Eleven double champions crowned at wka enduro banquet
By Bruce C. Walls -Motorsport.com
DAYTONA BEACH, FL-Racers in the WKA/Dunlop Tire National Enduro Series were recognized for their achievements during the 2000 season at an awards dinner held Wednesday December 27th at the Indigo Lakes Golf Club in Daytona Beach, FL. Eleven competitors were crowned double national champions and thirteen earned single championships.
Melrose, MA based All Kart factory pilot Abhijeet 'Abby' Ghatak earned championships in 100cc Controlled and Bridgestone/Grand Products Piston Port Heavy. According to the Bill Price Racing Engines powered double champion who was injured in a racing accident at Lowe's Motor Speedway during the North American Karting Championships, "It takes a lot of good friends and good help to win two national championships. After I got hurt it was amazing how many karters came over to help me at the house which proves that karting is truly a community."
Looking back over the past season Ghatak recalled the Grand Nationals in St. Louis, MO as the 100cc Controlled race he'll most remember. "It was about 130 degrees at the 'Grand Nationals' and we won!" In Piston Port Heavy he said the Winter Nationals at Lowe's Motor Speedway was his most memorable race. "I won that one by about 60-seconds," he recalled.
Mark Croslyn captured a pair of national point's championships. The Woodstock, GA based racer ruled B-Limited and Unlimited-1. Indiana racer Dave Williams dominated Elite Karting Controlled Limited 1 and Controlled Limited 2 and Florida based Brad Zoeller did the same in Piston Port Can Lite and Heavy.
The father/son Bushnell, FL based TS Racing team of Tod and Bret Spaude each collected a pair of national championships. Thirteen-year-old Bret bagged national points championships in CKI Track Side Briggs Junior Sprint Lite and Elite Karting Briggs Junior Sprint Heavy. "It takes consistency, hard work and a lot of help to win two national championships," Bret described. He added that the Winter Nationals at Lowe's Motor Speedway would be his most memorable Lite race of the 2000 season. "Me, Adam (Romito) and Scott Tomasik ran close together the entire race," Bret recalled adding that the most memorable Heavy race was at the Grand Nationals.
Tod Spaude earned national point's championships in Kart Connections plus Briggs Sprint Medium and Briggs Sprint Heavy. According to Tod, winning two national point's championships took, "A lot of hard work at home and a lot of luck when you get to the track, plus I'm blessed with a family that enjoys racing."
Jacksonville, IL based Randy Fulks earned national points championships in Custom Trophy B-Stock and RLV Tuned Exhaust Yamaha Medium. "Daytona last year was a good race in Yamaha Medium, but the Grand Nationals in St. Louis, MO were great because I beat Ronnie (Jackson) there," recalled the TS Racing powered Margay kart pilot who defended his B-Stock title from the previous season.
Richard Warren, of Mentor, OH, took championships in Horstman Yamaha Sportsman Medium and KSF Racing Yamaha Sportsman Lite. "I have to thank LAD for great motors and Coyote Products for great karts," said Warren, who just became a Coyote Karts factory driver.
New Concepts Design sponsored Ed Shampine earned national point's titles in Pi Research WKA Sprint Heavy and TS Racing Yamaha Sprint Heavy. Reflecting on the past season Shampine said, "Last year's Daytona was the best race weekend I've ever had. I won three classes that weekend."
Former Triple Crown winner Jamie Bach, of Saukville, WI, bagged a pair of national point's championships. The LTD Racing powered Haase kart pilot took titles in Piston Port Can Sprint Lite and American Power Sports Yamaha Sprint Lite.
"It took a lot of hard work and a lot of support from my parents and I have to also thank Kevin Nelson and CKT Karting," said Bach. Reflecting on the past season Bach said the Grand Nationals were his most memorable race of the season. "Both classes were close at the Grand Nationals," he recalled.
DeBary, FL racer Mark Burt earned national points championships in both Junior Enduro classes Lite and Heavy. "I won Lite at the Grand Nationals and then lost Heavy by just .003-seconds. I won both at Kershaw and that was a fun race," said the 14-year-old TS Racing powered TS Kart pilot who added thanks to his parents for all of their support.
Rhode Island racer Christopher Riggs ruled Hegar 4-Products 125 Gearbox and Boston, MA based Bill Price powered All Kart factory pilot Adam Sodano did the same in 125-Sprint. According to Sodano it was "Consistency and preparation," that earned him a national point's championship. Looking back over the season Sodano said that the New Hampshire national was his most memorable, "I beat Shawn Gray at our home track."
Virginia racer Brian Fisher was crowned Euro-5 Lite champion and Greensboro, NC competitor Craig Stone captured Euro-5 Heavy's national points championship. "It takes a lot of work and breaking a lot of knuckles to win a national points championship," said Stone who added that the Grand Nationals will be the race he'll remember, "I won both races at St. Louis and that was a fun race for me."
George Righter Racing Engines powered Coyote kart pilot Brandon Taylor earned Junior Sprint Lite's championship. According to the 15-year-old Manassa, VA based champion the turning point of his season came at his home track, "I was second place going into the Summit Point National and pulled off a big win. The rest of the season was very competitive and then I capped it off with a win at Charlotte during the NAKC."
Junior Sprint Heavy's title is still in the hands of the Bach family. Last year Jamie Bach earned the title and this year his sister Rebecca was crowned Junior Sprint Heavy champion.
Travis Miller topped the Open class's national point's chase. "It takes a lot of things to earn a national championship, but mostly a good mechanic and lots of luck," described the Payton Miller Racing Engines powered Emmick kart pilot who said last year's Daytona race is where he got started. "It was my first year in Open and I led every lap at Daytona last year but the first one."
Funkhouser factory pilot Chris Tomasik captured Piston Port Can Sprint Heavy's championship. "It took a lot of hard work, a lot of support, a good kart, good motors and good tires," credited the Indianapolis, IN based champion who recalled Daytona as his most memorable race of the season. "We checked out on everybody at Daytona last year."
Two Birmingham, AL based Custom Fiberglass of Alabama backed racers were crowned national champions. Robby Harper handled Unlimited-2 and Michael McCombs earned Competition Karting, Inc. Yamaha Sportsman Heavy's championship.
Jackson, NJ base Michael Casazza was crowned New Concepts Design Yamaha Lite champion and New York racer Phil Jackson topped Russell Karting Yamaha Heavy's national point chase.
Callaway Cars WKA Sprint Lite's national points championship was bagged by Boynton Beach, FL based Emmick kart pilot Scott Buerman. "It takes a lot of dedication to win a national championship," said Buerman. Reflecting on the past season Buerman said, "I'll always remember the Grand Nationals. My starter broke on the grid and I left 15-seconds later then everybody else. I got the lead on the fourth lap and took it by 15-seconds at the end."
Special awards were also presented at the banquet. Robin Goodwin was presented with the Ann Kugler Award. Pierre Huang's crew was named Best Team and Dave Williams and Brandon Taylor were chosen as most improved senior and junior drivers.
The Dunlop Tire National Enduro Series 2001 season began with World Enduro Championships during WKA Florida Kart Week. Next on their schedule are Winter Nationals which will be raced March 9-11.