Spring Run, PA_ Ryan Wilson of Maytown, with youth class wins in both Jr. Stock and Jr. Restricted, and Jim Kirby of Winchester VA with both Lite and Medium class wins in the senior karts were the top riders Saturday night at the Path Valley Speedway Park.
Billed as a Saturday Night Kart Finale, the last race of the season on the Path Valley clay was a rare opportunity for the Burris Racing classes karters to race at night under the lights.
Senior race director John Winsett warned the riders at their drivers' meeting, "This will be an entirely different track from what you regular racers are used to because it will be soft and tacky instead of hard and smooth. And to all of you visitors, the setup and your driving skill will decide the races and the regular weekly racers won't have any advantage."
Winsett's advice proved prophetic as none of the 2002 Path Valley karting track champions won feature events. "Based on the 119 riders who entered and the good racing they had, we plan to make this an annual event," said Promoter Ken Geesey. "The racing was fast and the finishes close and everyone went home happy." The feature events paid 75 percent of entry fees to the senior riders and 50 percent plus trophy plaques to the top one in three riders in junior classes.
Phil Everts of Breezewood was a first time winner in the heavy class for senior riders and he said the smooth, soft nighttime track was completely different from the only other time he had raced at Path Valley. "We got lots of bite and the kart stuck like glue," he said, "and it was one of the best races I ever drove."
Garrett Kuhns of Sinking Spring, the 2002 champion in both Lite and Jr. Stock karts, said the track was almost perfect but he missed the setup or tire pick on his #32. Kuhns did win a heat race in Lites and finished third in the Jr. Stock class, and his rookie sister, Missy, won the powder puff.
Sage Lynam of Altoona, the Jr. Sportsman I winner, said he loves night racing at Path Valley, and the 15-lap features "gave everyone a chance to mess up."
The final event on the Path Valley Burris karting calendar is the awards banquet Nov. 23 at the Pleasant Hall Fire Company social hall. In a marked departure from past years, gates open at 3 p.m. for the Saturday afternoon karters and quad riders and their awards presentations will precede the banquet so that the younger kart riders can go home earlier.
Doors open again at 5 p.m. for the sprint and stock car drivers with the banquet catered by Dodies of Chambersburg preceding the sprint, Legends and stock car awards. DJ Phantom Shadow will entertain following the trophy, points money and door prize awards to the region's top riders and drivers. Special prizes from karting general sponsor Burris Racing will punctuate the kart awards. Deadline for ticket orders is Nov. 1.
Those with reserved pit slots can renew their spaces for 2003 by mail or in person at the banquet until 8 p.m. Nov. 23. A drawing from all the paid up pit spot reservations will be held later that night for spectator passes, ten gallons of racing fuel and more. After the banquet any remaining pit spots will be offered for season-long rental on a first-come first-served basis.
A preliminary 2003 schedule is promised for release at the awards banquet.
For information race teams and fans can consult the website at www.pathvalley.com or email the owners at email@example.com. The new phone number at the track for promoter Ken Geesey is 717-349-7111. 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.