By Bruce C. Walls -Special to Motorsport.com MARGARETTSVILLE, NC-Five of 829-racers who entered this year's WKA/Briggs & Stratton Speedway Dirt Series Competition Cams 'Grand Nationals' hosted by Margarettsville Speedway in Margarettsville,...
By Bruce C. Walls -Special to Motorsport.com
MARGARETTSVILLE, NC-Five of 829-racers who entered this year's WKA/Briggs & Stratton Speedway Dirt Series Competition Cams 'Grand Nationals' hosted by Margarettsville Speedway in Margarettsville, NC July 20-22 left with a pair of Eagles.
King Williams, VA racer Stephanie Pitts posted wins in Saturday's Team Simpson Racing Briggs Controlled Medium and Bandit Racing Chassis Briggs Medium with Jacksonville, FL racer Rohn Moon trailing her Phantom kart across the finish line each time. Her first win came in Briggs Controlled Medium. Pitts earned the pole with a 14.568 seconds lap, but surrendered the early lead to outside pole winner Brett Miller. Miller led the 30-racer field twice around the 1/4-mile dirt oval before the race's only caution waved. Pitts grabbed the lead when racing resumed and fought off Moon by putting two lapped karts between them in the final laps. With Moon stuck in traffic Pitts rallied on and took the final flag with a very comfortable 2.636 seconds advantage over Moon.
"My kart's been fast all day and I just tried to stay out of trouble and win. Higgy's House of Power built us a real good motor and that's what helped win this one,' said Pitts who dedicated her first win to her Aunt Dale Paxton who pass away recently. "I want to thank Avis Electric, Curtis Mason Signs, Scotty Bajer, my mom and dad and my pit crew and add a special thanks to Beef Performance for the tires."
Trailing in the top five behind Moon were Miller, Memphis, TN based Shane James Racing backed James Polmonari and Chad Haithcock.
Wayne Poole, another double winner, set Briggs Medium's pole time with a 14.806 seconds lap and Pitts started next to him. When the initial green flag waved Poole took the early lead and led the 28-racer field the through an early race caution restart with Chris Williamson threatening from second. After the restart Williamson and Moon drafted by Poole and took the top two spots. Moon grabbed a piece of the led from Williamson and then surrendered it back. Pitts took second from Williamson and then the lead from Moon in time for her second win. Pitts reached the finish line just .549 seconds before Moon who was trailed in the top five by Williamson, Chris Douglas and Miller.
"It was hard winning two," admitted the 19-year-old double winner after her second victory. "I didn't know if I could pull it off, but the kart worked good and the motor ran good and our pit crew did a lot of hard work."
Poole posted his first win in Saturday's final feature Trick/Olimpic Karts Briggs Lite. Pitts produced a 14.634 seconds lap for the pole and Poole started next to her. Pitts took the early lead and led the 27-racer field through the race's only caution restart. She led two more laps and then got shuffled to fifth when Poole and Word, SC competitor Mark Hall drafted into the top two positions. Pitts worked her way back to third as Poole pulled away from Hall for a 2.337 seconds finish line advantage.
"She (Pitts) slipped up and I got a run on her," Poole described. "The Phantom kart was hooked up after we struggled in Medium and Tod's motor was great. I want to thank my mom and family, Melissa Miller, Kenneth Jones and Jody Miller."
Unadilla, GA racer Dee Paschal and Robinson Speed Shop Team Driver RJ Robinson of Salisbury, MD rounded out the top five behind Pitts.
Poole celebrated his birthday Sunday with a win in Trick/Olimpic Karts Briggs Lite. Poole earned the pole with a 14.183 seconds lap and Jamie Knopf started next to him. Poole lead the first time around, surrendered it briefly to Knopf who only led the second lap before surrendering it back to Poole who built a comfortable 2.337 seconds advantage over Knopf at the end.
"The guys did a great job of setting up the kart and Tod's motor was awesome again," Poole credited.
David Collins, Robinson and Greg Burnett rounded out the top five of 30.
Moon, who earned a record five wins during the Dirt Series Twister Karts / Davis Motorsports 'Summer Nationals' at Low Country Kartway in Aynor, SC, captured two Grand National wins. The Moon Powered Shadow kart pilot set the pole time in Power Products/Super Seat Briggs Limited Heavy with a 14.263 seconds trip and recaptured the lead in the final laps to edge out fellow Florida racer Neal Lewis by just .174 seconds.
Moon led the 29-racer field the first time around and then got shuffled to fifth when Lewis and Dahlonega, GA based Southern Express Kart Shop sponsored Shadow kart pilot Bradley Gerrells drafted by him for the front two positions. The race's only caution flag waved on lap five. Lewis led the restart with Gerrells all over his tailpipe looking for a way around. Moon battled his way back to third and as he and Gerrells squabbled over second they drafted past Lewis with Moon recapturing the lead. On the final lap Lewis held second Tony Gaylord grabbed third, Gerrells fell to fourth and Dan 'the Shadow man' Sox of West Columbia, SC crossed fifth.
"You do what you've got to do," Moon said. "We unloaded slow and that's what the crew was able to do to the kart and it paid off. This means more to me than Aynor. I owe a big thanks to Roy Whaley, Bruce Rhoe of Intercomp, Kermit Buller of Bully Clutches, Chester Hester of Gold Speed USA, and Maxxis Tires, Randy Burris of Lighting Light, Charlie and Dan Sox of Shadow Karts for all of their help, Blaze, Hammer, T.J., Ned, Kevin, Johnny Luster, Angie, my sisters Ame and Logan, mom and dad and all our super customers, we couldn't have done it without you."
Moon's next mission was Sunday's first feature Bordeaux Dyno Cams Briggs Controlled Heavy. Chris Williamson clocked the pole time with a 14.913 seconds lap and Archdale, NC competitor Wayne Poole posted the outside pole position. Moon started fourth and quickly rocketed to the front with Poole a close second and Williamson right behind Poole which is how they would finish with Moon owning a .233 seconds edge over Poole at the stripe.
"We just tried messing with some things and they worked," Moon credited after his second win.
Stevie Stephenson and Ward, SC competitor Mark Hall handled the remaining top five positions.
Salisbury, NC competitor Jody Miller earned a pair of wire-to-wire Champ kart wins starting with Saturday's Noram Clutches Briggs Senior Champ where his Tod Miller Racing Engines powered Phantom kart handled the 30-racer field. Outside pole winner Larry Bryant III hung with Miller from start to finish were he trailed by just .137 seconds.
"I don't know who was back there hammering me, but he was running me pretty hard," described Miller who marked his third straight Star Champ win at Margarettsville Speedway nationals. "I want to thank the Lord for a safe race, Kenny Jones, Wayne Poole and everybody who worked in the pits and my sponsors Jammer Clutches, My-Chron, Lighting Light Body Works and Burris Racing."
Rounding out the top five behind Bryant III were Lonnie Hall, AJ Curelli and Jason Scruggs.
Sunday Miller rocketed off Seigler Motorsports, Inc. Star Champ's pole and led the 28 racer field flag-to-flag finishing with a very comfortable 1.628-second advantage over Scruggs.
"What a great weekend!" beamed Miller. "That one was easy sailing. I got out front and stayed consistent and the kart worked great and Tod's motor had plenty of top end. I want to thank Kenneth Jones, Harrill Wiggins, Jammer Clutches and my brother Tod."
This time Michael Rivers, Chuck Broadway and Jason Merriman made up the remaining top five.
Moon Powered Phantom kart pilot Jesse LeFevers also scored a pair of wire-to-wire wins that weekend. Saturday the 13-year-old T-N-T Kart Shop/M&M Embroidery sponsored Lenior City, NC based competitor led 30 Shadow Racing Chassis Briggs Junior racers from start to finish where he was 1/473 seconds ahead of Ray Love II for his second straight national win in that class.
"We picked the right tires for this one," credited LeFevers.
Rounding out the top five behind Love II were Ryan Kelly, Kameron Knight and Matt Hawkins.
Sunday LeFevers earned E-Z Bore Briggs Restricted Junior's pole with a 15.473 seconds lap. From there he fought off early race challenges from outside pole winner J.J. Nye and Jake Tyler who started third, before leading the 30-racer field through a lap eight caution restart and then across the finish line with a 1.519 seconds advantage over Tyler. "It was all Rohn Moon's motor and a lot of help from my mom and dad," said LeFevers who also won Junior Restricted in Aynor. "I want to thank all of my help this weekend, the Moon family, T-N-T Kart Shop, M&M Graphics and Phantom karts."
This time Joe McIntyre, Delta, PA pilot Brad Mattlin and Dustin McGraw grabbed the remaining top five positions.
Saturday's features began with Naples, FL racer Ryan Nicholas ruling RLV-Tuned Exhaust Products Briggs Junior Sportsman-1 Lite's 30-racer field flag-to-flag through a pair of caution restarts. Nicholas fought off early challenges from Seaford, DE racer 'Awesome' Austin Hubbard who surrendered second to Ricky Keisler as he fell into the pack. Keisler trailed Nicholas through both cautions and then gave second to Bobby Anthony while Nicholas tightened his grip on the lead with every lap eventually building a 2.896 seconds advantage over Anthony at the stripe.
"I wasn't worried about the restarts because the Moon Power motor felt like a rocket," said the 10-year-old winner.
Keisler came in third and was followed in the top five by Cory Roberts and Hunter Mallory.
Lonnie Hall Chester Wright and Stephenson had the crowd on their feet cheering their favorite for 20-laps of lead swapping down to the wire action in Phantom Racing Chassis Briggs Senior. Hall turned the pole lap at 15.301 and Wright earned the opposing front row position with a 15.321 seconds lap. Hall hustled into the initial lead, but surrendered it to Wright before the first lap was booked. Next time around Hall recaptured the lead just before the first of two caution flags waved and had to start behind Hall. Caution waved again on the next lap and Wright led the restart again. When racing resumed Stephenson slipped by the leaders and held the lead for several laps until Hall got it back in time for the white flag and held it passing the stripe with a .258 seconds edge over Stephenson.
"That was a great race, a little snug, but a great race," reported the winning Ruffin, NC based Eddie Bryant Racing Engines powered Reaper kart pilot. "The motor was awesome and the kart got faster as we got going."
On the final lap Jim Ackerman took third from Wright who finished fourth ahead of Leonard Singletary.
Columbus, MS racer Justin Lindsey nipped Winston/Salem, NC Beef Performance powered Greg James by .143 seconds at Robinson Speed Shop Briggs Super Heavy's end for his first national win. Larry Tankersely, Jr. turned the pole lap at 15.416 seconds and lead the 30-racer field around twice before James jumped into the lead. Caution waved on lap three and James led the restart as Lindsey worked his way from seventh to second. Lindsey grabbed the led just before racers where shown the mid race signal and held it to the finish after showing them through a third caution restart.
"The Phantom Nemesis kart and Tyler Racine Engine got me to the front," Lindsey credited. "I got a little luck and got my first national, it feels awesome. I want to say a special thanks to my dad and to Tyler Racing Engines for the motor it ran excellent and had great horsepower."
Tankersley, Jr. took third, Shane Evans followed in fourth and Sox rounded out the top five.
Josh Hammond, of Lancaster, SC, produced Williams Motorsports Briggs Junior Sportsman-2 Lite's pole time with a 15.615 seconds trip and had Kyle Nicholas starting next to him. When the initial green flag flew Hammond took control over the 30-racer field spreading out behind him. The third time around Nicholas got by him and just as he got a firm grip on the lead the first of two caution flags waved. Nicholas led the restart with Hunter Peacock hounding him from behind as they pulled from the field. Nicholas led Peacock through the field and as they were working their way to clean track the race's final caution waved. Hammond rocketed away when green flag racing resumed and beat Nicholas to the finish by .462 seconds.
"The Shadow kart worked pretty good and Jim Sanford's motor had good horsepower," said the 13-year-old winner who also won the class at Aynor. "I want to thank my dad, James Moore, John Candy and Dan and Charlie Sox."
Matt Tiffany, Nicholas and Todd Goble grabbed the remaining top five spots.
Saturday's features also included two 2-Cycle classes. Unadilla, GA racer Dee Paschal posted American Power Sports Yamaha 2-Cycle's win. Chad Clark clocked the pole time with a blistering 14.377 seconds lap and Paschal posted the opposing pole time. Clark shot into the early lead with Paschal poised to take the lead. Several laps later Paschal got his chance and took charge of the 15-racer field. Christopher Meleason made his way to second in the final laps and grabbed a piece of the lead under the five to go signal, but Paschal powered past him as they got the three to go sign and beat Meleason to the finish by .126 seconds.
"All I could do was coast through the corners, I had no brakes after lap seven or eight," said the Buller Racing Engines powered Phantom kart pilot. "Kermit (Buller) got us a good clutch and motor and the kart ran great except I didn't have any breaks."
Clark claimed third, Archdale, NC competitor Scott Bazen bagged fourth and Winchester, Virginia racer James Kirby capped the top five.
A 14.089 seconds qualifying lap earned Kirby Bully Clutches Unlimited 2-Cycle's top starting position. Kirby took the early lead over outside pole winner Barrett Terry who surrendered second to Bazen. Kirby built a comfortable lead over Bazen as Chesnee, SC competitor Chris Seay fought his way from a fourth place start to take second from Bazen. Once he secured second Seay set his sites on Kirby who was coming up on lapped traffic desperately trying to get away from Seay. A lapped kart popped up in front of Kirby and Seay took advantage of it bringing Michael Gordon with him. From there Seay gained ground on the field with every lap building a huge 4.357 seconds over Chris Harrell at the stripe.
"Lapped traffic definitely helped, but I was getting quicker with every lap. I can't say enough about this new 2002 Ultramax Pro Force kart and Henry Seay's horsepower," Seay said. I want to thank Precision Bearing & Machine for their support, Ultramax Racing Chassis, Speed Karts and Ramar Chemicals."
Kirby crossed third, Jason Seay finished fourth and Bazen bagged fifth out of 11.
Kirby avenged himself in Sunday's Horstman Manufacturing Stock 2-Cycle taking the final flag 1.815 seconds ahead of Meleason. This time Clark clocked the pole with a 14.145 seconds lap, but Kirby jumped into the early lead and showed the 15-racer field home from there.
"The Buller kart worked great and Donnie Wheeler's motor pulled strong the whole race," Kirby said adding, "I want to thank my wife Angie, my daughters Cortney and Brie and Jason Jones and Larry Starnes."
Clark came in third with Billy Tayman and Olin Baldwin in tow for the top five.
Hephzibeh, GA racer Shay Chavous scored his second straight national win in Ultramax Racing Chassis Briggs Junior Sportsman-1 Heavy. From a third place start, the 9-year-old Dee Paschal Racing Engines powered Phantom Nemesis kart pilot quickly captured the lead from Ryan Nicholas . Nicholas took it earlier from pole winner Tyler Wright who earned the top starting spot with a 16.988 seconds lap. Nicholas and Chavous swapped the lead several times before Chavous captured it for good. In the final laps Hunter Mallery closed in on Chavous, but he trailed the leader by .122 seconds at the finish line.
"I just drove hard. The kart worked good and the motor was awesome," said Chavous.
Ricky Keisler, Jake Crum and Justin Ashley rounded out the top five of 30. Moon Powered Phantom kart pilot Kyle Nicholas won ARC Racing Briggs Juniors Sporstsman-2 Heavy form the pole. Nicholas clocked the pole position with a 15.836 seconds lap, hustled into the initial lead and showed the 30-racer field through an early race caution that Hunter Peacock used to his advantage. Peacock and Nicholas pulled ahead of a falling field as they battled for the lead. Peacock had the late race lead, but Nicholas got it back in time to build a comfortable 1.276 seconds cushion by the end.
According to the Naples, FL based 12-year-old winner, "The kart was good in the short run and the long run and the motor was awesome, Moon gave us his best."
Finishing out the top five were Matt Tiffany, Bard Hancock and Josh Hammond.
Shadow Racing Chassis hot shoe Dan Sox dominated Prototype Engine Sales 4-Cycle Modified's finish. Tony Gaylord turned the pole time with a 14.399 seconds lap and led the early going with Sox threatening from third. In the final laps Gaylord's machine developed problems and he dropped to third as Sox advanced into the lead and David Halk moved up to second which is how they would finish with Sox 3.676 seconds ahead of Halk.
"I broke at the last race (Aynor) and he broke this one so now we're even," Sox said with a smile. "The Shadow kart worked great and I want to thank George Owenby for the motor."
Lee Jones and Jason Kimball claimed fourth and fifth behind Gaylord.
A serious lap nine crash in Tommy's Karts-n-Parts Briggs Junior Champ brought that race to an end and forced WKA officials to cancel the remaining three classes.
When the incident occurred Mifflandtown, PA pilot Lindsey Barton was in charge of the 28-racer field and was awarded the win. "I just tried to drive good and stay out of trouble," said the 15-year-old winner. "The Olimpic kart was handling pretty good and Tod Miller's motor was Great. I want to thank my mom and dad, Tod Miller and Olimpic karts."
Finishing in the official top five behind her were Anthony Johnson, Jr., Matt Hawkins, Tra Decker and Josh Nash.
The WKA/Briggs & Stratton National Speedway Dirt Series Precision Cams 'Fall Nationals' will be hosted by Southern Pitt Raceway in Greenville, NC September 7-9, 2001.