N.W.Gold Cup Rd. 4
Richland, WA, June 12……….Round 4 of the NW Gold Cup-Rotax Challenge Series was at the Tri-Cities Kart Track in Richland, WA. As usual, Corey Poyner and the gang with the Tri-Cities Kart Club had the track and facilities in pristine condition to welcome the touring Region 6 series and it would not disappoint with the announcement of the heads up “IAME vs. ROTAX” shootout as the last event on day 2…Stay tuned & read on…more on that later. The weather was primo with temperatures in the high 70’s/ low 80’s, nothing but sun…A perfect racing weekend. Here we go with race action…
JR 1 Animal Lt.- Boise’s Sting Ray Robb who is quickly becoming a household name and synonymous with winning in the Region 6, captured the pole, heat 1, and the final to capture his 3rd straight Junior One Gold Cup win.
New Westminster BC’s Kyle Adams had another solid performance with his second quick qualifying time, and finishing runner up to Robb in the final. The standout however, was Trey “TreyDawg” Manker the newcomer had his best performance of his young career capturing the third quick qualifying spot and backing it up with second in heat 1, and a third in the final. Justin DeMars was fourth, the “Bandit” fought engine and set up issues most of the weekend, and Kellen Dean rounded out the top Five.
FT- Robb 43.407
JR 1 Animal Hvy- Once again, Sting Ray Robb was to much as he went on the capture his third straight junior one Animal Heavy event. The sensational young star from Boise Idaho had problems qualifying and a third in heat 1 but regrouped to capture the final and gave ALL the credit to God. Canadian Kyle Adams won the pole, heat one, and finished second in the final to post another solid championship contending performance. Trey Manker drove another fine race as he qualified third quick, finished second in heat one, and posted a solid third place finish in the final. Female phenom Daytona Arnzen surprised everyone with a her second quick qualifying effort, Arnzen finished sixth in the in final after spinning in turn one collecting the “Bandit” Justin DeMars who had no where go. Blake & Austin Portalski in their first Region 6 event of the year finished fourth and fifth.
FT- Adams 44.820
JR 2 Animal Light- Michael Gutenberger swept everything from qualifying to the final to take the win. The young gun has a grit and determination to win like you have never seen. Not flashy or flamboyant the Boise Idaho racer just gets the job done race in and race out. Hailey Groff who became a National Champion in only her first season of racing last year raced to the runner up spot in both qualifying and the final. Bryce Peterson finally shook off the “No Luck” cloud posting a solid fourth quick qualifying effort, a third in heat one-and a fourth in the final. Myles Pederson the usual strong front-runner, qualified third quick and grabbed a fourth in heat one-and third in the final. Pederson was on a brand new chassis package from Northwest karting legend Elmer Patterson for a test drive and was “trial and erroring” most of the day.
FT- Gutenberger 43.150
JR 2 Animal Hvy- Michael Gutenberger again made a clean sweep qualifying in the top spot, winning heat one, and the final. In a carbon copy of light, the layout was the same with the exception of the entry of junior two ace Brittney Zamora who qualified her WildKart entry third and finished the day with two fourths behind fourth quick qualifier Bryce Peterson who took home third place honors in the final. Myles Pederson brought his Extreme Chassis home in the fifth spot
FT- Gutenberger 43.381
World Formula- All Divisions- In World Formula Heavy action, Canadian Scott Barlee set fast time to back up his first win of the season in round 3 at Boise, but could not hold off “rocket fast” eventual winner Ricky Worley. Worley was quick in everything he drove over the weekend and won World Formula Medium as well. Calgary-Alberta ace Gabe Kajdy was runner up to Worley in World Formula heavy followed by Brett Lucas and Nick Ferguson. Ricky Worley won World Formula Medium followed by Nick Ferguson and Thomas Wilson. In World Formula Masters, action Gabe Kajdy took the top spot followed by Bryan Green, Scott Barlee, and Steve King. For King it was his first top five in Regional racing action after capturing several top tens.
FT- WF Hvy: Barlee 43.483
FT- WF Med. Worley 43.234
FT-WF Masters Kajdy 43.769
Sr. Briggs Animal / Yamaha- Brett “The Jet” Lucas won the pole, and swept both heat one and final in route to his first win of the season in NW Gold Cup competition. Lucas held of the hard charging challenge of Ricky Worley who finished in the runner up spot followed by Alan Cathey, David Dean, and Michael Groff. Yamaha was won by “The Colonel” Mr. Dan Sanders in his first ever NW Gold Cup event!
FT- Lucas 44.440
F200/Yamaha- After setting fast time Tri-Cities Kart Club President Corey Poyner had a huge battle on his hands from eventual winner and club Vice President David Dean. Heat one Poyner hung on to win with a hard charging Dean coming fast after his set up came to him late. In the final it was Poyner most of the way until Dean made a daring dive to the inside of Poyner in turn seven, the two banged wheels and pods heading for turn eight and it was Dean slipping by to take the win in one of the most exciting races of the weekend. Jeremy Bolstad was third and “the Colonel” Dan Sanders winning the Yamaha Class.
FT- Poyner 43.257
IAME CUP SR. & JR. / Tag Masters- This has to be one of the best non-Rotax classes around…IAME who has been around the karting sport of years along with IKF has their version of the RotaxMax series with the “IAME CUP.” Qualifying saw one of the most talented and underrated drivers around Remo Ruscitti take the pole and heat one on Saturday. In heat two, Ruscitti had it a little tougher with the arrival of another VERY talented young up and comer by the name of Scott Hargrove and Michael Valiante who had flown in from Lime Rock, CT where Hargrove was running a Skip Barber event. The pair flew in just to compete in the Iame/ Rotax show down. Also arriving late was former world class shifter ace David Jurca…but none of them could stop Ruscitti as he went on to win heat two and the final followed by Hargrove, Jurca, Valiante, Laithwaite, O’Farrell, Wallin, & Moss. Laura Freeman went on to win the Iame Cup Jr.3 division a milestone for the Portland, Oregon driver.
FT- Ruscitti 39.585
Rotax Jr., Sr., Micro,& Mini Max– Canadian driver Matt Moniz proved once again that he is most definitely one of the best Rotax Jr. drivers (in my eyes) in the nation by besting the stellar field of Rotax Jr. drivers to take the win. “The Iceman” Moniz who seems to get better with pressure battled home track ace Artie Carpenter for the pole, it was Carpenter taking the pole by .041 seconds! Carpenter had some trouble at the start of the final and had to battle back and settle for fourth. Marco Eakins, part of the Black Flag Racing team & hardest working drivers around finished a strong second to Moniz followed by Tyler Brown (another up and coming “hot shoe”), Carpenter, and Michael Gutenberger. In Rotax Sr. action, it was defending, champion Andrew Zimmer besting the field and setting fast time of the event with a blistering 39.349 in his Black Flag Racing Team prepared Tony kart. This was no fluke as Zimmer out did the likes of Derek Wang, Bryce Choquoer, and Phil Arscott. This was not a National Event; it was a Region 6 event…who says the N.W. doesn’t have top-notch competition! In the end it was Zimmer winning Arscott second, Choquoer third, Wang fourth, and Joe McGuire fifth.
In MicroMax it was the little rocket Conner Robustelli taking the win with Elle Musgrave second, Jacob Hudson third, and Parker ‘Rocker’ Robb fourth. Parker Robb is the nephew of Sting Ray Robb and looks to have many of the same qualities of his uncle…and remember you heard it here first. In MiniMax action, it was Davey Manthei Jr. winning a hard earned top stop after Sting Ray Robb did everything he could to get the win…and off track excursion Checkered Flag racing camp owned by tuning ace George Fellner is an underdog with a real shot at winning this years title. Brinkac was third, followed by Mason Morgan and Devin Smith.
FT- Rotax Jr. – Carpenter 39.607
FT-Rotax Sr. – Zimmer 39.349
FT- MicroMax- Robustelli 44.232
FT- MiniMax- Robb 41.105
Shifters- It was all Remo Ruscitti once again as he captured the shifter class. The Italian Motors ace is the defending champion in this class, has had a hit, and miss schedule while competing in the Skip Barber Series. I cannot believe that nobody has offered this kid a karting ride…he is most definitely potential factory driver material, runner up to Ruscitti was shifter ace David Jurca followed by Valiante, Skyler Benoit (who gave these boys some real fits) and Scott Hargrove.
FT- Ruscitti 38.431
N.W.Gold Cup Iame / Rotax Shootout
To stir things up and add a little zip and zing, the NW Gold Cup decided to try a shootout, an Iame versus Rotax shootout. Since the division of TAG and ROTAX there has been a lot of Hubbub about which one is the fastest. It is a good ole’ straight up shootout. Rules?, simple. Qualify in your respective class that time is used to determine your starting spot… tires that were raced on are the tires started on in the shootout. It brought in some of the best, 14 solid performers some with national recognition, others with solid regional competition recognition. It would not disappoint.
Andrew Zimmer started on the pole along with Derek Wang, Wang who had just despicable luck on the starts all weekend long, was hoping he could get one clean start. Row 2 was Bryce Choquoer and Italian Motors ace Remo Ruscitti. Ruscitti who had been running 39.2’s in practice was lapping around in the low 39.3’s in his Iame Cup final. Row 3 was independent Kory Estell and Revolution Racing’s Joey McGuire. Row 4 was supposed to be Keegan Laithwaite and Scott O’Farrell, but Laithwaite got tangled up in a mix up in his final and hurt his wrist, so he was walking around the starting grid with ice, so move em’ all up one. Jerry Peterson took the move up spot and joined O’Farrell, Scott Hargrove and David Jurca made up row 5 and Michael Valiante and Blake Choquoer made up row 6…Late comers Joey Miller and Stephanova Nekeel were added.
Nekeel who was tuning for Wang all weekend got a chance to run when Veteran Doug Huggler told Nekeel “I’m all done, if you want to race it, there it is” Nekeel grabbed Hugglers driving suit, helmet, and joined the field at the rear because he hadn’t qualified. NW Gold Cup Chief starter Larry Sauneauier let em roll with the wave of the green and it was Zimmer leading the ferocious pack into turn one.. Wang once again is hung out to dry and allowed Ruscitti to follow Zimmer into turn one in the second spot. Choquoer and Estell slipped through as well. Zimmer had a rear bumper full of Ruscitti who was showing that he had the speed…Zimmer’s Tony kart got wider and wider as Ruscitti applied relentless pressure on the Rotax Sr. defending champion. Meanwhile Stephanova Nekeel was working his way to the front from dead last in the Huggler Racing Engines Top Kart. One by one Nekeel was masterfully picking up spots in a ride that he never been in and his first laps all weekend started on the green…Estell settled solidly in to third and was rolling hard, this kid has some tools and can really wheel. Back up front it is Ruscitti still working Zimmer like a dog and using the WHOLE race track (curbs and all ) trying to get by Zimmer who is now fighting for his life…
Lap 11 and Ruscitti finally gets past Zimmer on the downhill going into turn two, there is not one spot open on the fence it is literally standing room only and the buzz in the air you could cut with a knife. The racing is absolutely outta here, and these drivers were flat going at it plain & simple. The old adage that “rubbin’s racin’” was certainly being shown. Zimmer in second and quietly Scott Hargrove and Michael Valiante make their way into the top 5…and Estell and Choquoer get together on the downhill heading for turn 2…Estell goes off track after the “Rub” from Choquoer so move Hargrove and Valiante up another spot. When it all said and done, Zimmer has faded and loses a motor while coming on to the front straight which collects Wang who has no where to go putting some pretty good damage on the rear of the #88. Zimmer ends up 12 and Wang 13th Jurca finishes 14th and does not even make a lap in the event when carb troubles sidelines the #92.
Ruscitti rolls on to the win with Nekeel second, #38 Scott Hargrove third, the #95 of Valiante in 4th, Bryce Choquoer 5th, #6 Joey McGuire 6th, #51 Scott O’Farrell 7th, #8 Kory Estell 8th, #87 Joey Miller 9th, #42 Jerry Peterson 10th, #2 Blake Choquoer 11th, #73 Andrew Zimmer 12th, #88 Derek Wang 13th, and #92 David Jurca 14th DNS.
The shootout proves huge…the next shootout will be at Mountain High Raceway when the NW Gold Cup/Rotax Challenge Series rolls into town July 8 thru 10. You will not want to miss round 2 of the Iame/Rotax shootout. For more information about the shootout go to http://www.nwgoldcup.com. Until next time, this is a the voice of NW motorsports Terry Bridges from ProSoundAudioServices telling you all to follow US Karting News for the latest happenings’ in the world of karting and follow their instructions…..”SUPPPORT the SPORT!”