CONCORD, N.C. – The WKA Mazda / Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series makes its return to Concept Haulers Motor Speedway – the track popularly referred to as simply, “Norway” – this weekend for the first time since 2008.
The KartLift Nationals takes us deep into the 2012 Man Cup campaign as round five of the six-race national 2-cycle sprint tour.
With national championship battles heating up in many classes, this weekend’s race could serve as the “make or break” event for several drivers at or near the top of the championship point battles.
Point battles to keep an eye on include Yamaha Rookie Sportsman, which shows Jason Welage holding a 58-point lead over five-race winner Alex Verhagen. Samuel Paley is third, only 60 points out of the top spot.
While Jared Cordova hasn’t won a final since day two at Daytona, he continues to lead Cadet Sportsman. Cordova enters the weekend 50 points ahead of Leonardo Stoia.
Brandon Lemke has two wins in four races in Komet Sportsman and leads the standings by 15 markers over Zach Holden. Stoia is 51 points out of the lead in third.
Holden has six final wins on the season but was shut out in the last outing at MRP. The Arrow driver still leads Yamaha Sportsman 1 and Yamaha Sportsman 2. In Yamaha Sportsman 1, Holden leads Stoia by a cool 80-point gap. Nick Luedeke is third. Yamaha Sportsman 2 shows Holden in front of Lemke and David Malukas by 28 and 30 points, respectively.
Joel Jens has only one feature win on the season and hasn’t won since Daytona, however the Tony Kart driver has been as consistent as anyone in the four Junior divisions and he wither leads or is tied for the points lead in three of them, giving him a legitimate shot at his second straight WKA Triple Crown championship.
Jens has a 90-point advantage over Kyle Kalish in Yamaha Jr Heavy and a 45-point lead over Kyle Kirkwood in Komet Jr Heavy.
Kalish is a stunning 140 points ahead of Jens in Komet Jr Lite, while Brandon Jarsocrak and Jens are tied for the lead in Yamaha Jr Lite. The Lite version of Yamaha Jr also shows Kalish two points out of the lead and MRP winner Mike McAndrews only four points back.
Dakota Pesek is in the market for a double-championship season in the Man Cup. Pesek leads both Yamaha Supercan categories. The Ohio driver is 45 markers ahead of John McCusker in Yamaha Supercan Heavy and an impressive 170 points ahead of Weston Moon in Supercan Lite.
Top Kart racer Chris Wehrheim is 69 markers in front of PCR’s Robert Bujdoso in TaG 1. The roles are reversed in TaG 2, which shows Bujdoso 35 points ahead of Wehrheim.
Mason Chelootz and Bujdoso are tied for the lead in Parilla Leopard and John Ferris III has an 85-point gap over Kim Carapellatti in TaG Masters.
Chelootz leads Patrick Olsen by a huge 155-point margin in Komet Heavy. Jacob Donald is clinging to a slim five-point advantage over Chelootz in Komet Lite.
Norway’s gates are open today (Thursday) for parking and pre-entry pickup. Gates open at 7 a.m. Friday through Sunday. As always, Friday features a full day of controlled practice with 11 national classes on Saturday’s card and nine divisions closing out the weekend Sunday.
Click here to view the KartLift Nationals entry form, which lists the weekend schedule, directions, lodging and other important information.