
5. 592 Andre Nicastro ItalKart 20 11.600 No time
6. 596 Remo Ruscitti ItalKart 20 11.943 49.109
7. 517 Tyler Wheeler ItalKart 20 20.473 49.658
8. 503 Jim Kidd ItalKart 20 24.546 49.895
9. 537 Neil Joseph ItalKart 20 33.786 49.342

Senior National – Final

Pos No. Name Chassis Laps Diff Best Lap
1. 433 Brett Buckwalter ItalKart 20 50.842
2. 492 Andre Nicastro ItalKart 20 1.714 50.755
3. 436 Nigel Saurino Top Kart 20 5.283 50.948
4. 2 Joey Wimsett Intrepid 20 8.845 50.898
5. 454 Mason Marotta Intrepid 20 8.867 50.868
6. 450 Jess Peterson Top Kart 20 10.209 50.923
7. 496 Remo Ruscitti ItalKart 20 10.886 50.762
8. 437 Tyler Wheeler ItalKart 20 11.855 51.007
9. 415 Michael Hogg Top Kart 20 12.469 51.129
10. 418 Neil Alberico Top Kart 20 21.197 50.991
11. 498 Neil McCoy Top Kart 20 21.383 51.121
12. 419 Hayden Ritter Top Kart 20 22.657 51.421
13. 494 Adam Isman ItalKart 20 22.989 51.331
14. 477 Blake Teeter Intrepid 20 27.103 51.797
15. 422 Stepanova Nekeel CRG 20 29.108 51.011
16. 406 Timmy Bachman Top Kart 17 3 Laps 51.503
17. 435 Brett Felkins Intrepid 9 11 Laps 50.639
18. 403 Nic Le Duc Tony Kart 4 16 Laps 52.287

KF3 – Final

Pos No. Name Model/Engine Laps Diff Best Lap
1. 377 Phil DelaO CRG / Maxter 20 50.402
2. 396 Alessandra Madrigal Kosmic/ Vortex 20 3.967 50.415
3. 320 Taylor Miinch Top Kart / Comer 20 21.437 50.654
4. 356 Broc Yocom Kosmic/ Vortex 20 42.634 51.491

Junior National – Final

Pos No. Name Chassis Laps Diff Best Lap
1. 620 Taylor Miinch Top Kart 20 50.607
2. 626 Tyler Thomas Top Kart 20 2.406 50.748
3. 696 Alessandra Madrigal Kosmic 20 2.953 50.765
4. 677 Phil DelaO CRG 20 4.341 50.766
5. 627 Dylan Lupton Birel 20 4.683 50.534
6. 655 Louie Pagano Birel 20 6.248 50.809
7. 600 Mason Chelootz Top Kart 20 6.718 50.700
8. 674 Luis Tyrrell Top Kart 20 7.199 50.725
9. 678 Austin Elliott Top Kart 20 7.264 50.698
10. 622 James Sullivan Top Kart 20 8.132 50.820
11. 643 Jonny Norris PCR 20 23.847 51.692
12. 606 Raquel Martinez Top Kart 9 11 Laps 51.263
13. 663 Kathyrn Cornell Intrepid 6 14 Laps 56.058
14. 602 Adrian Starrantino CRG 0 No time
15. 624 Hans Saurino Top Kart 0 No time
DQ 634 Camden Geise CRG 20 DQ 50.683
DQ 608 Kiel Spaulding Track Magic DQ No time

Cadet – Final

Pos No. Name Chassis Laps Diff Best Lap
1. 29 Hunter Corbitt Birel 15 58.767
2. 4 JR Raczko Energy 15 0.625 58.674
3. 55 Carter Williams Top Kart 15 0.678 58.759
4. 57 Jacques Saurino Top Kart 15 0.743 58.739
5. 66 Zane Smith Top Kart 15 1.426 58.670
6. 27 Noah Hermanson Birel 15 6.993 59.397
7. 25 Riley Reyes CRG 2 13 Laps 1:02.828

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