Pit Board 2009-12-14

WKA's Pit Board - 12.14.2009 *** WKA adopts new divisional transfer program 12.10.2009 -- Following many years and multiple versions of divisional transfer concepts, World Karting officials have incorporated a new divisional transfer program...

WKA's Pit Board - 12.14.2009

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WKA adopts new divisional transfer program

12.10.2009 -- Following many years and multiple versions of divisional transfer concepts, World Karting officials have incorporated a new divisional transfer program that will streamline the major national series of WKA.

In years past, the cumulating process determining a driver's divisional points applied toward his/her eventual national points outcome has varied from series to series, thus creating many challenges. In an effort to maintain consistency across the board among the four national sprint and speedway series, a very participation friendly concept was drawn up and accepted by the competition committees of the various series, followed by approval by the Board of Trustees.

Already in play with the Winter Divisional Series at OCR Action Sports Park in Rougemont, North Carolina for the Speedway Pavement Series, the new program affords ALL drivers to accumulate the same amount of points, provided they participate in all the scheduled divisionals for that program, no matter what their finishing position may be. Bonus points will also be awarded to a driver who participates in all the divisional events for that program.

The true beauty of the program kicks into gear if a driver may miss a divisional. The absence of one divisional, possibly two, still affords a driver who is also running nationally to still have a legitimate shot at catching a driver in the national points, if that same driver ran ALL the divisional events.

The concept of the program also allows new drivers to make their way into the divisional level at lesser pressure to win, thus helping to trim cost by the competitor, and helps to pave a cleaner path toward an eventual run to the national level.

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Box Stock Project to give away 2 Clone engines at Dirt World Championships

12.14.2009 -- International Stock drivers participating in the newest version of the Daytona Dirt World Championships Dec. 28-30 at the new dirt track at Daytona International Speedway will not only be two of the 24 classes vying for the cash payout, but will now have a chance to leave the World Center of Racing with a new Clone engine.

Recently, Box Stock Project LLC / Jimmy Simms announced they would like to participate in the first endeavor for the International Stock Classes for the World Karting Association by giving two lucky racers a shot at walking out the gate with new motors. All participants in both classes will have the chance at winning the engines as all International Stock entrants' names will be placed in a hat for a special drawing.

The classes that are part of WKA's maiden voyage with the Clone are Pure Stock and Builder Prepared. Although serving as local-option classes in 2010, the International Stock classes will remain a part of the 2010 schedule for all five national events, as well as running for a cash payout at all events on the dirt for the new year.

Activities for the rebirth of the Dirt World Championships get under way Monday, Dec.28 with a full day of practice from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drivers wishing to get a jump on the all new limestone surface will be required to pay a practice fee for the all-day activity.

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Gold Cup's Bell, Lawson are back-to-back Triple Crown champions

12.14.2009 -- Two Ohio natives -- Bowling Green's Dakota Bell and Mentor's Gary Lawson -- drove to multi-championship seasons on the WKA Bully Clutches Gold Cup Series in 2009 to earn WKA's most prestigious driver award for the second straight year: the Triple Crown Championship.

Bell and Lawson joined an elite group of past and current WKA racers who have won the crown in back-to-back years. Bell's championships again came in the three Briggs Jr divisions while Lawson took top honors in four senior Gold Cup classes.

As Daytona KartWeek by Cometic Gasket looms, this week WKA's Pit Board will be taking some time to look back on 2009's five Triple Crown winners, all who will be honored at their series' year-end awards banquet. We'll begin with Bell and Lawson.

Dakota Bell Bowling Green, Ohio's Dakota Bell joined a very small group of WKA champions who have won the Triple Crown Championship in back-to-back years. Bell, 15, again conquered the Briggs Jr divisions on the Bully Clutches Gold Cup Series, winning the championship in Briggs Jr Lite, Medium and Heavy. He beat out fellow Triple Crown winner Sam Beasley (Manufacturer's Cup) and a host of other talented, young 4-cycle sprint racers in all three classes to take the titles.

While Dakota won the same three classes on the 2008 Gold Cup tour to earn him his first Triple Crown, he believes his trio of 2009 championships was more challenging to accomplish than those of the previous year.

"This year was probably a little tougher," Bell began. "The competition is tough every year. We just started out the season looking to have fun and see what happened. We had some good runs, other than Camden. We never run good at Camden and everyone else seems to be strong there."

Despite not winning a feature at Camden, Bell put together a fine season which included six national wins and two grand national triumphs. He says the season's highlight came in the final race of the year, an early October GT Machine Grand Nationals date at Pennsylvania's BeaveRun Motorsports Park.

"At BeaveRun we had a last lap pass for the win in Jr Heavy. I'd say that was the most exciting race of the year. I passed both Zachary Deshaies and Sam Beasley on the final lap. But the only thing was I made the pass in the back of the track where no one could see, but it sure was a lot of fun and a great race!"

With six national championships in the last two years in Gold Cup, Bell may have his sights set a bit differently in 2010, although the Bandit Karts driver admitted he and his team still don't know where the new year will take them.

"I'm not sure what we're going to do. Right now, we really have no idea what we'll be running," Dakota admitted.

Bell took time to thank the many people who helped make his second consecutive triple-championship season possible, including his mom and dad, sister, grandpa, Jason Weiser, Steve Baker and Bandit Karts.

Bell's success hasn't been handed to him, either. In a day of shorter fields in many divisions, Dakota won three classes each with an average of 15 entries per race in 2009. And while Bell's 2010 plans may still be up in the air, one thing that isn't up for debate is his domination in the Briggs Jr Gold Cup classes over the last two years.

Dakota Bell, along with Lawson and Brett Farmer, will be honored as 2009 Triple Crown champions at the Gold Cup awards banquet at the Carolina First Center in Greenville, S.C., on Saturday night, Jan. 30 in conjunction with KartFest 2010. The banquet will be a dual event with the Rage Karts Speedway Pavement Series.

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Gary Lawson

Gary Lawson again dominated the four Gold Cup classes in which he regularly competes to earn another Triple Crown. Lawson took the four titles in the Bully Clutches Gold Cup Series, omprising Briggs Heavy, Briggs Super Heavy and Briggs World Formula Medium and Heavy; they were the same four divisions in which Lawson took the top laurels in 2008.

The Mentor, Ohio, driver, who works as a Manufacturer's Cup crew chief for Beasley Motorsports, has been a top force on the Gold Cup tour for a number of years and 2009 further solidified his status as one of the series' best. Lawson racked up 13 national wins, including a quadruple-win effort at Camden, Ohio, and a superb five-win weekend in the opener at Lowe's Motor Speedway. One of those wins at Lowe's came in the Friday Animal Heavy Money Race, which Lawson won twice in 2009.

The 27-year-old racer spoke of the Gold Cup Series' overall status when comparing his championship years of 2008 and '09.

"I think it was about the same amount of competition both years. The World Formula classes weren't as competitive as we were hoping. I wish those classes would have grown more, and I think they had potential to have better competition but then people backed out or didn't show up for whatever reason. Unfortunately, with my weight it kind of limits the classes I can run. The (Animal) Medium class is where the best competition is at, but I can't make the weight."

Lawson spoke highly of the Money Race that WKA offered for the first time last season: "The Money Race added a different dimension that we didn't have in '08. It acted as my big race of the weekend. I'd say the (Money Race) win at BeaveRun was our best win of the year. Charlotte was good too because we started in the back and got to the front in five laps and then had to come from 12th after the invert. That was a great win for our team."

Speaking of the "team," Lawson's Triple Crown this year had some added importance in that he and his teammate Sam Beasley gave Beasley Motorsports two Triple Crown championships. Beasley wrapped up his Triple Crown in November in the Manufacturer's Cup season closer at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The achievement will go down as quite a feat for the Painesville, Ohio-based team.

"It's really awesome," Lawson said, speaking of Beasley Motorsports pair of Triple Crowns. "Sam did a great job and it was awesome he was able to win that. It looks great for the team to have two different Triple Crown winners. I have to thank Beasley Motorsports, Arrow Karts, Turner Racing Engines, Micron, G-Man Kart Works, SMC and SKF Bearings for all the support."

On a side note, Lawson showed up at the recent Manufacturer's Cup season closer at Lowe's and put on his drivers suit at a 2-cycle event for the first time in 2009. Lawson not only put on his suit, but he put on a driving clinic in the process.

He entered only one class, Yamaha Supercan Heavy, and proceeded to qualify first and lead every lap of prefinal and final competition on his way to an SSC East / CRG Grand National victory. The win marked his fourth Grand National triumph in a one-month span as he won the Briggs Heavy and both World Formula GT Machine Grand Nationals at the Gold Cup closer Oct. 2-4 at BeaveRun.

Lawson will be honored at the Gold Cup awards banquet at the Carolina First Center in Greenville, S.C., on Saturday night, Jan. 30 in conjunction with KartFest 2010. The banquet will be a dual event with the Rage Karts Speedway Pavement Series.

-credit: wka

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