|September 25, 2009 News
|EKN Trackside: Mazda RoboPong 200 presented by Bridgestone - Preview
Regarded as one of the favorite karting facilities in America, drivers will have a chance over the September 25-26 weekend to challenge the 1-mile New Castle Motorsports Park circuit for 200 laps at the Mazda RoboPong 200 presented by Bridgestone. The sixth running of the popular team endurance event will match up some of the best in karting alongside some of their favorite IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights drivers at the Indiana facility. With a $5,000 check for the winning team and fans lined along the fence around the entire course, the pressure to come out on top as the victor after 200 laps will be intense, providing a great four hours of racing on Sunday.
The original event in October 2004 was a fixed-time event with three hours as the event length, won by Adam Rovazzini and Mark Dismore Jr. In 2005, the race distance went to 200 laps with Dismore teaming up with and IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon to take the checkered flag and the $2,000 first place prize. NASCAR took its turn at the top for 2006 as Paulie Harraka and Ricky Rudd went the distance. That year also saw the first place check increase to $5,000 and Speed channel cameras around the course to tape a 30-minute broadcast, thanks in part to title sponsor RoboPong.com. The 2007 event saw Mazda and Bridgestone show their support in what was the biggest event yet. The duo of Chris Larson and Tony Loniewski led nearly green to checkered for a dominant performance and the $5k to win with the Speed cameras rolling again.
| The Mazda RoboPong 200 is the most exciting endurance event in North American|
Last year’s race saw 84 teams entered with the final coming down to the line. After the H Power squad of Spencer Pigot and Cyndie Allemann dominated the event, only to retire twenty laps short of victory, Jimmy Simpson (Simpson Racing) made up a 20-second gap behind Billy Lewis (Lewis/CKS Racing) for the race to be decided at the line. Simpson edged Lewis for the provisional win with Lewis spinning off into the grass in the final corner, going through a wire fence. Walking away uninjured, no one knew just who the winning team was until officials penalized the Simpson team for passing under the yellow near the 3/4-mark. That gave Lewis and Jeremy Warren the victory and the $5,000 victory check.
This year, the number of teams entered is lower than expected, however, a number of factors have resulted in the low count. That however does not take away from the fact that the teams entered produce a solid lineup of drivers and experience. Defending race winner Billy Lewis will team up with last year’s co-pole sitter CJ Lintner - both with hundreds if not thousands of laps around the NCMP circuit. The only other defending race winners entered include the duo of Mark Dismore Jr. and IndyCar star Dan Wheldon.
Other IndyCar drivers slatted to tackle the 200 laps include Ed Carpenter and Jay Howard along with Firestone Indy Lights drivers Gustavo Yacaman, James Davison, Brandon Wagner, Bobby Wilson, and Martin Plowman. Conor Daly is the only representative from the Star Mazda Championship, calling the NCMP facility his home when karting. Jimmy Simpson will return to earn the title that was taken away last year as he leads a number of karting stars including two-time Rock Island Grand Prix winner Michele Bumgarner, Pigot, British driver Joe Paterson, Cody Jolly, former Formula BMW driver Eric Morrow, Cole Mathewson, and many others. Aside from the winner’s check guaranteed at $5k, the finalized total cash purse will be announced Sunday following the final count of teams with a number of extras set to enter on race weekend.
| Last year's provisional win came down to inches after 200 laps with a wild ending|
A late addition to the 2009 Mazda RoboPong.com 200 presented by Bridgestone is the support of Wagner Race Products. The Minnesota-based racing simulator company will be awarding the top-20 drivers a racesinsrus.com $1,000 certificate that can be used towards one of the Race Simulator Turnkey Packages. Each top-20 driver will also receive a iRacing.com $100 gift certificate, making it a total of $22,000 worth of certificates toward the event. In corporation with Kartlift.com, WRP will also award the driver leading the race at lap 100 a free ‘Pro Kartlift’, valued at over $500. Wagner Race Products will be at NCMP on Friday, allowing anyone to take a turn at their ‘F1RS3000’ Race Simulator featuring iRacing software.
The official event begins Saturday with two different sessions of practice, starting with two hours in the morning (9am to 11am) and roughly two hours following a lunch break (12:15pm to 2pm). Those two sessions will determine the qualifying groups, with each kart given three timed laps to post the fastest lap. Following a final hour of practice Sunday morning (9:30am to 10:30am), teams will be lining up their machines on the front straight around 11:30am to take part in the opening ceremonies. The green flag is scheduled to fall roughly 12:30pm.
eKartingNews.com will be providing their ‘Trackside Live’ coverage beginning with updates Saturday morning during practice in the Official Discussion Thread. Updates will continue throughout the Qualifying session. Sunday will see updates in the thread throughout the 200 lap as well as daily reports, photos, and results. Those wishing to hear the action live are asked to tune into the race broadcast provided by RaceFanRadio.com.
Provisional Entry List
|No.||Team||Driver 1||Driver 2||Driver 3||Driver 4|
|0||Screaming Talent 1||Jay Howard||Joe Paterson|
|1||DFR/Supertune USA||Bobby Wilson||Conor Daly|
|2||Screaming Talent 2||Spencer Pigot||Cody Jolly|
|3||Newtyp.com||Jared Krinsky||William Sandoval||Ken Ichikawa|
|4||CometKartSales.com||Mark Dismore Jr.||Dan Wheldon|
|6||Clark Motorsports||Andy Clark||Chris Mullett|
|7||O.F. Racing||Greg Padden||Nelson Sando||Matt Padden|
|9||Sharing Success Racing||Martin Plowman||Eric Morrow|
|11||Comet Racing Engines/Arrow Karts||Billy Lewis||CJ Lintner|
|12||Smackaroni and Cheese||Greg Boyce||James Massey||Jon Damratoski|
|13||Team MacAllister||Alex MacAllister||Chris MacAllister|
|17||Team Spalding||Tony Spalding||Alan Jenkins||John Ewing|
|19||Team Spalding 2||Adam Beming||Chris Ziegler|
|20||Vision Racing||Ed Carpenter||Nathan O'Rourke|
|21||Vision Racing/Bryan Herta Autosport||James Davison||Brandon Newey|
|23||HAAS||Troy Pew||Tim Bannon||Brandon Cross|
|26||Margison Smith||Dick Margison||Rob Smith|
|32||Conlin SpeedSports XX||Dana Mees||Lynsey Tilton||Tracy Conlin||Melissa Landspurg|
|46||Barlow/Foertsch||Marcus Foertsch||Sibley Barlow|
|50||Comet Kart Sales||Michael Busse||Ben Payne|
|51||Free Spirit Racing Team||Robby Seward||Jacob Knueven||Drew Patchon|
|63||R Norris Racing||Rex Norris||TBA|
|76||Codalata/Bachelart||Matt Codalata||Elliott Bachelart|
|77||International Motorsports||Carlos Crespo||Sandro Soares|
|93||Capitol Strategies Racing Team||Russ Kemple||Jeff Stamper|
|97||Conlin SpeedSports XY||Mike Unger||Chris Tatman|
|99||Wagner Racing||Travis Iles||Brandon Wagner|
|150||Stone/Taylor||Eddie Stone||Dan Taylor|
|177||Atlas Concrete Lifting/MBM Racing||Bob Zirves||Mason Madej|
|199||RaceToADomain.com||Kevin Martz||Dustin Kessinger|
|219||Wolf Metals||Rocky Johnson||Eric Fagan|
|247||Nextvoice 247 Racing||Mike Melott||Jeff Morone|
|400||Screaming Talent/MPM||Michael Politis||Pat Iannucci|
|771||JD Byrider||Ron Peterson||Colton Aldridge|
|O1||Margay Racing||Michele Bumgarner||Daniel Mark Bumgarner|
|O2||Ballinger/Gerster Motorsports||Randy Ballinger||Brian Gerster|
|O3||Evolution Karting||Cole Mathewson||Kyle Ludwig|
|O4||Cash for Karters||Jimmy Tennill||Chris Rogers|
|OO||Crepes & Waffles||Gustavo Yacaman||Camilo Echevarria|
|TBA||FUTR Racing||Jimmy Simpson||Evan Batt|