Path Valley PDKA State Championship report 2002-06-23

Spring Run, PA_ The ranks of the Pennsylvania Dirt Karters Association (PDKA) swelled to just over 250 entries as karts reached speeds of more than 100 mph on an exceptionally fast and smooth Path Valley Speedway Park Sunday, June 23. The...

Spring Run, PA_ The ranks of the Pennsylvania Dirt Karters Association (PDKA) swelled to just over 250 entries as karts reached speeds of more than 100 mph on an exceptionally fast and smooth Path Valley Speedway Park Sunday, June 23.

The closest finish of the day was in the heavy class when Jeff Rathfon finished a timed 0.187 second ahead of Adam Dimm. Rathfon completed the 20-lap feature in four minutes 45 seconds and his best lap was a scorching 97 mph.

The biggest winning margin was that of Alex Benda in the Jr. Sportsman I Lites class. Benda won by a lap ahead of Tyler Bear, and Benda has won features in all three of the events completed to date.

The results are unofficial until certified by the PDKA board of directors and only the best five finishes of the six-race series counts toward the Pennsylvania State Championships. In addition to electronic timing and scoring, the PDKA races feature extensive and minute technical inspections and the winners commonly take their engines home "in a box."

The day's general racing sponsor was All Pro of Harrisburg and Midnite Power sponsored the Fast Time Awards. Individual class sponsors for the 19 divisions of karts include: JJ's Auto Body, In Memory of Kevin Gobrecht, Silver Springs Speedway, Kirby's Speed Secrets, Frank Sears Sanitation, Awards and Beyond, JS Specialty, Path Valley Speedway, Paul E. Power, Locke's Auto/Viper Engines, Little's Kart Shop, quality cleaning, York County Kart Supply, Trim's Automotive/T-E Motorsports, Ensor's Speed Shop in 2 classes, Selinsgrove Raceway Park, Silver Springs Speedway, American Carpentry/Frame to Finish.

According to PDKA President Butch Diller, he does not expect the number of entries to continue to grow in this year's PDKA series because of a controversy involving tires. The series requires the older Burris M15A and M15B tires as a cost saving measure rather than the apparently faster new Burris SS series tires introduced last month.

Some claim the older tires are difficult to find, but Diller says there are many still available and he expects more to be for sale as racers who are not PDKA top ten contenders begin selling older tires.

"The competition couldn't be better, and we are identifying and honoring the very best young kart riders in Pennsylvania and several neighboring states," Diller states.

Promoter Ken Geesey at host track Path Valley noted, "These are some of the finest young people anywhere and it is both an honor and a privilege to see such great racing. We may have had the next Jeff Gordon right here racing today!"

The six-race series alternates between Path Valley and the Selinsgrove Raceway and the remaining events are all Sunday races. Gates open at 7 a.m. with practice at 10 a.m. and racing at noon for the four remaining events. The best five finishes are counted toward the Pennsylvania State Championships and the Burris National Speedway Series points.

The additional Selinsgrove races are July 14 and Sept. 29. The fifth race at Path Valley is August 18. Rain dates are Sept. 22 and Oct. 6.

Feature race winners in all classes with 12 or more karts receive a winner's plaque and a $100 gift certificate from the class sponsor. Burris M15A or M15B tires are required for all classes. All riders setting fast times in their class receive a medal. All of those entering the Kids Karts class receive a trophy and cash payouts are based on the number of entries.

New classes this year are Briggs Junior Sportsman Champ, Star Champ, Briggs Junior Sportsman 1 Lite & Heavy, Briggs Junior Sportsman 2 Lite & Heavy, F-200 Intek/ Honda/ Kohler/ Tecumseh @ 360#'s. For F-200 Rules click the Info & Rules section of the BNSS web site at www.burrisnationalspeedwayseries.com/.

The PDKA competitors range from Kid Karts for those 5 to 7 years old up to adult classes for those 15 and older. For rules, past state champions and information on the PDKA, riders can consult the series website at www.padirtkart.com/.

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Series Kart
Drivers Jeff Gordon