March 27, 2012 (KERSHAW, S.C.) - Some 250 drivers made up approximately 600 entries at this past weekend's second round of the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturers Cup Series Zoom Zoom Nationals at Carolina (S.C.) Motorsports Park.
Of all the talented racers in attendance, only Greenfield, Indiana's Zach Holden was able to accomplish a triple-win weekend with three main event triumphs in five starts.
Holden not only soared above the competition as the weekend's top winner, he did it in the ultra-competitive Jr Sportsman divisions. Each of the three classes in which Holden wheeled his No. 2 Arrow to victory started over 40 karts, many of them former national winners and up-and-coming young talents.
Holden's wins came in Cadet Final 1, Yamaha Sportsman 1 and Yamaha Sportsman 2. He also added a fourth-place finish in Komet Sportsman.
"Three wins at a Man Cup is something we're really proud of," Zach said. "We've improved over the last couple years and now things are really clicking. I have to thank my dad for all his hard work, Comet Kart Sales, Kyle Ludwick and KartSport North America."
Holden, 11, started the weekend with a close 0.092-second triumph over Brandon Lemke in Cadet Final 1. Holden also qualified second of 40 drivers to take time and won the class's seven-lap pre-final.
The Comet Racing Engines-powered Arrow pilot returned to the 0.7-mile CMP Sprint Course for Saturday's fifth main event, Yamaha Sportsman 1, which saw 45 racers take the green flag. Holden had some work to do in this one after finishing fifth in the pre-final and starting the final in the same position.
Holden muscled his way to the lead with a lap eight pass on Nick Luedeke as several other racers challenged for top positions in a fierce seven-kart battle for the lead. With heavy pressure throughout the remaining laps, Holden never put a wheel wrong and hit his marks down the stretch to go two-for-two on the day and win by a 0.230-second gap over Luedeke.
The second-to-last final of the day, Komet Sportsman, had Holden looking for an unprecedented three wins in three main events. Holden kept his Arrow inside the top five throughout the class's competition rounds, including a fourth-place qualifying effort and a runner-up finish in the pre-final. The final didn't go the way Zach wanted but he still managed a solid fourth-place finish in the 24-kart race.
Holden entered Sunday's competition as the only driver with two wins already under his belt. With a good shot at two more, the WKA Daytona KartWeek winner set his sights on Cadet Final 2 and Yamaha Sportsman 2.
Starting 10th in Cadet's weekend capper, the Hoosier State wheelman battled hard throughout the 11-lap affair but things didn't go the way he had hoped and Holden came home 12th of 42 starters.
Holden still had one more shot at the weekend hat trick when the Yamaha Sportsman 2 main pulled onto the track as the day's seventh contest.
Holden started fifth and wasted little time advancing through the top five. He had his Arrow in third by lap three and proceeded to pass both Luedeke and Jared Cordova while working lap four to take the top spot.
Holden relinquished the lead to Cordova for a short time around the halfway point of the affair, but retook the lead for good on lap 10 and held off his counterparts for the big win.
"We really wanted to get that third win," Zach said after his Yamaha Sportsman 2 triumph. "To go to Daytona and win one was awesome. We knew we were fast coming into Kershaw, but to come here and win three races, I don't think we can ask for much more. Again, I just have to thank everyone who made this possible."
Next up for the Holden team is the WKA Great Lakes Series opener April 27-29 at Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh Int'l Race Complex (formerly BeaveRun). Holden will be in the market for at least his fifth win of the 2012 WKA Manufacturers Cup Series when the tour heads to BeaveRun for round three the following weekend, May 4-6.
Zach Holden is an 11-year-old go-kart racer from Greenfield, Indiana. He's a budding young star in the Cadet, Komet and Yamaha Sportsman classes in the WKA Manufacturer's Cup Series, his primary focus. He's also a regular in the Great Lakes Sprint Series and KRA Series at New Castle. Holden races Comet Racing Engines-powered Arrow chassis for his family-owned team.