Superkarts! USA regional program completes CalSpeed Karting chapter with final event outside the Auto Club Speedway
The California ProKart Challenge completed the 2022 season over the October 1-2 weekend, signifying the end of two things. First, the sixth and final round of the Superkarts! USA regional program was contested at the CalSpeed Karting facility. Secondly, the Fontana, California facility hosted its final regional event prior to its closing later this year. CalSpeed has been the site to many Superkarts! USA events during its history, and the final chapter of that story helped to decide this year’s series champions. The backdrop was perfect with weather sunny and warm for the nearly 100 drivers competing over the two-day event on the ‘Classico’ layout.
A total of 23 drivers contested the HRT Driver Development KA100 Senior class. The race for the victory and the championship was between Blake Nash and Frankie Mossman. Nash was able to set fast time in qualifying and win the Prefinal with Mossman second. In the Final, Nash and Mossman swapped the lead until lap nine when it was Mossman securing the position as Nash fell down outside the top-five. Mossman led the remainder of the main event to secure his third victory of the season. Nash was able to fight back to second, but would be disqualified from the event due to unsportsmanlike actions in the scale line. That promoted Aiden Kempf to the runner-up position with Andrew Chapman completing the podium in third. Billy Musgrave was classified fourth with Ethan Lampe up four spots to fifth after issues in the Prefinal.
The victory and sweep of the event following the post-race penalties in the final round helped to propel Mossman to the top of the championship standings, earning the 2022 title in KA100 Senior. Lampe came up just 24 points short while Nash’s actions at the finale – which will be under review by Superkarts! USA – cost him a chance at the title, finishing the season in the third position.
Every point was crucial in the Nash Motorsportz KA100 Junior division with Keagan Kaminski and Charlie Smith entering the final round separated by two points. It was Payton Westcott that took the spotlight following qualifying, posting a 43.361-lap to earn fast time as the top-four were separated by only 66 thousandths – including Smith in second. Westcott continued to run at the front of the field in the Prefinal, leading the majority of the race to claim the win ahead of Stephen Eisert. The Final was a great battle including a host of drivers. Westcott was joined at the front by Eisert, Alexander Gonzalez and Caden Chrisman. All took a turn at the point while Kaminski inched his way forward after starting seventh. By lap 22, Kaminski had taken over the lead. He held on for the final two laps, crossing the line to earn his first victory of the season. Gonzalez finished second with Smith climbing up 12 spots to third. Westcott missed the podium by one spot, with Alex Mercado up eight spots to round out the top-five.
Kaminski’s lone victory of the season helped to earn him the 2022 championship in KA100 Junior. The final standings have Kaminski ahead by 18 points over Smith with Round One winner William Rasmussen in third.
The Empire Karts Mini Swift category welcomed a first-time winner to close out the 2022 season. Round Two winner Nico Sarphati began the event with fast time in qualifying, edging out Round Five victor Turner Brown by 97 thousandths of a second. Sitting third in the session was Bronson Koustas, who crossed the line second behind Brown at the end of the Prefinal but was awarded the win after the provisional winner was removed after tech. Koustas lost the lead at the start of the 24-lap Final with Round One winner Michael McGaughy taking over the top spot. By lap four, Koustas was back at the point and drove away to a three-second advantage to claim his first class win. McGaughy settled for second with Sarphati in third. Brown fought back from the Prefinal issue to improve 10 spots to fourth with McLaren Carroll in fifth.
An eighth-place finish in the final round kept Johnie Stamps at the top of the standings for the Mini Swift championship. Stamps, a two-time winner on the season, finished 93 points ahead of Nixon Ellsworth with Brown ending the title chase in third.
For a third time this season, Troy Ferguson was able to triumph in the P1 Racing Engines Micro Swift class. Ferguson was only third in the qualifying session as former race winners Brayden Wagner and Matthew Cagle tied for fast lap with identical 46.228-lap times. In the Prefinal, Ferguson was able to leap ahead of both to claim the race win and then led all 24 laps of the Final for his third victory in 2022. Julian Sanchez improved five spots to place runner-up ahead of Cagle. Wagner had fast time of the race but finished fourth ahead of Luca Popescu.
The three wins allowed Ferguson to stand out from the rest of the field in 2022, taking home the Micro Swift championship. Cagle was short by only nine points with Sanchez ending up a close third, back by 39 markers.
The Factory Karts Pro Shifter division welcomed its largest field of the season with 16 drivers battling in the six-speed category. Leading the way after the timed qualifying session was former SKUSA Pro Tour champion Kyle Wick, setting a new track record for the category with a 40.164 lap time. Second in the session was provisional series champion Billy Musgrave who grabbed the holeshot win in the Prefinal, leading all 14 laps. The Final was all Musgrave, taking another wire-to-wire victory for his fifth of the season. Micah Hendricks drove to the runner-up spot in his only start of the 2022 season, with Round Five runner-up Keawn Tandon in third. Mathias Coito and former SKUSA ProMoto Tour champion Alan Sciuto completed the top-five. Luis Quinones was the lone driver in the Factory Karts Master Shifter category.
Musgrave added to his collection of California ProKart Challenge championships over the last decade. Ansel Baldovin finished the season second with Luca Bortone in third.
Tony Rossetti was the only other driver at the event to sweep the weekend, pacing the field in the Leading Edge Motorsports X30 Master category. Rossetti set fast time in qualifying and then went green-to-checkered flag in both the Prefinal and Final. The main event was a dominating performance, driving away to a near nine-second advantage for his lone victory of the season. Branden Bell drove to second with Myron Massey joining them on the podium. Robert Switzler and Scott Nealon completed the top-five.
Switzler finished out the season with the most points in the X30 Master division to claim the 2022 series championship. Nealon ended up second with Rossetti advancing up to the third spot with his victory at the series finale.
Brett Harrelson made it three-for-three on the year at CalSpeed, earning the victory in the Mike Manning Karting KA100 Master class. Tim Meyer was able to edge out Harrelson by seven thousandths of a second in qualifying for fast time in the session. Meyer led early in the Prefinal before Harrelson took control and went on to win. The Final was all Harrelson, as he led each of the 24 laps in the main event for his third victory on the season. Meyer settled for second with Ron Schoonover grabbing his second straight podium result in finishing third. Brian Phillipsen and Ronnie Swaim rounded out the top-five.
Two wins to open up the year kept Phillipsen at the top of the standings throughout the 2022 season, making him the series champion for KA100 Master. Missing it by 10 points, Swaim settled for the second position on the championship podium with Schoonover finishing out the year in third.
The champions and the rest of the top-three finishers in each championship category for the 2022 California ProKart Challenge will be recognized at the Awards Banquet, scheduled for October 29 at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California. All racers, guests and California PKC supporters are welcomed to attend.