WKA: Five double at Pavement National season opener

CONCORD, NC-Five of the 490-racers entered in this year's season opening Ultramax Racing Chassis WKA/Speedway Pavement Series Rage Karts by NC Chassis Nationals were double winners on the 0.2-mile outback speedway at Lowe's Motor Speedway near ...

CONCORD, NC-Five of the 490-racers entered in this year's season opening Ultramax Racing Chassis WKA/Speedway Pavement Series Rage Karts by NC Chassis Nationals were double winners on the 0.2-mile outback speedway at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Concord, NC March 20-21.

Holland, NY based Baker brothers Robert and Wayne were both double winners starting with Robert who quickly produced back-to-back wins in the first two feature races Vickery's Speed Shop Briggs Lite and Auto Wash Express Briggs Senior Champ Lite. They shared Briggs Lite's front row with Robert in the preferred pole position. When the green flag dropped Robert ran from his brother and the rest of the 30-racer field stretching out a 2.744 seconds advantage over Jason Petty at the end of 20-laps.

"Shorty's been doing a lot of work on our motors and he comes through big obviously," Robert credited, "On the restarts I just held it to the floor and held my lines. It's just Shorty's motors and Phantom's new Phenom and I want to thank Harrill Wiggins for all the help and my family for all of their help."

Baker immediately went from victory lane to the grid where he started fifth place in the Briggs Senior Champ Lite. Pole winner Wayne Winters took the early lead over teammate and outside pole winner Jason Connole who came in second at the finish line trailing Baker by 0.237 seconds.

"Yes it feels good getting two in a row. I didn't think I was going to win that one," he admitted, "Wayne Winters was quick all day and I was a little bit behind him. I'd like to thank Shorty's Automotive for great motors, my dad for setting up the kart, Harrill Wiggins for a great chassis, Custom Trophy for sponsoring us up for a pit spot and everyone else that helped us."

Wayne Baker, one of last year's two Pavement 'Triple Crown' winners, topped Saturday's Briggs Limited Medium's 10-racer field with a huge 6.598 second advantage over local veteran kart racer Justin Hill, of Concord, NC. On Sunday he owned a bigger victory margin over Matt Kelchin, 6.701, in Horstman Manufacturing Briggs Super Controlled.

"It has a lot to do with Shorty's Automotives motors and me and my dad's setting the kart up and getting it to handle around this soft track. I just tried to be consistent and hit the lines," Wayne said after his first win.

Phantom Racing Chassis factory pilot and Pavement standout Jason Petty, of Creedmoor, NC was another double winner sweeping the Animal classes starting with Saturday's MY-CHRON by Aimsports Briggs Animal Heavy where he built a huge 8.150 seconds finish line lead over Michael Bachman. Sunday he roared through Briggs Animals Heavy's field from a 14th place start all the way to the front in time to nip Justin Bonsignore by 0.737 seconds.

"It was definitely action packed," Petty said describing his second win, "I thought when I got up to second he (Justin Bonsignore) was a little too far away for me to catch, but I dug down deeper and how I pulled it off only God knows. I'd like to thank Harrill Wiggins, Wiggins Kart Shop, Phantom Racing Chassis, Wynns, MY-CHRON Mike, Jammer Clutches, Tod Miller Racing Engines and Bruce Walls for standing out here in the cold to interview me."

Northerners Matthew Ferris, of Patterson, NY and Anthony Ryan, of New Canaan, CT were double junior class winners. Ferris swept the Briggs Junior Champ Lite and Heavy classes and Ryan did the same in the Briggs Junior Sportsman Champ classes.

Ferris was the first of the two to take a checkered flag. After securing the pole in Kos Realty Briggs Junior Champ Lite with a 15.356-seconds lap Ferris broke away from an early three way fight for the front and built a comfortable 5.239-second cushion over third fastest qualifier Steven Daniels at the stripe for his first national win. "It feels good getting my first national win, especially after last year I flipped twice in the open kart so it feels good to finally win one," said the 14-year-old Joe Moore Racing Engines powered Extreme kart pilot. "The kart handled perfect with the help of Joe Moore and my dad setting it up, we were flying."

Sunday Ferris produced another pole winning lap of 15.307 seconds in Briggs Junior Champ Heavy. Ferris flew into the early lead only to have his advantage over the 25-racer field cut by the race's only caution on lap three. Ferris led the restart and went back to work expanding his lead over Logan Parker while Jake Crum climbed from a 21st place start to third when Ferris took the checkered flag.

"It was just luck this time, I guess," Ferris said of his second win, "It was also a lot of help from Joe Moore. He builds a great motor and a great chassis and helps us get up here."

Ryan ruled qualifying in X-Caliber Racing Engines with a 16.040 seconds effort and then led the 26-racer field flawlessly through a trio of cautions before beating fourth fastest qualifier Barry Ownby by just 0.149- seconds.

"I thought it was never going to end," said the 11-year-old Advanced Racing Engines powered Pro Kart pilot, "The kart was handling really good except for in the corners it was wiggling a little sometimes. Some of the restarts worried me a little, not all of them, but not so much when we were single file."

Ryan picked up another pole award in Kart Shirts 'Nuff Said' Briggs Junior Sportsman Champ Heavy with a 15.976 seconds trip. Outside pole winner Justin Grosz kept Ryan busy for 20-laps challenging the leader at every corner and taking a piece of it before the race's only caution flag waved. Ryan recaptured the lead in the final laps for the victory, which he held by 1.201 seconds over Grosz. "That was awesome," he described adding the kart handled great and the motor was powerful."

Young gun first time Briggs Heavy rookie Kyle Bonsignore gave Pavement veteran and two-time Briggs & Stratton winner Kerry Parnell a run for his money in the Twister Karts & Parts, Inc. sponsored class. Parnell produced the poll-winning lap at 14.157 seconds and hustled into the initial lead with third fastest qualifier Russell Moore in hot pursuit during the early going. By the time the first of two caution flags waved Bonsignore had worked his way from sixth to third. When racing resumed he quickly passed Moore and tried to cut Parnell's led. The second caution helped him in that effort and he hounded Parnell to the finish from there. Parnell took the win just 0.164 seconds ahead of the hard charging young gun.

"I knew there was somebody back there," Parnell admitted, " I knew that restart I figured was going to be pretty tough and it came down to the very end. That's what you look for when you come to these races like this is these young kids they come up through there they're tough. I just want to thank the Lord for letting us do this and everything He lets us do. I want to thank Bully Clutches we had a couple of restarts we had to have some really good starts and they got us through them and CKI with the Laser karts we can't ask for nothing better than that and all the guys at Competition Karting, Robin Bradshaw, my crew chief Jan Grote and Douglas Wheels they come with us and help us along and I've got to give a big thanks to them and Lighting Light for our body work."

According to Bonsignore, "I got up there after that little caution in the beginning I was kind of staying even with him and then right at the end that restart really closed me up he just got me in certain places and I couldn't make it up right away it was just great my time's coming it's my first Heavy race and my time's coming."

National Ultramax Racing Chassis Pavement series racers travel north to BeaveRun Motor Sports Complex in Wampum, PA April 30 to May 2 for the second race of their five race season.

By Bruce C. Walls

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Series Kart
Drivers Jake Crum , Justin Grosz , Kerry Parnell , Russell Moore , Jason Petty , Jason Connole , Tod Miller , Joe Moore , Justin Hill , Matthew Ferris , Kyle Bonsignore , Wayne Baker , Justin Bonsignore