Pit Board 2010-03-16

WKA's Pit Board - 03.16.2010 *** Action plentiful in 2010 Gold Cup opener 03.16.2010 - Mother Nature threw an array of weather at the Carolina Motorsports Park over the weekend, where the Russell Karting Gold Cup Series was in town for the...

WKA's Pit Board - 03.16.2010

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Action plentiful in 2010 Gold Cup opener

03.16.2010 - Mother Nature threw an array of weather at the Carolina Motorsports Park over the weekend, where the Russell Karting Gold Cup Series was in town for the Michigan Kart Supply Nationals. Everything from fairly warm, sunny conditions to chilly, windy weather to thunderstorms and heavy rain hit the Kershaw, S.C., area from Friday to Sunday. Fortunately, most of the rain came after sundown allowing each of the 23 divisions to get their program completed in the dry after mornings of practice on a wet CMP sprint course.

When the track dried and programs began, close and exciting racing was the norm for the duration of Saturday and Sunday afternoons. With a background setting of 2- (and 4-) cycle WKA Road Racing Series karts zooming around the 2.3-mile Kershaw road course, seven 4-cycle sprint racers wheeled their mounts to multiple victories at the new 0.7-mile Kershaw sprint course.

Brett Farmer was the top winner on the Gold Cup side. The Michigan driver continued his reign over Coyote Motorsports Briggs Lite with the win in the first race of the weekend. Farmer added two more victories with a sweep of Briggs Animal Modified Medium and Heavy, bringing his total win count to three which was one better than six Gold Cup double winners.

Jacob Heavlow has stepped up to the Briggs Jr classes this season after two straight years of double championships in the Sportsman 2 ranks. The added speed in Briggs Jr didn't seem to faze Heavlow at Kershaw; the young Maryland shoe was victorious in Digatron Briggs Jr Lite and Briggs Jr Medium.

The only class Heavlow entered that he didn't win was Briggs Jr Heavy. A first-lap spin set him back and left the lead battle to Skylar Robinson and Matthew Tifft. Tifft led a good portion of the race but Robinson found a way by the Arrow driver late in the 12-lap feature to go on to the win. Robinson picked up win No. 2 in Sunday's Beasley Motorsports / Arrow Karts Briggs Restricted Jr main. The pair of wins gives Robinson a fast start to the new season after finishing no better than eighth in the points in the four Briggs Jr divisions in 2009.

Chris Harding swept the Briggs Masters category at Kershaw. The Indiana driver won convincingly in both classes, taking Saturday's Masters Medium over Walt Barnes and Sunday's Masters Heavy main over Jason Jons.

Back-to-back WKA Triple Crown champion Gary Lawson wasn't left out of the fun at Kershaw. The Ohio native altered his class schedule at Kershaw, forgoing the generally smaller Briggs World Formula and Super Heavy fields to race in Briggs Medium, which is usually the largest field at a Gold Cup national. Lawson finished in the runner-up spot to Scott Kleman in Medium, but won a tight race over Farmer in Custom Trophy Briggs Heavy.

Not long after their Briggs Heavy dual, Lawson and Farmer returned to the track to battle it out in the popular Money Race, which was postponed to Saturday night. Lawson started dead last on the 19-kart grid, and thanks to a multi-kart incident just after the start, he was fourth by the end of the opening lap. Lawson advanced to the lead by the end of the first 10-lap segment and drew pill No. 3 at the break, meaning a top-three invert. Starting third, Lawson wasted no time getting to the lead at the start of the second and final 10-lap segment.

But Farmer would be a thorn in his side throughout the final stretch of the race. In fact, Farmer led most of the last 10 laps while Lawson was busy battling with a strong-running Kleman for second. Lawson cleared Kleman with a few to go and went to work on Farmer. The Arrow pilot took the lead from Farmer with two laps to go, and protected the inside line on the final lap to keep Farmer at bay. The final lap looked almost identical to the last lap of Briggs Heavy, which also saw Lawson drive a defensive line on the last lap to the victory. Kleman held on for third, followed by A.J. Roderick and Connor Lund completing the top five.

The previously mentioned Briggs Medium feature had 21 karts start to make it the largest of any class (Gold Cup or Road Race) at Kershaw. Kleman showed he'll be a force this year on the Gold Cup tour, taking a one-second win over Lawson in the 12-lap feature. Farmer was third.

Maryland driver Douglas Barnes Jr. won Thor Oil Briggs Sportsman 2 Lite in a hard-fought race with Tyler Capodice. Capodice made a last-lap pass on Barnes but slid off the track on exit, handing the lead and win back to Barnes. Douglas's younger brother, Trent, won Baker Racing Engines / Performance North Briggs Sportsman 1 Lite over Tyler Frantz. The younger Barnes's win was extra special, as Saturday was Trent's 10th birthday.

Jake Lutz won over Johnny Smith in Briggs Sportsman 1 Heavy. Lutz had a fine run in his only win of the weekend. He moved up from the fifth starting position and held on for a close win over Smith, T. Barnes and Jacob Zellner.

Skyler Locklear denied Douglas Barnes of a double-win weekend with the victory in American Power Sports Briggs Sportsman 2 Lite. Locklear won by just 0.112 seconds over Barnes to make it one of the closest finishes of the weekend.

Matt Kessinger and Billy Fraser won the senior Clone classes at Kershaw. Fraser won Saturday's Int'l Pure Stock 1 and Kessinger won the Sunday capper. Tyler Smith won both junior Int'l Pure Stock mains. Ten clone-powered karts were in attendance.

Connor Lund won Briggs Super Heavy over Jason Karr. Lund also had a solid showing in the aforementioned Money Race, finishing fifth. Nathan Childress and Paul Rice won the World Formula features. Brockport, New York's Nick Fauci and Joshua Stark were the only Performance North / Baker Racing Engines Kid Karts participant in attendance.

One injury occurred at Kershaw. Pine Beach, New Jersey, driver Ryan Calabrese broke a bone in his right arm while practicing Friday. WKA's thoughts go out to Ryan on a speedy recovery and return to the track.

The Russell Karting Gold Cup Series has a three and a half month break before the second of four 2010 nationals. The next national event is July 2-4 at western Pennsylvania's BeaveRun Motorsports Complex. Of course, Gold Cup regulars won't sit idle through the upcoming spring months. Most will be racing at local tracks or WKA regional series, while others split time between the Gold Cup and other WKA national series including Manufacturer's Cup and Speedway Pavement.

WKA thanks all racers, officials, team members and fans for a great weekend at Kershaw. A special thanks goes out to the Carolina Motorsports Park staff for provided WKA with a fine racing facility that now features a top-notch venue for both sprint and enduro-style karting.

To view the results, go to www.worldkarting.com/pg/series/gc/2010/gc-kershaw.html

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Road Racing Series resumes season at Kershaw

03.16.10 - The WKA Dunlop Tire Road Racing Series driven by Mazda resumed its season over the weekend at Carolina Motorsports Park for the second of eight 2010 rounds. Heavy rain every night of the weekend forced the postponement of morning practice each day due to the wet track. Personal vehicles took to the track each day to help dry the surface, while officials, led by popular Race Director Brandon Taylor, shortened laydown races to from 45 to 35 minutes while sprint-enduros ran 25-minute features instead of 30.

Weather was a factor all weekend, but all of the 13 race groups were completed. Sprinkles fell on the track at times on Saturday and Sunday, but the rain affected only Saturday's group 5 finish. Rain began to fall hard enough to stop the race, which was just past halfway. About two minutes later the rain stopped and the program continued, but race 5 was deemed official because it had gone past halfway.

Chuck Gafrarar and Matt Michel were the top performers at Kershaw. Each driver went four for four in their respected classes. After a 2009 season filled with numerous multiple-win weekends, Gafrarar had a perfect weekend at Kershaw when he won every main he entered. His wins came in Stock Leopard Final 1,Kirby Derby Stock Leopard Final 2, Chuck G Fabrication TaG 1 and Checkeredflagdesign.com TaG 2. Likewise, Michel swept the four classes he entered, Dart Kart Club 100cc Pipe Medium and Heavy, Yamaha Sportsman Medium and TSRacing.com Yamaha Sportsman Heavy.

Courtney Atkinson wasn't far behind the success of Chuck G and Michel. The Wisconsin shoe captured three of the four classes she raced. Atkinson won Heiser Trailer Leasing PP Can Sprint 360 #1 and #2, and Dart Kart Club PP Can Lite. She finished second to Michel in Sportsman Medium. Mike Lattos also found three victories at Kershaw. Lattos swept the Unlimited finals over Chuck Bunnell after winning Formula 125 over Scott Davis.

Six road racers drove to double wins. Joey Kuley won both Briggs Jr mains; Derek Somers did the same in the two Jr Sprint features. Southern Kart Club regular Wilshire Walkup was victorious in Office Mart Inc. PP Can Medium and Competition Karting Inc. PP Can Heavy. Lake Speed made last-lap passes on Kevin Learnard to win both D.R. Guilbeault Air Compressor Spec 125 TaG features. Speed passed Learnard on the exit to the final corner to win Sunday's version of the class.

Adam Myers dominated the WKA Sprint features to take his second and third wins of the season in the pipe-sprint ranks after winning at Daytona. Noah Stark couldn't find victory in the Stock Honda mains, but won WKA 125 Shifter 1 on Saturday and held off Beth Chryst to win MVG Motorsports CIK 125 Shifter 2 on Sunday. Chryst also finished second to Gafrarar in both TaG mains.

Other Kershaw winners were Milo Schoonover in 100cc Controlled. Randy Fulks won Sleeper Racing Team 100cc Controlled Spec 1. Fulks led early in Spec 2 but slipped up about halfway into the race, giving the lead to Scott Buerman, who never relinquished it for his only win of the weekend. Michael O'Chocke only entered one race, MVG Motorsports CIK 125 Shifter 1, which he won. Don Chrzan drove to victory in KartVideo.com / PowrPads Formula 100 #1, while Paul Wyzga won Sunday's Formula 100 #2.

The senior Briggs Animal divisions were the largest fields of the weekend on the Road Racing side. The three classes saw three different winners. Jonathan Tedder won Custom Trophy Briggs Animal 335. Randy Delp beat out Kevin Colborn in Animal 385. Andrew Bruner won in a close race over Tedder, Colborn and Leon Hodges-Austin in the weekend's largest class, the 14-kart Animal 360 feature.

There was some question as to who was leading when the red flag flew in the rain-shortened Stock Honda 1. Officials deemed Learnard the winner over Brian Fisher and Stark as scoring showed the New Hampshire native leading the last completed lap. Fisher had actually taken the lead on the final lap, which ended up not counting. Fisher got redemption Sunday in Stock Honda 2 when he laid down the fastest laps of the weekend in the low 1:41-second bracket and held off Stark to the finish.

Eric Saunders won MVG Motorsports WKA 125 Shifter 2 over Stephen Flatt. Local-option winners comprised Todd Wohlford in Briggs Limited Mod Heavy; Robert Garland and Joe Cuslidge in the ARC Racing-sponsored Int'l 4-Cycle (Clone) divisions; Todd King in the Southern Kart Club Briggs LO206 classes; William Evans in both Open Sprint mains; Duane Eberhart in Vintage 1. Jim McMurray made some laps in his TaG-E Saturday and Schoonover took it out in Sunday's TaG-E.

Only one red flag occurred all weekend. Michael McCombs got on his roof, or head, in Turn 1 in Saturday's Sportsman Medium go. Other than being covered in a coating of sandy mud, McCombs was OK.

The Road Racing Series has two months before the next national. The tour will stay in the South for the annual Southern Kart Club-hosted national at Savannah, Georgia's Roebling Road Raceway May 14-16. The annual Grand National will follow at the Dart Kart Club-hosted event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course June 11-13.

WKA thanks all racers, officials, team members and fans for a great weekend at Kershaw. A special thanks goes out to the Carolina Motorsports Park staff for provided WKA with a fine racing facility that now features a top-notch venue for both sprint and enduro-style karting.

To view the results, go to www.worldkarting.com/pg/series/rr/2010/rr-kershaw.html

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"Chew Bob" Fletcher on the mend

03.16.10 - A brand new state of the art sprint track for the Russell Karting Gold Cup Series could not hide the obvious absence of one of World Karting's longtime officials. While competitors and fans marveled at the Carolina Motorsports Park layout for the season opening Michigan Kart Supply Nationals, a familiar face was missing, one that many drivers see quite often throughout the Gold Cup weekends.

Longtime flagman "Chew Bob" Fletcher was resting at his home in Ohio, recovering from a recent surgery. While available if needed, the plan is to let Chew Bob take some extra time to mend in time for the traditional July 4th Holiday event, this year at the BeaveRun (Pa.) Motorsports Complex July 2-4.

Anyone wishing to contact Chew can send him a get-well note at the following address:

Bob Fletcher 425 Long Street Asheville, Ohio 43103

On behalf of the World Karting Association, we wish our good friend Chew Bob a speedy recovery. We miss you!

-source: wka

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Series Kart
Drivers Kevin Colborn , Tyler Smith , Brian Fisher , Eric Saunders , Beth Chryst , Skylar Robinson