|June 06, 2012
|Series News: Northwest Gold Cup - Round 2 Report
|The Northwest Gold Cup remained on a roll for rounds three and four with entry numbers nearing the 200 mark for the second event in a row. The weather was perfect in Richland, Washington home of Horn Rapids Raceway Park one of the finest and fastest seven tenths of a mile kart track in the country. The Tri-Cities Kart Club once again hosted rounds three and four and once again they did not disappoint. The race track was in immaculate condition, the grounds nothing short of impressive with the infield grass looking more like a golf course than an infield of a race track. With a spacious and well laid out pit area, drivers lounge complete with showering facilities, covered Grid, scale and tech area’s and located in the banana belt of Washington allowing it Palm Springs type weather early on, it’s no wonder the turn out has been huge for the first two events.
Horn Rapids Raceway Park will be the home of the 2012 IKF Sprint 4 Cycle Grand Nationals July 12-14, and I can guarantee that the racers that attend this event will not be disappointed. It is a first cabin facility and most certainly suited for Grand National caliber competition…Now on to rounds three and four of NW Gold Cup action.
IKF JR I Briggs Gas Animal Light
All eyes were on this one to see if Justin ‘The Bandit’ DeMars could back up his win over Red Apple Racing’s Sting Ray Robb. Robb has dominated Jr. 1 for past two years and has basically been unbeatable. DeMars had everyone buzzing when he swept both Light and Heavy in rounds one and two back in April…We all know it’s ‘Fluke’ if you don’t back it up right? (That’s bull, but it’s expected for you to be legit). In light on Saturday DeMars was took the pole by a mere .296 over Robb. Daytona Arnzen was third quick in an outstanding qualifying effort showing that she can and WILL run with the boys.
The Pre-Final was all DeMars. Lap 4 Robb pulls into the infield to watch after losing a chain out of turn six…Arnzen inherited second and that is where she’d stay despite the strong charge by up and comer Trey “Dawg” Manker…DeMars by .4 at the stripe Arnzen, Manker, Reece Carmen, and Carson Kunz finished the top five, Robb finished 11th.
In the Final DeMars led flag to flag as Robb who started fifth worked his way up thru the field finally getting by Arnzen who had one of her best performances on lap nine… at the stripe it is the "’Bandit” Justin DeMars by 2.095 over Robb in second, Arnzen, Blake Portalski (who had a very solid run as well) and the hard charging, never say die Reece Carmen rounding out the top five.
IKF JR I Briggs Gas Animal Heavy
Sunday was round four in heavy and it was once again The “Bandit” DeMars on the pole by .353…Robb once again was on the outside of row one and Arnzen continued her solid efforts qualifying third quick, Reece Carmen running out of the Huggler Racing Engines camp was fourth quick although a bit off the pace, much of that can be contributed to inexperience…He seems consistent and hungry and if your going to take what you can get…those two attributes are good ones to have…the Portalski twins Austin and Blake were fifth and sixth…they too a bit off the pace, but are coming along and improving in every event.
In the Pre-Final Robb used his experience and a motor swap to catch DeMars snoozing on the start went on to win by .484 over the ‘Bandit’. Manker who had to start “Tail End Charlie” for missing roll call at the drivers meeting, was working his way through the field when Reece Carmen running a strong third spun in turn one handing third to Manker and fourth to Blake Portalski….Arnzen had some issues early on and ended up seventh. After brushing himself off from his turn one excursion, Carmen finished fifth.
The Final had DeMars and Robb again on the front row…Robb’s Red Apple warriors provided him with yet another engine before the final. DeMars awake from his heat 1 nap, led flag to flag with Robb just .112 behind at the checkers…Robb managed quick lap of the final by .014 tics of the watch. Arnzen was third until Manker got by on lap 4 where he stayed until Arnzen got back by on lap 10 to take third. Manker was fourth, B. Portalski fifth, Carson Kunz sixth, A. Portalski seventh, Reece Carmen had some issues in the final completing only five laps finished eighth. DeMars has four straight final wins, and has put his LittleRocket Racing WildKart on the pole three out of the four events.
RaceNote: Hatch also has been chief tuner for Justin DeMars the past two races.
IKF Briggs World Formula Heavy
The KART-O-RAMA sponsored World Formula Heavy division once again had a strong showing with 15 quality competitors making their way to Richland for rounds three and four. 2011 defending champ Scott Barlee from Surrey BC captured the pole by .135 over front row mate Brett Lucas. World Formula Heavy is very competitive and track position is critical. In F-200 qualifying Corey Poyner captured the pole until legality issues gave the pole to David Dean.
The Pre-Final had pole Sitter Scott Barlee starting in the 8th spot with the invert…Chris Worley on the pole with Black Star Motorsports veteran Chris Hatch along side…Worley gets the jump on the start and takes the pre-final by 1.551 seconds at the checkers…Hatch faded to fourth, Brett Lucas and Brian Green worked their from fifth and sixth starting positions to follow Worley across second and third. Luke Miles followed Hatch across fifth, and Diane Perry started off her solid weekend performance off in the sixth spot. Barlee struggled a bit and finished where he started in eighth. On lap 8 Bryan Green snagged quickest lap with a 44.343, .431 off quick qualifier Scott Barlee’s 43.912.
In the Final it was Bryan Green and Chris Worley on the front row, Barlee and Dustin Chiesa made up row two, Hatch and Diane Perry were row three. Green gets the jump on the green and doesn’t look back going to bell to bell…Chiesa and Barlee go back and forth until Chiesa ( who can really roll and is very exciting to watch) finally got by for good on lap 9 and was 1.016 back at the checkers…Defending Champ Barlee did what he does best…takes an otherwise average race and makes it solid bringing his Barlee Racing/Ital-Kart home third…Some how, some way Barlee is always there at the end…but then again that is why he is champion. Chris Hatch brought his Black Star Motorsports entry in fourth, off pole sitter Chris Worley dropped three spots to fifth and Diane Perry was again consistent finishing sixth
Eighth place finisher Matt Kanttonek from Santa Cruz, "Cal-a-for-nigh-eh" running as pre-national tune up, was the quickest kart on the race track, when on lap eight he earned quick lap with a 44.128, .193 quicker than winner Bryan Green’s best lap of 44.321 on lap 5… that just shows you how vitally important track position is in this class.
F-200 was won by David Dean, with Corey Poyner second… Poyner only completed 7 of the 13 laps and was quick lap on his last lap with a 43.545. IKF Briggs Gas Animal went to Hailey Groff who captured a ‘Duffy’ in her first year of competition at the 2010 IKF 4 Cycle Grand Nationals. That should tell you a little bit about just how tough a competitor this girl is…Along with several 4 cycle classes, she also runs in Rotax Senior…She’ll be a contender both regionally and at the Grand Nationals when they return to her home track in July. Remember the name Groff... Hailey Groff.
IKF Briggs World Formula Super Heavy
Sunday’s day two featured World Formula Super Heavy…A class constructed so that World Formula Masters would be an over 40 age group which will no longer allow anyone under 40 regardless of weight..Hence Super Heavy.
Santa Cruz’s Matt Kanttonek was quick qualifier, Bryan “Rowdy” Green second, and the Canadian Comet Scott Barlee third. Hatch and Diane Perry ( who was having a great weekend) were fourth and fifth.
At the end of the Day Matt Kanttonek took Seaneuier’s Checkered Flag for the win, followed by “Rowdy” Green, Diane Perry, Greg Normandin, Craig Chiesa rounding out the top five. Barlee struggled a bit and finished in the tenth spot.
IKF Briggs Gas Animal Heavy
Dustin Chiesa took the win after getting around leader Corey Poyner in the late going bringing Hailey Groff with him to second, Poyner was third, Keith Land fourth and David Dean’s struggles continued and as he did not complete a lap.
IKF JR II Briggs Gas Animal Light
Newly crowned 2011 IKF Grand National Champion Michael Gutenberger took the pole where only .701 was the spread from pole to seventh quick qualifier Kyle Adams. Brittany Zamora who is one of the fastest and toughest females to ever turn the wheel at Horn Rapids Raceway Park missed the pole by .082! Adam Smalley and Spencer Kunz are really starting to attract some attention with their performances as they qualified fourth and fifth behind the ever solid Myles Pederson who qualified third…This kid also drives an 80 shifter and I dare anybody who thinks they are a pretty good 80 shifter driver to come take this kid on…GUARANTEED you will get a run for your buck!
In the Pre-Final it was ALL Gutenberger who has to be one of the most solid drivers around. If you were going to form a team, you most definitely want a guy like Gutenberger on board…He is able to drive the wheels off the kart WITHOUT wearing out the set-up. Can finesse when needed, can and WILL rub if necessary, and probably his best feature is he makes very few mistakes…basically “Money” 98 percent of the time. He took the pre-final 2.602 seconds over Myles Pederson and was turning laps within .140 of his qualifying time, combine that with no mistakes and you’ve got a package that is going to be awful tough to beat. Zamora finished third and Smalley and Kunz finished fourth and fifth…Stafford Smith another fine up and coming shoe finished sixth.
The Final in a word “Gutenberger” as he rolled to an 8.734 second win over Canadian hot shoe Kyle Adams who had issues in the pre-final and did not start. Spencer Kunz continued his attention getting efforts with a podium placing third, Zamora had some issues but salvaged fourth, Smalley as well had issues and rounded out the top five. Hunter Thompson stuck with it and was rewarded a sixth place finish for his determination, Myles Pederson was seventh, and Stafford Smith eighth. The ProSoundAudioServices hard luck award goes to Dylan McKay who punched a nice sizable hole in the block of his animal and did not start.
JR II Briggs World Formula
The class had two competitors travel 6 plus hours from Oregon and they ran along with the Jr. 2 competitors…getting the win was Eric Pfingston and runner up was “Mr. Happy” Andy Anderson…who is not only is a promising wheelman, but is one of the nicest and most helpful kids you’ve ever met. Both he and Pfingston are going to be very competitive as gain more regional competition experience.
IKF JR II Briggs Gas Animal Heavy
Sunday was the heavy version of Jr. 2 gas animal…Michael Gutenberger captured his second pole in as many outings by .223 seconds over second quick qualifier Myles Pederson…Again getting my attention were the efforts of Adam Smalley who qualified a strong third just .193 behind the veteran Pederson. Canadian Kyle Adams qualified fourth.
The Pre-Final was again ALL Gutenberger, but once again and people had better start taking notice was the driver in the runner up spot Adam Smalley who finished the closest to Gutenberger as anybody all weekend…Pederson followed Smalley across third and the other half of the attention getters Spencer Kunz finished fourth, Stafford Smith rounded out the top five.
The Final was a virtual repeat of the Pre-Final with a couple place swaps with Gutenberger sweeping the weekend, finishing four seconds ahead of second place Adam Smalley who I believe is going to be causing some real havoc in Jr 2 in the not so distant future… you heard that here first. Pederson followed Smalley through the flags third, Spencer Kunz was fourth, and Kyle Adams who spun in turn two with a lap to go, recovered well finished fifth…Stafford Smith again went through some “Due Paying” and did not complete a lap…he finished ninth.
RaceNote: Dylan McKay made the show with the help of the Red Apple Racing team who saw that McKay was done for the weekend and loaned McKay an engine so he could finish out the weekend. McKay’s Dad was ecstatic over the gesture…Most certainly nothing unusual from Larry Robb, a total stand up guy and a huge asset to the sport of karting. Rest assured it won’t be the last time Robb and his Red Apple Racing clan help out a fellow racer.
IAME CUP JR/SR
This was one of the most exciting classes to watch because of the top flight caliber of the competitors…Even if it is Italian Motors entire group racing each other…The quality of talent is absolutely ridiculous and I personally could watch them all day long, the things they do at the speeds they are traveling is just amazing.
The Sima Motorsports Complex in Sumas, WA opted out of being a stop on the NW Gold Cup schedule for 2012…So it was like a homecoming having them arrive to compete. Scott Hargrove snatched the pole with a blistering 38.877 lap…Just .072 seconds ahead of front row partner Remo Ruscitti…The top six spots were separated by 0.237 of a second…Don’t get much closer than that…Hargrove outdueled Ruscitti,Michael Valiante, Keegan Laithwaite, and Jaime McAllister to take the heat one win on Saturday….
On Sunday, Valiante seemed to come out of no where to sneak by Hargrove in the late stages of the Pre-Final and take the win. Ruscitti, Laithwaite and McAllister rounded out the top five. Andrew Evans took the win in Iame Jr. 3 with Birthday boy Anthony Cina in the runner-up spot.
In the Final Hargrove buckled down and went to work taking the win by 2.032 seconds over Valiante. Ruscitti was just a bit off the first two all weekend finished third, McAllister got revenge on the slide job taking fourth ahead of Laithwaite who was fifth. Austin DeBord retired after running only 8 laps and finished seventh. Andrew Evans continued his torrid pace taking the win in Iame Jr. 3. Anthony Cina was runner up.
RaceNote: With his “World of Outlaws pitch it at the start finish line” slide job on Jaime McAllister Keegan Laithwaite earned the “Slide Job” of the weekend award!
Rotax Micro Max
The competitors may be younger in the REVOLUTION RACING sponsored Micro Max division, but like the saying goes, “Age is just a number” these young guns are no less competitive. Black Flag Racings Jacob“Blue” Hudson who was the Gatorz Micro Max winter series Champion, put his Tony kart on the pole. Auburn, Washington’s Conner “Gettin’ Goner” Wick put his Wicked Fabrication/C.R.E entry on the outside of row Uno. Qualifying was very close with pole through fifth place separated by a mere .926 of a second.
Heat one had only one real surprise, and that was Wick getting caught snoozing on the start…Hudson went to work early setting a torrid pace and on lap seven captured the quickest lap going 44.831 which was .173 QUICKER than he qualified!…Jonathan Portz from Corvallis, Oregon and Wick pursued Hudson to no avail, it would be 6.531 seconds AFTER Hudson crossed the stripe, before runner up Portz and Wick would take NW Gold Cup Chief Starter Larry Seaunier’s waving checkered flag. Hayden Hochhalter finished fourth, Preston Anderson fifth, Cedar Springs Camps Ellie Musgrave sixth, and Cooper Becklin who was in the running for the longest tow award coming from Medford, OR seventh.
Sundays Pre-Final proved a bit closer with Wick getting out early with Hudson bolted to his rear bumper…Preston Anderson got up on the wheel and was right behind Hudson. Wick took the win .094 seconds ahead of Hudson who also captured his second quick lap going 44.562 which was four tenth’s quicker than he qualified!…Preston Anderson followed the winter Gatorz series champ across third, with Hochhalter fourth and Cooper Becklin stepping it up to take the fifth spot…Portz and Ellie Musgrave tangle late both continued Portz finishing sixth and Musgrave aboard her Cedar Springs Camp entry seventh.
The Final bumper to bumper dog fight with Wick out front and Hudson right behind, Portz had ace tuner Bob Francis on hand all weekend was there in third… at the checkers it was Wick putting his Wicked Fabrication/C.R.E machine in victory lane .104 ahead of Black Flags “Blue” Hudson’s Tony kart entry…Portz took the final podium spot, Hochhalter saved the best for last finishing fourth, Ellie Musgrave also went to work driving her Cedar Springs Camps entry to a top five finish. Preston Anderson and Cooper Becklin were sixth and seventh respectively.
Rotax Mini MAX
Saturdays round three was close in qualifying with Seth Appel taking the pole by .080 over Red Apple Racing’s Sting Ray Robb…Matt Morgan continued his strong showings qualifying third quick, twin brother Mason Fourth, and Reece Carmen with an outstanding effort qualifying the in the fifth spot. Little Rocket Racing’s Conner Robustelli was back in action, a bit rusty and off the pace qualifying sixth.
In the Pre-Final Robb using his experience to jump the lead from the outside of row one…Robb drove his Red Apple Racing entry to the win going flag to flag and setting quick lap at a 41.089 .295 seconds quicker than he qualified. Matt Morgan moved himself up one spot from his grid position following Robb across the stripe second… Pole sitter Seth Appel fell to third, Mason Morgan fourth, Hunter Melahn rounded out the top five.
In the Final it was Robb on the point and Matt Morgan alongside…Once again Robb used and expert start to take the lead with brothers Matt and Mason Morgan right behind…Robb took the win and set quick lap and the brothers Morgan Matt and Mason finished second and third. Oregonian Edward “Don’t call me Ed or Eddy” Portz moved himself up two positions from his sixth starting spot finishing fourth. Hunter Melahn dropped a spot from his fifth starting position finishing sixth…(RaceNote: Melahn is a sleeper in this class and cannot be taken lightly. He is blazingly fast at times and is not afraid to put his machine in places most are unsure about, and with more experience and a little polish around the edges this kid is going to really be a one that you have to watch out for.) Little Rocket Racing’s Conner Robustelli was starting to feel it in final as he drove his way to fifth from his eighth starting spot…Quick qualifier Appel finished seventh and Reece Carmen eighth.
Sunday’s round four had the competitors running numbers that were just a tick slower than Saturday’s. The pole once again eluded Red Apple’s Sting Ray Robb as Matt Morgan snatched it from Robb’s grasp by a .005 tick of the watch going 41.438 to Robb’s 41.443…THAT is a battle for the pole! Saturday’s Round three quick qualifier Seth Appel was third quick, Edward Portz got up on the wheel and qualified fourth, and quick qualifier Matt Morgan’s twin brother Mason was fifth quick.
Robb didn’t let losing the pole get in the of the Pre-Final, like the young veteran he is with over 50 percent of racing efforts putting him on the pole, Robb once again used his experience and jumped Morgan on the start and took the Red Apple Express to victory in the Pre- Final AND set quick lap of the race with 41.432, a tick bit better than his qualifying effort. Pole sitter Matt Morgan finished second .133 ticks back. The one getting it done was Robustelli who was dusting the rust and really getting into the groove piloting his Little Rocket Racing/WildKart entry to third from the sixth starting spot. Melahn bettered himself one position to sixth, Appel dropped a spot finishing fourth, Mason Morgan fifth, and Portz really fell off dropping three positions to seventh. Reece Carmen had some growing pains and completed only 9 laps and finished in the eighth spot.
The Final was almost a carbon copy of the of the Pre-Final with Robb taking the win, Matt Morgan finishing 1.156 ticks behind Robb AND setting quick lap with a 41.450 a smidgen slower than his .438 pole setting time. Robustelli finished a strong third and is regaining is old form…Melahn traded Appel his sixth place pre-final finish for Appel’s fourth, and Portz traded Carmen his seventh pre-final finish for Carmen’s eight spot…Portz had some gremlins and only completed 9 laps in the final.
Rotax MAX Junior
The racing was absolutely fantastic all weekend and the CMC sponsored Rotax Jr. division would be no exception. Quick Qualifier through fifth quick was a difference of .174 of a second…and sixth through tenth quick was .128 of second separation!…Awesome, and tell me again why there aren’t more race fans attending karting events?…Gutenberger grabs the pole, Tyler Brown sits on the outside of Gutenberger…Kyle “Real Slick” Wick takes the inside of row two, the very under rated and due for a win Cole Franchinni sits on the outside of row two…Qualifying ace Jake “The Snake” Preston qualified on the inside of row three.
In the Pre-Final, Gutenberger leads a lap before Wick says adios and motors his Wicked Fabrication/C.R.E machine on by getting quick lap honors as well as the win…Gutenberger outlasts Manthei Jr. for the second spot, while Black Flags Marco Eakins marches his Tony Kart from the ninth starting spot to fourth. Preston rounds out the top five. Zamora has more growing pains, (rotten luck is more like it), and Schorn is starting to come around…
The Final is pretty interesting with clinician Kyle Wick hosting his driving clinic, Manthei Jr. showing some signs of his former need to dominate following clinician Wick across second. Preston decides he has had enough of the view from fifth and motors his way to third, snagging quick lap honors in the process… Franchinni looks real good, grabbing spots on late braking as competitors are gathering themselves up taking him to fourth, Eakins is fifth…Schorn quiet early on is starting to make some noise and finishes sixth….Gutenberger finishes in rare seventh, new comer and female Phenom Laura Shearer breaks into the top ten finishing eighth. Problems again plague Zamora finishing her thirteenth….Second quick Tyler Brown has issues as well and is fourteenth
Round Four in the CMC sponsored Rotax Jr. class picked up right where it left off on Saturday…”Real Slick” puts his Wicked Fabrication/C.R.E rocket in the numero Uno spot .035 seconds ahead of Davey Manthei Jr. “The Snake” Jake Preston grabs third quick and Gutenberger takes fourth…the surprise is Nikko Pagonnes who qualifies his machine fifth in his best qualifying effort to date… Them boys up at BBR racing got a way with working with drivers and getting them fast…it’s honestly wanting to help first, then money…and NOT the other way around…the latter has a way of bringing out true character.
The Pre-Final has Manthei grabbing the win over Wick, Preston finishes third and again grabs quick lap, Gutenberger duals with Justin Taylor (RaceNote: although through performance Justin Taylor may not have been visually impressive, I think Taylor has a little something…and I believe you can’t always base your views on stats alone…Justin Taylor is better than he looked this weekend look for him, he is one of my “Sleeper” drivers to keep an eye out for.) Gutenberger gets fourth, Taylor fifth. Franchinni takes the sixth spot and Pagonnes seventh…Tyler Brown finally gets a chance to show what he can do when he finishes…he was eighth.
In the Final, Kyle Wick went back to work and went on to win Final 2.998 ahead of second place Michael Gutenberger who also captured quick lap of the event. Manthei Jr. finished third, Preston fourth, Tyler Brown with yet another completed event without issues pilots machine to a top five. Zamora as well shakes free of the gremlins and follows Brown across sixth…
RaceNotes: 1. Both Tyler Brown and Brittany Zamora are excellent drivers…the switch for both of them is huge coming from 4 cycle to Rotax Jr. it’s a huge step, not only for them but for their tuner Dads…once both these teams become more familiar and acclimated with the switch, the results will start coming more consistently…it won’t be long. 2. Their are several teams in this division that are awaiting a “breakout”…The Cole Franchinni team is one, David Schorn’s team another…it might be a little hasty, but by they way this young lady is adapting it might come sooner than any of us think and that is the Shearer Racing team, Laura has been very impressive, and another one is the team of Adam Spikes…I like this kid and think eventually he is going to shine…keep and eye out time will tell.
Rotax MAX Senior
Rotax senior was once again loaded with talent that I believe would be considered national caliber and would be considered a National event anywhere else in the country. Saturday’s round three qualifying, Phil Arscott captured pole going 39.322…and .478 of a second separated Arscott from fourteenth qualifier Joey Miller who went 39.800…Wow Wee!…That is awesomely close. Parker McKean was second quick, ‘A.C.3’ Artie Carpenter was third quick, and a up and coming stud by the name of Joe Criscione qualified his machine in the fourth quick spot…Great effort by the Oregonian in his early efforts in the senior division, Geoffrey Roberti rounded out the top five qualifiers.
In the Pre-Final Johnny “The Sliver” Blair drove from his ninth starting spot to take the win… Followed CMC’s Arscott second, Roberti third, Carpenter fourth and Criscione fifth. Stephanova Nekeel was sixth, Parker McKean seventh and Andrew ‘AZ/DC’ Zimmer eighth.
In the Final it was Arscott taking the win for Don Holmboe’s Competition Motors Corp…Defending Champ Zimmer second, Roberti third and collecting quick lap of the event with a 39.301 which was faster that Arscott’s pole grabbing qualifying effort. Blair wound up fourth, Kyle Byers in his first showing of the season fifth. Brandon Cusack was solid with a sixth place finish, Carpenter seventh, Criscione, RevolutionRacing’s Joey “Show me the money” McGuire, and Darren Ward rounded out the top ten. Nekeel, McKean, Tiffany Brown and Jim Baratto retired early with different issues.
Sundays round four was once again close in qualifying with the pole going to Stephanova Nekeel with 39.205. Two Time defending Champion Andrew Zimmer was second quick with a .221…How close was it this time?…Joey McGuire qualified seventh with a 39.873!! We are talking Close….Wow!
Arscott aboard his CMC Swiss Hutless took the Pre-Final. Zimmer and Nekeel followed Arscott across the stripe second and third. Kyle Byers was strong finishing fourth, McKean fifth, Blair sixth, and Cusack backing up his solid Saturday performance with a seventh. Female phenom Paige Wallin was tenth.
The Final once again was taken by Arscott along with quick lap honors with a 39.294. Nekeel would followed Arscott’s Hutless across second, followed by McKean in third, Blair fourth, and Zimmer taking fifth place honors. Joe Criscione once again was impressive with his sixth place run, Byers as well was once again solid finishing seventh, Roberti wound up eighth, Darren Ward ninth, and Brandon Cusack capping his solid weekend performance in the tenth position. Paige Wallin completed 11 laps before getting tangled up and bumped off in a turn two ruckus, Joey Miller completed 4 laps before problems ended his final and Tiffany Brown DNS.
Rotax MAX Masters
Black Flag Racing’s Tim Moss arrived with a new engine package switching from his Tag package to a Rotax, and appeared to be tickled about having someone to race…So much so that he put his Black Flag Racing/Tony Kart on the pole with a 40.425. Veteran engine builder Doug Huggler of Huggler Racing Engines Second Quick.
Moss won the Pre-Final and Jerry Pitts who has a couple of very solid races jumped a snoozing Huggler on the start and took the second spot. Huggler was third, Tyson Burman Fourth and Chris Oakley Fifth. Sixty-nine year Dennis Ward was out doing some racing for the first time since he retired originally in 1962!… He did a fantastic job and stated, “These things are like rockets compared to what I drove in 62’”…His Son Dana and grandson Darren race in the Shifter and Rotax Senior division.
In the Final, it was Moss once again showing why he was once called the “Action Man”..Moss wrings out every little be there is out of his engine and chassis…if the chassis and engine can survive a season with the “Action Man”….It is is kart tested tough!…Moss went on to win with Huggler Second, Jerry Pitts in another outstanding run third, Tim Rice with a solid effort fourth, Oakley Fifth, Burman sixth, and Ward seventh.
In day two competition, Jeff Garner took the pole, finished behind Jerry Pitts in the Pre- Final and won the Final aboard his new Seattle Kart Supply Tony Kart. HRE's Doug Huggler was Cinderella once again in the second spot. Tim Moss was third, Jerry Pitts fourth, Tyson Burman fifth. Tim Rice, Dennis Ward and Chris Oakley finished out the eight starting spots.
Once again it was an Italian Motors home coming six of the house drivers on hand to do some racing. Michael Valiante was quick time going a blazing 37.857..teammate Scott Hargrove was second quick with a .879 and fellow teammate Remo Ruscitti was third with a 38.004…Independent Kory Estell, put his CRG in the fourth starting slot with 38.448…Estell is one of the guys you just can’t help but root for because of his effort and fortitude…he is a wale of a driver and if he got more seat time he would be awful tough I do believe.
Give the Pre- Final to Valiante who got by teammate Hargrove in the late stages, Ruscitti was third, Steve Perdue aboard his Hammer Nutrition backed machine was fourth, Justin Walsh from Spokane, Washington who won the opening two events here at Horn Rapids Raceway Park back at the end of April was fifth. Estell got a little greedy and lost a spot and it took longer that he thought to get it back finished sixth. Sean Naslund the 2010 I-5 Corridor Series Shifter Champion was seventh in his first Gold Cup appearance of the season. Jaime McAllister, Dana Ward and Dustin Meyer rounded out the top ten.
In the Final it was Hargrove running strong and leading the way looking like he might on cue to take home the victory, lost an exhaust fastener and had to retire early completing on 6 of the 17 laps that were run in the Final. Valiante assumed command with Remo Ruscitti and Steve Perdue, and Kory Estell in hot pursuit. At the checkers it was Valiante with the the win, teammate Ruscitti second, Perdue third, Estell fourth, and Dana Ward with a strong closing for the weekend in the fifth spot.
The NW Gold Cup will stop next at “The MAC Track” in McMinnville Oregon for rounds 5 and 6. There will be Friday practice with qualifying and racing on both Saturday and Sunday. Action will get under way at approximately 9 am all three days. For more info, you can visit nwgoldcup.com for more details. For the Northwest Race Report…My name is Terry Bridges and I’ll see you….At the races!