CONCORD, N.C. – Kart teams from across the United States are headed to Kershaw, S.C., for this weekend’s Zoom Zoom Nationals and Johnny Jacumin Memorial doubleheader at Carolina Motorsports Park, where the second rounds of the Mazda / Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series and Vega / TS Racing Road Racing Series driven by Mazda will take center stage at the popular venue located about an hour and half south of WKA headquarters near Charlotte, N.C.
The four-day event will see around 300 drivers in action between the 0.7-mile CMP sprint track and the 2.3-mile road course.
Pre-entries are up from last year for both events and there’s good reason to believe the Man Cup’s Zoom Zoom Nationals could hit 600 total entries, which is unprecedented for a Man Cup national over the past 20 years outside the state of Florida.
Zoom Zoom Nationals
The Manufacturers Cup Series returns to competition for the first time since Daytona KartWeek Dec. 27-30. This weekend’s Zoom Zoom Nationals kicks off the first of two national events in seven weeks. The series will visit Pittsburgh Int’l Race Complex (formerly BeaveRun) May 4-6 for the CRG America Nationals.
While the Manufacturers Cup Series hasn’t run since Daytona, many WKA regulars have been racing all winter at Formula Kart Productions’ Florida Winter Tour events taking place over six different weekends at tracks throughout the Sunshine State.
Racers now turn their attention to the “regular” racing season, if you will, and teams should be ready for a hot one in Kershaw. Temperatures in the Carolinas have been in the reached over 80 degrees nearly every day for about two weeks now, and this weekend’s Kershaw forecast shows highs in the upper 70s and low 80s.
This weekend’s show marks the second Man Cup national at the CMP sprint track and the third WKA national at the track in its four-year existence. The RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Gold Cup Series shared the card with the Road Racing Series in 2010 before the Man Cup Zoom Zoom Nationals featured over 540 entrants last year.
Johnny Jacumin Memorial
On the Road Racing side, this weekend’s show marks the 13th straight year WKA’s national enduro-style tour will visit Kershaw, which makes it the longest running consecutive-year venue on the circuit.
The CMP Road Racing national, which has been held in the spring every year, was once a 400- to 500-entry show until attendance began to slip in 2006. The last three years have seen about 225 entries each season on the Road Racing side, however, the pre-entry count is the best it’s been since 2008 and officials are anticipating in excess of 250 entrants for the first time since the ’08 event.
This weekend’s event is named in memory of the late Johnny Jacumin, whose Karolina Karters group promoted Road Racing events at Kershaw and other tracks for a number of years. Many members of Jacumin’s team still work the Johnny Jacumin Memorial as corner workers and other officiating roles, which is why the race’s entry blank continues to say “Event Hosted in conjunction with the Karolina Karters.”
While 2-cycle sprint racing is the lone genre of karting at the Man Cup’s Zoom Zoom Nationals, the Johnny Jacumin Memorial will feature a wide variety of karts, including 125cc shifter enduros, 125cc sprint shifters, TaG sprint, traditional 100cc laydown enduros and 2- and 4-cycle sprint-enduros.
The Animal Sprint divisions appear they’ll be the best attended this weekend with about 25 Briggs racers already entered in the several 4-cycle classes offered.
CMP is open for parking, registration and pre-tech Thursday before a full day of practice for both series Friday and racing Saturday and Sunday.