The 2012 IKF 2-cycle Grand Nationals was held at the Fresno Fairgrounds this year hosted by Kerman Kart Club. KKC is notorious for hosting big events at temporary circuits providing an even playing field with close racing. Kerman got its name starting in 1961 by borrowing $50 from 15 initial club members. They borrowed farm equipment to construct Kerman Cart Course, later to be known as Kerman Kartways. The track was a 3/10s mile road course with a 325 foot straightaway, and was home to one of the most prestigious kart races in the Northern Ca Valley, The Pepsi Race. The track later made some additions, making the track longer, faster and more dangerous, in 2003 the City of Kerman gave notice that they would take back the land the track was constructed on for development plans leaving KKC without a home. The club then began hosting races at Temporary courses, most notably the Region 7 IKF races at Buffalo Bills in Primm Nevada. In 2009 the club, led by former Circle Track promoter Ron Perry, struck a deal with the Fresno Fairgrounds to host Club races on the Fairgrounds property in the Parking Lot. The club purchased barriers and fencing , and once again KKC had a venue to call home. This year the Club constructed a temporary course for the 2-cycle IKF Grand Nationals that was unique in construction taking away any home track advantage, it was fast and technical, proving to be one of the closest competitive Kart Tracks in IKF Grand National History. Drivers could make passes without contact and race side by side for most of a lap. The 2012 IKF 2-cycle Grand Nationals went off without troubles, not one Red Flag was thrown the whole week.
KAR Specialist Rookie Comer was the first class up on the day and Justin Hodge won the Screaming Eagle with a fast time of 45.976. In the heat race Hodge immediately got heavy pressure from contenders Jackson Logsdon and Ryan Schartau. Several lead changes took place throughout the race with each driver showing their muscles. Towards the end of the heat race Schartau looked the strongest and the driver to beat, but Hodge took control with a few laps to go to get the win followed by Schartau and Logsdon. The Main race had shaped up to be a good race after the intense racing in the heat. From the drop of the green Justin Hodge took control out front with pressure from Schartau. Lap 7 tough break for Hodge as went dead in the water and Jackson Logsdon took the lead to pace the field for a large portion of the race with Schartau leading a few laps as well. Laps were winding down and Logsdon was leading the three kart train with Schartau and Jagger Jones in tow. As the white flag flew things got exciting with Shartau and Logsdon. The two were swapping positions aggressively until Schartau put his #7 machine to the inside for the lead in the hairpin. Schartau would get the win and the first Duffy awarded on the weekend. Logsdon came home second with Jones getting a well respected top three. Tomas Mejia and Oliver Calvo would finish off the top five.
Second class up was the Carter Williams Racing Jr Super Sportsman Division and Justin Yanez came out in qualifying and laid down a screaming lap of 42.084. In the heat race the inside lane got the jump on the start and the outside lane lost several positions as off-pole sitter Carter William's was sixth by turn one. Justin Yanez ran away with the win as Carter William's settled for third place getting a good starting placement for the main with Wyatt May off pole. On the start of the race Justin Yanez grabbed the early lead with Wyatt May staying right with him. Carter William's lost a few spots in the early going, But as the race progressed Yanez and William's broke away to a huge lead as the duo worked together to get some distance. Yanez seemed to control the pace of the race with Williams settling in as a draft partner. With two laps to go the gloves came off. William's made the move for the lead with Yanez coming right back. Last Lap Carter William's made the move for the lead once again forcing Yanez out of the groove loosing valuable time, and when the checkered flew William's won the Duffy. Yanez was second, Wyatt May secured a top three with Nick Ramirez and Tanner Wattenbarger the top five.
PKS Kart Supplies Sr Super Sportsman was on track and Lloyd Mack set fast time for the Screaming eagle with a fast time of 42.379. In the heat race Mike Mantel went out early with a lost nose, then David Vasquez and Bronson Eggert got together ending both their races setting up the main for some good drivers to start from the back with fresher tires. From the drop of the green in the Duffy race it was four cars breaking away to pace the field. Early on it was Kolby Araki leading Mantel, Mack and Vasquez. Lap 11 Mantel pulled the trigger to go P1 to lead a few laps with Araki coming back to regain the lead. At this point Araki and Mantel began to race each other hard, meanwhile Mack had began to fade and David Vasquez was sitting patiently in the third position as the two traded tire marks battling for the win. As the white flag flew, neither driver willing to give an inch for the lead, Araki dove to the inside of the Hairpin on Mantel, the two got together hard slowing both of them, the patient Vasquez with front row seats waited for his chance and captured it overtaking both the slowing Araki and Mantel. Vasquez took the checkered with arms extended. Mack came home second with Mantel and Araki falling to third and fourth, Bronson Eggert finished the top five.
BKS Racing Engines Rookie Sportsman was up next and Jason Pettit grabbed the Screaming Eagle with a fast time of 43.849. In the Heat race Hunter Corbitt grabbed the early lead and Pettit fell back. Corbitt jumped out to a 3 second lead and held it to the checkered flag with some great racing for second as Jake Drew finished second to start in the front row with Corbitt, Ryan Schartau would start third after winning the first Jr1 Duffy earlier in the day. At the drop of the green, Corbitt got a solid push from Schartau as the two broke out right away while Drew was getting hung out and losing positions. Schartau worked the first half the race pushing Corbitt as the two broke away from the field. A great battle insured for third between Jake Drew, Jason Pettit, Noah Garza, Jonathan Shone, and Carter Herrera as the young drivers put on a show while the leaders pulled away. Lap 19 Ryan Schartau broke out of the draft of Corbitt to make the pass for the lead. Last lap the two traded the lead a few times to setup a drag race to the line. Hunter Corbitt got the win. Schartau came home second, Jake Drew won the battle for third with Garza and Shone finishing off the top five.
Bill Hilger IKF President IAME Jr was the second Jr2 race of the day and Carter William's grabbed the Screaming Eagle with a time of 40.677. In the heat race it was all Carter William's winning by a 3.266 advantage over Blake Murdock. Second quick qualifier Justin Yanez never made a lap in the heat forcing him to start at the back for the main. The green flag flew and Carter William's jumped out to a quick lead to pull away from the field. As the race progressed the lead William's had built over second place Murdock and dwindled. Murdock had looking to be closing in a just a bit, but ran out of time as the checkered flag wave and William's came home with his first Duffy. Murdock ran second for his best run at a national, while Justin Yanez made the run through the field to come home with a respectable third place finish. Hannah Grisham and Nick Ramirez finished off the top five.
Last on Day one competition was Mike Manning Karting IKF Tag Sr and Lloyd Mack set fast time for the screaming eagle with a time of 39.817 seconds and the first driver to break the 40 second mark for a fast lap. In the heat race off pole starter Araki got hosed on the start losing several positions. Jerry Henderson broke out to put some pressure on Mack, but seemed content to run second saving his stuff for the Final. Early laps in the main Henderson was right on the rear bumper of Mack putting the pressure on for the lead. Henderson would end up getting a mechanical black flag for his rear bumper falling off and had to retire, leaving Mack out front all by himself. As the race progressed Araki tried to make a run, but his kart began to fade. The race then became for second as the sole Rotax in the field of Jordan Robertson ran down Araki late to make the pass for second. Mack was the winner with a 12.679 second lead, Robertson second and Araki third, Matt Koerner and Jerry Henderson finished off the top five.
First group out for Day #2 was the Eugene Action Attorney at Law Kid Karts. The91 of Tanner Hudspeth set fast time in qualifying with a 55.143 lap to capture the Screaming Eagle. In the Heat race the top four were all in tow for the lead. Rylee Martinez paced the field all 8 laps to get the win while Aden Dodge, Kaden Vermillion, and Hudspeth all battled for second. On the start of the main pole sitter Rylee Martinez lost several spots falling to sixth. Kaden Vermillion assumed the early lead with Aden Dodge in close pursuit. Lap 7 Dodge pulled the trigger To take over the top spot from Vermillion. At this point Martinez was still in fifth but was running down the leaders quickly. Dodge was pulling away from the lead pack and on lap 9 Martinez was up to second running down Dodge. Lap 12 Martinez had closed the gap on Dodge for the lead and made the pass down the straight. Dodge tried to bring the fight back, but when the checkered flag fell, Rylee Martinez made a great drive from fifth to first within the last sixth laps. Aden Dodge got second, Branden Jones, Jace Jones and Tanner Hudspeth was the top five.
Grand Products Junior 1 Comer was up next and Day 1 winner Ryan Schartau set quick fast time to grab the Screaming Eagle with a fast time of 45.107. In the early going of the heat race, Schartau got the early lead, as the raced progressed several drivers flexed their muscles, one of those drivers was Anthony Sawyer. After Sawyer led Jake Drew took his turn, and the Jason Pettit. Drew got the lead back on the last lap to start pole in the final alongside Pettit. The green flag waved in the main and Jake Drew went to the point to pace the field early. By lap seven things began to heat up for the top spot as Pettit and Jonathan Shone both took their turn to lead laps, then as the race started to get closer to the end, Anthony Sawyer began to flex to show his strength out front. Last lap drivers took their gloves and did what they needed to do get the lead for the win. In the end it was Ryan Schartau who crossed the line in fifth at the white, making his way through the top four drivers to get his second Duffy on the weekend. Sawyer still managed to finished second after receiving heavy contact, Jonathan Shone, Jake Drew and Jason Pettit made up the top five.
Western Metal Company KPV 4 was on track and Day 1 Duffy winner Lloyd Mack was at the top of the charts in qualifying to add another screaming eagle to his collection with a lap of 41.796. In the heat race Mack drove away from the field while Brandon Reed, Kolby Araki and David Vasquez all battled hard for second and a front starting spot in the main. Mack won the heat with Reed winning the battle to start along side Mack in the Final. The green flag flew and Mack went to the lead with the top five drivers in tow. As the raced progressed Mack controlled the pace while the drivers worked out their positions. Vasquez went dead in the water on lap twelve, and as the race approached the end it was a two car battle for the lead and for third. Last Lap Mack made the pass for the win. Mack had led every lap thus far and when Reed pulled the trigger, he did it for good. Mantel made a rough pass on Araki for third, Reed got his first Duffy with Mack finishing second, Mantel came home third, Araki finished fourth but was removed from post race tech.
An exciting TSG Recycling KPV 2 was next and previous days Duffy winner Carter William's grabbed the Screaming Eagle with a fast time of 41.671. In the heat race Blake Murdock grabbed the early lead from off pole to get out front. Lap 5 saw William's and Murdock get together with both losing several positions while Nick Ramirez picked up the pieces to take the over the top spot. Ramirez went on to win the heat with Blaine Rocha getting second to start off pole. Ramirez jumped out to an early lead on the start of the final, while eyes were on the two drivers coming from mid back, Murdock and William's. As Murdock got to second and William's to third, the two began to run down Ramirez while the battle for fourth began to heat up with Alieja White, Hannah Grisham and Rocha. Murdock slowly closed in on Ramirez but as the white flag flew Murdock was out of time. Halfway through the last lap bad luck struck Ramirez as his header broke. Murdock got the win with Carter William's getting second. Blaine Rocha won the battle for third with Grisham and White finishing the top five.
Empire Karts KPV1 was the second Jr1 class of the day and Anthony Sawyer set fast time with a 43.475 second lap to earn the Screaming Eagle. On the start of the heat race the outside line got the jump and Jake Drew and Hunter Corbitt went out front to pace the field. Working together the two pulled out to extensive lead while Sawyer, Schartau and Carter Hererra battled for third. 2 laps to go Herrera got into the barriers coming onto the straightway, then on the last lap Corbitt and Drew both wrecked battling for the lead, this would put three fast drivers to start in the back for the final, while Sawyer got the win and Schartau to start off pole. Early going in the final it was Sawyer pacing the field with Schartau and Farhan in close tow for the lead. Farhan took the lead on lap 10 and looked really strong, but as he began to take control, Corbitt and Drew both had run down the lead pack and had made the lead pack into a five kart battle. As laps wound down the race up front started to heat up. Several lead changes started to take place and the drivers began to get physical. On the last lap it came down to Sawyer and Drew. The two made contact and Sawyer fell back to fifth while Drew got to the line first to win the Duffy. Hunter Corbitt made it to second with a flat tire. Shartau finished third with Myles Farhan getting a good finish in fourth.
Last class on the second day of competition was the Mid Valley Financial Sr Super Sportsman Heavy Division and fast time was set by Kolby Araki with a time 42.338. In the heat race Araki got out to an early lead with David Vasquez and Bronson Eggert in tow. Eggert looked to be strong as he got by Vasquez and closed in on Araki towards the end of the heat. Araki and Eggert was the front for the main and Araki jumped out to an early lead at the drop of the green. Battle for 5th late in the race saw Dylan Albiani make a pass on Mike Mantel for fifth for podium position. Araki got the win by over 3 seconds with Vasquez second, Eggert third and Ryan Casner finishing fourth.
After a great second day performance by the Kid Karts, Automated Access Inc. Kid Kart Heavy was first up and Branden Sorensen set fast time to grab the Screaming Eagle with a lap of 55.628. On the start of the heat race Tanner Hudspeth got the early lead from the outside pole. Lap 9 Kaden Vermillion took over the lead a drove out to over an 8 second lead for the Heat Race win. Jace Jones finished second to make up the front row with Vermillion for the final. Early going in the final it was a three kart battle for the lead between Jones, Vermillion and Hudspeth. As laps wound down it was a two kart show of Hudspeth and Vermillion. Vermillion went dead in the water on the last lap for a heartbreaker. Hudspeth got the highly celebrated victory with Carson Mallett second. Mallett would later get removed from post race tech. Aden Dodge would wind up second, Sebastian Davis, Jace Jones and Rylee Martinez the top five.
Second up was Cambrian Go Karts Rotax Max Jr , Corrie Hiatt set fast time to win the Screaming Eagle with a lap of 41.157. On the start of the heat race Hiatt went to an early lead with David Schorn in pursuit. Schorn took the lead for a lap only with Hiatt to take it right back. Lap 8 saw Yanez and Conwright get together ending both of their races. Hiatt would get the win with Schorn finishing second. On the start of the main, Schorn got hung out falling back to fifth. At the next hairpin the top four all got tangled up and Schorn would get the lead. Schorn would hold the lead until lap five when Jaden Conwright took over the top spot. Schorn fell back to fifth and on lap 18 would drop out after a tangle with the turn one barriers. Jaden Conwright would go on to win the Duffy for his first National Championship. Justin Yanez came home second, Michael Michoff third and Corrie Hiatt fourth.
TSG Recycling KPV 4 Heavy was on track and Kolby Araki qualified fast time with a 41.663 lap to grab the Screaming Eagle. Araki walked away with the heat race and was never really challenged. The driver looking strong however was Dylan Albiani as on the long run his kart ran down Lloyd Mack for second to join Araki on the front road for the start of the final. When the green flag flew for the start of the main, Araki went to P1, only for Mack to quickly steal it away. Mike Mantel looked strong early, but contact with another kart led to his side pod falling off earning the mechanical black flag. A slowing Mantel stayed in the racing line drawing contact from Araki and Albiani who were racing for third. This led to the two drivers losing a lot of ground on the leader Mack. Both drivers were fast, and as they began to work together to run down Mack, the time gap could visibly be seen to diminish. The drivers caught Mack by halfway with Albiani pushing. As soon as they caught the leader, Albiani pulled the trigger on second and took the lead on lap 11. Dylan Albiani went on to win the race with Lloyd Mack holding onto second. Kolby Araki, Stephen Huelsman and Mantel were the top five.
P1 Engines Jr 1 PRD was next and Hunter Corbitt continued his hot streak of being undefeated in the class so far in 2012, setting fast time with a lap of 41.735. On the start of the heat race Jake Drew who qualified second, got hung out on the outside line falling back to 7th. Corbitt got the win with Jonathan Shone second, Drew had worked his kart up to third by the end of the heat. On the start of the main, a push from Drew put Corbitt and himself out front working together for another Drew and Corbitt showdown. Corbitt set the pace early with Drew taking over the lead on lap 13. Corbitt took back the lead on lap 18 with just a few laps to go. Last lap Drew went to the inside of Corbitt on the sweeper, the two made contact sending Corbitt out of the groove and Drew onto the victory. Corbitt was second with Ryan Schartau third. Carter Hererra and Jonathan Shone finished off the top five.
RLV Jr 2 PRD was up and driver Owen Lloyd was at the top of the charts with a lap of 40.366 to get the Screaming Eagle. Nick Ramirez got the early lead as Lloyd lost a few spots, and later would drop out on lap five. Lap six, Hannah Grisham took over the top spot and ran a solid race to get the win and pole starting spot in the final. Ramirez joined Grisham on the front row and on the start of the main Grisham checked out for a commanding lead. Late in the race Wyatt May ran down Grisham and what looked to be a great last lap battle turned to bad luck for Grisham as her PRD power plant went dead as she was receiving the white flag. Wyatt May got his first Duffy with Nick Ramirez finishing second. Justin Yanez held on for third over a fast Chance Skaufel, Owen Lloyd drove hard to finish in the top five.
The last race of the weekend was PR! Motorsports PRD Sr and Kolby Araki once again captured another screaming eagle on the weekend with a blistering 40.436 lap. Lloyd Mack grabbed the early lead from off pole in the heat race to pace the field for the opening laps until Brandon Reed overtook Mack on lap 3. Reed won an easy one with Mike Mantel making a strong run late to finish second and joining Reed on the front row for the final. Mantel was parked for his unsportsmanlike conduct in the days previous Sr race moving Araki to the front row. Reed took the early lead with Mack going to second. Lap 13 saw Mack get the mechanical black flag for a rear bumper coming loose. Reed drove to almost a 3 second victory to be the only Sr to win two Duffy's for the three day Grand National event. Araki was second, Vasquez third. Ryan Casner and Jason Hannegan rounded out the top five.