CONCORD, N.C. – The second half of the 2012 World Karting Association Mazda / Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series begins this weekend with the MKP Nationals taking 2-cycle sprint karting’s center stage at the popular Michiana Raceway Park near South Bend, Indiana.
Round four of the six-race national circuit has the Man Cup Series back at MRP for the fourth year in a row and seventh time in the last eight years.
This weekend’s event is the 13th time MRP has hosted a Man Cup national. The record entry count came in 2006, when 549 entrants filled the pits. Last year’s entry count of 537 nearly surpassed the record.
Pre-registration numbers for this weekend’s MKP Nationals have matched the pre-entry count of last year, giving the series an opportunity to set a new MRP Man Cup record.
There should be plenty of rubber down on the MRP circuit as this weekend’s Man Cup is the fourth consecutive weekend of national-caliber sprint racing. The Great Lakes Sprint Series, a top WKA divisional circuit, ran at the South Bend-area venue June 16-17; the Route 66 Sprint Series, which includes many Man Cup regulars, ran MRP June 23-24; and last weekend the Rotax “Shootout” had the track abuzz with an important preparation event for the August 7-11 United States Rotax Max Grand Nationals.
And the action at Michiana won’t slow down any time soon. After the MKP Nationals, WKA racing is back at MRP the very next weekend with the July 13-15 Baker Racing Engines Nationals, round three of the 2012 WKA RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Gold Cup Series.
Houston, Texas racer Mason Chelootz enters round four as the top winner on the 2012 Manufacturers Cup circuit thus far. Chelootz, a Grand Products Top Kart racer in the TaG, Leopard and Komet senior divisions, has seven wins in the first three events to lead all drivers. The last Man Cup outing at Pittsburgh Int’l Race Complex saw Chelootz race to an incredible four feature wins in five starts.
Greenfield, Indiana’s Zach Holden has posted six wins in 2012 Manufacturers Cup plus a number of Great Lakes divisional feature triumphs. Holden is the top Sportsman class winner thus far aboard his No. 2 Arrow chassis and shares Chelootz’s legitimate chance at a 2012 WKA Triple Crown championship.
Illinois’ Kyle Kalish and Connecticut’s Alex Verhagen enter this weekend tied for third on the Man Cup win list. Kalish has wheeled his Franklin Motorsports Merlin to four wins in the ultra-competitive Junior divisions, while Verhagen is on an impressive four-race winning streak in Yamaha Rookie Sportsman aboard his Mike Doty Racing Haase.
Ohio PCR racer Leonardo Stoia sits fifth on the win list. Stoia’s three wins have come in the Jr Sportsman classes and have the talented youngster in contention for national championships.
Jared Cordova, John Ferris III, Scott Ferris, Brandon Jarsocrak, Brandon Lemke, Ashley Rogero, Cal Stewart and Chris Wehrheim each enter this weekend with two main event wins on the season.
Pre-entry pickup, registration and kart pre-tech will run Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. On-track action kicks off Friday with a full day of controlled practice. Twenty national classes plus Kid Kart exhibition events will run between Saturday and Sunday.
Click here for the event entry blank, which includes the weekend schedule, lodging and other important information.