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California ProKart Challenge

Schoombee and Giebler Extend ProKart Challenge South Point Leads with Victories at Buttonwillow
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 06:57
With the summer season now in full swing, the Superkarts! USA ProKart Challenge South is reaching the final few legs of the 2010 season. Started back in January, the six-race championship series hosted the fifth round of the tour at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park kart track in Southern California. The turnout brought together the solid core of top-notch drivers and teams that make up the PKC program. Showing the way in the headline divisions were the point leaders heading into the weekend – Clinton Schoombee and Phil Giebler – as both took home the feature victories in the S1 Pro Stock Moto and TaG Senior categories.

Schoombee was untouchable on the day in S1 as he swept the event’s activities. From qualifying, where he posted a fast lap of 47.097, Schoombee was the class of the field. Tommy Thompson was the only driver to stay within reach throughout the day, coming in just over a tenth back of Schoombee’s qualifying pace. Schoombee would lead green-to-checkered in both heat races, with Thompson running in tow. Clean off the line, Schoombee continued his run at the point to lead all 20 laps of the main event for his second-straight feature win and third of the year. Unable to attack early, Thompson held his ground in the runner-up spot for a third straight race – with Brad Dunford posting his third podium finish of the season.

Giebler found himself in the chase role to begin the day’s action in TaG Senior. Former series champion and third in the title chase Billy Cleavelin posted the quick lap of the qualifying session – 48.753 – with Giebler back over two tenths in the second spot. Cleavelin kept the advantage through the first heat by taking the win, despite Giebler posting the fast lap. Giebler, however, took over the point near the halfway mark of the second heat, cruising to the win. From there, Giebler went unchallenged to lead all 20 laps of the feature for win number two of the year. Cleavelin fought off early challenges from Adam Zeen for the second step on the podium and moved himself to the same position in the standings heading to the series finale.

Aside from the headline divisions, the S4 Master Stock Moto class has provided great drama at each and every event. Buttonwillow was no different, as it crowned a first time series winner Phil Dunford. Out front early was three-time SKUSA SuperNationals winner Jeff Littrell, as he posted a monster lap in qualifying – 48.059 – to clear the field by nearly half a second. Littrell continued to hold the point through the first heat race. Dunford fell from second to third in the opening moto, as he and Phil Conte swapped positions after the first eight-lap battle. In the second heat, Littrell was leading until a spin on track from gravel caused heavy contact with Jonathan Allen, taking them both out of the race. From there, Dunford assumed the point and ran to the win. Starting from P1 in the feature, Dunford was challenged by Steve Donia. Taking the lead for the opening circuit, Donia was overtaken by Dunford on the following lap. Posting the fast laps of the race early, Dunford was able to establish a solid lead, going on to take the victory and place himself into the championship chase heading to the series finale. Donia came under attack from Doug Hayashi and Colorado driver Mike McDonough, who would complete the podium – with Donia in fourth. Littrell came up from the tail of the field to fifth by the halfway mark until contact with Conte put them at the back of the field.

The S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto championship chase may come down to the final lap in August following the action this past weekend. Ryon Beachner was best in qualifying, with Vivek Tandon and Colorado driver Christian Bird filling out the top-three. Tandon pulled off the line quickest and went on to win the opening heat race. Beachner fought with the rest of the field for the second spot and was able to hold off Bryce Miller for the position in the end. For the second heat, Beachner was able to get off the line better to show the way early on. Tandon, however, would come through in the end to take over the lead and the win, with Miller once again in third. The main event was all Tandon as he cruised to his second straight feature win by over 12 seconds. Beachner was second until lap eight, when he pulled off with heat exhaustion. Corey Neveau was able to get around Miller for the second step of the podium.

G1 witnessed a great show at the front of the field thanks to point leader PP Mastro, Robert Marks and Fernando Diaz. Mastro struck first with the top time in qualifying, while Marks was able to better him in both heat races – with Diaz giving chase in third both times. From the pole position at the start of the main, Marks led early on before Mastro took over the top position. Diaz then began to challenge Marks for second, allowing Mastro to build up a solid lead. In the end, Mastro won by 1.5-seconds over Diaz with Marks completing the podium.

Jason Attwood continues to reign in the S3 Novice Stock Moto category with his fourth straight feature win. Surely to move up to the S2 division for 2011, Attwood swept the day’s action over Jessica Sollberger and Todd Wilson. Matias Podboj was able to match the same results to extend his point lead in the growing S5 Junior Stock Moto. Augie Lerch was second in the main event with Micah Hendricks filling out the third step of the podium. Ron Rossetti was the driver to beat throughout the day in TaG Masters until the end, when Rob Soares snuck by for the feature win. Rossetti was best in qualifying and won both heat races, with Soares matching his pace to that point. In the final, however, Soares picked up the pace before the halfway mark to take over the point. Posting fast lap of the race, Soares went on to win by three-seconds over Rossetti with Steve Wiener in third.

Luke Bianco was on his way to his fourth feature win of the season in S4 Magnum Stock Moto until his motor let go on lap 10 of the main event. This put Marc Lewis in the number one spot, as he went on to earn his first series victory of the season and gain ground on Bianco’s point lead. Larry Metter was second in the order, with Bianco classified third. Andrew Wiener was the lone TaG Junior of the event, going unchallenged to the victory and moving himself to the top spot in the standings.

The series will take the month of July off as the second round of the SKUSA North American Pro Tour will take place on July 16-18 for the Mothers’ Polish SummerNationals at the USA International Raceway in Shawano, Wisconsin. The sixth and final round of the ProKart Challenge South program will take place at the PKC West Coast Shootout at the Santa Maria Karting Association facility, pitting the South series against the North on August 13-14. For more information on anything related to SKUSA or the ProKart Challenge, visit the website or call the SKUSA head office at 951-491-0808.