The WKA Manufacturer’s Cup heads to its sixth and final round of the 2012 season, which is being held at New Castle Motorsports Park. This race also is the Grand Nationals and Eagles are on the line. New Castle is the Monza on North American karting tracks featuring high speeds, drafting, and plenty of action.
The Battle for the TaG Championships
It may seem like Chris Wehrheim (Top Kart) has a solid grip on both TaG championships, but this is not the case once drops are figured in. In TaG 1, Tommy Andersen (Kosmic) is 47 points back followed by Mason Chelootz (Top Kart) and Robert Bujdoso (PCR) who are all in title contention. In TaG 2, Chelootz takes the lead with drops, 20 over Wehrheim, who is followed by Bujdoso. Though not in the championship fight, Sam Beasley (Arrow) will be a marked man all weekend and we can guarantee he will challenge for race wins and could play a factor in the championship standings.
In Parilla Leopard, Mason Chelootz leads the way by 29 points over PCR driver Bujdoso. Calvin Stewart (Merlin) who won the first two races of the season sits third -- but has struggled of late -- is still in contention 39 points behind.
John Ferris III (Top Kart) is the leader of TaG Masters and has a stronghold on title over Jeff Jewell (Margay). Jewell will need to win and hope that Ferris III runs into some bad luck. Kim Carapellatti (PCR) sits third, while the brother of the points leader Scott Ferris (Top Kart) sits fourth after joining the series in round four and only being beaten once since then.
Mason Chelootz has already locked up Komet Heavy and is leading Komet Lite going into the final round. Patrick Olsen (Birel) and Jacob Donald (Arrow) are his only threats in Komet Lite. Eric Jones is entering the classes and will be one to watch, as he is a threat every time he is on track.
In Yamaha, Dakota Pesek (Arrow) leads the Lite category over Patrick Olson. In Heavy Dakota Pesek is once again the favorite for the title. With the drop calculated Pesek holds an 85-point lead over John McCusker (Haase) and Patrick Olsen is third.
In the four junior categories there have been five drivers challenging for race wins week in and week out. Kyle Kalish (Merlin), Kyle Kirkwood (Arrow), Joel Jens (Tony Kart), Mike McAndrews (Birel), and Ashley Rogero (Tony Kart) have all won races this season and are all in the thick of the championship battles. All five also happen to have some very bad finishes to contend with, putting the pressure on each of them to have a clean weekend.
In the Komet categories Ashley Rogero leads the way in Heavy, followed by Kalish and Kirkwood. In Light, Kalish leads followed by Rogero and McAndrews.
The Kyles are one-two in Yamaha Jr. Heavy with the Arrow pilot leading. Kalish is thirty markers back while Jens is in third. Brandon Jarsocrak (Haase) leads Yamaha Jr. Lite with drops. Kyle Kalish is close behind in second while McAndrews has impressed many this year and sits third in the standings.
The sportsman categories have seen Zach Holden and Brandon Lemke become the two consistent leaders. Holden currently leads Komet Sportsman ahead of Brandon Lemke and Leonardo Stoia (PCR) in third.
In Yamaha Sportsman, Zach Holden also leads Sportsman 1, but Lemke leads Sportsman 2. Nick Luedeke (Kosmic) has had a great season in Yamaha and currently sits third in Sportsman 1 points. David Malukas (Birel) is on the outside looking in sitting in third position. He will have to win to have a shot at the title in Sportsman 2.
Cadet has a few different players with Jared Cordova (Birel) leading the way. David Malukas is in second, followed by Brandon Lemke in third. A few drivers have had some impressive performances lately, including: Neil Verhagen (Haase), Michael D’Orlando (Kosmic), and Branden Eves (PCR). Watch these young guns to challenge for podiums and wins this weekend.
New Castle is known for their strong local club scene and many of the drivers will make their one National appearance at this race. There is also long list of drivers from New Castle that are WKA regulars and shine at their own track.
Jacob Knueven and Robbie Seward are examples of two locals that are top-notch national drivers that will certainly be challenging for wins in all the TaG categories. Also look out for Michael Goodyear who has been strong all season at NCMP.
Manufacturer’s Cup Championship
Top Kart currently leads the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Championship with twenty-two wins. Arrow is their only real challenger for the title, but has a difficult task trailing Top Kart by four wins. Arrow’s headman Eric Jones will be returning to the seat this weekend to help his team fight for the title. You can bet that Jones has a strong chance at making up the gap between the two manufacturer’s.
Triple Crown Contenders
A few drivers are in contention to win the coveted triple crown. In Senior, Mason Chelootz is the only real contender. He has already wrapped up Komet Heavy and is the favorite to win Komet Lite.
Franklin Motorsports/Merlin driver Kyle Kalish has the best shot at winning a triple crown in the junior categories. Kalish leads Komet Jr. Lite and is second in Komet Jr. Heavy. In the Yamaha categories he is second in Lite and second in Heavy. Kalish will need to win this weekend to have a chance at the triple crown, but no one has been more consistently challenging for wins than him.
In Sportsman, Zach Holden (Arrow) and Brandon Lemke (Merlin) both will be fighting for championships in multiple categories, and if all goes right the triple crown could follow.
The Last Turn
What can we say, the notorious last turn of New Castle Motorsports Park has decided race winners and championships for years. This year will be no different as many of the races come down to a draft battle down the I-70 straight and all eyes (including the race directors) will be on this turn.