March 14, 2002 (Mount Lake Terrace, WA) - For the second time in as many years, shifterkarts will be a featured support event
for the 2002 GI Joe's CART FedEx Championship Series Race at Portland International Raceway. The annual event held over
Father's Day weekend was a very popular addition to last year's race. "We are very pleased to be working again with the
Portland organizers," said event promoter Paul Zalud. "We had a very well received event last year and we are looking forward
to bringing more karts to the track for our second year."
"The 2001 race was a huge success, everyone did a fabulous job and we are looking forward to
having the shifter karts back," said Portland Rose Festival auto race committee Chairman Jim
Franzen. "All of the people at the Rose Festival and Global Events went out of their way to
accommodate us last year and I am very grateful to them for the opportunity," said Zalud.
J&M Body Shops, a Portland-based chain of auto repair shops, will sponsor this year's event, and
will be billed as the J&M Body Shops Shifter Kart Challenge. "As soon as the details were set,
Jim Justus from J&M stepped up and agreed to sponsor the event. Having a title sponsor this early
in the game really helps us get plans going very, very quickly," added Zalud.
Another change for this year's event will be the SKUSA sanction of the event. Last year, Zalud
organized the event privately although it ran under SKUSA rules. "I called Jim Murley and asked
if SKUSA was interested in sanctioning the race and he said 'yes' right away. It's a great way
to expose the sport to thousands of people who may have no idea what shifterkart racing is all
There is already a great deal of interest from likely participants. Last year's winner Marc
Miller will be back driving for the 2001 Shifterkart Illustrated Team of the Year, Leading Edge
Motorsports. Other top teams will also be making the trip to contest the Portland race. "Events
like this are very good for the teams because it gives them a chance to expose their product to
CART fans. We are hoping to see several of our top teams from the ProMoto Tour contesting this
event this year," said SKUSA President Jim Murley.
Last year's scheduling conflict with the ProMoto Tour kept the majority of the factory teams away
from the event. Last year, only Paul Tracy Karting had their entire team in attendance.
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