CONCORD, N.C. – The World Karting Association completed its Michiana Raceway Park swing this past weekend with the RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Baker Racing Engines Nationals. Mazda / Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series teams filled the MRP paddock the week before with their MKP Nationals.
While full race recap stories will be included in August’s version of WKA’s Karting Scene online magazine, here are news and notes on the top stories at the popular South Bend, Indiana, venue.
Manufacturers Cup MKP Nationals
Blazing hot weather greeted round four of the six-race Man Cup Series July 6-8. Temperatures reached over 100 degrees Thursday, Friday and Saturday before letting up slightly for Sunday’s action.
Over 560 entrants set a new record for a Manufacturers Cup event at MRP. The previous record was 549 in 2006.
No one was able to win three MKP Nationals finals but several racers won a pair of main events.
After posting his first career Man Cup win at Pittsburgh in May, David Malukas (Birel) netted his first double-win weekend at MRP. Malukas won Cadet Final 1 over Nick Luedeke and Yamaha Sportsman 1 over Leonardo Stoia.
Brandon Lemke joined Malukas as a Jr Sportsman double winner. Lemke raced his Merlin to wins in Saturday’s Komet Sportsman and Sunday’s Yamaha Sportsman 2.
Jimmy Clark became the first driver to sweep the Yamaha Supercan divisions in 2012. Clark wheeled his CRG to dominating wins over Tony Jump in Yamaha Supercan Lite and Patrick Olsen in Supercan Heavy.
Mike McAndrews won his first two Man Cup mains of 2012. McAndrews raced his Birel to scores in Komet Jr Lite and Yamaha Jr Lite.
Jesus Rios Jr. (Birel) and Andrew Palmer (Kosmic) split the TaG mains. Rios bested Sam Beasley in TaG 1. Palmer got the jump on Rios is Sunday’s TaG 2 and led wire-to-wire for the win.
Beasley started in the 28th and last position in Parilla Leopard and passed nearly every kart on the track to make it to second. When fellow Arrow pilot Jacob Donald was disqualified in post-race tech, Beasley was awarded the victory, meaning he started dead last and won.
Jeff Jewell (Margay) and Scott Ferris (Top Kart) each won a TaG Masters main. Jewell captured his first Man Cup win of the season in Saturday’s Final 1, while Ferris recorded his third TaG Masters win in four starts in Sunday’s weekend capper.
Haase racer Alex Verhagen won his fifth Yamaha Rookie Sportsman main in a row in Saturday’s Rookie Final 1. Jason Welage (Merlin) ended Verhagen’s impressive streak in Sunday’s Rookie Final 2 with the win over Samuel Paley; Verhagen was third.
Kyle Kalish and Kyle Kirkwood joined McAndrews as winners in the ultra-competitive Junior divisions. Kirkwood wheeled his Arrow to the win in Komet Jr Heavy while Kalish dominated Sunday’s final race, Yamaha Jr Heavy.
Leonardo Stoia raced his PCR to the Cadet Final 2 triumph. Jacob Donald (Arrow) and Mason Chelootz (Top Kart) split the Komet senior mains with Donald taking Komet Lite and Chelootz winning Komet Heavy.
Next up for the Man Cup is Aug. 3-5 at Norway, Illinois’ Concept Haulers Motor Speedway. Click here for the KartLift Nationals entry form.
Gold Cup Baker Racing Engines Nationals
The Gold Cup’s third round of the year marked its first trek north of the Mason-Dixon Line after opening rounds at Jacksonville, Fla., and Barnesville, Ga.
Ohio’s Gary Lawson and New York’s Jake Lutz were the big winners.
Lawson, a two-time WKA Triple Crown champion with countless Gold Cup and Man Cup feature wins, had his best weekend of the year with three national class victories and another triumph in Friday night’s Animal Heavy Money Race.
Lawson raced his No. 10 Arrow to wins in Stock Medium, Stock Heavy and Sr Box Stock Final 1 in his first Gold Cup appearance behind the wheel of the Clone-powered kart. Lawson dominated the Money Race, finished several seconds ahead of a trio of Coyotes in Sean Meier, Dakota Bell and Scott Kleman.
Lutz wheeled his Coyote to a sweep of the three Junior Animal classes he started. After missing Barnesville, the Lutz came back with vengeance at MRP, winning Jr Lite, Jr Medium and Jr Heavy. Lutz only lost one round of competition all weekend among three classes of qualifying, heats and features, when he qualified second in Jr Lite.
Andrew Castelucci swept the LO206 Kid Kart features. Castelucci bested Cale Hall in Final 1 and Ashton Carter in Final 2.
Tyler Frantz won his first career Gold Cup feature. In fact, Frantz not only won Saturday’s Sportsman 2 Lite, but he backed it up with a weekend sweep of the class with his score in Sunday’s Sportsman 2 Heavy.
Cody Hall won both Jr Sportsman 1 Box Stock finals. Hall bested Jason Alder in Final 1 and finished ahead of Matthew Miller in Final 2.
Tim Stiefel swept the Masters mains events, while Jacob Duvall raced his DR Kart to a pair of X-30 Senior wins over Birel drivers Blake Deister and Jackson Mears.
Gabriel Zellner and Nick Fauci split the Sportsman 1 Animal features. For Fauci, it was his first-ever Gold Cup win after a couple years of trying. Zellner won Sportsman 1 Lite and Fauci triumphed in Heavy.
A couple of Georgia Razor racers won the Jr Sportsman 2 Box Stock features. Dylan Murry won Final 1 and Connor Tebbe triumphed in Final 2. Jacob Zellner was second in both races.
New York’s Ryan Bavineau won his first Gold Cup main with his Restricted Junior score Sunday afternoon. Bavineau won over Dustin Demattia.
Tanner Lee and Tyler Smith won the Jr Box Stock finals. Lee won Saturday’s Final 1 and Smith won over his twin brother Aren in Final 2.
Florida’s Ashley Rogero was one of a few drivers to run both WKA weekends at MRP. Rogero won X-30 Junior Final 1. Derek Sobel bested Rogero in Sunday’s X-30 Junior Final 2.
Travis Manning gave MGM its only win of the weekend in Stock Lite. Manning won over Coyote racer Steven Kilsdonk.
JR Petrella beat out Manning in Animal Amateur Medium for his first WKA win of the season.
Ohio’s Eric Fagan won his second Sr Box Stock Final 2 main of the season with his win over Matthew Horst. Fagan, who also won at Jacksonville, drove Lawson’s Arrow in the race.
Next up for the Gold Cup is an Aug. 17-19 date at Pittsburgh Int’l Race Complex. Click here for the Performance North / Jammer Clutches Nationals entry form.