NORFOLK, NE-WKA style dirt racing took the mid west like a tornado May 15th when 252 racers entered the first of four races in the new WKA Heartland Speedway Dirt series presented by Heartland Bully Clutch Dealers. For most of those entered in...
NORFOLK, NE-WKA style dirt racing took the mid west like a tornado May 15th when 252 racers entered the first of four races in the new WKA Heartland Speedway Dirt series presented by Heartland Bully Clutch Dealers. For most of those entered in the series opener at Kartwheels Speedway in Norfolk, NE it was their first experience racing at a WKA event. Competition was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, but serious storms in the area forced WKA officials to cancel Sunday's classes early that morning to avoid the risk of tornados.
"Karters did an excellent job of getting use to the WKA format of qualifying followed by features," credited Tony Barton, WKA Director of Program Development who was one of the principals behind the new series. "Despite the fact that it rained all day Thursday the track was awesome. It was smooth and had three grooves all the way around. Jerry and Pat Pospisil, the track owners, did an excellent job of paring their facility. I also want to thank Kermit Buller of Bully for the pump around system he built. That thing is real nice and it cost him about $300."
Chad Waller will never forget the Saturday he won his first WKA national race. The Traer, IA native not only notched his first national, but also goes on record as the first WKA/Heartland Speedway Dirt Series feature winner. It wasn't easy. Lee Grosz, of Nevada, was fastest qualifier of 25- racers entered in Briggs Lite with an 11.856 seconds lap around the high- banked 1/5-mile dirt oval. Starting next two him was Brain Van Meveren, starting behind him was Waller. Grosz grabbed the early lead with Van Meveren close behind. As they battled for the front Waller's Big Dog Digger Motors powered Phantom Phenom chassis started gripping the track and gaining speed.
"After about eight laps I took the lead and held it from there," Waller explained. "The kart worked real good even though the track changed a lot during the day. I was real impressed with the way WKA runs their stuff. WKA's format is what we needed out here and the flagging was excellent.
Grosz held second trailing Waller by 0.410 seconds and was followed across the finish line by Daniel Veglahn, Brent Cornic and Robert See who rounded out the top five.
Briggs Senior winner Trent Kraus echoed Waller's sentiments; "Having WKA in the Midwest is like a breath of fresh air. Now we can get back to having fun racing."
Kraus earned the pole with a 12.134 seconds lap and then led the 12-racer field flag-to-flag. "The kart was on a rail," described the Columbus, NA a TRR Motors powered Phantom Nemesis pilot. Pospisil quickly reach second where he stayed for the distance trailing Kraus by 0.309 seconds at the stripe. Completing the podium were Daryl Weilage, Kevin Kinman and Randy Wulf.
According to Barton, "Because of high winds, sever storms and the chance of tornadoes, Sunday' race was canceled at 8:30 am to give racers a chance to get to family and friends."
A complete report of the first ever WKA/Heartland Speedway Dirt Series and photos from this historic race will be appearing in a future issue of WKA's Karting Scene Magazine. To subscribe go to the WKA web site at www.worldkarting.com or call the office at 704.455.1606.
Heartland Speedway Dirt racers have three more races on their schedule. Next up they travel to Saddleback Raceway in Renner, SD June 11-13. From there they head to Waterloo, IA where their third race will be held August 6-8 at Race It Motorsports. The series ends its first season October 1-3 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Winfield, KS.
By: Bruce Walls