eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month: January 2023 – Lucas Palacio
Trinity Karting Group driver pulls off double win weekend at SKUSA Winter Series opener
Lucas Palacio won both main events at the 2023 SKUSA Winter Series opener in Mini Swift class (Photo: EKN - Nate Dean)
In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.
To start the season off with a victory helps to build the momentum for the upcoming schedule and sets the tone of a driver’s impact on the season. But to win twice at the first event of the year does all that and more. The Superkarts! USA Winter Series opened the 2023 season on the national schedule, and Trinity Karting Group driver Lucas Palacio was able to win both Mini Swift main event victories. Each victory was unique in their own way, helping him to be honored as the EKN Driver of the Month for January 2023.
The opening two rounds of the SKUSA Winter Series program took place on January 13-15 at the AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex presented by MG Tires. Palacio entered as one of the favorites heading into the weekend coming in as last year’s vice-champion in his first season at the Mini level. Qualifying on Saturday, however, did not pan out by sitting 14th at the end of the session. An issue on the opening lap of the Prefinal dropped him down to 41st. With fast laps of the race, Palacio climbed up to 26th in 10 laps, however, a pushback bumper penalty placed him 29th. The laps in the main event would double, allowing him more time to continue climbing up the order. An amazing opening lap put him up to 15th in the order and he began steadily advancing. It was six laps to go before he was up to fifth and now in the mix for a podium finish. From there, opportunities presented themselves and Palacio took advantage, taking over the lead prior to the white flag. Lucas held on through the final circuits to claim the victory.
Qualifying improved slightly for Palacio the following day for Round Two, sitting 12th at the end of the session. The start to the Prefinal was one about surviving, as he did and once again laid down the quick laps of the race. This time, he drove up to the fifth spot to start the final from inside row three. The main event was a battle all 20 laps. The highest Palacio ran was third through the first 16 laps. He worked into the second spot by lap 17, and hounded the leader Alessandro Truchot. On the final circuit, Palacio slipped past for the lead and held on to the checkered flag for a second victory on the weekend.
Palacio, our first ‘One to Watch’ driver of 2023, entered the SKUSA Winter Series finale weekend second in the championship chase behind Trochot. The weekend seemed to play out as hoped, with Lucas earning the provisional victory in Round Three on Saturday. However, a squish issue in tech removed him from the top of the podium. Palacio responded the following day with another victory, his third of the series, and came just four points short in the championship chase.
Lucas is scheduled to compete in the full Superkarts! USA schedule along with the United States Pro Kart Series and Stars Championship Series programs during the 2023 season.
January 2023 EKN Driver of the Month – Lucas Palacio
Hometown: Vienna, Virginia
Parents: Joyce and Nick
Height/Weight: 4’5” / 70lbs.
Education: 3rd Grade
Chassis: Kart Republic
Engine/Engine Builder: Woltjer Engines
Sponsors: Kart Republic, KartSport North America
Series You Compete In: SKUSA, USPKS, Stars, GoPro Karting Challenge
Years Karting: 5
How did you get started in karting? Dad put me in a Kid Kart when I was 3 and I hated it.
What has been the high point in your racing career? 4th place at SKUSA SuperNationals 25
What are your goals in racing? To win
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Smooth and aggressive
Funniest moment at the race track? My teammate Kai makes a lot of funny faces
Favorite Track: New Castle Motorsports Park
Favorite form of professional motorsports: IndyCar
Favorite karting driver: Martin Pierce
Favorite professional driver: Max Verstappen
Favorite website: unblockedgames 76
Favorite movie: Talladega Nights
Favorite actor/actress: Will Ferrell
Favorite music/group: Chevelle
Favorite vacation/activity spot: Turks and Caicos
Favorite food: Cheese Dogs
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? School, soccer, play with friends and my brother
What are your goals outside of karting? To do really well in school
What app or game do you play right now? Roblox
What type of street car would you like to drive? Porsche GT3
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? My brother
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? Less weight
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? Going fast, competition, working hard, my competitors and my team.
January 2023 Driver of the Month – Honorable Mention:
– Todd Baron: CKNA Winter Nationals – 2 Wins (Masters / Legends)
– Steven Miller: SKUSA Winter Series – 1 Win (KA100 Junior) / Florida Winter Tour – 1 Win (VLR Junior)
– Matheus Morgatto: Florida Winter Tour – 1 Win (Senior ROK)
– Antonio Pizzonia Neto: SKUSA Winter Series – 2 Wins (Micro Swift)
– Ernesto Rivera: SKUSA Winter Series – 1 Win (X30 Junior) / Florida Winter Tour – 1 Win (Junior ROK)
– David Zhao: Florida Winter Tour – 1 Win (Mini ROK)