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Challenge of the America’s Phoenix – Weekend Updates


Challenge of the America’s Phoenix – Weekend Updates

We’re trackside at the 2018 Challenge of the America’s where after ten years of Rotax Max racing the organizers have realigned their focus to support the Vortex Rok Cup program and begin a new venture for winter racers on the west coast.

All of our updates this weekend can be found on this page, so check back often as we post about the action.

Saturday Finals Update:

Shifter Rok:

Just like he did in the PreFinal, Kol Bailey was on cruise control in the Rok Shifter Final, going flag-to-flag to the victory as his machine was hooked up! Alex Keyes kept within eyesight of Bailey but ran the entire race a distant second while Nicky Hays recovered from a slow start off the line to take third.

Nick Firestone was the highest finishing Shifter Masters driver to earn the category win.

Masters Rok:

Contact at the start of the Masters Rok Final saw Jonathon Silva and David Pergande come together, ending Silva’s race early while Pergande went for a run through the dust.

The early leader was Adam Kasick, who had a small amount of pressure from Paul Bonilla. But as the laps ticked off, Bonilla faded and Kasick drove off into the distance. Erik Jackson took advantage of the fading Bonilla in the late stages to steal second away, forcing Bonilla to settle for third.

Mini Rok:

It was a serious battle in the Mini Rok Final as four drivers broke away early and duked it out for the victory. Kai Sorenson led Enzo Swan, Chase Gardner and Parker Delong in the early stages but the running order changed almost every lap.

As the laps wound down, Sorenson and Gardner were battling for second, which allowed Swan to break free. Disaster struck with three laps to go when the leaders approached a lap kart as Sorenson and Delong would make contact and spin off track.

From there, Swan drove to the win, Gardner took second and Logan Toke snuck through to finish up the podium. Delong wound up fourth with Ethan Nascimento fifth while Sorenson slipped back to sixth.

Rok Senior:

There was no stopping Jimmy McKinney in the Rok Senior Final as he was lights out from lap two on. Pressure on the start from Colin Neal and Phil Giebler was no issue for McKinney who waited for his moment and took advantage early.

With McKinney out front, Giebler retired on lap four allowing Neal to retain the spot. It was cruise control from there for the front three that saw McKinney cross six seconds ahead of Neal with Antonio de Lis taking third. After starting at the tail, Filip Niemkiewicz recovered to finish fourth.

Rok Junior:

Ugo Ugochukwu was blistering fast en route to a seven second victory in the Rok Junior Final. After pouncing on the early lead, he was challenged by Ashton Torgerson for a few laps before opening up the gap. Torgerson slowed on lap 6, which allowed Edward Portz and Ethan Ho to gain second and third, with Torgerson retiring a lap later with an issue.

Ho held off Portz for all but the final lap, with Portz sneaking by to finish second. To make matters worse for Ho, he received a lane violation penalty on the start, knocking him off the podium and moving Carson Mallett to third in the results, albeit unofficial at this time.

Saturday Qualifying Update:


  • Ugo Ugochukwu was the only Rok Junior driver to break into the 46-second region as he qualified more than three-tenths of a second quicker than his closest competitor.
  • There are a total of 85 entries this weekend, with Rok Junior leading the way with 15 drivers.
  • There is great representation of chassis brands here with TonyKart, BirelART, Vemme Kart, Kart Republic, Benik Kart, DR Kart, Exprit, CRG, CompKart, Deadly Kart, FA Kart, Ricciardo, Formula K, Praga and K&K Kart all on track
  • A number of states and provinces are represented including Arizona, California, Colorado, Ohio, New York, Texas and Oregon as well as Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia
  • Garett Potter of Rok Cup USA is trackside to usher in the Vortex Rok product to customers, providing information, advice, and support.

Rok Junior Top-5:

  1. Ugu Ugochukwu (TonyKart)
  2. Ashton Torgerson (TonyKart)
  3. Edward Portz (BirelART)
  4. Nolan Seigel (Exprit)
  5. Ethan Ho (RedSpeed)

Rok Senior Top-5:

  1. Jim McKinney (FA Kart)
  2. Bailey Murphy (Deadly Kart)
  3. Colin Neal (Vemme Kart)
  4. Filip Niemkiewicz (Kart Republic)
  5. Phil Giebler (Ricciardo)

Rok Masters Top-5:

  1. Adam Kasick (CompKart)
  2. Erik Jackson (Vemme Kart)
  3. David Pergande (TonyKart)
  4. Paul Bonilla (BirelART)
  5. Jonathon Silva (CompKart)

Rok Mini Top-5:

  1. Enzo Swan (Benik Kart)
  2. Kai Sorenson (Benik Kart)
  3. Tuesday Calderwood (TonyKart)
  4. Ethan Nascimento (Vemme Kart)
  5. Logan Toke (Top Kart)

Rok Shifter Top-5:

  1. Kol Bailey (Praga)
  2. Alex Keyes (BirelART)
  3. Nicky Hays (Ricciardo Kart)
  4. Jason Campbell (DR Kart)
  5. Alejandro Marquez (Formula K)

Briggs & Stratton LO206 Senior Top-5:

  1. Micah Hendricks (VLR)
  2. Bailey Murphy (Deadly)
  3. Jim McKinney (FA Kart)
  4. Jenson Altzman (Exprit)
  5. John Buzza (K&K Kart)

Briggs & Stratton LO206 Junior Top-5:

  1. Toby Longnecker (Gold Kart)
  2. Austin Torgerson (TonyKart)
  3. Logan Calderwood (TonyKart)
  4. Tuesday Calderwood (TonyKart)
  5. Ashton Torgerson (TonyKart)

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