|October 16, 2007 News
|EKN Trackside: Stars of Karting National Finals - Spec-JICA-Cadet Preview
The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar Series will wrap up its 2007 championship season with the Desert MINI of Las Vegas National Finals event October 19-21 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event will crown all five national champions along with handing out over $110,000 in cash, scholarships, and prizes throughout the weekend including recognizing the East and West Champions.
Through the next few days leading up to the event, EKN will look at the championship race in each of the five divisions along with highlights on drivers who will be in the fight for the National Finals victory. Today, we look at the popular Spec Racer division along with the Junior classes - Junior Intercontinental A (JICA) and Cadet.
| New EKN number one TaG driver - Devon Sandeen|
The Spec Racer category has been the most competitive class of the year in the Stars of Karting and around the country, each driver and team trying to find that extra edge to break away from the field. This weekend, the Stars championship comes down essentially to the division champions - Devon Sandeen and Conor Daly.
Sandeen is the now two-time defending Stars Western Division champion, despite switching from First Kart to Intrepid at the beginning of the year and changing engines to the Rok TT from Parilla at the last West event in California. The current #1 EKN TaG Driver Rankings pilot ended the ’06 season with a dominate victory at Woodbine but began the year with two-top five finishes at the Mazda Race of the Americas. With one podium run at Miller, the Checkered Flag Racing driver needed a solid weekend in Moran to clinch the title, and he did just that with a second and a first.
The Canadian has an 18 point advantage over Eastern Division champion Conor Daly. The young second generation driver has had a solid year, beginning under the ArrowUSA tent he stood on the podium at the Mazda Race of the Americas event. After struggling at his home track in New Castle, he made the switch to Team Top Kart USA just before the Shawano event. There he took a first place in his Stars debut on the Italian manufactured chassis, following it up with runner-up finish to teammate Adam Johnson to clinch the East title in his first year running in the Senior category.
Despite missing the opening East vs. West race in Norman, Johnson sits third in the overall point championship, 60 points out of the top spot with two wins, a second, and a fourth. Johnson was a contender last year for the Spec Racer championship until troubles at the end of the season took him out of contention. Johnson, along with the rest of the top 12 others still mathematically in the fight will need some help to claim the national championship.
Throwing a curve ball into the mix for the Stars National Finals win is a late entry by defending Spec Racer champion Brandon Adkins. The Ohio native signed with MRP-Birel America over the weekend to compete in the finale. Adkins, who ran a partial ICA schedule in 2007, tested this past weekend at MRP of South Bend facility. Having not run the minimum amount of races in the Spec Racer category, he will be assessed starting penalties throughout the weekend.
As the year has shown, the field in Spec Racer has been tough every weekend and the finale is no different with nearly any driver entered with a chance to take home a win.
UNOFFICIAL Spec Racer Point Standings
|6.||350||350||470||Joey Licata Jr.||West||0||0||1||100||4||80||3||85||3||85|
Spec Racer Provisional Entry List
|1||Brandon Adkins||MRP-Birel America||Birel/Parilla||St.Louis, MO|
|2||Devon Sandeen||Checkered Flag Racing||Intrepid/Rok TT||Vancouver, BC|
|5||Zach Beard||FirstKart.com||First Kart/Parilla||Avon, IN|
|404||Adam Zeen||Sodi Racing USA/G-Phactory||Sodi Kart/Parilla||Huntington Beach, CA|
|411||Rubin Weir||Champion Racing/Intrepid||Intrepid/Parilla||Cibolo, TX|
|413||Cody Diede||Diede Racing||Intrepid/Parilla||Lodi, CA|
|417||Chris Scribner||Scribner Plastics||Tony Kart/Rok TT||Rancho Cordova, CA|
|419||Kris Hoffbeck||Genesis Racing||CRG/Rok TT||Kamloops, BC|
|420||Conor Daly||Team Top Kart USA||Top Kart/Parilla||Noblesville, IN|
|421||Garrett Olsen||DL Racing||Kosmic/Rok TT||Bryn Mawr, PA|
|425||Edward Fortier||X. Safety Racing Team||Maranello/Parilla||Toa Alta, Puerto Rico|
|427||Jason Toft||MRP-Birel America||Birel/Parilla||Petaluma, CA|
|429||Cy Schumacher||J3 Competition||Kosmic/Rok TT||Cornelius, NC|
|432||Nick Freytag||Sodi Racing USA/G-Phactory||Sodi Kart/Parilla||Paradise Valley, AZ|
|441||Troy Diede||Diede Racing||Intrepid/Parilla||Lodi, CA|
|442||Chelsie Jackman||TNR Motorsports||Biesse/Parilla||Tehachapi, CA|
|444||Nick Fairney||TrueNorth Motorsports||CRG/Parilla||Chilliwack, BC|
|446||Zac Clark||Msquared||Arrow/Parilla||Salt Lake City, UT|
|447||Colin Katzakian||Diede Racing||Intrepid/Rok TT||Lodi, CA|
|452||Andrew Withers||Genesis Racing||CRG/Rok TT||Jacksonville, FL|
|457||Robert Stout||Team MKP-Birel||Birel/Parilla||Brownsburg, IN|
|466||Max Riddle||TrueNorth Motorsports||CRG/Parilla||Vancouver, BC|
|470||Joey Licata, JR||TNR Motorsports||Biesse/Parilla||Lake Balboa, CA|
|472||Joey Wimsett||Champion Racing/Intrepid||Intrepid/Parilla||Beavercreek, OR|
|486||Adam Johnson||Team TopKart USA||Top Kart/Parilla||Marshalltown, IA|
|490||Nic Johnsrud||Franklin Motorsports||Merlin/Parilla||Dodgeville, WI|
|493||Jared Woolf||Leading Edge Motorsports||Intrepid/Parilla||Manteca, CA|
|498||Neil McCoy||Team Top Kart USA||Top Kart/Parilla||Las Vegas, NV|
| Gustavo Menezes leads the JICA standings heading to Vegas|
(Photo: On Track Promotion - otp.ca)
Like Spec Racer, the Junior Intercontinental A (JICA) championship fight is tight. The best Junior drivers across North America will battle out the final round of the Stars title chase, led by Western Division champion Gustavo Menezes and Eastern Division champion Brendan Langlois.
Menezes began the year with a solid weekend at the Mazda Race of the Americas event, posting two victories and became the driver everyone was chasing. After recording two runner-up finishes at the Miller event, the Tony Kart USA pilot had a difficult August and September. Shawano saw the second year JICA driver flip during the Saturday final, ending his chances of the Eastern title while the Western finale saw him battle up to a seventh place finish to clinch the division title, despite struggling all weekend long. The Californian will look to put those two weekends behind him as he leads Eastern champ Brendan Langlois by 20 points heading into the National Finals.
Over the last three years, Langlois has steadily improved his spot in the JICA championship, running to a fourth overall last year after finishing fifth in the 2005 standings. This year the FirstKart.com pilot was consistently up front, recording five-top five finishes to earn the Eastern Division title while also challenging Menezes for the Western championship. The Canadian will look to close out his Junior career on top before moving to the Senior ranks.
Chasing both of them and sitting third overall in the standings is Rotax Grand Finals America’s Team member Jarvis Gennari. The Florida pilot began the 2007 season with two championships in his home state Florida Winter Tour program in Rotax Junior and JICA. He had an impressive Stars debut at the Mazda Race of the Americas and followed it with his first ever Stars victory at New Castle. Just 30 points back from his Tony Kart USA teammate Menezes, Gennari will need a little help but still has a solid chance at the JICA championship.
Seven other drivers are still mathematically in the chase for the title with four of them already winners on the year, including Brendan Phinny (Team Top Kart USA), Miles Maroney (Pitts Performance), Spencer Pigot (FirstKart.com), and Chemill Mercado (JC Karting).
UNOFFICIAL JICA Point Standings
JICA Provisional Entry List
|4||Brendan Langlois||FirstKart.com||First Kart/Woltjer Parilla||Kamloops, BC|
|6||Dusty Davis||Team OVRP.com||Maranello/High-Rev Parilla||Las Vegas, NV|
|9||Gustavo Menezes||Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart/Woltjer Parilla||Coto de Caza, CA|
|303||Matthew Mair||NA||Tony Kart/High-Rev Parilla||Miami, FL|
|307||Spencer Pigot||FirstKart.com||First Kart/Woltjer Parilla||Windermere, FL|
|311||Chemill Mercado||JC Karting||Tony Kart/ALTech Parilla||Toa Alta, Puerto Rico|
|314||Gabriel Chaves||Sodi Racing USA/G-Phactory||Sodi Kart/DLD Parilla||Weston, FL|
|316||David Ostella||Cameron Motorsports||CRG/High-Rev Parilla||Maple, ON|
|318||Chad Grunow||Genesis Racing||CRG/Genesis Parilla||Suskutoon, SK|
|319||Branden Underwood||Team Top Kart USA||Top Kart/Pitts Parilla||Henderson, NV|
|320||Taylor Miinch||Team Top Kart USA||Top Kart/SwedeTech Parilla||El Cajon, CA|
|322||Nigel Saurino||Team Saurino||Kosmic/SwedeTech Parilla||Tulsa, OK|
|323||Scott Rossi||Champion Racing/Intrepid||Intrepid/Champion Parilla||Canada|
|324||Hans Saurino||Team Saurino||Kosmic/Woltjer Parilla||Tulsa, OK|
|325||Mitchell Hale||Team OVRP.com||Maranello/Parilla||England|
|326||Sean Rayhall||J3 Competition||Kosmic/High-Rev Parilla||Winston, GA|
|327||Angel Caban||J3 Competition||Kosmic/ALTech Parilla||San Juan, Puerto Rico|
|333||Miles Maroney||NA||CRG/Pitts Parilla||Topanga Canyon, CA|
|350||Tatianna Calderon||Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart/Italian Motors Parilla||Bogota, Colombia|
|359||Adrian Figueroa||Champion Racing/Intrepid||Intrepid/Champion Parilla||Dorado, Puerto Rico|
|363||Garrison Masters||NA||CRG/High-Rev Parilla||Thousand Oaks, CA|
|365||Bryce Cornet||Champion Racing/Intrepid||Intrepid/Champion Parilla||Norman, OK|
|366||Brendan Phinny||Team Top Kart USA||Top Kart/SwedeTech Parilla||Carmel Valley, CA|
|367||Andrick Zeen||Sodi Racing USA/G-Phactory||Sodi Kart/DLD Parilla||Huntington Beach, CA|
|369||Bobby Runyan||Raging Bull Motorsports||Margay/Parilla||Denair, CA|
|373||Jarvis Gennari||Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart/Parilla||Boca Raton, FL|
|377||Phil De La O||FirstKart.com||First Kart/Woltjer Parilla||Peoria, AZ|
|393||Connor Carrothers||Cameron Motorsports||CRG/Yellow Fin Parilla||Sutton West, ON|
|395||Hayden Ritter||Italian Motors||Italkart/Italian Motors Parilla||North Vancouver, BC|
|397||Jaime Ortega||NA||Birel/Parilla||Weston, FL|
|398||Adrian Starrantino||Simi Valley, CA|
|Sam Jenkins||Champion Racing/Intrepid||Intrepid/Champion Parilla||England|
| Sage Karam will attempt to clinch his second Cadet championship|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
The Stars of Karting Cadet championship will come down to the two drivers who have battled all year long, Sage Karam (MRP-Birel America) and Tyler Thomas (Team Top Kart USA). Karam clinched both the East and the West Division championships, including all six wins on the East to enter the National Finals with a perfect 500 point score. Thomas has been on his bumper all year long and will enter the weekend 50 points behind. With the two finals format for the finale and being an unpredictable division, anything can happen. Four other drivers are still in the hunt mathematically - Camden Geise (Team Top Kart USA), Nick Neri (Tony Kart USA), Jacob Will (Team Top Kart USA), and Grant Vogel (Champion Racing/Intrepid).
UNOFFICIAL Cadet Point Standings
Cadet Provisional Entry List
|0||Mason Chelootz||NBR||Intrepid/Woltjer Cormer||Spring, TX|
|3||Sage Karam||MRP-Birel America||Birel/Fleming Comer||Nazareth, PA|
|3||Tyler Thomas||Team Top Kart USA||Top Kart/Fleming Comer||Collinsville, OK|
|5||Santino Ferrucci||Team OVRP||S-1/Fleming Comer||Woodbury, CT|
|7||Charles Heimke||NA||Birel/Fleming Comer||Hinsdale, IL|
|9||Andrew Murray||MRP-Birel America||Birel/MCR Comer||California|
|13||Dylan Kwasniewski||Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart/High-Rev Comer||Las Vegas, NV|
|17||Nick Neri||Tony Kart USA||Tony Kart/Fleming Comer||Palmetto, FL|
|18||Sean Conyers||NA||Intrepid/Comer||Phoenix, AZ|
|19||Garett Grist||Cameron Motorsports||CRG/High-Rev Comer||Grimsby, ON|
|22||Broc Yocom||Champion Racing/Intrepid||Intrepid/Woltjer Comer||Wichita, KS|
|24||James-Michael Sullivan||FirstKart.com||First Kart/High-Rev Comer||Colorado Springs, CO|
|27||Bristol Gunderson||G-Froce||S-1/Fleming Comer||Seabrook, TX|
|28||Tristan DeGrand||J3 Competition||Kosmic/High-Rev Comer||Eureka, MO|
|33||Julius Makos||Cameron Motorsports||CRG/Fleming Comer||Concord, ON|
|34||Camden Geise||Team Top Kart USA||Top Kart/Fleming Comer||Rancho Santa Margarita, CA|
|38||Jacob Will||Team Top Kart USA||Top Kart/Pitts Comer||Carlsbad, CA|
|42||Jonny Norris||Bordogna||Bordogna/Bordogna Comer||Citrus Heights, CA|
|45||Carlos Abreu||Abreu Kart Racing||S-1/Pitts Comer||Santa Domingo, Dom. Rep.|
|48||Gavin Boyett||AM Racing||Birel/High-Rev Comer||Buda, TX|
|51||Austin Barnes||NA||Birel/Pitts Comer||Escondido, CA|
|57||Jacques Saurino||Team Saurino||Kosmic/High-Rev Comer||Tulsa, OK|
|72||Carlee Taylor||NA||S-1/Comer||Yucipa, CA|
|74||Luis Tyrrell||Team Top Kart USA||Top Kart/Pitts Comer||Brisbane, CA|
|82||Ian Tilbor||Juncos Team Edge||Juncos/Pitts Comer||New Smyrna Beach, FL|
|88||Austin Self||AM Racing||Birel/High-Rev Comer||Austin, TX|
|97||Scott Phillips||NA||Birel/Fleming Comer||Tucson, AZ|