CAMDEN, OH-Five 4-cycle road course racers earned double wins during the WKA/Horstman Gold Cup MCP Brake Nationals held during the Fourth of July weekend at G&J Kartway in Camden, OH. Four hundred and nine racers entered the competition on...
CAMDEN, OH-Five 4-cycle road course racers earned double wins during the WKA/Horstman Gold Cup MCP Brake Nationals held during the Fourth of July weekend at G&J Kartway in Camden, OH. Four hundred and nine racers entered the competition on the 1/2-mile nine-turn course up 30 from last year's second race of the tour's season. Starting with the event's second winner Kyle Capodice the other double winners included Justin Cassity, Scott Rettich, Austyn Fugle and Eric Winkle who posted his pair that Sunday.
Capodice, of Sandusky, OH, piloted his Baker Racing Engines powered Bandit kart with perfection in Saturday's RLV Briggs Junior Sportsman 1 Lite taking all the class offered. He spun the fastest qualifying lap at 37.337 seconds, beat outside pole winner Jimmy Heavlow to the heat's stripe by 0.627 seconds and finished with a huge 3.759 seconds lead over Dakota Bell in the Feature.
"I don't know how I stayed out front," admitted the nine-year-old winner, "the kart handled great and the motor was real good it was real strong."
Sunday TJ Duke was the fastest qualifier in McDonald Motorsports Briggs Junior Sportsman 1 Heavy beating Capodice out of the top starting spot by 0.057 seconds with a 37.417 seconds run. Capodice captured the rest of it. He beat Duke to the heat's checkered flag by 0.572 seconds and by an even closer 0.162 seconds margin in the feature. As they were heading for the final flag a lapped kart appeared ahead of them. "I was worried when that lapped kart got in the way," he described adding, "The kart felt great."
Cassity an Urbana, MD based Rat Power Racing Engines powered Coyote kart factory driver bested fields of 19 and 26 in American Power Sports Briggs Heavy and Turner Racing Engines Briggs Medium. In Heavy he led the charge from start to finish with a 34.220 second lap for the pole from where he beat Jon Baker in the heat race by 0.146 seconds to the feature where Baker trailed him by 0.064 seconds. "I wasn't sure who had it going down the straight-away on that last lap. We came in that last corner before the front straight there and I knew Jon (Baker) was going to try me in the corner," Cassity described. " Thankfully I stayed on the outside and was able to hold onto the lead and I got a good push from Lawson in the back there so it worked out great. I want to thank Thor Oils they're helping my engines run a lot better and helped my success."
Sunday's Medium proved more of a challenge. Cassity struggled in qualifying with a 34.361 seconds lap 0.118 seconds off the pace set by Tommy Van Cleef's 34.243 seconds pole wining effort for a fifth place start. Things got worse for Cassity in the heat where he finished 15th out to 26. He roared back in the feature. While his brother Ryan was enjoying a comfortable lead Justin worked his way to third, then second. He slipped past his brother near the end and beat him to the stripe by 0.648 seconds.
"That was unbelievable. I got taken out in the heat and started 10th in the feature," he described. "I was just hoping to run in the top three or five today. Sometimes the way things workout is crazy. It just worked out where every pass was perfectly timed it was almost a coincidence not even driving skill. It just happened the way it did and I was lucky."
Rettich, a Camden, OH native, earned his wins that Saturday. Piloting a new Margay kart he earned a win in Power Products/Super Seat Briggs Limited Medium and when Justin Bonsignore was booted from Precision Industries Briggs Animal Medium at tech, he inherited his second win.
Rettich ruled Limited Medium from start to finish beginning with a blistering 31.845 seconds qualifying lap that earned him the pole. He dominated the heat and feature over Van Cleef who trailed him by 2.105 seconds and 2.837 seconds. "The Margay chassis was great," Rettich explained. "The Coyote kart works great in the slower classes, but for the faster classes the Margay just works better, it just handled great. I was confident from the beginning and the kart came in as was just great."
Fellow Ohio race Eric Winkle, of Cedarville, earned his first two national wins that Sunday starting with Viper Racing Engines Briggs Restricted Junior. 'Bad' Brad Bischoff blasted out a 34.909 seconds pole-winning lap. Winkle was the fifth fastest qualifier, but was fastest when in counted. He quickly climbed through the field in the heat race passing Bischoff before the half. When it was over Bischoff was 0.230 seconds behind him across the stripe. In the feature race Winkle roared by Bischoff as they battled down the front straight for the lead, which he held to the end where this time his was 0.311 seconds ahead of Bischoff at the end for his first national, win.
"It was easy because Eric Garland had me so hooked up on power and he hooked up the Shadow kart perfectly and my dad did a great job with him on setup," Winkle credited after his first win.
Sunday Floridian Justin Larson cranked out a 35.510 seconds lap for Baker Racing Engines Briggs Junior Animal's pole. Winkle cracked the top five in qualifying with a 35.699 seconds effort. Third fastest qualifier Steven Axtell topped the heat race with a 0.283 seconds edge over Larson and then followed Winkle by 0.230 seconds when in counted.
"The Garland Racing Engine had enough top end to power by him (Axtell) easily and Eric Garland's setup the kart so good I was flying around the track."
Livonia, NY based Austyn Fugle notched his first national win that Saturday and backed it up with another Sunday for a sweep of the Briggs Junior Sportsman classes. In Saturday's Coyote Products Fugle was the fastest of 27 qualifiers with a 35.633 seconds lap. Brett Farmer and Tyler Sandmeyer got by him in the heat, but he rallied back in the feature winning it by 0.441 over Farmer. "It was kind of hard and I could hear them back there and I didn't know if I was any faster or not," admitted the 10-year-old Fugle. "The Margay kart handled pretty good and the Turner Motor worked really good."
Backed by the confidence of his first national win Fugle took all Bonsignore Kart Shoppe Briggs Junior Sportsman 2 Heavy offered. A 36.106 seconds lap put him on the pole from where he captured the heat race with CJ Lintner trailing by 0.442 seconds and in the feature where he opened a 1.121 seconds advantage over Sandmeyer.
Horstman Gold Cup competitors have two more nationals remaining in the 2004 season. Next up they travel to Wampum, PA August 20-22 where they will compete at BeaveRun Motorsports Complex followed by Grand Nationals which will again be part of the North American Karting Championships at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC November 5-7.
By: Bruce C. Walls