Photo Courtesy Sean Buur | Go Racing Magazine
South Bend, Ind. (9 July 2012) – Walldinger Racing Shell/Pennzoil scholarship winner Kyle Kirkwood had another successful race outing over the weekend in WKA Manufacturers Cup competition as he added another victory and three more podium results to his growing racing resume at the MKP Nationals held at Michiana Raceway Park in South Bend, Indiana.
Despite the extreme heat that enveloped the area on Saturday with ambient temperatures reaching the triple digits, Kirkwood’s weekend got off to a strong start when he put his No. 29 Arrow on the pole in the Komet Jr. Heavy category to line-up first among 38 entries. The Pre-Final saw Kirkwood battle for the top spot at the front of the field and ultimately finish second to start the Final from the outside of the front row.
In the Komet Jr. Heavy Final, Kirkwood immediately jumped to the lead at the drop of the green flag and led flag-to-flag as he paced the field for the entire 16-lap event to score his second WKA Manufacturers Cup victory of the year.
Saturday also saw Kirkwood contest the Yamaha Jr. Lite division which was the largest event of the day with 45 entries. Kirkwood qualified fifth among the very competitive field and had a great run in the Pre-Final to run fourth with one lap to go as the top-five karts grew a significant gap over the field as they battled for position. Kirkwood finished fifth which would put him inside the third row for the start of the Final.
Another great battle for the top-five spots ensued throughout the 16-lap Final. Swapping positions seemingly every lap, Kirkwood finished fifth at the checkered flag for his second podium result of the day.
Sunday brought some welcome relief from the heat, as temperatures fell to the mid-80 degree mark as Kirkwood looked for two more solid showings in the Komet Jr. Lite and Yamaha Jr. Heavy classes.
Kirkwood qualified fifth for Komet Jr. Lite but a promising run in the Pre-Final was thwarted when the No. 29 Arrow was knocked out of contention in the very first corner. Kirkwood was turned sideways in Turn 1 and fortunately the remaining 30+ karts avoided contact with the young racer. Unable to get restarted following the contact, he would finish 33rd and face an uphill battle for a good result in the final.
However, Kirkwood made it look easy as he raced through the field in the Final, cleanly maneuvering to make up 21 positions in the 16-lap event to finish 12th. He was credited with setting the fastest lap of the race with a 43.406-second lap.
Kirkwood had another solid run in Yamaha Jr. Heavy which again saw the largest field of the weekend with 46 entries.
The Walldinger racer qualified the No. 29 Arrow sixth on the grid and improved three positions in the 10-lap Pre-Final to open the Final from inside the second row.
Kirkwood took over the second position just laps into the event as he led a pack of three karts in a tight battle for the runner-up spot. Despite the unrelenting pressure from the third and fourth place karts, Kirkwood defended perfectly to pick up his third podium of the weekend with a second place finish.
“It was another great event for us,” said Kirkwood. “It was great to kick it off with a win and to continue to bring home solid results throughout the weekend. It was disappointing to be knocked out so early in the Komet Jr. Lite Pre-Final because I think we had a shot at the win, but I gave it all I had in the Final after starting from the back and maybe would have cracked the top-10 if I had another lap! Every race outing with KartSport is a great learning experience for me. They give me a great kart each time out and I’m really glad to be rewarding the team with some good results.”
The WKA Manufacturers Cup Series next travels to Concept Haulers Motor Speedway in Norway, Illinois for the KartLift Nationals August 3-5.
About Walldinger Racing, Inc.:
Walldinger Racing was formed in 2006 to support AJ Allmendinger’s motorsports career by developing commercial opportunities and partnership programs.
About Shell-Pennzoil: http://www.pennzoil.com/
Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs nearly 20,000 people using technology and innovation to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future. The Shell downstream organization manages a portfolio of top-quality brands, including the No. 1 selling gasoline and premium gasoline brand[i] and Pennzoil®, the most trusted motor oil brand in America*. Shell’s motorsports technical alliances around the world provide a testing ground for fuel and lubricant technologies and products in demanding road conditions. The knowledge Shell and Pennzoil gain through these alliances help address tomorrow’s world mobility energy challenge with efficient solutions that power and protect motorists around the globe.
Formed in August 2010, KartSport is the exclusive North American importer of Arrow Racing Karts. Owned and operated by professional karting and racing veterans Justin Marks and Eric Jones, and operating out of a state-of-the-art facility in Mooresville, North Carolina, KartSport delivers to the karting industry a number of quality products and services. KartSport also designs and manufacturers it’s own line of karting tools and components.
Founded in 1977 Sparco is the world leader in motor sports safety equipment. More than 35 years later, Sparco’s ambition for producing the safest and innovative driving equipment possible, is still the number one priority for the company. At speeds of more than 200 mph, and temperatures above 120 degrees, a driver must be 100% confident in their safety equipment. Therefore, the world’s top professional drivers choose Sparco, more than any other brand.
About Sunday Group Management
Sunday Group Management is a leading motorsports management and communications consulting firm with clients in NASCAR, IndyCar, GRAND-AM, and ALMS.http://www.sundaymanagement.com, http://www.facebook.com/sundaygroup, or http://www.twitter.com/Sundaygroup