|September 30, 2008 News
|eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month - Ryan Stewart - August 2008
| Ryan Stewart - EKN Driver of the Month - August 2008 |
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)
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. Unfortunately with the busy event schedule during the first half of September, EKN was unable to present the August Driver of the Month until now, for which we apologize.
Most would like to end their season on a high note, whether it is a victory, a pole position in Qualifying, or just that you made every lap in the final race. For Ryan Stewart, the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series season finale at the New Castle Motorsports Park on August 15-17 is wishing the year would go on after his stellar performance.
Running six classes on the weekend, three each day, he and his crew that included his father Chuck, members of his family, and MRP-Birel America’s Chris and Tim Lobaugh, had their work cut out for them. However on track Stewart made it look too easy. During Qualifying on the first race day went smooth as Stewart took in three pole positions and followed that with three Prefinal wins.
The first main event of the day, HPV Lite, put him up against the championship rival TJ Koyen. The driver who won the race, had the championship in hand. Stewart was able to get away in the 12-lap race and looked to have the race in hand until Koyen was able to cut into a one-second gap. Koyen made his move on lap 10 to lead Stewart to the white flag. With Stewart on his bumper, Koyen was able to keep him at bay as they headed to the final corner. As the two made the turn in, Stewart made an aggressive move for the win and the championship that resulted in hard contact, putting them both off and out of the race. That would be the only down side of the weekend as later in the day he would go on to his first win in Yamaha Heavy to take the provisional championship along with his second straight feature win in Yamaha Sr. Sportsman Lite.
The following morning seemed to repeat itself as Stewart would again find himself atop the time sheets in Sunday Qualifying. He continued on to win two of the three Prefinals, edged out in the Yamaha Sr. Sportsman Heavy class where he would eventually finish second in the main event. The first feature would see Stewart earn the checkered flags for second time on the year in HPV Heavy to claim the provisional championship and then later win the Yamaha Lite final to move up to second in the point standings.
To wrap up the event, Stewart earned six pole awards, five Prefinal victories, four Feature wins, and two championships. His victories also contributed Birel winning its first ever Manufacturer’s Championship Trophy in the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series.
Stewart comes from a family that has been involved in karting for over 40+ years, including his father, uncles, cousins, and grandfather. Ryan began driving at the age of 13 at Norway (Concept Haulers Motor Speedway), Illinois. He then moved up to regional programs - Midwest Sprint Series and Great Lakes Sprint Series - running Tracy karts for Marc Zartarian. With more and more success, Ryan moved to the Manufacturer’s Cup Series where he eventually hooked up with Kyle Adkins and Adkins Speed Center. For the past four years, Ryan has been one of Adkins top drivers and they have developed a great relationship. This past season, MRP Motorsports approached Kyle and Stewart to move over to the Birel brand, and the results speak for themselves.
| Stewart earned six pole awards and four feature wins at the Man. Cup finale|
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)
August 2008 EKN Driver of the Month - Ryan Stewart
Date of Birth: February 27, 1985
Hometown: St. Charles, IL
Marital Status: Engaged (Aimiee)
Children: Daughter (Peyton)
Height/Weight: 5’ 10” 165
Team Name: MRP-Birel America
Chassis: Birel, Monza
Engine and Engine Builder: HPV, Yamaha (Adkins Speed Center)
Sponsors: MRP, Adkins Speed Center
Series you compete in: WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series
Years Karting: 7
2008 - WKA Man. Cup - Yamaha Heavy, HPV Heavy Champion/HPV Lite Runner-up - 7 victories total
How did you get started in karting? Family involved in sport for many years
What has been the high point in your racing career? New Castle
What are your goals in racing? Eventually move up the racing ladder and keep winning
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Calculated, Aggressive
Funniest moment at the race track? Went to a Midwest Sprint Series race with Kyle Adkins, Ryan had thought Kyle took care of the entry and when they went up to qualifying, Ryan’s name was missing from the sheet.
Favorite Track: Shawano, New Castle, Norway
Favorite form of professional motorsports: IndyCar, Dirt Bikes
Favorite karting driver (other than yourself): Brandon Adkins
Favorite professional driver: Ricky Carmichael
If you could have anyone, who do you want holding your helmet in victory lane? Fiancée Aimiee
Favorite web sites: Youtube
Favorite movie: Top Gun
Favorite actor: Adam Sandler
Favorite music/group: Journey
Favorite vacation/activity spot: Jamaica
Favorite food: Steak - medium well
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? Dirt bikes or flying R/C airplanes
What are your goals outside of karting? To move up the racing ranks if possible
What type of street car do you drive? Honda Ridgeline
What type of car would you like to drive? Lambo or Ferrari
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? People that do not put things away, and then I have to pick them up
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? Instead of trophies, hand out some form of money purse to help cover costs of racing
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? Gives you a place to forget everything and relax from the daily grind
August Driver of the Month - Honorable Mention:
- Taylor Miinch: IKF Sprint Grand Nationals - 3 Duffy’s, Lake Speed Achievement Award co-winner
- Joey Licata Jr.: IKF Sprint Grand Nationals - 3 Duffy’s
- Michele Bumgarner: Rock Island Grand Prix - First Female Race Winner
- Andy Kiker: European Superkart Championship - 16th and 20th in 60 kart fields in first visit to Europe