SuperNats XXII

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83DAYS

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132DAYS

PKC California

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Can-Am PKC

2019 TBA

California ProKart Challenge

Prokart Challenge Returns to Calspeed Karting at Auto Club Speedway For Round 3 of The 2018 Season June 1-2
Friday, 25 May 2018 11:40

Local favorite Billy Musgrave leads the S1/S2 field at last years Calspeed event. (Photo: DromoPhotos.com)

After a small hiatus for national competition, Superkarts! USA’s flagship regional program, the CaliforniaProKart Challenge, returns to action at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for Round 3 of the 2018 championship on June 1-2. The popular venue also plays host to the Los Angeles Kart Club (LAKC) and is among a favorite of local competitors, thanks in part to its proximity and wide variety of configurations.
 
While the 2018 championship is only two races in, some early season favorites look poised to make their bid for the regional title. National #2 Billy Musgravecontinues to be the man to beat in the Mad Old Nut / Mad Croc USA Pro S1 category. The MRC factory pilot has not put a wheel wrong since his SuperNationals 21 victory. But Matias Podboj and Brian Keck continue to give chase and will no doubt look to upset the PKC points leader. Musgrave runs well at the paved CalSpeed circuit, so the two will have their work cut out for them.

Meanwhile in the Swiss-Micron Inc. Semi-pro S2 class, the championship is much closer. Dean Heldt is the early points leader by virtue of his Buttonwillow sweep, but Keawn Tandon is knocking on the door with two podium finishes and 2018 consistency. Prescott Campbell currently sits in third, but could easily enter the thick of things with a strong showing in Fontana.
 
Rounding out the senior shifter group, the Ace High Designs S3 class is the closest points battle in the gearbox category. Just 40 points separate first through third, and Eddie Tafoya is clinging to the thinnest of leads – with Kyle Loh and Emon Fazlollahi within striking distance. With every point up for grabs, CalSpeed will no doubt be a pivotal race in the 2018 championship. 
 
In the master stock moto category, the top of the points battle sees some familiar faces. In S4 sponsored by Doran Motorsports GroupMike Mantel currently leads over Nick George and Vivek Tandon. But keep an eye out for Matthew O’Donnell, who has been running well as of late. In the Musgrave Racing Company S4 Super Master class, it’s a two-horse race with John Crow leading Jonathon Allenby a scant 35 points. ProKart Challenge veteran Ken Schilling is also in the mix, and could easily find himself in title contention with a strong showing at the speedway.
 
Last, but certainly not least in the shifter category, Jacopo Pizzinato has been the driver to beat thus far in the Mike Manning Karting S5 class. The #506 kart has a healthy lead over Logan Meyer and Cash Baxley. The entries are a bit light in the junior class, but the talent and competition plenty. Look for more great racing this weekend from these youngsters.
 
Switching to the single-speed divisions, it’s difficult to ignore the dominance early on this season by Graham Trammell. With back-to-back wins in Rounds 1 and 2, Graham is the early favorite to take the PKS Kart Supplies Micro Swifttitle. But don’t count out John Antonino or Dante Barrionuevo. A couple of key results could easily bring the points battle back into contention.
 
In the Ryan Perry Motorsports Mini Swift category, Logan Toke and Kai Sorensen are sitting with one win a piece. However, the next three drivers in the points – AJ Zarcone, Rylee Martinez and Cooper Hicks – are not far behind. Fontana will no doubt be critical to whoever wants to make their bid for the ProKart Challenge title.
 
A little further up the age order is the X30 Junior category sponsored by Nash Motorsportz. This class always brings out the best drivers and is one of the most competitive groups in the ProKart Challenge. Cole Morgan leads Jace Denmark-Gessell by a mere five points. However, Oliver Calvo and Alan Tang are eager to capitalize on any mis-steps by the lead pack. In the Phil Giebler Racing X30 Senior category, Samuel Lupien continues his campaign as one of the most improved drivers in the country. He currently leads the points over Joseph Daniele and Jake Drew– with Edward Portz in the mix. But with the all important drop, you can never discount former Lancaster scholarship winner Trey Brown or Jacob Gulick.
 
Continuing up the age bracket, Nick de Graaf leads the Rolison Performance Group X30 Master division, with Carlos Calderon and Steve Martin in the discussion. MMK’s Kevin Manning is still very much in the hunt as well, with his near-perfect weekend at Willow Springs and when factoring the drop. PKC’s newest local-option class – X30 Super Master sponsored by Empire Karts– is anything but decided. John Nielsen leads over Robert Switzler, but there’s still four races to go. Jared Booher and Kurtis Breeding are also within striking distance, and any mishaps in Fontana will bring the championship right back into alignment. 
 
Pre-Registration is open for the third round of the California ProKart Challenge at Calspeed. The deadline for online registration for the event is Monday, May 29 at midnight PDT– with the discounted price of $325 for entry and stamped race tires. A SKUSA membership is mandatory to register and compete. 
 
Move-in for Round 3 of the California PKC begins on Thursday, May 31 when gates open 11am-6pm. Also offered on Thursday afternoon is an early-bird Registration Check-in 3pm-6pm. On Friday, the gates and registration desk open at 7:00am, with the customary practice day beginning at 9:00am, running until 5:00pm. Reservations for pit spots, RV spots and overnight camping are being accepted via email NOW, and are highly encouraged, due to the large expected turnout and limited pit area. Complete race and venue information, along with a tentative weekend schedule, can be found at the California PKC Event Page.

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