JASPER, FL-After being forced to sit out most of last season due to a work injury, 'The Peoples Champion' Jason Petty, of Creedmore, NC, proved he was back in the hunt for a Triple Crown in the WKA/Ultramax Racing Chassis Speedway Pavement Series where he kicked of the season with a pair of wins during the NC Chassis Nationals at Cross Roads Motorplex in Jasper, FL March 28-30. Petty was among 399-racers entered in the Pavement Series opener.
Petty earned two wins that Saturday beating Gray, Georgia based Gene Nasworthy both times. A 13.605 seconds qualifying lap on the fifth mile asphalt oval put Petty's Tod Miller Racing Engines powered Phantom Kart on the outside of front row in Vickery's Speed Shop Briggs Lite next to Concord, NC competitor Justin Hill. Hill hustled into the initial lead with Petty in hot pursuit. Three laps later Petty powered by Hill entering turn four. Hill threatened two laps later and recaptured the led where he lost it. With Petty nipping at his heels Hill's machine began developing mechanical trouble and with just three laps remaining Hill was forced to leave the race which allowed Petty to take the lead and cross the finish line with a 2.257 seconds advantage over Nasworthy.
"Oh man to be back starting a new year and starting it off with a win," beamed 20-year-old Petty. "We didn't know if we could do it today, but thank God that He brought us through it, it was only His will because the kart was messed up all weekend. I've got to give a big thanks to Harrill Wiggins and Phantom Karts, Tod Miller Racing Engines and Wynns. I also want to dedicate this win to my grand mom Petty who's in the hospital and I also want to thank Wayne Oakley, my dad and Tommy Newman for all of his R&D work and everybody at the Phantom shop."
Later that day Petty scored his second win over Nasworthy, this one in Rage Karts by NC Chassis Briggs Controlled Medium. This time Nasworthy earned the pole with a 13.451 seconds lap and had Petty behind him on the inside of row two. When the green flag dropped Nasworthy roared into the initial lead with Petty pressuring him from behind. Petty peeked around Nasworthy the second time around and then suddenly from a fifth place start Holland, NY racer Wayne Baker blasted by both of them for the lead. It was short lived as Nasworthy powered by Baker the next time around bringing Petty behind him in second. By mid race Baker was back battling Petty for second, which gave Nasworthy a chance to extend his lead. With just five laps remaining Petty secured second and went for the lead which he took before lap 15 was in the book. Petty held the lead under the checkered flag with Nasworthy just 0.059 seconds behind.
"Just a good crew, good setup," Petty credited after his second win.
Twenty other classes competed that weekend. A full report and more photos will appear in an upcoming edition of WKA's Karting Scene. To subscribe visit the WKA web site at www.worldkarting.com.
-Bruce C. Walls, Guest Writer