Jay Howard wins PRI All-Stars Karting Classic
Despite dramatic downpours earlier in the day that threatened to persevere, the weather changed direction and skies were clear for an exciting evening of karting action as PRI Trade Show attendees, Orlando residents and some of the top names in North American racing gathered outside the Orange County Convention Center to take in the competition at the third annual PRI All-Stars Karting Classic. Twenty-four pro drivers representing a number of racing series took to the specially constructed track for the All-Stars Masters Division finale with IRL competitor Jay Howard taking the overall win, followed by Grand-Am star Joey Hand in second and stock car driver Scott Speed rounding out the podium.
|Jay Howard takes PRI All-Stars Karting Classic|
The drivers ran on a specially configured road course set up immediately outside the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where the PRI Trade Show is being held this week, Dec. 11-13, 2008.
“There were a lot of game faces out there,” Britisher Howard declared, following his triumph. “It was clear everyone was there to win it, and with the karts running the rough track, it took a lot of skill to just stay in control. As I think we all expected, every driver was extremely focused. Karting is such a great way to hone your skills and forces such a high level of concentration. It was a lot of fun, and I’d do it again tomorrow!”
Joel Miller of Hesperia, CA, driving a Tony Kart USA took first in the Karter Division, and as one of the top six finishers from that race entered the Masters feature.
Among the pro drivers who fought valiantly to challenge Howard in the Masters Division were: Dan Wheldon, 2006 Indy 500 winner; Buddy Rice, 2004 Indy 500 winner; Ed Carpenter, IndyCar; Michael Valiante (last year’s overall winner), Grand-Am; Will Power, IndyCar; Marco Andretti, IndyCar; Antron Brown, NHRA; AJ Allmendinger, NASCAR; Max Papis, sports cars; Cristiano da Matta, sports cars; Oswaldo Negri, Jr., open wheel; Raphael Matos, open wheel; Bryan Herta, sports cars; Townsend Bell, IndyCar; Jamie McMurray, NASCAR; Nelson Philippe, open wheel; Jan Heylan, open wheel; Alex Lloyd, IndyCar; Vitor Meira, IndyCar; Ron Capps, NHRA; and Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2008 Indy 500 Rookie-of-the-Year.
Practice began at 4:00 p.m. for both the Masters and Karter Division as the track dried from the day’s rainstorms, and the drivers began to familiarize themselves with the proper line for this special one-day event. PRI Press Release