Phil Giebler Racing’s Hays celebrates 15th birthday with SKUSA X30 Senior crown at Lancaster

Phil Giebler Racing’s Hays celebrates 15th birthday with SKUSA X30 Senior crown at Lancaster.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 27, 2016)—Nicky Hays of Huntington Beach, Calif., celebrated his 15th birthday in grand style Saturday, becoming the youngest Senior champion in Superkarts! USA history by finishing eighth in the X30 Senior Division at the Streets of Lancaster (Calif.) Grand Prix, the sixth and final round of the California ProKart Challenge.

The Phil Giebler Racing driver went into the 20-lap feature trailing Billy Musgrave by a slim margin following qualifying and two heats, all of which paid points. Hays led early and was running third on the final lap, but was pushed wide in the last hairpin and brought his Ricciardo kart to the checkered flag eighth. Musgrave tried to go three-wide on the final lap and a wheel-touching incident that knocked his drive chain off caused him to drop out and finish 19th. Hays won SKUSA’s California ProKart Challenge crown by 24 points (unofficially).

“There was a lot of pressure on Nicky on a (.7-mile) track where anything can happen,” team owner Phil Giebler said. “Nicky was third fastest in qualifying, but Musgrave took the pole and earned 10 points to take the championship lead. Nicky was eighth and fourth in the two heats, but Musgrave was second and first and added points.

“Nicky had to win the final if Musgrave was fifth or better. He got into the lead with Musgrave running sixth, but had fallen to third on the last lap. Musgrave was running hard to move up on the final lap, but fell out when he lost drive. It was a long season and a championship chase that came down to the last lap of the season and Nicky won. It is a great accomplishment for him.”

PGR’s Jake Drew of Fullerton, Calif., finished third, Antonio De Lis of Huntington Beach, Calif., was sixth and Ethan Barrett of Laguna Niguel was a non-finishing 21st in X30 Senior.

“Jake Drew was fast all weekend in his Ricciardo Kart,” Giebler said. “He is a great addition to the team. It was a great result for Antonio De Lis in his first attempt on a street circuit. Ethan Barrett had a fine season, but was plagued by bad luck at Lancaster. He was very quick when he was running.”

PGR’s Carter Williams of Clovis, Calif., finished third in S1 Pro Stock Moto, which ran with S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto.

“Carter Williams had a fantastic race in his Ricciardo kart,” Giebler said. “After blowing an engine in qualifying (in 14th position), he had to start last in the first heat. He finished ninth and moved up to second in the second heat. Carter made a great start, got up to second and finished third.”

Vatche Tatikian of Altadena, Calif., finished 11th in X30 Master for PGR. He was third fastest in qualifying and seventh and third in the two heats.

“Vatche had a great race weekend and was on pace to challenge for the win,” Giebler said. “He ran second the entire feature. On the final lap, third-place Kevin Manning tried to time a pass on the back straight and, at the same time, Vatche protected his line. Before the gap completely opened, Manning went for the pass and it closed, causing Manning to clip the barriers on the inside and threw him from the kart

“The officials declared that Vatche would be penalized to finish behind Manning and that put him 11th.”

Bryan Bender of Seal Beach, Calif., also drove in X30 Master for PGR, but an equipment failure forced him to retire in the feature. He’d had a solid weekend, qualifying in 11th position and taking 11th and ninth in the heat.

“Bryan Bender was running well in seventh when his OTK brake pads delaminated and caused him to retire,” Giebler said.

PGR’s Rod Streed of Carlsbad, Calif., finished fourth in S4 SuperMaster and Jesse Gutierrez of Norwalk, Calif., and Jordan Turner of Los Angeles were 11th and 13th, respectively, in X30 Junior.

Hays’ X30 Senior title was the 19th in SuperKarts! USA for PGR in its six years of competition.

“We had a great weekend all around,” Giebler said. “Lancaster and SKUSA continue to put on a great event through the downtown streets.”

Feature results, SuperKarts USA! California ProKart Challenge, Streets of Lancaster (Calif.) Grand Prix: Sept. 24—S1 Pro Stock Moto/S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto, 3. Carter Williams, Clovis Calif.; X30 Senior, 3. Jake Drew, Fullerton, Calif., 6. Antonio De Lis, Huntington Beach, Calif., 8. Nicky Hays, Huntington Beach, Calif., 21. DNF Ethan Barrett, Laguna Niguel, Calif.; Sept. 25--X30 Master,11. Vatche Tatikian, Altadena, Calif., DQ Bryan Bender, Seal Beach, Calif.; X30 Junior, 11. Jesse Gutierrez, Norwalk, Calif., 13 Jordan Turner, Los Angeles; S4 SuperMaster, 4. Rod Streed, Carlsbad, Calif.

Owned by the 2007 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, Phil Giebler Racing is based in Anaheim, Calif., and competes nationally at the highest level of karting in the United States. Giebler is a resident of Huntington Beach, Calif. The team is the Western distributor of the Daniel Ricciardo Kart and Freeline Kart parts, also uses Fernando Alonso and Tony Karts and is a major dealer of OTK brands FA Kart, Tony Kart, Kosmic and Exprit.

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