Grey 4th, Giebler 10th in SKUSA SuperNationals
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 25, 2010: Phil Giebler Racing’s Noah Grey finished fourth in TaG Cadet and Phil Giebler was 10th in TaG Senior in the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals’ main events Sunday at the Rio Hotel and Casino.
Giebler’s 10th clinched the inaugural SKUSA Pro Tour championship. The SuperNationals, one of America’s top karting events, was the third and final round of the series. Grey finished third in the Pro Tour.
Grey, of Dana Pont, Calif., started 22nd in a 42-kart, 15-lap main on the .66-mile temporary course. He had the fastest lap of the race at 48.522 seconds, an average speed of 48.967 mph.
Grey qualified for ninth starting position at 48.466 seconds, 49.024 mph, which established his place on the grid for all three heats. Points accumulated in the heats determined starting position for the main. Grey finished 16th and seventh in the initial two heats, but didn’t finish the third and was 39th because of a flat tire from contact with another kart.
“Noah had a great race weekend,” Giebler said. “He recovered very well from some bad luck. He dropped down to 40th in the first heat when the motor got flooded and worked his way up to 16th in 10 laps. Then, he had the DNF from the flat tire, which hurt his starting position for the main. He had to start pretty far back and drove through the field to fourth.”
Giebler, of Huntington Beach, Calif., qualified in eighth spot at 42.849 seconds, 55.451 mph. He was fifth in the opening heat, a DNF-26th in the second and seventh in the third. Giebler lined up 17th for the 25-lap main.
“I had some wild heats,” Giebler said. “The first was clean. I was up to second on the start in the second heat and got spun around by Michael Valiante. I got back up to seventh and got t-boned by Oswaldo Negri. He was out of control and hit me at 50 miles per hour. It ripped by rear wheel off and sent me into four 360-degree spins. In the third heat, there were some wrecks ahead of me and I slipped back from third and ended up seventh.
“I got up to 10th on the start of the main, but there were more wrecks all around me. I fell back to 16th and had a damaged front end. My gas tank came loose and was flopping around. I tried to hold onto it for the whole race with my knees. I passed Dan Wheldon for 10th on the final lap.”
PGR’s Shawn Cricca, of Simi Valley, Calif., finished 14th in the TaG Senior main. He qualified for 17th starting position for the heats at 43.036 seconds, 55.210 mph. Cricca finished seventh, a DNF-28th and ninth in the heats and lined up 22nd for the main.
“Shawn Cricca ran very well all week,” Giebler said. “He posted top-five times in practice and top-10s in heats and 14th is a solid result the most competitive race of the season.”
PGR’s Tate Holleran, of Denver, had s strong event that ended prematurely when he was involved in an accident halfway through the main. He was a DNF-36th. Holleran had qualified for 12th position at 48.503 seconds, 48.987 mph, and was 16th, 13th and 27th in the heats. That put him 15th on the grid for the main.
“It looked like Tate had a run for the podium, but the accident stopped him,” Giebler said. “He was competitive throughout the event.”
Jess Peterson, of Sparks, Nev., in TaG Senior, Steve Wiener, of Chula Vista, Calif., in TaG Master, and Mason Daughters, of Polo, Mo., and Juan Diego Maldonado of Bogota, Colombia, in TaG Junior, also drove for Phil Giebler Racing in the SuperNationals.
Peterson finished 18th, 11th and 22nd in the three heats and lined up 31st for the main. He fell out after completing five of 25 laps from a broken throttle shaft.
Wiener’s kart was destroyed in a big crash early in the opening heat. The team built another kart in time for the second heat and Wiener finished 27th. He was 34th in the third heat and lined up 38th for the main, which had 45 starters. Wiener finished a DNF-36th, completing 14 of 20 laps in the main.
Daughters and Maldonado failed to make the main event. With 57 entries in TaG Junior, qualifying and heats were split into two groups.
Daughters qualified 15th at 44.657 seconds, 53.201 mph and was 17th, 20th and 19th in his three heats. It put Daughters into the 22-kart Last Chance qualifier, where he finished eighth, two spots short of qualifying for the main.
Maldonado qualified 20th at 44.923 seconds, 52.891 mph and was 18th, 22nd and 27th in his heats. Maldonado was 17th in the LCQ.
“They had a mix of bad luck and a lack of experience at this high level of TaG Junior,” Giebler said.
Lloyd Mack, of Beaumont, Calif., entered the SuperNationals in TaG Senior with PGR, but withdrew for personal reasons.
Phil Giebler Racing, based in Orange, Calif., uses FA Karts powered by 125cc water-cooled Vortex Racing engines built by Daniel Patino’s D-Power Engines, of Huntington Beach, Calif., in TaG Senior, TaG Junior and TaG Master. Grey and Holleran also have FA Karts and are powered by 60cc Vortex MiniRok engines. The entire PGR team races on MG Tires.
The SuperNationals was the final event of 2010 for PGR, which began operation this season.
“We won races and championships this year,” Giebler said. “We have talented drivers and very good equipment. I think our results establish us as one of the nation’s top karting teams.”