NW Gold Cup Rd. 5..”Cusack returns, Zimmer redeems”


Rotax MicroMax- Like a run-a-way locomotive, Conner Robustelli continued his domination by taking fast time, heat one, the pre-final, and the final while tuning up for the Rotax Grands.  Basically untouched and unchallenged all season chief tuner Mark Robustelli says it's all about racing the clock the "We race the clock and the race track not the other competitors. For us it's about challenging ourselves, getting better on the watch each and EVERY time we hit the race track." The real story however was the performance of up and comer Jacob Hudson.  Hudson who runs out of the Black Flag Racing racing stable had his best performance of the season.  His bold end of the straight away pass of Conner Wick, (who by the way is one of the top MicroMax drivers in the NW) caught everyone by surprise and the attention of race officials who signaled Hudson to allow Wick his spot back....Wick and Hudson battled until on the last lap  Hudson re-tried the same "Banzai end of the straight late brake" move again...this time without a touch giving Hudson second & relegating Wick to third.  Elle Musgrave continued her solid improvement finishing fourth and the flashy and stylish newcomer Parker Robb (nephew of now IKF Expert Sting Ray Robb) finished fifth.  FT- Robustelli 34.704  62.604mph  SUMMARY- 1. Robustelli 2. Hudson 3. Wick 4. Musgrave 5. Robb

Rotax Senior- In his first appearance of the season in NWGRMCS action, Brandon Cusack aboard his USKarting News CRG took the win.  The buzz was all about Johnny "The Sliver" Blair making his first appearance in NWGCRMCS competition in his new Seattle Kart Supply/Rotax powered machine at his home track..and in normal Johnny Blair style he did not disappoint qualifying second quick behind defending champ & Black Flag house driver Andrew Zimmer and taking heat one and the pre-final, tipping the odds in his favor.  In the final, it was Cusack leading the first two circuits until Blair in a game of chicken out broke Cusack at the end of the of the rollercoaster and slipped underneath with Zimmer following suit.  Blair lead  the next five laps with all kinds of pressure from  the defending champ Zimmer & Cusack, until late in lap seven  Zimmer tried  a deep brake on Blair at the end of the straight, and the two got together & spun giving the lead back to Cusack who drove the wheels off his US Karting News machine in hopes of trying to put the win away....Zimmer got going as did Blair only well back in the field.  Zimmer catches and passes Cusack with 2 to go and takes the checkers, with Blair now in charge mode making up enough ground to salvage a top 5.  The race finished under protest & Zimmer was docked a spot because of the earlier altercation with Blair, giving the win to Cusack.   Also in a his first appearance of the season in Regional action, Marshall Peterson quietly slid under the checkers 3rd in an awesome first appearance drive.  Another notable was the performance of 30 year veteran Doug Huggler who was a solid third in both the heat race and pre-final aboard his Huggler Racing Engines Top Kart and looked to have a shot until a broken Chain sent him out early in the final.  Black Flag Racing owner, Luke Vasquez made his re-return finishing fourth.  FT- Zimmer, 31.082  69.889mph    SUMMARY- 1. Brandon Cusack 2. Zimmer 3.Marshall Peterson 4. Vasquez 5. Blair

JR 1 Animal LT & HVY- In Saturdays light action it was newly crowned GrandNational Champion and IKF Expert Sting Ray Robb once again piloting his Red Apple Racing Express to the win in both light and heavy.  This is Robb's fifth straight JR 1 light & heavy win.  Canadian Kyle Adams who has cinderella'd to Robb most of the five events this season was closer than ever to Robb in his Interior Kart Center K&K machine, Adams has been solid all season while learning the brand new K&K chassis.  Newcomer and most improved driver thus far Trey "Treydawg" Manker drove the wheels of all day long qualifying third quick and capturing third behind Adams. Jacob Gullick aboard his CMC swiss hutless finished fourth, and in their recent return after a season layoff, twins Blake & Austin Portalski finished fifth and sixth respectively in light and fourth and fifth in heavy after Manker drove the right rear wheel studs right off early in the heavy final and finished in the sixth postion   FT- Robb  34.295  63.351mph, FT Hvy- Robb  34.593  62.803 mph    SUMMARY- LIGHT: 1. Robb 2. Adams 3. Manker 4. Gulick 5. B. Portalski 6. A. Portalski  HEAVY: 1. Robb 2. Adams 3.Gulick 4. B. Portalski 5. A. Portalski 6. Manker

IAME CUP/IAME CUP JR./ TAG MSTRS- Iame Cup action without Michael Valiante who was back east campaigning with his ROLEX roadracing team, saw the Scott Hargrove take the pole and the win in his Italian Motors/Ital Kart.  The smooth and charismatic Hargrove who is also is competing in the Skip Barber Racing Series was flawless and when buckled down was virtually untouchable.  The Iame Cup in its second season on the NWGCRMCS circuit is nobodies slouch with competitors such as David Jurca, Adam Isman, Remo Ruscitti, Paige Wallin & Valliante running regularly when their schedules allow.  Isman followed Hargrove under the checkers for second, who was amazing all weekend & was rocket quick all weekend, followed by Rucitti, Jurca, McCallister, O'Farrell & Wallin. Paige Wallin the Northwest's female phenomenon, fought chassis woes all weekend and never did find the combination that she liked. In Iame Cup Junior 3 it was Portland, Oregon's Laura Freeman taking the the win in another fine display of sheer determination to improve. An independent, Freeman and her family are some of the hardest working competitors on the circuit and do a lot with a little, it will be neat to see Freeman start reaping the fruits of the teams hard work.  It was the "ActionMan" Tim Moss taking the win in his Black Flag Racing Tony kart in the TAG Masters division.  FT- Hargrove 31.244  69.537mph  SUMMARY- 1. Hargrove 2. Adam Isman 3. Ruscitti 4. Jurca 5. McCallister 6. O'Farrell 7. Wallin    Iame Cup Jr- 1. Laura Freeman  TAG MASTERS- 1. Tim Moss

Rotax MiniMax- This was one of the best races of the weekend, exciting and heartbreaking all at the same time.  Quick qualifier Sting Ray Robb captured heat 1 with "Wicked Quick" Kyle Wick second and without a doubt the most improved driver in MiniMax Matt Morgan third. In the Pre-Final Robb in a rare sight got in to hot in turn nine and looped his Red Apple Express and from there it was all Kyle WIck in his gorgeous green familiar Wicked Fabrication #9, Robb finished 11th.  In the final it was Wick leading the way and Robb in pursuit after getting tangled up in a turn one start incident. Wick led every click of the final until Robb caught him and in a bold and daring move in the final turn, over drove the corner and got into the side of Wick taking them both to the very edge of the race track allowing third place Matt Morgan much to the delight of the capacity crowd to take the checkers in his first ever Rotax MiniMax win.  Cole Franchini, Matt's twin brother Mason, Rayce Spoor, and Seth Appel followed Morgan across the stripe.  Wick and Robb finished ninth & tenth.  Devin Smith who qualified third quick and was outstanding early on finished a dissapointing 11 after mechanical issues sidelined him early in the final.   FT- Robb  32.349  67.162 mph   SUMMARY- 1. Matt Morgan 2. Cole Franchini 3. Mason Morgan 4. Rayce Spoor5. Seth Appel

JR 2 Animal Light & Heavy- It was David Schorn versus Myles pederson in light competition, with Schorn & Pederson taking turns exchanging the lead while Hailey Groff watch from the third spot "Catbird" spot.  Groff had an excellent view as she watch Schorn and Pederson go at it like a UFC title bout, but at the stripe it was Schorn coming off a big runner-up finish at the IKF GrandNationals taking the win in the Pre-Final followed by Pederson, Groff, Michael Guttenberger who was really struggling after running some tires won at the GrandNationals that ended up being the wrong compound and Bryce Peterson who had 4 stroke ace Ricky Worley tuning up the #17 hoping to rid that team of its black cloud string of bad luck.  In the final it was Schorn and Pederson back at it and Groff in third in almost a deja-vu feel of the pre-final...Schorn led laps 1 thru 4, Pederson led lap 5 until Schorn out broke Pederson to regain the lead and lead laps 6-7...Pederson with a "Two can play this game" late brake move on Schorn recaptured the lead and led laps 8-10 with Schorn getting back by to led  lap 11 until Pederson re-took the lead for good on lap 12 but got a scare late from Schorn who did a  back from the dead last gasp try for the lead coming out of turn four just before the rollercoaster, but Pederson held off the attempt & took the win with Groff in the third spot...again, followed by IKF Grand National Champ Guttenberger in fourth, and never did quite find the handle...until later finding the tire issue and Bryce Peterson who was a bit better, but still in struggle mode finishing 5th.  In HEAVY action on Sunday it was ALL newly crowned Champ Michael Guttenberger as he set fast time and swept everything to take the win..It was Schorn who inherited Guttenbergers Saturday luck and struggled most of the day with an unknown at the time broken seat strut.  Bryce Peterson improved and shook some of his poor luck to finish fourth in the Heavy final, the "You always know what you're gonna get" Myles Pederson finished behind Guttenberger in the runner-up spot.   FT Light- Schorn  34.111  63.692mph   SUMMARY LT- 1. Pederson 2. Schorn 3. Groff 4. Guttenberger 5.Peterson        FT Heavy- Guttenberger  34.215  63.499mph      SUMMARY HVY- 1. Guttenberger 2. Pederson 3. Schorn 4. Peterson 5. Groff

Rotax Junior- Once again, the guy to beat was Artie Carpenter in this Black Flag Racing backed Tony Kart house car.  There was a time when people said that Carpenter was only fast at his Tri-Cities home track...Now the critics have been silent as Carpenter has proven time and time again, that he IS the guy to beat, and it was no different in round five as Carpenter was the class of the field putting his kart on the pole and sweeping heat one, the pre-final, and the final.   It really makes you wonder what it is that this kid has because he truly does not LOOK that much faster, but his when he crosses the stripe almost a half a lap ahead of the field, you know there is some magic in this talented young driver.  From the drop of the green in heat one, it was ALL Carpenter with Guttenberger second and Carpenters teammate Marco Eakins third but the surprises were Kale Kunicki taking the fourth spot with a solid run and Tony Sisco rounding out the top five in his first regional race of the season, both drivers put in very impressive drives throughout the weekend...(Race Note: 2nd place Guttenberger was DQ'd for a rules infraction and relegated to last in heat one). In the pre-final it was once again Carpenter in command from the wave of the green, teammate Marco Eakins finished second Kale Kunicki once again was awesome finishing third, female sensation Brittany Zamora fourth and Tony Sisco again taking home fifth place honors.  In the final, no surprise as Carpenter ran away and hid, Eakins trying to find his teammate finished second, proving that she is no fluke and can run with the boys, Brittany Zamora turned in one of her best performances of the year finished a strong third, with another female standout Hailey Groff starting to find her way around finished a respectable fourth, and Tyler Brown finally shook the luck gremlins and drove his way to the fifth spot....Kunicki and Guttenberger tangled while dicing for position with Kunicki finishing last and Guttenberger working his way back to salvage 7th.  Job Kandris in his first outing in the series, struggled bit, but still managed a top 10 finishing tenth.  FT- Carpenter  31.445,  69.092mph       SUMMARY- 1. Carpenter 2. Eakins3. Zamora 4. Groff 5. Brown

Shifters- Remo Ruscitti set his Italian Motors/ Ital Kart on the pole, captured heat one, the pre-final, and the final in route to a clean sweep in shifter competition.  All three events were carbon copies with the exception of heat one, with Mike McGowan  taking home fourth place honors...in the following events it was Meridian Idaho's Myles Pederson on his 80cc machine capturing fourth place.  Sensation Scott Hargrove and driver of the weekend Adam Isman followed Ruscitti under the checkers in second and third sport respectively in all 3 events. Ruscitti's 30.565 qualifying time was the events quickest effort at an average speed of 71.082mph.   FT- Ruscitti   30.565  71.082mph    SUMMARY-  1. Ruscitti 2. Hargrove 3. Isman 4. Pederson 5. McGowan

ROTAX/IAME CHALLENGE-Round #2....."Zimmer redeems, takes round 2!"

Spokane, Washington's Andrew Zimmer put his Black Flag Racing/ Tony Kart on the pole for the second straight time,with Italian Motors wheelman Scott Hargrove joining Zimmer on the outside of row 1.  Row two had the "Silky Speedster"  Remo Ruscitti and weekend standout Adam Isman.  Row three was veteran David Jurca (Who by the way just graduated with his Business Finance degree from the University of Washington) and the hard charging independent Kory Estell. Row 4 was made up of Italian Motors drivers Scott O'Farrell and young gun Jaime McCallister. Row 5 was a surprise entry.....with "Mr. Excitement" Brandon Schreiber sitting in for Paige Wallin......Right out of the gate it was Zimmer taking the point and control early with Hargrove and Ruscitti taking turns trying their hand at wearing down ZImmer who is proving to critic's that he is deserving of the hoopla given to him, as he led all but one lap, when on the last lap, Ruscitti tried a "Hero or Zero" move on Zimmer at the end of the straight, and oh boy was it close, but ended up to close as the two got together allowing Hargrove to snatch the lead and the win....Upon reveiw, drivers Scott Hargrove and Remo Ruscitti both agreed that they really had nothing for Zimmer and would not have gotten by without the contact.  So in a class act, they gave Zimmer the well deserved win, with Hargrove second and Ruscitti third.  During trophy ceremonies Zimmer thanked his team and then thanked drivers Hargrove and Ruscitti for "Making things right"....Round 3 of the Rotax/Iame Challenge is scheduled for August 7th as the Northwest Gold Cup RotaxMax Challenge Series makes its swing back north to visit the SIMA Motorsports Complex in Sumas, Washington for round six in the series on August 5-7th.

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