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Komet Senior class will run IndyCar-style qualifying heats at Rock Island Grand Prix
ROCK ISLAND, ILL. – The Rock Island Grand Prix, the world's largest karting street race held Labor Day weekend, has announced that the new Komet Senior class will run the new IndyCar-style qualifying heat races recently introduced at Iowa Speedway.
Presenting sponsors of the Rock Island Grand Prix are AT&T and Casey’s General Stores.
The new Komet Senior race is patterned after the Kartsport Komet Throwdown to be held this year under the lights at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway, Norway, Ill. on July 28.
“This is an exciting event with a quality engine package. We know racers will have fun at the Throwdown and we hope that by holding a second similar event that even more racers will be encouraged to grab a Komet and enter both races,” said Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix.
Additional information on the Komet Throwdown, which is being run this year as part of Mark Coats’ Route 66 Series, can be found at route66kartracing.com.
“To come up with an equally exciting format for Rock Island, we thought what better way than to build on our growing partnership with IndyCar. We can expose kart racers – on the first level of the Mazda Road To Indy – to what they can expect as they move to higher levels of open wheel racing,” Ruthhart said.
Under the IndyCar format, competitors will still go through timed qualifying Saturday afternoon. At the end of qualifying they will run heat races to determine starting positions in the Sunday feature.
Drivers who qualify in the first nine starting positions will run an 8-lap race to determine grid positions 1-9 in the Komet Senior feature. Drivers who qualify in position 10 and higher will run an 8-lap heat race to determine starting position 10 and higher for the feature race.
If there is a full field, qualifying for grid positions 10 and higher may be split into odd and even heat races, with drivers in each competing for odd and even starting positions on the grid Sunday.
The exact number in each heat will be determined based on the number of entries and may be subject to adjustment by race organizers. If there are 10 entries or less, the race will revert to the standard timed qualifying process and heat races will be eliminated. Drivers will compete in qualifying, heat races and the feature on the same tires.
Drivers in the Komet Senior class at Rock Island will compete for a $500 first place check and the coveted Rock trophy, with additional payouts through ninth place if there are at least 20 entries in the class.
Drivers competing in the Kartsport Komet Throwdown July 28 at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway will be eligible for a $20 reduction in their entry fee in the Komet Senior class at the Rock Island Grand Prix.
In addition, points will be assigned based on the finishing positions of drivers who compete in both races and the driver finishing first in combined points will receive a K1 Race Gear karting jacket and Reflex karting gloves.
“The atmosphere of the Rock Island Grand Prix can’t be matched in karting. We hope that this atmosphere, the exciting IndyCar qualifying format and the chance for some great competition in streets lined with thousands of spectators, will bring the top Komet Senior drivers in the country to The Rock,” Ruthhart added. “Maybe some day one of them will actually have the chance to qualify this way again in an IndyCar.”
AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the United States
and one of the largest in the world. AT&T is the recognized world
leader in providing IP-based communications services to business and
the U.S. leader in providing wireless, high speed Internet access, local
and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services.
As part of its "three screen" integration strategy, AT&T
is expanding video entertainment offerings to include such next-generation
television services as AT&T U-verse TV. With 55.8 million subscribers,
AT&T provides international voice services to virtually every country
and territory in the world. It is a global company that sets the industry
standard for a new era of integrated communications and entertainment
services. The AT&T Foundation has contributed more than $1.8 billion
to nonprofit organizations around the country, putting it among the five
largest corporate foundations in the United States. ( HYPERLINK "http://www.att.com" www.att.com)
Casey’s General Stores, with headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa, operates 1,645 stores in 11 Midwestern states. The first store was opened in 1968 by founder Don Lamberti. The majority of the group’s stores are in communities with a population of 5,000 or less. Casey’s success has been attributed to clean stores, restrooms and the friendly employees who pride themselves on customer service. Casey’s customers know that inside each store they will find dedicated, helpful and well-trained employees, exceptional prepared food and a clean environment in which to shop.(www.caseys.com)
The Rock Island Grand Prix is hosted by the Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District which features retail shops, excellent restaurants, live entertainment, dinner theater, art galleries and comedy clubs all within walking distance of the host hotel. Jumer’s Casino & Hotel is just a short drive away. Rock Island is located on the Mississippi River three hours west of Chicago in an area known as the Quad-Cities which straddles the river and the Illinois/Iowa border. It is at the intersection of Interstate highways 74, 88 and 80 and is served by Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill. ( HYPERLINK "http://www.ridistrict.com" www.ridistrict.com)