Spring Run, PA_ As the first half of a split awards program Path Valley Speedway Park honored the region's top Burris Racing kart and four-wheeler riders Saturday afternoon at the Pleasant Hall Firemen's Hall.
Two of the young riders, Garrett Kuhns of Sinking Spring and Alex Benda of Williamsport MD, won championships in two divisions. Young Benda won the season points titles in both the Junior Sportsman I and the Jr. Sportsman II classes. Kuhns won the season titles in the Lites class for adult riders and the Jr. Stock class.
Proving the value of karting as a family sport, the father and son team of Jim Slaseman Sr. and Jimmy Slaseman of New Cumberland, each riding a different #56, won the championships in the Sr. Champ and Caged Rookies classes, and brother and sister Troy and Tracy Imler from the Bedford County hamlet of Imler raced against each other to take first and second in the Open class.
Two racing teams shared the honors for the Family Awards that included trophies and a pair of SS tires and go to the families most supportive and involved in Path Valley kart racing. The Slaseman Racing Team family of Jim and Jimmy Slaseman of New Cumberland and the Holland Racing Team of Claysburg were each honored.
Zack Fouse of Elizabethtown, who finished second in the Junior Sportsman I class, was honored as Rookie of the Year. Young Fouse along with D.J. Holland and Garrett Kuhns were recognized also for perfect attendance and Cory Burhman of Chambersburg won the perfect attendance award for quads.
About 300 entries earned points in 12 kart classes sponsored by Burris Racing at Path Valley in 2002, including some riders who raced in more than one division, as Benda and Kuhns had. Path Valley kart racing is sanctioned by the Burris National Speedway Series and Path Valley was designated a Burris SpecTrak in 2002.
In support of the Path Valley karting program, Burris Racing provided jackets for all the champions and Burris SS tires, wheels, neck braces, hubs, sprockets and other hardware for those in second through fifth who attended. For their second championships, since they already had jackets, Kuhns and Benda each got a pair of machined aluminum rims.
Awards were based on the average kart counts at all of the season points races. Promoter Ken Geesey, who serves as announcer for the karts program, also announced that the Saturday Night Karts Special that ended the 2002 season has been add to the 2003 season. He also revealed preliminary plans to provide a minimum $200 championship points money award in 2003. The 2003 Burris Karting program will open with a Bug Day for karts and quads on March 22 and the first regular weekly Saturday kart and four-wheeler race would be March 29.
Butch Diller, President of the Pennsylvania Dirt Karters Association, congratulated the top Path Valley riders and announced that the PDKA State Championship Series has scheduled three of six World Karting Association sanctioned races at Path Valley in 2003. He said the PDKA also plans to maintain an affiliation with Burris Racing in 2003.
After the catered feast announcer Bob Johnson noted that many of the sprint car drivers and some of the stock car drivers being honored had started their racing careers on karts, and that some had gone directly from kart racing to the growing field of PA 305 Sprints with their full-size sprint chassis and economy high tech motors. "You guys in sprints watch out," he warned the sprint points leaders, "because these youngsters with karting trophies are right behind you."
The Path Valley Speedway Park is located in Spring Run PA a mile north on PA Route 641 from the intersection with PA Route 75, halfway between Port Royal and Hagerstown. It is five miles east from the Willow Hill Exit 14 of the PA Turnpike. The new phone number at the track for promoter Ken Geesey is 717-349-7111. For information on the 2003 schedule and track, race teams and fans can call the owners at 717-426-2910, consult the website at www.pathvalley.com, or they can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.