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|Rocky Mountain ProKart Challenge Ends 2012 in Grand Junction|
|Rocky Mountain ProKart Challenge Ends 2012 in Grand Junction|
|Friday, 07 September 2012 10:32|
The finale weekend of the Rocky Mountain ProKart Challenge program took place September 1-2 at the Grand Junction Motor Speedway in Colorado. Drivers from there, along with Utah and other surrounding states, completed rounds five and six of the 2012 calendar for the Superkarts! USA regional series. Ten categories navigated around the 9/10-mile course with drivers looking to secure a final triumph as the summer season closed – and have a shot at wrapping up the regional championship for a guaranteed starting position on the Super Sunday grid of the SKUSA SuperNationals XVI in Las Vegas this November.
Mike Beeny ran away with the S1 Pro Stock Moto events on the weekend. On Saturday, he recorded a perfect score in class, leading from qualifying to the final checkered flag, including the fast lap of the main event to score maximum points and lock in the regional crown. Keenan Schmitke was second, edging out Kyle Hathcox at the line. Sunday was nearly a repeat of events as he was top qualifier and won heat one, but retired early in heat two due to a mechanical issue. That gave the win to Schmitke, with Beeny classified second as Hathcox also retired early. From the back of the S1/S2 combined grouping for the main event, Beeny knifed his way forward quickly, moving into the overall lead on the final lap to end the season on top. Schmitke retired on lap nine, allowing Hathcox to cruise in second alone.
The S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto division has provided a lot of the drama throughout the season, and the final two rounds was no different. Sabré Cook led the way in qualifying, edging out Christian Bird by just a few hundredths of a second. Cook nearly stalled the kart on the line, dropping back in the field but worked back up to second behind Bird. Cook stalled on the line in heat two, and retired just a few laps later, giving Bird a clean run to the race win. In the main event, Christian would not be denied as he put in a solid performance to take the class win and overall victory ahead of the S1 drivers. Christian Schureman ran second with Cook up to third from last. Bird returned the next day, still the driver to beat, qualifying on the overall pole position for the S1/S2 grouping. Bird led in heat one with Cook trailing him and two S1 drivers. Contact was made and Cook wreck going through the esses, ending her race early. Bird appeared to have the race in hand until the final lap when he spun the rear gear, handing the race win to Jack Bradley. Bird rebounded to score the overall win in heat two, with Cook right there in second ahead of Bradley. In the main event, Bird led all but the final lap as Beeny stole the position before the checkered flag. Bird still secured the class victory with Cook trailing, recording the fast lap of the race while Bradley completed the podium.
Scott Allen led things in qualifying for Saturday’s round of action in the S4 Master Stock Moto division, edging out championship leader Jet Davis by 32-thousandths of a second. Rob VanDeren was within a tenth of Allen’s time, showing just how tight the S4 field was on the weekend. Davis grabbed the holeshot in heat one en route to the race win, duplicating the feat in heat two. Davis saw his main event come to an early end on the opening lap when his throttle cable broke, handing the lead to David Conyers. After inheriting the lead, Conyers led the class for all 20-laps to earn his first feature win of the season. Scott Allen was second, with Justin Peck in third. Davis came back on Sunday to lead the qualifying session, earning the pole position by over half a second. Conyers responded in heat one as Davis got off the line slow, dropping down the order. Conyers would hold Davis off for the heat win and five extra points. The two battled for the win in heat two, but Conyers retired on the final circuit to give the win to Davis. With Conyers starting from the back, Davis drove away to an eight-second victory. Peck jumped to second with Allen finishing third.
Chris Neria secured the title for the S3 Novice Stock Moto category with his two feature wins on the weekend. Neria led through qualifying and heat one on Saturday until a spin in heat two trying to run with the S4 leader. Lauren Stark won the race to end Neria’s perfect run on the day. Neria recovered to come from the tail of the combined S3/S4/S5 group to take the overall win and his first S3 feature win of the year. On Sunday, Neria drove to perfection to wrap up the class title, and took the overall victory in the feature as well. Stark drove to second, completing just the second weekend in the class. Mianna Wick ran unchallenged in S5 Junior Stock Moto, securing her first regional championship in her first season in the category.
Riley Cook used the home track advantage to secure a weekend sweep in the TaG Cadet division. From qualifying to the main event checkered, Cook was out front both days. Tristin MacLeod ran second in both main events, with Derek Deslauriers in third. In the local option Mini Max category, Tevin Robbins swept Saturday’s action and won Sunday’s main event to secure the series championship. Robbins went unchallenged on Saturday with Duncan Biles and Max Fedler completing the podium. Biles picked up the pace to challenge Robbins for round six. Coming up just short in qualifying and the opening heat race, Biles earned the win in heat two by just four-tenths of a second to disrupt Robbins’ perfect score on the weekend. Robbins responded in the main event with a five-second victory to close out the year. Biles was second once again, with Fedler holding third.
Brandon Southwick and Austin Versteeg ran uncontested in the TaG Senior and TaG Junior categories to wrap up their regional championships, along with guaranteed starting positions at the SKUSA SuperNationals XVI on Super Sunday. Phil Holmes won TaG Masters on Saturday, with Bonnier Moulton jumping in his kart on Sunday for the class victory over Hugh Templeman. Utah secured the Border War trophy for the second time, earning enough points during the two days to defeat the Colorado drivers once again.
The season awards were handed out Sunday evening during a season banquet hosted in the Grand Junction Motor Speedway pro shop. Rocky Mountain PKC announcer Tony LaPorta and SKUSA CEO Tom Kutscher led the festivities where over 80 people enjoyed a buffet-style dinner of braised turkey and prime rib. Over $11,000 in awards and prizes were handed out, including a set of MG Tires and three free 2013 season entries. CRG-USA awarded a new CRG chassis, with S4 driver Jet Davis winning the raffle. The Rocky Mountain ProKart Challenge would like to thank Wood Source, Billet Performance Karting, Miller Motorsports Park, and Grand Junction Motor Speedway for their support of the 2012 season and at the banquet. Official point standings for the 2012 season will be published in the coming days, so be sure to check back at Rocky Mountain ProKart Challenge regional page on the Superkarts! USA website.