CONCORD, N.C. – We’re halfway into the 2012 WKA Mazda / Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series and it appears the 2-cycle national sprint series will have a new Manufacturer (chassis) champion for the first time since 2007.
Birel has won the last four Man Cup chassis point championships, which is awarded to the chassis make with the most national wins on the season and one of the most prestigious laurels in the history of WKA.
The last manufacturer to win the chassis points other than Birel was Margay, which won the title an unprecedented six years in a row from 2002 through 2007.
After three Manufacturers Cup national events in 2012, which comprise 20 feature events per event, Birel has only four national wins.
Those four wins have the popular Italian make 10 victories behind Top Kart, which leads the standings with 14 wins on the season thus far.
Many of those Top Kart victories have come at the hands of Houston, Texas’ Mason Chelootz, who has seven wins thus far and is coming off a four-win performance earlier this month at Pittsburgh. Scott Ferris, John Ferris III, Garrett Johnston and Chris Wehrheim have all contributed to Top Kart’s 14-win total.
Sitting second with 10 wins and still very much in the hunt is the Australian-made Arrow Chassis. Sportsman driver Zach Holden has led the Arrow charge in 2012 with six wins in the first three events. Only Chelootz has won more main events thus far.
Haase has come on strong in 2012. Pilots of the Mike Doty Racing-imported mounts have stood atop the podium nine times this season. Wins have come at the hands of Jared Cordova, Brandon Jarsocrak, John McCusker and Alex Verhagen. Haase won the Man Cup chassis points back in 2001, which was the last time a make other than Birel or Margay won the prestigious title.
Merlin and PCR round out the top five with eight and six wins, respectively. Tony Kart is sixth with four triumphs, all in the junior ranks at the hands of Ashley Rogero and Joel Jens. Birel is seventh with the aforementioned four wins.
CRG, Exprit, JMK and Kosmic have one win each in Man Cup.
With three national events left on the schedule – beginning with the July 6-8 MKP Nationals at South Bend, Indiana’s Michiana Raceway Park – 60 feature wins are still up for grabs.
While Birel still has a shot, it will take a monumental effort and it appears the Manufacturers Cup Series will have a new “Manufacturer” champion for the first time since 2007.
Click here to view 2012 chassis points for WKA’s Man Cup, Gold Cup and Road Racing series.