Delta’s Wick finishes 23rd in SKUSA S2 semipro class

Mianna Wick was excited to move up to the S2 semipro class this year, but the 16-year-old Delta teenager is finding out it’s tough.

Wick and her team have struggled with mechanical issues, but she still managed to place 23rd out of 36 drivers in Saturday’s Superkarts!USA SummerNationals race at Grand Junction Motor Speedway. Races continue with qualifying at 8:50 a.m. today.

“It’s really intimidating,” Wick said of racing in the large field. “A lot of people are coaching me, like Jet Davis. He’s like a second dad. He’s telling me the real key to S2 is staying out of trouble.”

Wick started her kart racing career two years ago in the Touch-and-Go (TaG) Junior class in 2011. She changed to the S5 junior shifter kart last year.

“It’s a hard class to move up to,” Wick said.

She had more mechanical issues Friday in practice and Saturday in the first heat.

“Yesterday we tried a different engine, and it didn’t work out, so we had to put on a different engine,” Wick said. “We couldn’t tune the chassis and got behind in qualifying. In heat one, I went from 24th to 16th, then the guy in front of me’s engine blew out. It was disappointing.”

Cody Diede, 26, of Lodi, Calif., passed his younger brother Troy Diede on the 10th lap to win the 18-lap S2 race in 15 minutes, 52.497 seconds. Troy finished in 15:53.052.

“He’s been stronger all weekend, to tell you the truth,” Cody said. “I figured I’d push him out to get a big lead and let us go at it the last couple laps. He made a mistake on top of the hill. I didn’t want to stay behind him, so it was an easy move right there. Other than that, I thought he drove an awesome race.”

Cody was seventh in the Pro Tour season points entering the weekend. Troy was 15th.

“We had a rough SpringNats,” Cody said. “We had the speed, but couldn’t put it all together. We came and tested a couple weeks ago. Troy tested great. I tested like (crap). Our motor builders went to town on the motor and gave me a good motor. Everyone pitched in to help tune the karts.”

Diede racing teammate Fritz Leesmann took third place in Saturday’s S1 pro class race behind Daniel Bray and Mike Beeny.

Grand Junction’s Christian Bird and Sabré Cook placed ninth and 11th, respectively.

Bird had his best national S1 race. The Arizona State University student entered the weekend 17th in the points race.

Cook’s 11th-place finish was her worst as an S1 driver.

The 19-year-old has the flu and admitted to feeling the affects of it.

“When I drive, I don’t notice it as much,” Cook said. ‘This time, I feel it when I’m driving.”

Andre Nicastro had the most impressive race to win the TaG Senior race.

The 32-year-old Brazilian went from starting last in the first heat to 12th, then moved up to sixth after the second heat to winning the main event.

He has 21 years of experience in kart racing, most recently winning the SKUSA Pro Tour SuperNationals in 2010.

“Today was my best race of my career,” Nicastro said. “I qualified second, but I had mechanical problems and started the first heat last. I’m very happy with my team and the race today.”

Austin Versteeg, 14, of Salt Lake City won the TaG Junior 18-lap race in 17 minutes, 23.873 seconds. Teammate Blaine Rocha came from behind in the field to take second.

“I got around Colton (Herta), and the two leaders were trying to pass each other and made contact,” Versteeg said. “That gave me an opportunity to get out in front. Our team took all three podium spots, so we’re real happy.”

Versteeg was leading the Pro Tour points entering the weekend.


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