Local racers fare well, pick up valuable kart points

Grand Junction's Cook competes despite illness

Race drivers speed toward turn one at the Superkarts!USA SummerNationals at the Grand Junction Speedway on Sunday.



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Race drivers speed toward turn one at the Superkarts!USA SummerNationals at the Grand Junction Speedway on Sunday.

If it was any other race, Sabré Cook would’ve likely sat it out.

The 19-year-old Grand Junction driver wasn’t feeling well, but she didn’t want to miss competing in the Superkarts!USA SummerNationals on Sunday at her home track, Grand Junction Motor Speedway. More than 200 drivers from across the world competed in the event.

Cook placed sixth in the S1 shifter kart pro class in 15 minutes, 39.552 seconds. She was 14.58 seconds behind the winner. Sunday’s race was the fourth of five races in the SKUSA Pro Tour. The series finale is in November in Las Vegas.

“It’s definitely good for the points,” Cook said. “That’s the only reason I wanted to do this. I had to salvage the weekend someway and get as many points as I could.”

Cook did a qualifying run for position for the first heat, but her dad pulled her out of the two heat races, which carries some points in the series.

It also forced her to start last in the main event.

“I got an OK start (in the main), but I got stuck in an unfortunate position,” Cook said. “I tried to be aggressive and make passes as quickly as possible because I didn’t have a lot of time.”

Cook said she has been ill with the flu for a couple of weeks. She plans to visit a doctor today.

“I need to lie down,” Cook said of how she felt after the race. “I felt queasy and nauseous earlier.”

Christian Bird finished seventh in the same race in 15:39.972. The fellow Fruita Monument High School graduate and Grand Junction driver is a rookie in the S1 class, as is Cook.

“Everybody is so much faster, it’s so hard to pick up one spot,” Bird said. “Everybody fights (for positioning) no matter what. It’s near impossible to go by somebody.

“You can’t make a mistake in S1. You’ll lose three or four spots. Mistakes are catastrophic in this class. You have to be as perfect as you can possibly be.”

Bird was ninth and Cook was 11th in Saturday’s main event.

Bird was pleased with his SummerNationals results. He was 17th in the Pro Tour standings after the two SpringNationals races back in April in Tucson, Ariz.

“Big improvements have been made,” Bird said. “Tucson was kind of a disaster for us.

“We had the speed to make the podium (Sunday), but we didn’t put it all together. (Bird’s mechanic) A.J. Whisler is the only reason we ran fast this weekend.”

Mianna Wick, 16, of Delta moved up from 35th to the top 20 in the S2 semipro class, but she was involved in a crash in the fourth lap and didn’t finish.

“It was a little bit better,” Wick said. “I was going forward. There was a crash, and the guy behind me (bumped) me into the crash.”

She was able to walk away from it with no injuries and no major damage to her kart to finish 33rd. She placed 23rd in Saturday’s race.

Ten-year-old Tristin MacLeod of Grand Junction had a much more horrifying crash around the first corner of the first heat race in the Touch-and-Go Cadet class, but he seemed unfazed after a checkup at a local hospital.

“Near-death experience,” MacLeod said.

“(Someone) just tapped me. I would’ve really spun, but adding the factor of the kid spinning inside of me and me hitting (another driver) in the side, I went up and over. I was in the air. I came down, landed on my head and skidded across the ground.”

MacLeod’s head initially hit the exhaust pipe and burned his neck brace while he remained in the seat, he said.

His kart was totaled. There were many parts bent, and the back left tire came off the rim.

Asked if that crash scared him from racing again, MacLeod said, “No, I’m going to race.”

MacLeod added he still hopes to race a shifter kart someday.

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