WKA's Pit Board - 02.02.2010 *** KartFest trade show and awards banquets recap 02.02.2010 -- KartFest 2010 is in the books and despite adverse weekend weather throughout much of the Carolinas, all but a couple of pre-registered exhibitors ...
WKA's Pit Board - 02.02.2010
KartFest trade show and awards banquets recap
02.02.2010 -- KartFest 2010 is in the books and despite adverse weekend weather throughout much of the Carolinas, all but a couple of pre-registered exhibitors still made it to the exhibit hall to be a part of the show. Approximately 50 exhibitors filled the Carolina First Center as KartFest was held at the Greenville, S.C., location for the first time ever. Steady crowds filled the center throughout Friday and Saturday.
As has been the case at KartFest for many years, all facets of the industry were represented. Racers, fans and karting enthusiasts could find everything from top chassis builders, engines, clutches, pit equipment, tire manufacturers, media sources, racing series, weekly tracks, kart shops, parts and more at the show. Weather did hamper attendance compared to some past years, but many karters from around the eastern half of the country still fought the snow and ice Friday and Saturday to make their way to Greenville.
Over a dozen people participated in Saturday's WKA / SFI 4-Cycle Tech Seminar. The seminar included instruction from 4-cycle tech man Bobby Gettys and an open-book exam for a two-year certification.
Town Hall meetings for WKA's Speedway Dirt, Speedway Pavement and Gold Cup series were held Saturday. Each series' meeting saw racers and officials come together to discuss and brainstorm future plans for their respected series.
The Briggs & Stratton Speedway Dirt Series banquet concluded Friday's events while the combined awards banquet for the Rage Karts Speedway Pavement Series and Bully Clutches Gold Cup Series rounded out Saturday's activities.
Champions honored at Friday's Speedway Dirt banquet were Triple Crown winner Dee Paschal, multi-champion Blake Cannon, double champions Houston Smith, Jacob Schneider, Dan Sox and Shannon Bledsoe, and single class champions Johnny Myers, Stevie Stephenson, Codie Rohrbaugh, Hunter Crane and Jacob Owens. Paschal made a fine acceptance speech when he was awarded the Triple Crown, an award he said he's been after for a very long time. Many of the national champions were on hand to take to the stage during the Champions March, and each driver took time to talk about their championship season and thank those who helped make it possible.
Phantom Race Chassis was awarded the Speedway Dirt Manufacturer's Championship while Firestone won the award for the top-winning tire on the Dirt Series. A host of other special awards were given out throughout the course of the night.
On Saturday night around 20 champions between the Gold Cup and Speedway Pavement series took the microphone to say a few words during their dual banquet, including Triple Crown winners Gary Lawson and Brett Farmer. Both Lawson and Farmer made honorable acceptance speeches while the third Gold Cup Triple Crown winner, Dakota Bell, couldn't be in attendance because he made his high school hockey team and was preoccupied with those responsibilities.
Along with Lawson, Farmer and Bell, Gold Cup champions respected Saturday night were Eric Stowe, Steven Smith, Chris Wells, and double class champions Johnny Smith and Jacob Heavlow. Nearly all of the Gold Cup champions were in attendance and made admirable speeches after the Champions March.
Joining the Gold Cup champions on stage were the Speedway Pavement national titlists, comprising triple champion Brandon McGough and double champions Tyler Gauthier, Tyler Robertson, Patrick Robertson, Ryan Breithoff and Matt Pappa. Single national champions on the Pavement tour were Stephen Brewer Jr., John Hawley, Chase Dowling, Chris Hammett, A.J. Roderick, Justin Fulmer and Kyle Long. Again, nearly every Pavement champion was present to accept their awards and take the stage during the Champions March.
Winchester, Virginia-based Bandit Race Chassis was honored as the Gold Cup Manufacturer's Champion with a 30 to 22 advantage over Arrow Karts. Fittingly, Rage Karts won the championship in the tour it sponsors, the Rage Karts Speedway Pavement Series.
WKA director of operations Buddy Long announced that WKA had just reached an agreement with Missouri-based Russell Karting to sponsor the Gold Cup Series in 2010. Russell is now the title sponsor of two of the five WKA national series. Dunlop Tires, of which Russell is the exclusive U.S. dealer, sponsors the Road Racing Series driven by Mazda.
WKA would like to thank everyone -- exhibitors and attendees alike -- who fought the weather and made it to Greenville for KartFest 2010.
WKA national racers shine in Atlantic City
02.02.2010 -- Two Rage Karts Speedway Pavement racers not present for the series' banquet Saturday night at KartFest were 2009 Briggs Champ Heavy national champion A.J. Roderick and Long Island's Justin Bonsignore, who finished third in the standings in Champ Lite and Heavy in 2009.
Both racers had good excuses. Roderick and Bonsignore were busy doing some indoor racing at the Gambler's Classic at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., where champ karts were on the card as a support division for the TQ midgets.
Roderick and Bonsignore did WKA proud in the National Guard 25 for the champ karts. Roderick, a 19-year-old racer from Chardon, Ohio, who also competes on the Russell Karting Gold Cup tour, started 15th in the main and charged to the front of the pack. When he made his way to second, Roderick found fellow Speedway Pavement racer Bonsingore out front. As the race neared its conclusion, Roderick made a last-lap pass on Bonsignore to take his first ever win at the Atlantic City indoor oval. Bonsignore held on to finish second in the 24-kart field. Speedway Pavement regular Gavin Soraghan finished 10th.
WKA congratulates Roderick, Bonsignore and Soraghan on their fine performances Saturday night in front of a jam-packed Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Custom Trophy's Theresa Mertle's mother passes away
02.02.2010 -- A member of the extended WKA family has passed away. WKA would like to send its condolences to Theresa Mertle, her family and the people at Custom Trophy. Mertle's mother passed away last night in Kentucky after an illness.
Mertle owns the Florence, Kentucky-based Custom Trophy, which has been the awards supplier for WKA for a number of years and sponsors a number of national classes. Mertle and Custom Trophy have always gone above and beyond to work with WKA to provide the organization with fine awards for its members at very reasonable prices.
The WKA staff has the Mertle family in its thoughts during their difficult time. Those who would like to pass along their thoughts may send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.