Multiple Podiums For Kyle Kirkwood in PittsburghMay 7, 2012
Wampum, PA (7 May 2012) – Walldinger Racing karter Kyle Kirkwood has three more trophies to add to his collection following another successful outing in Round 3 of the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. The Shell-sponsored racer netted three podium finishes as he competed in multiple classes through the intense two-day race weekend.
It was a busy weekend for the Florida youngster. On Saturday, Kirkwood contested the Komet Junior Heavy and Yamaha Junior. Lite divisions before moving to race in the Komet Junior Lite and Yamaha Junior Heavy classes on Sunday.
Starting in Komet Jr. Heavy, Kirkwood qualified his No. 29 Arrow sixth among 35 karts to start the Pre-Final from the outside of Row 3.
As the field approached the green, the flagman waved off two attempts at a start and per WKA rules, each wave-off is scored as a green flag lap so the eight lap Pre-Final would only see six green flag laps.
With so many karters looking to get to the front early, Kirkwood got shuffled back to 10th position on the start, but made up one spot to take ninth at the finish in the short sprint. A fifth row start for the final saw Kirkwood move up at the start, jumping to sixth in the opening laps before moving up to finish fourth in the 13-lap Final to score his first podium of the weekend.
Jumping from kart to kart, Kirkwood shifted to the Yamaha Jr. Lite class, which featured one of the biggest fields of the weekend with 43 entries as he qualified the No. 29 Arrow sixth on the grid for the Pre-Final.
At the start of the Pre-Final, Kirkwood was forced off-track when several karts got togetherahead of him on Lap 1, but he quickly gathered it back up and returned to the track 11th. He made quick work of moving back up the order to finish sixth. Kirkwood followed up that effort with a great run in the Final – moving into the fifth position and staging a race-long battle for fourth, ultimately taking fifth at the finish.
Sunday saw Kirkwood once again in dual-class action, campaigning the Komet Jr. Lite and Yamaha Junior Heavy classes.
The 13-year-old karter lined up 15th of 42 karts for Komet Jr. Lite and with the start of the Pre-Final waved off three times, the class would only have five laps of green flag racing. Kirkwood used the limited amount of laps wisely and worked his way up to 13th.
Unfortunately, the forward movement would come to an early end in the Final when Kirkwood was caught up in a Lap 1 pile-up in Turn 3 leaving him to watch the race from off-track.
One final class for the weekend--Yamaha Jr. Heavy--brought promise as Kirkwood rebounded with a solid run in the Yamaha Jr. Heavy Final.
Starting from inside the second row, Kirkwood immediately slotted into second at the start and took over the lead by the end of Lap 1. In a tight battle for first, he would fall to second on Lap 2 but remained glued to the bumper of the first place kart throughout the entire 13-lap event to bring home his third podium result of the weekend in only his second WKA National appearance.
“Overall it was a good weekend,” said Kirkwood, who appeared with Allmendinger for media availability last weekend at the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Richmond. “I obviously wasn’t happy with the outcome of the race in Komet Jr. Lite, but the rest of the weekend was good and I’m happy with second in Yamaha. I’ve improved a lot since the last time I raced here (at Pittsburgh International Race Complex) so I’m also really happy about that. I’ve got experience at South Bend, and I think the Arrow chassis will be good there, so I’m looking forward to it.”
The WKA Manufacturers Cup Series next heads to South Bend, Indiana for the MKP Nationals at Michiana Raceway Park July 6-8.
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