Round Seven of the Los Angeles Karting Championship in the Books
Round Seven of the Los Angeles Karting Championship in the Books
Griffin scores sixth win of the season; Prikhodko stays perfect through 2014
The seventh round of the Los Angeles Karting Championship took place this past weekend (August 17) at the CalSpeed Karting Complex and once again, the paddock was full with talent from California and surrounding states. Set adjacent to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, the CalSpeed facility is a fantastic venue that offers five unique and challenging configurations. On this weekend, over 160 LAKC racers competed on the 3/4–mile long ‘Grande’ configuration. The normally quick day of racing was stretched out, unfortunately, due to a stoppage in racing after a nasty crash in the Junior 1 Comer Pilot class. Tyler Schlappatha crashed in the Prefinal and was transported to the hospital. Upon examination, Tyler had broken his femur bone and had surgery on it immediately. Doctors expect Tyler to be back and racing in time for next season. Everyone at the LAKC wishes him a speedy recovery.
The racing was epic, as usual, with the championship battles now starting to form. KC Cook did a very good job in stretching out his point lead in the Mike Manning Karting PRD Senior Pilot class at round seven. Cook scored a clean sweep of the day, from grabbing the pole position to narrowly holding off Luis Perez for a six tenths of a second win. Perez ran second all day, while Jacob Pope was a constant in third. With the top three in points running the exact same way in the day’s racing, not too much change is expected in the post-race point standings.
Perfect weekends were also had in three of the five shifter classes offered by the LAKC. Christian Brooks joined the Nash Motorsportz S5 Junior Stock Moto field this past weekend. Brooks began the day impressively by outrunning Anthony Sawyer by eight tenths of a second for the pole in qualifying. Following up with a Prefinal win, Brooks ran to a seven-second victory in the seventh main event of 2014. Class point leader Nicky Hays finished second, while Sawyer completed the podium. Slava Prikhodko continued his winning streak at Round Seven, by sweeping the day in the TM Racing USA Open 125 Shifter class. When the 14-lap main event concluded, Prikhodko had checked out to an astonishing 16-second victory over Kris Valdez and Jesse Romer.
Kolton Griffin collected his sixth win of the season in the 2 Wild Karting S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto category. Griffin has been dominant throughout 2014, winning all but one race, the April round in which he did not compete. The Arizona shifter pilot kept his theme of domination rolling on Sunday as he swept the round. After beating out Pete Yerkovich by a just over a tenth of a second in qualifying, Griffin was only eight hundredths of a second off S1 polesitter Billy Musgrave’s best time. The Prefinal was another stellar performance by Griffin as he ran away from the S2 field, and hung with S1 point man Musgrave, finishing second overall. The main event began with Griffin coming from the back of the combined grid, giving the early lead to Yerkovich. As Griffin made his way up the leaderboard, he would not have enough laps to claim the lead, with Yerkovich crossing the line first. But a one-position penalty for rolling the start was handed to Yerkovich, awarding Griffin his sixth win of the season. Billy Musgrave swept the day on the way to his sixth win of the season in the 7G S1 Pro Stock Moto class.
The two remaining classes of shifter karts were the S4 and S4 Magnum classes. Willy Musgrave scored the win at the last round in July, and looked to be on the path to do it again this weekend in the Musgrave Racing Company S4 Master Stock Moto class. Musgrave grabbed the pole in qualifying, and then went on to hold off point leader Erik Jackson for the win in the Prefinal. The main event began with Musgrave out front, but it didn’t take long for Jackson to show his hand. By the fourth circuit of the 14-lap feature, Jackson found his way around Musgrave and held the point until the end, motoring to his third victory of the year. Musgrave would have to settle for second, while Cris Araujo completed the podium. John Reikes claimed his first victory of 2014 this past Sunday in the Acceleration Kart Racing S4 Magnum Stock Moto field. It may have been his first win, but Reikes did not just sneak out of anywhere, he earned the Round Seven victory after winning the class pole position in qualifying and running second in the Prefinal. Steve Donia and Jeff Krogstad joined Reikes on the podium.
A different driver stood atop the leaderboard in each session on Sunday in the PureKarting.com Honda Kid Karts class. Cooper Hicks entered the weekend third in points, and impressed by laying down the top time in qualifying. Behind Hicks were Carson Morgan and Dane Idelson. Hicks slid a few spots at the start and had to work his way back to the lead. After taking over the top spot on lap three, he would settle for a third place finish, while Nick Curry advanced forward to take the win. Morgan jumped from the outside of row one into the lead off the green flag in the main event, and never looked back. Morgan grabbed the victory, with Curry in second and Hicks in third.
Racing was great as always in the PRD classes at the LAKC this past weekend. Paul Bonilla made good headway in his championship chase in the Phil Giebler Racing PRD Masters class. Bonilla came to Round Seven trailing Mike Johnson by 24 points, and cut into his lead by winning on Sunday. Johnson got things going by grabbing the pole position in qualifying with Bonilla in second and John Bush in third. In the Prefinal, both Johnson and Bonilla spent time at the front, but neither were the victor. Johnson led early, and Bonilla took over at the halfway point. In the end, it was Bush who grabbed the Prefinal win. The main event began with Bush leading the way for the first two laps. On lap three, Bonilla took control of the top spot and drove away to the victory. Bush hung tough in second place, and finished two seconds behind Bonilla while Johnson completed the podium in third.
Hannah Grisham bested the 17 other drivers who filled the grid on Sunday in the Mack Motorsports PRD Junior 2 class, scoring her first class victory of the season. Grisham started the day second after qualifying behind fast driver Anthony Sawyer. The Prefinal belonged to Sawyer as he led every lap and beat Jake Drew to the line by four seconds. In the main event, Sawyer looked to be running away from the field, and he was, until the last lap. Sawyer led every circuit of the final, until Grisham stole the lead to earn her first victory. Sawyer settled for second with Chance Skaufel in third.
Connor Funk came from a disqualification in qualifying to win in the D Power Racing PRD Senior class. Funk ran to a sixth place finish in the Prefinal, and then went on a tear in the main event, going from seventh to first in 10 laps on his way to the top step of the podium. Paul Bonilla made his second trip to the podium on the day thanks to a second place finish, while pole position winner David Vasquez came home third.
As per usual, the Comer classes raced on track together on Sunday. Empire Karts Junior 1 Comer Pilot class point leader Cole Keith Cotham led the way most of the day. Cotham grabbed the pole position in qualifying, and went on to win the Prefinal. The main event rolled off the grid without Cotham, however, opening the door for Dominic Gorden to move in to the top spot. Gorden led the entire race and scored the win. Alexander Diakouopoulos had his best result of the season, as the ninth place driver in points ran second all day while Kasey Gillis finished third. Fleming Racing Engines Junior 1 Comer Round One winner Ryan Schartau claimed his second victory of the season this past Sunday. Jagger Jones began the day by qualifying on top, with brother Jace behind in second. Jagger stayed at the point in the Prefinal, while Myles Farhan moved in to second place with Schartau up to third. Jagger fell from down the leaderboard after the first lap, which promoted Schartau to the lead. Jace Jones ran second, and finished there. The real story of the final was Dakota Tate driving from eighth to finish third on Sunday.
The TaG categories on display at the LAKC saw three different winners. Erik Jackson doubled up with wins by standing atop the podium in S4, as well as in the PSL SoCal.com TaG Masters class. Jackson would have to contend with a field full of talented racers on Sunday. Tony Rossetti beat out John Molinare for the pole position. Rossetti maintained the podium and crossed the line first in the Prefinal, but would be disqualified in tech inspection for not having a catch can. Vatche Tatikian was awarded the Prefinal win. Tatikian led all but the one lap in the main event that mattered. Jackson battled with Michael Middleton in the late stages but pulled away to challenge and take the lead and the victory from Tatikian on the final circuit. Tatikian settled for second with Rossetti holding third.
Alejandro Fernandez has only run two races in the Buddy Rice Karting TaG Senior class at this point in 2014, and won both of them. Fernandez won Round Three back in April, and added a second victory this past Sunday. Fernandez was forced to come from the back of the field after being disqualified in qualifying for missing a weight fastener. Fernandez made quick work of the Prefinal, going from last to second in just 10 laps. The main event was all Fernandez as he led wire-to-wire to score his second win of the year. Ty Matta and point leader Eric Molinatti rounded out the podium.
Myles Farhan swept the day in the RPM TaG Cadet class, extending his slim point lead over Jagger Jones. Jagger made sure to keep things tight though, as he finished second to Farhan on Sunday, while Dante Yu came home third.
The LAKC still has two exciting rounds of racing remaining in the 2014 season, with Round Eight set to take place on September 21. For more information on the Los Angeles Karting Championship visit them at lakc.org, and like them on Facebook.
Updated 27 Aug 2014 12:26
Los Angeles Karting Championship Races to Halfway Point
LOS ANGELES KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP RACES TO HALFWAY POINT
Nine drivers rack up perfect weekends at Round Five
FONTANA, CA (July 3, 2014) - The Los Angeles Karting Championship hosted racers and teams this past weekend for the fifth round of the 2014 season. The LAKC is a premier karting series in Southern California that holds its races at the CalSpeed Karting Center located outside the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The season's fifth event saw nine drivers sweep their respective classes, as well as several drivers extending their already impressive championship lead at the halfway point of the season.
Eric Molinatti stretched what is already an impressive point lead in the Buddy Rice Karting TaG Senior field. Molinatti owned Round Five on Sunday as he dominated from qualifying to the main event. After edging out Jin Bai for the pole position, Molinatti went on to lead flag-to-flag and grab the Prefinal win ahead of Bai and Dylan Palatin. The main event began with Bai jumping out to the lead on lap one and maintaining the spot in strong fashion. Bai lead from the opening lap until lap 14, which is when Molinatti reclaimed the lead and drove to the win. Bai completed a successful weekend by coming home in second ahead of Cody Ensign. Aaron Schmitt and Nikita Lastochkin completed the top-five.
Tony Rossetti continued to work on closing the gap on Erik Jackson by sweeping Round Five in the PSL So Cal TaG Masters category. Rossetti scored max points on Sunday from qualifying to the final, staying on top throughout the day. Rossetti beat Roy Steele and Peter Mokran for the pole position in qualifying and kept the position through the Prefinal. After a poor start to begin the main event, Rossetti slipped from first to third. Steele took the point with Jackson running second. Lap three is when Rossetti made his move and reclaimed the lead. Rossetti drove to the victory with Peter Mokran climbing up to finish a close second. In third was Nicolas Esguerra, while Tim Meyers was fourth and Harin De Silva was fifth.
The S1, S2 and Open 125 group session saw all three of the classes get swept by three talented drivers. Billy Musgrave added yet another win to his long list at Round Five. Musgrave swept the weekend in the 7G S1 Pro Stock Moto Class by beating out Matias Podboj each of the race day's three official sessions, from qualifying to the main event. Kolton Griffin continued to show drivers in the 2 Wild Karting S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto how to get around CalSpeed Karting Center. The Arizona driver outran Cameron Jocelyn and the Travis Nicklas for the class pole position. Griffin was solid in the Prefinal, enough to track down and pass S1 race leader Billy Musgrave for the overall win. Griffin duplicated the feat in the main event as he grabbed not only the S2 class win, but the overall victory as well. Behind Griffin in S2 was Pete Yerkovich Jr. and Jocelyn. Slava Prikhodko kept Kris Valdez and Chris Curtis at bay as he swept the day in the TM Racing USA Open 125 Shifter category.
Jagger Jones scored his first win of the 2014 season in the RPM TaG Cadet class, and he did it in dominating fashion. Jones swept the action in Round Five staying out front all day. After beating point leader Myles Farhan for the pole in qualifying, Jones went on to lead every lap of the Prefinal. No body had anything for Jones in the Final as he drove to his first main event victory of the season. Behind him on the podium was Farhan and Ryan Schartau, while Colin Queen and Jagger's brother Jace completed the top-five. KC Cook grabbed his third win of the season this past weekend in the Mike Manning Karting PRD Senior Pilot class. Cook was the class of the field sweeping the day. Behind Cook in the finishing order was Luis Perez and Michael Manning. Bryce Murphy and Jin Bai completed the top-five.
Paul Bonilla was working on a perfect day in the D Power Racing PRD Senior class after going two for three in official on track session. Bonilla was on top of the leader board in qualifying and then led the whole Prefinal heading to the win. At the start of the main event, Matt Johnson got around Bonilla for the top spot. Bonilla came back the next lap to retake the position and then engage in a battle with David Vasquez for the next several laps. Vasquez and Johnson then demoted Bonilla, and shared the battle for the win. Johnson would end up scoring his second straight feature win over Vasquez. Bonilla joined the top two on the podium, while Jordan Robertson and Derek Zimmerman filled out the top-five. Bonilla would redeem himself in the Phil Giebler Racing PRD Masters class. Bonilla ran away with the class victory sweeping the day from qualifying to the main. Behind Bonilla in the Final was Mike Johnson and Bryan Bender on the podium. Steve Hansen and Robert Montgomery completed the top-five.
Anthony Sawyer earned the victory in the Mack Motorsports PRD Junior 2 class. Chance Skaufel opened up the racing action with a win, working by top qualifier Aaron Aguirre for the Prefinal triumph. Sawyer, who qualified second, completed just one lap in the Prefinal and was forced to start from the 18th grid position. A great start put him into the top-10 early, and by lap six, he was into the top-five. Sawyer continued the stellar drive, reaching the lead with two laps remaining. He held on to take the checkered flag by over a second ahead of Jake Drew and Jonathon Eshom, while Aguirre and Jordan Turner completed the top-five.
Dominic Gorden and Cole Keith Cotham battled in the Empire Karts Junior 1 Comer Pilot class. Cotham got the day going by grabbing the pole position in qualifying ahead of Gorden and Jalen Mack. Cotham kept the ball rolling in the Prefinal by outrunning Mack, who raced with Gorden to gain the second spot, which dropped Gorden to third for the start of the final. Cotham looked to add to his point lead by completing the sweep of the day, but Gorden had other plans. With less than five laps to go, Gorden took the lead away from Cotham and drove to the victory. Cotham crossed the line three seconds back with Shea Weston third over Rylee Martinez and Ryan McElwee.
The Fleming Racing Engines Junior 1 Comer category had a different driver hold the top spot in each on-track session Sunday. Point leader Jagger Jones grabbed the pole position in qualifying ahead of Myles Farhan and Colin Queen. The Prefinal was a back and forth race between the top two qualifiers as Farhan took the lead on lap three and held it until Jones reclaimed the top spot. Farhan regained the top spot with one lap to go and took the win. Jones came back to lead the first nine laps of the main event until Farhan and Queen began mixing up the order. The trio put on a great show, exchanging the lead with each circuit until Queen edged out Jones by 28 thousandths of a second for the victory. Farhan settled for third with Marcus Rodriguez and Oliver Calvo making up the top-five.
Action in the Pure Karting Honda Kid Karts class has been some of the best at the LAKC program this year. Following Cooper Hicks' Round Five victory this weekend, he and Chance Gibson are locked in a dead tie for the championship lead. Hicks began the day by grabbing the pole in qualifying ahead of Carson Morgan. Hicks maintained the lead in the Prefinal until two laps remaining when Morgan drove past for the win. Hicks grabbed the lead off the start of the main event, and led each and every circuit en route to the victory. Carson Morgan received a two-position penalty after crossing the line second, moving Gibson to the runner-up spot and Dane Idelson behind in third. Morgan was scored fourth and Sheldon Andrews earned the fifth position.
As they have all year, the S4, S4 Magnum and S5 racers shared the track at Round Five this weekend. The competition in S4 has been so close all year. Willy Musgrave scored his first Musgrave Racing Company S4 Masters Stock Moto victory of 2014 after being out of the mix most of the day. Qualifying went to Darren Elliott with Musgrave failing to get out for the timed session. Elliott led the field for the first five laps until he and Erik Jackson - who had been competing at a race in Utah the day before - took the lead with four to go and checked out for the win. Jackson was on point in the final as he led every lap and drove to the checkers first with Willy Musgrave crossing the line closely behind in second place. Unfortunately for Jackson, a one-position penalty was assessed for a loose bumper, handing Musgrave the win. Jackson finished second while Mike Mantel, Rick McAllister and Alex King rounded out the top-five. There was plenty of parody in the Acceleration Kart Racing S4 Magnum as a different driver was on top each session. Jeff Krogstad got things going by grabbing the pole position in qualifying. Krogstad got a bad start in the Prefinal and fell to the back of the pack while Delcoure drove to the win. Much like in S4, the Prefinal winner crossed the finish line as the winner in the Final. Unfortunately just like is S4, the win would not stand. Delcoure was disqualified for coming across the scales light and Steve Donia was named the winner. Nicky Hays dominated the competition in Nash Motorsportz S5 Junior Stock Moto class. Hays spent the day at the front competing for the overall win in the Prefinal and Final. Anthony Sawyer finished second while Noah Grey stood on the podium in third.
The LAKC's unique and fun Team Series championship closed up after the action during Round Five. The Smokin Fast Motorsports team of Matt Johnson, Myles Farhan, Luis Perez and Mike Johnson left the weekend as the point leaders ahead of Kolton Griffin, Jagger Jones, and Pete Yerkovich's Pure Karting team.
Saturday night, LAKC introduced their Econo 100 class before Round Five action took place. Tyler Coffman held off Josh Kurtz for the inaugural race of the class at the LAKC. The July LAKC race for the Econo 100 class will be open to anyone 15 years and older and is open to any karting 100cc air cooled 2-stroke engines (no gearbox), with open clutch or direct drive, any brand or compound for tires and open kart exhaust. Weight will be separated by specific types of engine makes. The cost is just $15 to cover your pit pass fee with cash prizes set to be awarded. For more rule information, visit the LAKC website.
The Los Angeles Karting Championship will resume racing later this month on July 27 as the program prepares for Round Six. With four weekends of racing left on the 2014 calendar, the LAKC is preparing for the best racing of the season as the championships will be decided with every lap. The LAKC will also be hosting a free BBQ for teams and drivers during the July race, following practice Saturday night. For more about the Los Angeles Karting Championship, please visit LAKC.org and Like them on Facebook.
About the Los Angeles Karting Championship (LAKC):
Since 1985, the Los Angeles Karting Championship series has provided a family-friendly, sprint kart racing environment for all ages in the Southern California region. Our mission is to provide the most competitive, largest sprint kart classes in the region at the lowest prices in the industry. We are extremely proud of averaging of 2,400 competitive entries per year. Our series operates from the CalSpeed Karting Center located at the AAA Speedway in Fontana, CA. This premier, super-clean karting center provides our series with four race configurations. For more information about the Los Angeles Karting Championship please visit LAKC.org and Like them on Facebook.