New Castle Motorsports Park – Jacob McWhirter and the Victory Racing Team wrapped up both the World Karting Association Great Lakes Sprint Series regional and the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup at the famed one mile road course.
First up would be the Great Lakes Sprint Series that would find the track changing from dry to wet and back again all weekend. The racing would begin with Jake putting the Comet powered Polymer Valley Chemicals Yamaha Junior Lite Tony Kart into P6 followed up by driving the Comet Powered MMP/XS Energy Drink Komet Junior Heavy onto the outside of the front row in P2. The prefinals would have Jake picking up two spots in Yamaha, but not making it through the first lap without being wrecked and dropping to the back of the field. In the finals Jake would lose two spots in Yamaha, after being wrecked by the same driver to finish back where he qualified in 6th after running as high as third. In the Komet final a mechanical issue would force him off the track for a disappointing DNF after qualifying on the front row. At the end of the day everyone was surprised that the Junior class managed to run dry all day.
Sunday qualifying took place after the Sunday morning worship service which is provided at each Great Lakes race by Victory Racing. Qualifying in the Yamaha Junior Heavy and in the Komet Junior Lite would take place in the rain. In Yamaha, Jake would put the Polymer Valley Chemicals Yamaha Junior Heavy onto the inside of row three in P5 and the MMP/XS Energy Drink Komet Junior Lite onto the outside of row two in P4. In the Yamaha prefinal Jake would lose one spot and in Komet he would maintain his position while running both in the rain. The Yamaha final would be run dry, but on a green track, and after avoiding being completely taken out for the third time by the same driver he would finish in sixth. The skies would then once again open and the Komet final would be run in the hardest rain of the weekend and minus the one man wrecking crew who was finally parked by the officials. Jake would immediately move into second until lap three when he hit a huge puddle of water that sent his kart into a slow motion spin, but with some masterful wheel control he was able to keep the kart on the track. He fell all the way back to 5th, but as the rain came harder his lap times got faster and he would be back to 4th by the end of lap four and would set his sights on catching the third place kart that was over seven seconds in front of him. The remaining five laps had Jake pulling closer and closer to the rear bumper until just after taking the white flag he would make the pass and pull away to his second Junior podium and best rain finish of his career in 3rd.
The final race of the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup began with qualifying runs of 28th in the Komet Junior Heavy and 16th in Yamaha Junior Lite. Jake would then pick up six spots in the Comet Powered MMP/XS Energy Drink Komet. Multiple incidents in the Comet powered Polymer Valley Chemicals Yamaha would drop Jake back to 29th in the forty-five kart field. In the MMP/XS Energy Drink Komet Jake would continue to pick up spots and would finish in 17th. In the Polymer Valley Chemicals Yamaha Jake would pick up all the spots lost in the prefinal to finish back in 16th.
The final race day of the season resulted in more disappointing qualifying runs of 25th in Komet Junior Lite and 21st in Yamaha Junior Heavy. In the prefinals Jake would maintain his position in the MMP/XS Energy Drink Komet and pick up pick up seven spots in the Polymer Valley Chemicals Yamaha. In the Komet final Jake would pick up ten spots to equal his best Junior national finish of 15th. In the Yamaha final Jake would weave his way through a first corner melee to find himself running in 10th through the third lap until he was dumped off the track and fell back to 17th on lap four, only to be knocked off the track again and fall back to 30th on lap five. He would continue to battle back to finish 25th in the forty-five kart field.
Jake thanks his 2012 sponsors McWhirter & Associates, MMP/XS Energy Drink, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Polymer Valley Chemicals. He also thanks his track support team - Brandon Jenkins at Comet Racing Engines, Jeff Robinson at L&T Clutches and Mark Dismore of Comet Kart Sales.
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