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COOK REGAINS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AFTER SAILING TO VICTORY IN WINDY ROUND 9
With just two rounds now remaining in the 2013 Super Series Season, KC Cook has emerged as the man to beat as he holds the championship points lead after claiming his second victory of the season during this past weekend’s Round 9 action.  In a day that saw a near cancellation due to heavy winds, Cook entered the day sitting second in the standings to perennial Master’s Class favorite Sergio Bravo, but would exit over 50 points clear of his rival as he edged Darren Mercer by just 0.02 seconds for the A-Main win.  With over 270 different drivers making the Super Series grid this season, only six remain in the hunt for the coveted Overall Championship.
 
QUALIFYING HIGHLIGHTS:
 
As usual, the day would kick off with the always important qualifying runs for all 80 drivers on hand following the series of morning warmup laps.  This round would present an interesting new challenge as, in addition to the green-white-checkered format, the drivers would need to adjust their drafting strategy to properly play the wind in various sections of the Grande Configuration.  Surprisingly, several championship contenders would get caught out without a drafting partner while Chris Huerta and David Kelmenson timed their runs just right.  Huerta would edge Kelmenson by just 0.02s on the time charts for his first pole position to date, with Darren Mercer just another 0.003s back from there to produce one of the narrowest qualifying margins at the top of the charts all season.
 
QUALFYING TOP 5:
 
1.     Chris Huerta                      1:06.762
2.     David Kelmenson              1:06.782
3.     Darren Mercer                   1:06.785
4.     Jerott King                         1:06.799
5.     Kirk Feldkamp                    1:06.992
 
 
HEAT RACING HIGHLIGHTS:
 
The first set of heat races would see quite a bit of exciting action right off the bat as Heat 1A would see part-time racer Derrick Islas shake up the points by going from P4 to P1 out of the final corner as Miles Calvin attempted to make the move on race leader Chris Huerta with Kirk Feldkamp in tow.  Islas would take advantage of the loss of momentum by the trio and win the drag race to the stripe.  Also making noise in the first set of heats was Bruce Allen, who put together a charge to the front and would ultimately hold off Taylor Hays to claim his first race win to date in Heat 1B.  Moving to the second round of heat races, Huerta, Calvin, and Hays would all bounce back from close defeats to race wins of their own in their respective groups, while last month’s A-Main winner, Jonathan Vitolo, proved it was no fluke as he edged championship point leader Sergio Bravo by just 0.021s for the win in Group 2D.
 
HEAT RACE WINNERS:
 
Group 1A:  Derrick Islas            + 0.026
Group 1B:  Bruce Allen             + 0.182
Group 1C:  Darren Mercer         + 2.984
Group 1D:  KC Cook                  + 4.874
 
Group 2A:  Chris Huerta            +0.122
Group 2B:  Miles Calvin             +0.101
Group 2C:  Taylor Hays             +0.147
Group 2D:  Jonathan Vitolo        +0.021
 
 
D-MAIN HIGHLIGHTS:
 
The D-Main, while generally home the newer drivers in the series as they learn their craft and gain valuable wheel to wheel experience, can occasionally greet the veteran racer who’s fallen on some rough luck throughout any given race day.  Round 9 would see just that scenario as series regular Chris Carter looked to bounce back from an earlier incident in which he was collected in a turn six pile up.  Carter, who earlier in the year was a lap away from his first Ironman Enduro victory only to getting caught out by lap to see it slip away, would find himself out in front by a massive fifteen second margin late in this session courtesy of a furious battle behind him for control of P2 between rookies Paige Kaufman, Max Hilleret, and Lucian Millar, as well as debut drivers Matt Steele and Hasller Ortega This time however, lap traffic would not play a factor for Carter as he put together a flawless run to the checkers, claiming the win and the transfer spot to join the C-Main.  Hilleret would top the ‘best of the rest’ as he scored P2, while Steele would go on to a P3 finish in his first Super Series appearance to date.  Carter would then go on to put an exclamation point on things by putting together an impressive P21 to P5 run in the C-Main to close his day out.

D-MAIN TOP 5:
 
1.     Chris Carter + 15.101
2.     Max Hilleret
3.     Matt Steele
4.     Paige Kaufman
5.     Lucian Millar
 
 
C-MAIN HIGHLIGHTS:
 
The Round 9 C-Main would feature an interesting makeup of drivers as up and coming rookies, seasoned veterans, and a handful of town drivers would go wheel to wheel, all in search of the lone B-Main transfer spot.  The battle for the win would ultimately feature one of each as rookie Vladamir Orlov, in just his first Super Series appearance, looked to track down veteran Jeff Latimer at the front of the field, while NorCal wheelman Johnny Pegna trailed shortly behind.  While best laptimes from each at the front would be close, Latimer would best Orlov and Pegna in the consistency category en route to a nearly five second victory by the end of the 12-lap affair.  While Orlov and Pegna would not taste victory this day, their performances suggest that they will not have to wait long to contend at the front in the future. Latimer would take full advantage of his transfer spot into the day’s B-Main, capping his day with a nice P21 to P14 run to finish things off for the series regular.
 
C-MAIN TOP 5:
 
1.     Jeff Latimer + 4.851
2.     Vladamir Orlov
3.     Johnny Pegna
4.     Jose da Silva
5.     Paul Filsinger
 
 
B-MAIN HIGHLIGHTS:
 
Always one of the most intense and frenzied races of the day is always the B-Main as a whole lot of capable and willing drivers aim to claim the final spot in the A-Main field.  On this day several championship leaders would find themselves clawing for points in their respective categories, including Rookie point leader Steve Spring, as well as Heavy Championship contender Steve Jasinski.  As if their own championship rivals weren’t enough to contend with, they would be joined by the likes of several A-Main regulars including Aaron Downs, Steve Hansen, David Kelmenson, and Ben Blank.  With green flag racing underway, both Hansen and Kelmenson would work their way to the front while being joined by a trio of hotshoe rookies including Andrew Lemons, Aaron Scott, and Adam Nagao.  As the laps wound down it would be Kelmenson leading the train to the white flag.  The real drama would hit heading into the final corner as Nagao made a move up the inside that just wouldn’t stick, sending him into a half spin at the apex of the Long Beach corner. Somehow contact would be avoided by all, but the melee would leave Kelmenson uncontested to the checkers while Nagao’s ‘all in’ move would leave him stuck waiting for the rest of the field to pass until rejoining for a disappointing last place finish.  Kelmenson, after qualifying P2 on the day, would grab the final spot in the A-Main the hard way having raced his way into the show.
 
B-MAIN TOP 5:
 
1.     David Kelmenson + 0.826
2.     Andrew Lemons
3.     Steve Hansen
4.     Aaron Scott
5.     Dennis Kimbrell
 
 
A-MAIN HIGHLIGHTS:
 
Chris Huerta, having bested all 80 competitors during the morning qualifying sessions, would find himself leading an A-Main field to the green flag for the first time in his career.  The day would feature a number of personal bests for the young wheelman, however his A-Main finish would not be one of them as he would be overtaken in the first corner by teammate Taylor Hays, and would be ultimately be shuffled back even further in the early going. Hays, seeking desperately to end his historic A-Main drought, would not last long at the point either as championship rivals KC Cook and Darren Mercer would both find their way around.  Hays would link up with Jonathan Vitolo for several laps in an attempt to stay close, but would ultimately be dropped into the clutches of Jerott King and the rest of the trailing field midway thru the session.  With just a couple of laps remaining, Cook and Mercer would up the pace dropping Vitolo as well, making a two horse race to the finish.  Mercer would lead much of the final lap, taking a very defensive line into the final Long Beach hairpin.  Cook would counter with a move to the outside catching Mercer off guard as he moved to his left at the last minute, creating side-to-side contact between the two.  Cook would not blink however, and would pull off a beautiful over-under move to exit the corner to Mercer’s inside, setting up the familiar drag race run for the win.  Cook would carry just enough momentum to beat Mercer to the line,  grabbing victory by just 0.020 seconds, and making him the second multi-race leader of the season.  While Mercer clearly wanted the win, the day would prove a successful points haul just when he most needed it to keep his championship aspirations alive, while Vitolo claimed his second podium in as many months with his P3 effort.

A-MAIN TOP 5:
 
1.     KC Cook + 0.020
2.     Darren Mercer
3.     Jonathan Vitolo
4.     Jerott King
5.     Jon Kimbrell

 
With his win in Round 9, Cook regains control of the Overall Championship picture by just over 50 points with just two rounds left this season.  Sergio Bravo, the leader heading into the day, falls back to P2 in the overall standings, while all but locking up his third consecutive Masters Title.  Still in contention for the Overall crown is a very stout group including defending champion Logan Calvin, Darren Mercer, Taylor Hays, and Miles Calvin, all well within the hunt coming to down to the wire.  Several other championship battles heated up in Round 9 as Justin Tolman closed the gap to Steve Spring yet again the Rookie category, while Steve Jasinski overtook the conspicuously absent Mike Arnold in the Heavy Standings.  The 2013 season does indeed appear like it will indeed come down to the final two rounds, with consistency coming at a premium for those with title hopes.
 
Registration for Round 10 of the Super Series is currently underway and can be done via the CalSpeed Karting website.  For information on the series, or questions on how to secure your spot on the grid, please contact Brad Packard at 951.241.3872, or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 

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