Familiar Faces Conquer Heat and Competition at Fifth Stop
For California Prokart Challenge
Johnson bags first victory,
Musgrave father/son duo continue win streak in Superkarts!
TEMECULA, CA (September 12, 2013) – It was a return to
action for the California ProKart Challenge program, hosting
the fifth round of the 2013 season on September 6-7. The
Superkarts! USA regional series returned to the Buttonwillow
Raceway Park in Buttonwillow, California for the second time
this year, contesting the challenging 7/10-mile course in
the opposite direction from the first visit back in
February. Aside from the track direction, conditions were
very different from the season opener, as triple digit
weather tested the top shifterkart and TaG drivers from the
western portion of the country. A number of familiar faces
stepped up to the challenge to land themselves on the
podium, with many securing a solid position for the year-end
championship to be decided at the end of the month.
The Pure Karting TaG Senior division began with Austin
Elliott scoring the top spot in the qualifying session. He
was able to edge out Carlee Taylor by a slim 25 thousandths
of a second, with championship leader Jake Craig in third.
Heat one ended with a wild finish, as Elliott led all but
the final circuit with Alejo Fernandez going from third to
first, as Elliott fell to fourth behind Craig and Travis
Lowe. Fernandez would then lead most of heat two, until Lowe
advanced to the front on the white flag lap and held on to
score the win over Elliott, with Craig third. Lowe got the
jump on the field to lead the first three laps of the main
event until Matt Johnson charged his way from fifth on the
grid into the first position. Bringing Craig with him, they
demoted Lowe back to the third position. The top three would
run that way until the final laps, when Lowe began
pressuring the point leader. This gave Johnson enough room
to cruise to his first victory of the season. Lowe would
work past Craig for the second spot as they completed the
podium. Elliott ran fourth, with Chris Cricca earning his
second straight top-five finish.
Billy Musgrave made it another perfect weekend to extend his
point lead and secure the provisional title in the Extreme
Karting/Vemme S1 Pro Stock Moto championship. From
qualifying to the main event, it was all Musgrave.
Qualifying was a tight battle, however, as he edged out Ryon
Beachner and Jimmy McNeil by less than 73-thousandths. In
the feature, it was McNeil placing second after a heat one
DNF, with former Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Phil Giebler –
making his first start behind the wheel in 2013 – third.
Billy’s father Willy duplicated the results in the Leading
Edge Motorsports S4 Master Stock Moto category, sweeping the
weekend. The elder Musgrave led the day from beginning to
end, scoring his second sweep performance of the season to
extend his championship lead. Rob Logan closed up in the
final, placing second with Chris Fosso returning after a
two-event absence for his first podium trip of 2013.
The Buddy Rice Karting S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto class saw
another great drive put in by championship leader Connor
Wagner. Scoring the pole position in qualifying, contact on
the opening lap of heat one with S1 drivers put him on the
sidelines and at the back of the grid for heat two. S2
rookie Curtis Paul Jr. took over the reigns, scoring both
heat wins as Wagner drove to fourth in the 10-kart field for
heat two. Paul held the lead in class at the start of the
main while running with the S1 drivers, when he retired
after just three laps. This gave the lead to Wagner, who was
already running in second. The Texan led the remaining laps
to secure his third feature win of the season. Vivek Tandon
ran second, with Kyoichi Tsutsui in third on his California
PKC S2 debut.
The streak for Billy Cleavelin would come to an end on the
weekend, as his win total in the Mike Manning Karting TaG
Master class would remain at four. Thanks to Larry Fraser,
who made his first California PKC start of 2013, as the
NorCal driver scored the feature victory. Qualifying saw
Cleavelin not at the top of the time sheet for the first
time all year, as Fraser posted the quick lap to secure the
spot. Former SKUSA Pro Tour champion Ethan Wilson and Kevin
Manning would join the party up front, with Wilson placing
first in heat one, and Manning third behind Fraser. Wilson
would go on to win heat two, edging out Manning by just 31
thousandths at the line, as Fraser trailed in third. Wilson
set the pace in the main event, as Fraser kept the pressure
on the entire time. By lap 18, Fraser was able to move back
into the lead and held it to the end for the victory. Wilson
settled for second, with Manning in third. Cleavelin would
retire with five laps to go, recording his first DNF of the
Luke Bianco scored his fourth victory in the Leading Edge
Motorsports S4 Magnum Stock Moto category, while the 2 Wild
Karting S3 Novice Stock Moto class saw five entries on the
weekend, led by Travis Nicklas. Point leader Gianfranco
Casadei crossed the line first, but was removed from the
results following technical inspection. That gave California
PKC newcomer Nicklas his first victory in his series debut,
with Kalvin Chen and Cory Ormonde also making the podium in
their first series starts.
The Phil Giebler Racing TaG Junior class also welcomed a new
face to the series – and podium – New York driver Anthony
Gangi Jr. The SKUSA Pro Tour competitor made his first visit
to the California PKC a memorable one, sweeping the days
action in the 21-kart field. Gangi became the first driver
to do so in the series this year, scoring the main event win
by over four seconds. Noah Grey finished second, with
championship leader Carter Williams in third.
The streak in the SwedeTech Racing Engines S5 Junior Stock
Moto division came to an end, with Carter Williams earning
his first victory of the season. Point leader and four-time
winner Jarred Campbell started out where he left off in
June, scoring the pole position in qualifying. A DNF in heat
one would put him down the order for the start for heat two,
along with Williams who retired early as well. Garrett Dixon
was left at the helm, scoring the race win, only to see both
Campbell and Williams advance past him in the second heat.
Campbell grabbed the holeshot to begin the main event, and
led the first 11 laps. Williams was able to slip by for the
lead, and from there, held on to secure the victory.
Campbell settled for second, with Dixon third.
Jagger Jones became the fourth different winner in five
events in the Sunshine Daydream Creations TaG Cadet
championship. As has been the case all season, the path to
victory was not an easy one. Jonathan Shone was the top
qualifier in the class, with Dante Yu second and Myles
Farhan third. Jones was back in the seventh position.
Through heat one, the top three were shuffled outside the
top 10, as New York driver and double SKUSA SummerNationals
winner Dylan Tavella came through with the win and Jones in
second. Jostling continued in heat two, as Tavella would be
the victim, dropping down the order as Tomas Mejia edged out
Shone for the race win. Jones would survive to finish third.
Shone and Mejia found themselves dropping down the order
after the opening lap of the main event, handing the lead to
Jones. Once out front, he was able to lead all 15 laps for
the victory. Anthony Willis was just a few kart lengths back
in second for his first podium of the season, while Tavella
drove his way forward to a third place finish. The TaG Cadet
Rookie drivers ran within the category, promoting a number
of young racers in their first or second year of racing.
Colin Queen was the top driver on podium for the Rookies,
followed by Jace Denmark-Gessel and Clayton Williams. The
updated point standings for all classes from this event will
be posted on the website shortly.
The sixth and final stop on the California ProKart Challenge
season will take the competitors to the Streets of Lancaster
Grand Prix. The two-day event on September 28-29 will see
racers from across the western half of the continent battle
in the streets of the Southern California city, roughly an
hour north of downtown Los Angeles. Many competitors will
use the event to gear up for the upcoming SKUSA
SuperNationals XVII in November, while the California PKC
championships will be decided that Sunday. All event
information for the Lancaster race can be found at the
website link HERE.
Superkarts! USA would like to thank the following companies,
in addition to the support of the class sponsors, for their
aid toward the 2013 season: MG Tires, Mothers Polish, Honda/HPD,
VP Racing Fuels, Motul, MIR, and AiM. Stay tuned to
www.superkartsusa.com for any late breaking news, as well as
updates on Twitter at @SuperKartsUSA and at Facebook.