WKA: Delaward Dirt Series finale report

Kart racers capture wins and championships at WKA/Delaware Dirt Series finale. DELMAR, DE-Sussex County, DE kart racers claimed over half of the 16-checkered flags that waved during the WKA/Delaware Dirt Divisional Series season finale Smith ...

Kart racers capture wins and championships at WKA/Delaware Dirt Series finale.

DELMAR, DE-Sussex County, DE kart racers claimed over half of the 16-checkered flags that waved during the WKA/Delaware Dirt Divisional Series season finale Smith Concrete of Milford Divisional that had over 100-regional racers from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia competing at Delaware Motorsports Park in Delmar Saturday September 28th for a last chance at Delaware Divisional points which are also added to racer's standings in the national WKA/Briggs & Stratton Speedway Dirt Series. Erika Hearn, of Greenwood, Chad Reed, of Lincoln and Brooks Smith of Milford were double winners and three others earned single wins.

Piloting a brand new Shadow kart powered by a Hayes Power Speed Shop motor, 13-year-old Hearn swept both Briggs Junior Sportsman-2 classes Heavy and Lite. She roared off Heavy's pole and never looked back opening a very comfortable 3.786-seconds victory margin over second place Trey Collins which also earned Hearn the Divisional championship in that class.

"The kart was a little loose and I was happy I could handle it all the way, but the motor was really fast," said the Pierson & Sons/Seaford VFW Post/HP Speed Shop backed champion. "It takes consistency, good equipment, the right tires, especially the right tires and good sponsors behind you to win a divisional championship," she added with thanks to her parents for their support.

Later that Saturday Hearn nipped Nick Bishop at Briggs Junior Sportsman-2 Lite's finish by just 0.415-hundreths of a second. Bishop led the field from the pole until five of 20 laps were remaining. As Hearn closed the gap and turned up the pressure Bishop picked up the pace and slid off the track rounding turn four. Hearn took quickly took advantage of the situation and the lead while Bishop gathered himself back on the track.

"Catching him (Bishop) was a miracle," Hearn admitted. "He was fast and if he didn't bobble in the turn I'd never have caught him."

Grottos Pizza backed Reed decisively ruled the new Briggs Animal class and Briggs Controlled Heavy. Reed's Hayes Powered Shadow kart was the second fastest Animal qualifier and from the outside pole he hustled into the early lead and was never seriously challenged on his way to beating Hebron, MD based Mike Mowbray to the finish line by 3.391-seconds.

"We made an adjustment after qualifying and the kart came to life. We picked the right tires and the Hayes Power motor was flawless," Reed said. "I want to thank my crew for all of their help today it really made the difference.

Reed earned Briggs Controlled Heavy's pole and drove like he was shot out of a cannon when the feature's green flag waved. Reed gained on second place Thomas Adkins, of Sharptown, MD, with every lap owning a huge 10.236-seconds finish line advantage at the end.

"This track is a big tire game," explained the Donovan Masonry/Scott's Furniture/Warrington Plumbing/Paul D Reed Construction backed Reed. "You've got to hit the right tires, it will make you or break you here."

Smith stepped up from Briggs Junior Sportsman-2 to Junior Restricted and swept both classes. "This was my first time in junior three classes. We came here to check them out and test for next year and won both," beamed the 12-year-old R&R Racing Technology powered Smith Concrete backed Phantom kart pilot.

Fellow Milford racer Jordan Watson earned Briggs Junior Restricted Heavy's pole and hustled into the early lead. Several laps later the first of two caution flags waved for the 12-racer field. Watson led the restart, but Smith quickly powered his way to the front and led the field through another restart before taking the final flag a comfortable 3.404-seconds ahead of Ryan Chism.

"The Phantom kart and Huffy's motor both ran good," Smith said after his first win.

Nick Helgason topped Briggs Restricted Junior's qualifying and hustled into the early lead, but before the first lap was booked Smith was in charge of the 10-racer field. Smith was still leading when the race's only caution flag flew with two-laps remaining. Smith led the two-lap shoot out and beat David Bartlett to the stripe by 1.512-seconds.

"I was a little worried on the restart, but I just concentrated and took my time. The Phantom kart and Huffy's motor both worked good again," said the double winner.

Millsboro based Cameron Collins claimed Briggs Junior Sportsman-1 Heavy's checkered flag. Collins worked his way by pole winners Austin Hubbard, of Seaford and Cameron Mattox of Delmar and led the nine-racer field through a single caution restart just before half way and took the final flag 3.596-seconds ahead of Mattox.

"I liked the way the Phantom kart handled and the Moon Power motor was so strong I had to keep it down to keep it on the track," described the nine-year-old winner.

Finishing fifth earned Hubbard the Divisional title and gave him enough national points to clinch that title as well.

Later that day Mattox, of Delmar, avenged himself with a narrow win over Hubbard in Briggs Junior Sportsman-1 Lite. Hubbard clocked the pole lap and Mattox started next to him. When the green flag waved both roared off ahead battling side-by side for the lead. As they fought for the front Brandon White, of Lewes, shot by them and into the lead. Mattox finally shook off Hubbard and went after White catching him with five laps left and bringing Hubbard behind him, which is how they would finish. Mattox reached the final flag just 0.533-hundreths of a second ahead of Hubbard and White was just a second behind in third.

"I was tough," 10-year-old Mattox admitted, "I had people signaling me how close they were behind me the whole way, but the Phantom kart handled real good and the Robinson Speed Shop motor was hooked up."

Millsboro based Cameron Collins claimed Briggs Junior Sportsman-1 Heavy's checkered flag. Collins worked his way by pole winners Austin Hubbard, of Seaford and Cameron Mattox of Delmar and led the nine-racer field through a single caution restart just before half way and took the final flag 3.596-seconds ahead of Mattox.

"I liked the way the Phantom kart handled and the Moon Power motor was so strong I had to keep it down to keep it on the track," described the nine-year-old winner.

Finishing fifth earned Hubbard the Divisional title and gave him enough national points to clinch that title as well.

White won Briggs Junior Sportsman Champ, which also earned the 10-year-old Moon Power Racing Engines powered Illusion kart pilot the Divisional title in that class. White took the early lead from Hubbard, the pole winner, and went on to build a 14.572-seconds advantage over Hubbard at the end.

"The Illusion kart and Moon Power motor were both perfect, they ran real good," Smith said. "Winning a divisional title takes consistency," he added.

Salisbury, MD based Phantom kart pilot Bryan Bradford bagged Briggs Limited Medium's win wire-to-wire with a 2.683-seconds finish Line advantage over Bridgeville, DE based Taz powered Randy Wroten. Bradford led the eight-racer field through a caution restart before taking the final flag and the championship.

"I felt nervous on the re start, Bradford admitted. "The kart handled great and the Robinson Speed Shop motor was wonderful, I want to thank Ronnie and everybody back at the shop for all of their support."

Bradford earned Briggs Stock Heavy's pole and hustled into the early lead with Charles Vallanbingham in hot pursuit. Just after the five laps to go signal was shown Vallanbingham powered his Olimpic kart into the lead and built a 2.104-seconds finish line advantage over HP Speed Shop powered Nuclear Kart pilot Chad Hayes, of Georgetown, DE.

"We made the wrong tire choice in Medium and made the right one here in Heavy. Of course we had an unfair advantage being the only Olimpic kart in the field and Tod Miller's motor is the best motor I've ever had," said the St. Mary's County, MD based winner.

Hebron, MD hot shoe Matt Mowbray clinched Briggs Stock Medium's title for the third time in four years with a final win in that class. His Acing Racing Engines powered Phantom kart was a mire 0.936-hundreths of a second ahead of Richie Hornsby at the stripe.

"The track's a little wet and we made the right tire call," Mowbray credited. "I want to thank Ace for all of his support this year would couldn't have won the championship without his help all year."

Senior Champ was a down to the wire battle between Clements, MD competitor Jason Brown and Greenwood, DE driver Matt Layton with Brown earning the win with a 0.242-hundreths of a second advantage at the stripe.

"That was the best race of the year, he (Layton) got under me and then I got him back, that was really good racing and I want to thank him for driving me clean, that's what this is all about," Brown, a Robinson Speed Shop powered Ultramax Racing Chassis pilot said.

Manchester, MD based father/son team of Glenn and Bryant Renfro each posted a win that Saturday. Glenn grabbed Briggs Senior Stock's win over Lincoln, DE driver Ralph Moore who trailed him across the finish line by just 0.920-hundreths of a second. It was Renfro's second straight win in that class.

"I was telling myself stay cool, your son set it up right and gave you the right tires," said the NAPA Auto Parts/Renfro's Hill Top sponsored winner, "I want to thank God for a safe race and Robinson Speed Shop for a great motor and Phantom karts for a great chassis."

Bryant bagged Briggs Extra Heavy's win with a comfortable 1.201-seconds finish line advantage over George White. Renfro ruled qualifying and roared off the pole for the early lead. James Hickman ran him down and briefly took charge of the 10-racer field before surrendering back to Renfro who took it down the front straight as they went three-wide.

"That was an awesome race," said the 15-year-old winner. "I want to thank my Dad most of all he makes it possible and I also want to thank Robinson Speed Shop for an awesome motor and Phantom karts for an awesome chassis."

Pittsville, MD SuperTech Racing Engines powered Phantom kart pilot Richie Hornsby took the final checkered flag of the 2002 season just 0.288-hundreths of a second ahead of Ryan Donovan for the win and championship in Briggs Lite.

"I was waiting for the tires to come in and when we went into the corner I almost lost it," Hornsby described. " I want to thank my dad for helping me win this championship, it also took a lot of hard work and smooth driving."

Champions in the Delaware Dirt Divisional Series and US 13 Kart Club will be crowned and receive their prizes and awards February 8th during an awards dinner at Seaford Fire Hall.

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Series Kart
Drivers Nick Helgason , Jordan Watson , Tod Miller , Chad Reed , Ryan Donovan , Ryan Chism , Jason Brown , Matt Layton , Trey Collins , Erika Hearn , Cameron Mattox , Bryan Bradford , Chad Hayes , Thomas Adkins , George White , Cameron Collins , Ralph Moore