WKA: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Manufacturer's Cup report

By Bruce C. Walls CONCORD, NC-Four WKA Manufacturer's Cup Series racers earned double wins at the Coello Racing/Fox Karts 29th Annual Winter Nationals' raced on the World Karting Complex road course inside Lowe's Motor Speedway near...

By Bruce C. Walls CONCORD, NC-Four WKA Manufacturer's Cup Series racers earned double wins at the Coello Racing/Fox Karts 29th Annual Winter Nationals' raced on the World Karting Complex road course inside Lowe's Motor Speedway near Concord, NC March 8th-11th. The second national of the 2001 WKA George Kugler Manufacturer's Cup presented by Bridgestone Tires season had 460 racers from the US and Canada competing on the 6/10-mile road course. Canadian Birel USA factory driver and defending125-Shifter national champion Ward Imrie, of Winnipeg, Ont., swept the MRP/Speed School 125-Shifter National #1 and SSC/CRG 125-Shifter National #2. Saturday Imrie beat Wisconsin racer Steve Welk to 125-Shifter National #1's finish. Brian Jacobsen earned the pole, but surrendered the early lead to outside pole winner Nicholas Bussell. Imrie quickly took control over the 25-racer field and Welk grabbed second from Bussell in the final laps, but couldn't catch Imrie who'd stretched out a comfortable advantage as the battle for second unfolded. "The kart was good and the motor ran great," Imrie said. "The whole package worked great. I want to thank my sponsors Birel USA and Enzo Chiovitti, TM Racing and Bell Helmets." Following Bussell in fourth and fifth were Jacobsen and Craig Baltzer. Imrie took Sunday's 125-Shifter #2 with a 3.433 seconds advantage over Josh Schreiber. Bussell bagged that pole, but surrendered the early lead to Imrie who led the way from there. Following in the top five of 25 were Kyle Wharff, Gary Glanger and Bussell. "It was the same as yesterday, maybe even a little better. The kart and motor were perfect," Imrie said after his second win. Aston, PA based Top Kart pilot Adam Pecorari posted wins in 100cc Controlled Piston Port and JN Racing, Inc. Formula Yamaha Senior from their poles. Pecorari blasted off from Saturday's 100cc/Controlled Piston Port's top spot and never looked back before beating Todd DeGrand to that finish with a comfortable 6.894 seconds advantage. "I love this track and I like racing direct drive here," said the 16-year-old J&J Racing sponsored double winner after his first victory. "The motor was great and the Top Kart was awesome," he added. Tommy Mayr, Jamie Sieraki and Mark Vielgut rounded out the top five of ten entrees. Pecorari scored Sunday's Formula Yamaha Senior's win in similar fashion. He rocketed into the lead when the green dropped, built a very comfortable cushion by lap three, and beat Nicholas Watt to that finish by 10.935 seconds. "It's this track. I know this track so well and we had an awesome motor by Woltjer," Pecorari credited after his second win of the weekend. Filling the remaining top five of 20 positions behind Watt were John Barnard, Tony Loniewski and Chris Reinhart. Loniewski, one of last season's Triple Crown Award winners in the WKA George Kugler Manufacturer's Cup Series presented by Bridgestone, also scored a pair of wins that weekend starting with Saturday's Bridgestone/Grand Products Spec 100 Can. Eric Gerchak earned the pole and led the early going as Loniewksi and Bussell battled for second. The excitement built with every lap and peaked when Loniewski, Gerchak and Bussell came out of the final turn three wide heading for the checkered flag. Loniewski emerged as the winner by .173 seconds over Gerchak and Bussell was just .326 seconds behind Gerchak. "That was a tough race," admitted the 16-year-old Michigan City, IN based Woltjer powered Haase kart pilot. "The chassis was great and I was at the right place at the right time." Chris Reinhart and Jason Fredricks completed the top five of 23. Loniewski's second win came after a heated battle with Bussell and Fredricks for Yamaha Senior's checkered flag. Bussell earned the pole position, but Loniewski was the first racer to lead the 27-racer field. Fredricks, of Morgantown, IN, shot by Loniewski and led until eight laps were left. Loniewski recaptured the lead just after mid-race and held off challenges from Fredricks and then Bussell who trailed by 1.782 seconds at the end. "I figured it would be a real close fight to the finish because everyone was so close," Loniewski said, "We made some chassis changes and the Haase Kart worked great and the Woltjer motor was real strong." Fredricks finished third, Chris Giummara captured fourth and Gerchak capped the top five. Giumarra turned the tables on Loniewski in Saturday's third race MCP Brake Systems Yamaha Lite taking that checkered flag 3.096 seconds ahead of Loniewski. Loniewski earned the pole and took the early lead with Tim O'Brian close behind. Just before mid-race Giumarra grabbed second and set his sites on Loniewski. Loniewski fought off Giumarra's challenges until the final turn of lap 13 when he got inside Loniewski for the pass. From there Giumarra's Chris Rice Racing powered CRG kart roared off into a comfortable lead to the finish. "Dad had the kart set perfect," Giumarra credited. "It came in after 10 laps when the others were getting loose and it was a missile from there," added the Mahwah, NJ based Flex T Karts/JN Racing sponsored winner. Rounding out the remaining top five of 25 positions were Christopher Larson, Adam McLellan and Nicholas Watt. Deer Park, NY driver Michael Giessen grabbed two wins that weekend starting with Saturday's SSC/CRG 80cc Shifter #1. Alan Adams was first under the final flag closely followed by Geissen, but Adams was penalized two positions for jumping the start which awarded Geissen the win. Filling out the official top five behind Geissen were Chris Wehrheim, Adams, David Cox and Brandon Adkins. Sunday Giessen grabbed Lonici Rental Group/Ed Kesse Enterprises Formula Yamaha Junior's win from the pole. Brandon Adkins took the early lead and then Robbie Pecorari took a piece of it before Giessen got it for good. Giessen took the checkered flag with a slim .872-seconds advantage over Pecorari. "It was the Pitts motor and the Fullerton chassis that got me by Robbie (Pecorari)," credited the 13-year-old winner. "The kart handled excellent and the motor had a million tons of power," he added. Completing the top five of 24 were Wehrheim, Colin Braun and Troy Brown. Adams, a Middletown, NJ based Wotljer powered Fullerton kart pilot, avenged himself Sunday taking Haase North America 80cc Shifter #2's final flag with a comfortable 3.923-seconds advantage over Cox. Adams turned the pole time, led the first lap, surrendered it to Cox and then recaptured it on lap three and showed the 13-racer field home from there. "The Fullerton kart was hooked up and the Woltjer motor was awesome," said Adams who added thanks to Oakland Valley Raceway Park for their support of his national competition. Crossing behind Cox in the top five were Brandon Adkins, Giessen and Wehrheim. Laukaitis Racing Yamaha Heavy's checkered flag waved for Hartford, WI based Hi Rev powered Paul Tracy Kart pilot Nicholas Wagner. Todd Bolton produced the pole time, but when the green flag waved Wagner roared into the lead. Bolton held onto second until the final laps when Gerchak grabbed that position and finished 1.509-seconds behind Wagner. "I just kept it smooth. The kart was perfect and the motor was perfect," Wagner credited, "I want to thank Paul Harraka for helping with the setup and Marc Zartarian for the motor." Finishing fourth and fifth were Jaques Dresang and Kevin Nelson. Fisher, IL racer David Cox captured Boyer Construction Yamaha Junior SuperCan's pole and, after a heated lead swapping battle with Alan Adams and Robbie Pecorari, was there in time to take the checkered flag just .092-seconds ahead of Adams. Cox took the early lead and showed the 24-racer field for three laps before giving up the lead to Alan Adams. Pecorari grabbed the lead at mid-race and held it until Cox recaptured it on the white flag lap. "The kart was excellent, the setup was perfect and the motor was fast as usual," said the winning Adkins Racing Engines powered PCR kart pilot. "I got sideways in the back straight when I made my move the first time. When I tried it again I surprised Robbie (Pecorari) in turn fourteen." Andy Rossetto ran fourth and Deer Park, NY racer Michael Giessen fought his way from 24th to fifth. Canadian competitor Pearce Herder handled Custom Trophy's 19-racer field finishing just .886-seconds ahead of Casey Roderick. Keaton Doerksen clocked the pole time, but quickly surrendered the lead to Herder who fought of challenges from Paulie Harraka and Roderick for the rest of the race. "I just tried to go as fast as I could," said Herder. "The Gold kart ran great and the Woltjer motor was strong." As they crossed the stripe for the final time Harraka held onto third, Doerksen followed in fourth and Matt Byrne capped the top five. Saturday Harraka made a last lap pass around Grand Products/Bridgestone Cadet Junior Sportsman pole winner Matt Byrne and took the checkered flag with a .081-seconds victory margin. Byrne bagged the early lead and fought off Harraka's challenges until the final lap. "I waited until the last lap and dove down under him (Byrne)," explained the Fair Lawn, NJ base winner who was sporting a new Simpson Vudu helmet. "I want to thank Switch Racing Engines, my Dad, Simpson, Lake Front tech, Kartshop.com and My-Chron for their support," Harraka added. Trailing Byrne in the top five of 10 were Thomas Hartensveld, Robert Thorne and Brandon Weber. Weber, a 12-year-old Saddleriver, NJ based Fullerton Team driver earned HPV Junior Sportsman's pole, led the field wire-to-wire finishing .117-seconds ahead of Daniel Morad, and then was DQ'ed at tech and forced to surrender the win to Morad. Completing the official top five of 17 were Keaton Doerksen, Thomas Hartensveld, Pearce herder and Matt Byrne. Pi Research HPV Senior Heavy's checkered waved for Niagara Falls, Canada competitor Michael Romeo who ruled the 18-racer field from the outside pole. "I started on the outside pole and dropped to third. Then two laps into it I took the lead, the tires warmed up to temperature and everything worked great," Romeo reported after the win. Chris Reinhart followed Romeo's Team Profile powered Mike Wilson kart across the finish 2.692-seconds later, but he was DQ'ed at tech and had to surrender second place to David MacDonald. Rounding out the rest of the official top five were Mark MacDonald, Todd Bolton and James Perkins. Defending HPV Senior Lite national champion Brian Jacobsen, of Lombard, IL was first across that finish, but the Profile Racing powered BRM kart pilot's kart was found illegal at tech and he was forced to surrender the lead to pole winner Nicholas Watt. Trailing Watt in the top five of 24 were Tim O'Brien, Todd Degrand, Steve Welk and Mark MacDonald. Adkins Speed Center powered Invader kart pilot Ryan Hamilton narrowly ruled Horstman HPV Junior's finished just .108-seconds ahead of Brandon Adkins. Hamilton earned the pole and took charge of the 17-racer field's early going. Adkins grabbed a piece of the lead just before mid-race and then surrendered it back to Hamilton who held it from there. "I just kept it smooth and the kart worked pretty good and the motor ran good," said the 13-year-old Morgantown, IN based racer who dedicated the win to his 17-year-old sister who died New Year's Eve. Cox claimed third, Jerry Siano finished fourth and Corey Reeves rounded out the top five. Flex-T Products Yamaha Masters' final flag flew for pole winner Josh Fraver, of Oxford, PA; who's ZT Racing Engines powered Mike Wilson kart flew across the finish line 6.239-seconds ahead of Lawrence Ubell. "I messed up in the first heat," Fraver admitted, "But once I got out there it ran pretty good." Filling the remaining top five of 20 were Gary Willis, Lynn Bonrud and John Martino. Two more nationals remain on the 2001 WKA/George Kugler Manufacturer's Cup Series presented by Bridgestone schedule. Next up are Summer Nationals', which will be raced July 6-8 at South Bend Raceway Park in South Bend, IN. Badger Kart Track in Dousman, WI will host the series' Grand Nationals' August 17-19. NOTE: See motorsport.com photo gallery "Karting"

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Series Kart
Drivers Casey Roderick , Paul Tracy , Tony Loniewski , Christopher Larson , Michael Giessen , Chris Wehrheim , Brandon Adkins , Colin Braun , Brian Jacobsen , Ward Imrie , Matt Byrne , Paulie Harraka , Gary Glanger , Michael Romeo , Todd Bolton , Thomas Hartensveld , Brandon Weber , Robert Thorne , Adam Pecorari , Steve Welk , Kevin Nelson , Robbie Pecorari , Mark Vielgut , Ryan Hamilton , Daniel Morad , David Cox