WKA: Chapel Hill Pavement National report

Parnell triples at Chapel Hill Pavement National. HUMPHREY, NY-Veteran kart racing standout Kerry Parnell and his team hauled from their home in Kernersville, NC to Chapel Hill Raceway in Humphrey, NY the for the World Karting...

Parnell triples at Chapel Hill Pavement National.

HUMPHREY, NY-Veteran kart racing standout Kerry Parnell and his team hauled from their home in Kernersville, NC to Chapel Hill Raceway in Humphrey, NY the for the World Karting Association/Ultramax Racing Chassis Speedway Pavement Series RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Nationals June 27-29. Parnell made their 614-mile journey worth the 11-hours it took them by sweeping three of the 22-classes offered that weekend from their poles. Holland, NY racer Wayne Baker, Jake Crum, of Statesville, NC and Winchester, VA competitor Michael Edwards were double winners at the event which drew 420 entries from the US and Canada.

Chapel Hill Raceway owners Mike Friel and Tom Scharf were named WKA Pavement Series Promoters of the Year. They were presented with the award during Saturday's driver's meeting.

Parnell, last year's Briggs & Stratton Pro Kart Tour Champion and defending Briggs Heavy national champion, made his first trip to victory lane in Saturday's American Power Sports Briggs Senior. A blistering 9.806 seconds lap earned him that pole from where he led the 13-racer field flawlessly before taking the checkered flag with a huge 2.705 seconds advantage over his nearest pursuer third place qualifier Gregory Jordan.

"First of all I've got to thank God for letting us be in this position to do what we love to do and helping us get to where we need to be," Parnell credited after his first win. "Second, I've got to thank my crew, Jan Grote who's been with me a couple of years and my nephew who started coming with me this year and heck without him this year I couldn't be where I'm at today. I've also got to thank Robin Bradshaw for the engines he builds for us and Competition Karting for the Laser AV-5 karts they build for us, they're super wonderful karts, I've just got to thank the whole bunch, all of them for getting us to be where we are right now."

Later that day Parnell produced a 9.833 seconds lap his second pole, this one in Twister Karts & Parts Briggs Heavy which he came to Chapel Hill trailing Floridian Jason Kimble in the national points chase and left leading. From the primer starting position Parnell powered his way to a second straight wire-to-wire win this one ending just 0.424 seconds ahead of Tim Sullivan.

Parnell's earned his third win Sunday in CKI Briggs Medium where he also took over the national points lead. A 9.701 seconds lap earned him that pole from where he lead the 25-racer field from flag-to-flag through a single caution restart that trimmed the huge lead he'd built. Parnell hung on when racing resumed and just nipped Clayton Marvel at the stripe by 0.290 seconds.

Hometown hot shoe Baker, who was a triple winner during the previous pavement national at Beaverun Motorsports Park in Wampum, PA, topped both Briggs Controlled classes. That Saturday he battled his way from a third place start to beat his brother Bob by 0.207 seconds in Cool Power Briggs Controlled Medium. Pole winner Walt McCleary, who claimed the top starting spot with a 9.547 seconds run, shot into the early lead while the Baker brothers battled for second behind him. On lap four the caution flag waved tightening up the field. With Wayne Baker poised behind him McCleary lead the 14-racer field on the restart and before lap five was booked Baker blasted by him for a never surrendered lead to the end.

"It was tough," Baker, admitted, "I had to deal with my brother and everyone they were real quick and it was just a little bit of luck and making the right moves at the right time. I knew I could get them low coming off of turn two so I just tried it and it stuck and it worked."

Sunday Baker battled his way from a fourth place start in Custom Trophy Briggs Controlled Heavy to the front in time to take the win over Parnell the pole winner by 0.289 seconds. Parnell hustled into the initial lead and had opened nearly a half-track lead over the 14-racer field while Baker worked his way to a distant second. In the final laps Baker closed in on Parnell, took the lead in time to take the white flag, then held it once more around for the win.

"It was just a lot of luck," Baker credited. "I didn't think I'd be able to catch Parnell, but I caught him and made the move coming off of two again and tried to hold on for the last couple of laps. The Phantom chassis handled great thanks to my dad for setting it up. His last minute changes helped a lot. I'd like to thank my dad and my mom, my grandparents, my brother, Shorty's Automotive, Horstman Manufacturing, Custom Trophy and everyone that helped make this happen, especially Phantom karts and Harrill Wiggins."

Edwards, the defending national Animal champion continued his reign over those classes. Saturday's he beat MY-CHRON by Aimsports Animal Medium pole winner Justin Hill, of Concord, NC, to the stripe by 0.445 seconds and in Sunday's Coyer Enterprises/Longacre Animal Heavy where he earned the pole with a 9.838 seconds lap and led the 11-racer field flawlessly.

Crum captured his wins that Saturday in Sportsman Champ Southwestern Cable Briggs Junior Sportsman Champ and Rage Karts by NC Chassis Briggs Junior Sportsman-2 Lite. Crum turned a 10.152 seconds lap for Junior Sportsman-2 Lite's pole from where he lead the 23-racer field with perfection. In the Champ class Crum fought his way from a 10th place start to beat Anthony Ryan by 0.142 seconds.

Racers in the WKA/Ultramax Racing Chassis National Speedway Pavement Series have two more races remaining this season. On August 1-3 they will be battling for Grand National bonus points at Wilson's Motorsports Track in Wetumpka, AL and then the end their season September 12-14 at Fast Track in Vincennes, IN.

-Bruce Walls, Guest writer

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Series Kart
Drivers Jake Crum , Kerry Parnell , Michael Edwards , Justin Hill , Wayne Baker