GONZALEZ AND LEMKE DOUBLE DOWN AT TOP KART USA GRAND NATIONALS
CONCORD, NC- The return to New Castle Motorsports Park for the Top Kart USA Grand Nationals held significant meaning for many, as the season finale would identify the 2016 national champions in the 8 respective classes for the WKA Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series,
And while the finishing touches are being placed on the season ending standings to date, many drivers did their part to either pad their lead in their respective standings, or tighten the gap, taking one final shot at the top shelf of the national podium.
Leading the charge over the weekend were Tyler Gonzalez and Brandon Lemke, both double winners in the season finale. Gonzalez was the top dog in the pair of Woltjer Racing Engines Pro IAME Junior events while Lemke rounded out the double event winners for the weekend, taking the KartSport North America Pro IAME Senior and Fullerton Karts USA final events.
Other winners on the final weekend of racing included:
Water for a Cause Kid Karts: Austin Olds, Indy Ragan
KartSport North America Pro IAME Senior: Braden Eves
Franklinkart.com Yamaha Junior: Pauly Massimino, Colin Neal
IAME USA East Pro Swift Sportsman: Devin Gomez, Luca Mars
CRPRACING.com Mini Swift: Caleb Gafrarar, Eli Trull
Fullerton Karts USA Yamaha Senior: Dakota Pesek
Allison Racing Engines Yamaha Sportsman: Zane Maloney
For Madison Campeau, the wave of momentum continued, following a great weekend in August at her home track in Pittsburgh during national event #4. Campeau topped Kaden Wharff, Garrett Adams, Thomas Schrage, and Logan Adams in the Allison Racing Engines Yamaha Sportsman main on Day 1. Sam Hinds was the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time winner. On Day 2 for the class, Maloney vastly improved from his 8th place run the day prior to record the win, with Logan Adams, Snell, Campeau, and Wharff completing the top 5. For her efforts, Campeau also was the weekends overall top finisher in the class, thus receiving an additional award, sponsored by Checkered Motorsports. Snell took the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Award.
Tyler Gonzalez then began his sweep of the weekend, taking the Woltjer Racing Engines Pro IAME Junior class main events both days, topping Pauly Massimino, Tahlon Yockel, Max Peichel, and Jacob Abel on Day 1, while Lance Fenderson, Massimino, Michael Cruz, and Tyler Ferris chased Gonzalez on Day 2. For his efforts, Gonzalez was also the Checkered Motorsports overall weekend winner, thus also claiming a check for $500. Gonzalez also swept the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Awards for the weekend.
Lemke began his weekend with the winning effort in the Kartsport North America Pro IAME Senior class, as the Wisconsin driver bested Brandon Jarsocrak, Braden Eves, Jonathan Kotyk, and Mick Gabriel for the top 5. Lemke also took the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Award. Much like Lemke, Braden Eves provided a similar performance 24 hours earlier, taking the Day 1 win in the class, as well as the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time, with Lemke coming home second, followed by Jarsocrak, Kotyk, and Gabriel. By virtue of his 1st and 2nd, Lemke took the Checkered Motorsports Overall weekend award, thus also earning $1,000 for his efforts.
The Water for a Cause Kid Kart class was greeted with a pair of winners, as Austin Olds and Indy Ragan were the highlight of the weekend, each taking a win, Olds on the first day, followed by Ragan, Karsyn Walters, Tristan Young, and CJ Bowman. On Day 2, Ragan improved 1 notch in the order, besting Olds, Walters, CJ Bowman, and Dusty Larson. Olds was the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time winner both days, thus also taking down the Checkered Motorsports award as the weekends top overall performer.
The Franklinkart.com Yamaha Junior class found a pair of winners as well, with Pauly Massimino taking the Day 1 win over Colin Neal, Ian Hornish, Caiden Young, and Arie Venberg, with Young taking the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Award. And much like the Kid Kart class, 1st and 2nd on Day 1 switched places, with Neal securing the Day 2 win over Massimino, with JP Southern, Hornish, and Spike Kohlbecker completing the top 5. Much like day 1, Caiden Young took the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time award. As a result of his overall efforts, Massimino took the Checkered Motorsports Award for the Overall weekend winner.
In the IAME USA East Pro Swift Sportsman class, Devin Gomez drew first blood for the weekend, taking the Saturday win over Luca Mars, Kaden Wharff, Jason Welage, and Zane Maloney. Welage, making a return to karting after being off the last few national events, was the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Award winner. Day 2 found Mars improving 1 spot in the order, taking the win over Welage, Gomez, Wharff, and Logan Adams, while Madison Campeau took the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time award. Mars success over the weekend also netted him the Checkered Motorsports Overall weekend winner award, as well as $500.
The CRPRACING.com Mini Swift class found a pair of young North Carolina aces in the form of Caleb Gafrarar and Eli Trull securing the wins. On Day 1, Gafrarar took the top spot on the podium over Jeremy Fletcher, with Trull, Danny Dyszelski, and Sebastian Ng completing the top 5. Gafrarar was also the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time recipient. On Day 2, Trull slid into the top spot for his lone win of the weekend, with Gafrarar, Christian Miles, Thomas Annunziata, and Adam Brickley making up the top 5. Trull also took the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Award, while Gafrarar’s 1st and 2nd netted him the Checkered Motorsports Overall Weekend Winner Award.
The Fullerton Karts USA Yamaha Senior class found former champion Dakota Pesek back in victory lane again, taking the Day 1 win over Emerson Reed, Billy Lewis, Brandon Lemke, and Jake Venberg, while Braden Eves, the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time winner, came home 6th. Day 2 found Lemke checking in for his 2nd win of the weekend, with Eves, Reed, Lewis, and Venberg rounding out the top 5. Eves swept the Comet Kart Sales Fast Time Awards for the second day in a row, while Lemke took the Checkered Motorsports Award for being the weekends top overall performer.
The battle for the Manufacturers Championship Trophy was also decided at New Castle as well, with Top Karts 4 wins propelling them to another title as the winning chassis on the series. The battle remained tight all season.
Here’s a look at the final standings:
Top Kart: 17
Tony Kart: 12
Comp Kart: 3
Fullerton, Parolin, Emmick, Energy, and Epico all had 1 win.
With the Grand Nationals in the books, another chapter in the life of the Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series concludes, with very little break, as preparations are being made already for the latest edition of Daytona KartWeek December 27-30 at Daytona International Speedway, as well as the Year End Awards Presentation, to again be held at the Daytona Beach Resort and Spa December 27. Complete information regarding both events is currently being processed, and will be released shortly.
On behalf of the World Karting Association, our sincerest congratulations to all of the 2016 Grand National Champions, and a very special thanks to the drivers, crew members, parents, and many other family members, sponsors, tracks, national and local staff, and many others for making the 2016 edition of the WKA Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series a huge success!!! We will see you in Daytona!!!