By Bruce C. Walls -Special to Motorsport.com MILFORD, DE-The 9th Annual PNC Bank sponsored Milford Grand Prix Black Top Kart Race had 172-entrees from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania competing in 15 classes on a 3/8-mile road ...
By Bruce C. Walls -Special to Motorsport.com
MILFORD, DE-The 9th Annual PNC Bank sponsored Milford Grand Prix Black Top Kart Race had 172-entrees from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania competing in 15 classes on a 3/8-mile road coursed that weaved trough a McDonald's parking lot and two Bank parking lots October 20-21in Milford, DE. That Saturday was a chance for racers to practice, heats and features were raced Sunday. This event, which is also a Nicholson Speedway Club points race, draws many northeastern dirt racers, which adds to the competition.
New Holland, PA Birel pilot Kent Weaver captured both Comer classes offered, Senior Lite and Heavy. Weaver started on the outside pole in Comer Senior Lite. Pole winner Jared Okerson lead the five-racer field around the first two laps before surrendering the front to Weaver who blasted away from the field for a big finish. "I managed to pass the pole winner (Okerson) and drove like a nut from there," described the KW Engines powered winner. "The kart could have been better, but it was good enough to win and the KW Motor ran strong and that's what made the difference."
Okerson followed from a distant second and behind him were Joseph Tierney, Dan Hughes and Tim Palmatier.
Later that day Weaver earned Comer Senior Heavy's pole. When the green flag waved Weaver quickly rocketed away from the eight-racer field for a flag-to-flag win. "It took a major Friday night thrash to put everything together for this race. Once we got here we just dialed it in and it flew," said Weaver who added, "I owe this one to the magic inner tube, I think I broke a rib on that last lap. I want to thank everybody that helped put this together it was truly a team effort."
This time Tierney took second, Palmatier followed in third and was trailed by Hughes and Joe McCullam.
That weekend's hottest contest was the Rodney J. Harrington Memorial Pro Race sponsored by Harrington Equipment Company. Washington, New Jersey based Eric Garland turned a 29.53-seconds lap for the pole and led 21-racer field the first half of the race before loosing it to Stevensville, MD based Motor Head Racing Engines powered Todd Wieslander in the first turn hair pin. As the battle for the front unfolded Germantown, MD based Coyote Factory pilot Justin Cassity fought his way from seventh to second. When Wieslander took the three to go signal Cassity's Rat Powered kart was closing in on him. In the remaining laps they battled door-to-door. The duel continued on the final lap as they headed into the 700-foot straightaway lined with cheering spectators and a waving checkered flag at the end. At the stripe Cassity owned a slim lead over Wieslander.
"The Coyote kart was awesome, we had trouble with it during the week, but it was awesome today," said Cassity who pocketed $500 for the win. "Jace's motor was unbelievable it had more top end than anything I've ever driven."
Wieslander's second place finish earned him $400, Garland followed in third and collected $300, Wall, New Jersey racer Jace Reynolds earned $200 for finishing fourth and Joe Bodenschatz got $100 for fifth. The remaining top 10 were paid $25 each.
Feature racing started with Stock Lite. Two Motor Head Racing Engines powered karts commanded the front row. Schayler Heiser earned the pole and Wieslander started next to him. When the green flag flew William Stairiker blasted by Heiser and Wieslander for the early lead with Gaithersburg, MD based Advanced Racing Engines powered Coyote factory pilot Lawson Aschenbach close behind him. Several laps later Aschenbach dove under Stairiker for the lead, which he held to the end.
"I knew it was all over once I got second," said Aschenbach, who started fifth. "The Coyote kart ran good and Andy Van Cleef's motor was real strong, they always are."
Stairiker held second and was trailed across the stripe by Colts Neck, NJ racer Justin Gumley, Michelle Pennink and Nick Sapp.
Belair, MD based Chris Braun bagged Briggs Junior Stock's win ahead of pole winner Branden Calton. Braun's GT Machine powered Bandit kart pilot grabbed the early lead and was catching the 11-racer field's tail when the checkered waved.
"After I got rolling I hit a couple of hay bails," Braun admitted adding, "But the kart ran good and the motor ran real good and had a lot of torque. I want to thank Bandit Racing Chassis for the kart and GT Machine for the motor."
Third, fourth and fifth were captured by Brian Sullivan, John Kenny and Ryan Chism.
Doug McGriffin dominated Briggs Senior Stock from start to finish where he owned a very comfortable advantage over Jack Krieger and the rest of the 15-racer field.
"The Coyote kart ran great and I want to thank the Penniks for letting me race their kart and Eric Garland for the motor it was awesome," credited the Fredrick, MD based winner.
Trailing Krieger in the top five were Robert Mitchell, Paul Quattrocchi and Tom Fash.
Six Briggs Junior Sportsman-1 racers were lead across the finish line by Odenton, MD based Robinson Speed Shop powered Keith Jackson. Tony Marinucci closed the gap in the final laps, but fell short at the stripe. Tyler Sandmeyer took third; HabNab Trucking sponsored Beef Powered ÔAwesome' Austin Hubbard, of Seaford, DE finished fourth and Ryan Thompson rounded out the top five.
"Robinson Speed Shop horsepower helped a lot," said Jackson, "The Coyote kart felt really good and it picked up at the end."
Steven Axtell, of Glen Bernie, MD turned in a perfect performance in Briggs Junior Sportsman-2. The Coyote karts factory pilot and Robinson Speed Shop Team Driver quickly opened up a comfortable lead that he took across the stripe with Russ Marinucci trailing from a distance.
"This one was mostly motor and I want to thank Chris Mason of Robinson Speed Shop for a really powerful motor it pulled really good down the straightaway," said the 11-year-old CMS Body Works/Eastern Homes/Coyote Racing Products/Jerry's Roofing & Siding sponsored winner who added thanks to his mom, dad and grandparents.
Ethan Stockel, Zachary Cornelius and T, J. Henry took the remaining top five of fifteen spots.
Birdsboro, PA pilot Nelson Morris was first under Briggs Stock Medium's checkered flag, but the Garland Racing Engines powered Genesis kart pilot was disqualified at tech and forced to surrender the win the Salisbury, MD based SuperTech powered Kevin Colborn. Filling out the remaining official top five of 24 were Aschenbach, David Osborn, Jr., Chris Wramage and Wieslander.
Billy Collingsworth captured Briggs Limited Medium's final flag with Chris Neibort trailing him from a distant second. "I want to thank Chip Disheroon for the Genesis kart and Terry Padgett for the motor. The kart handled great, it had good corner speed and the motor had plenty of horsepower for speed in the straight-aways," Collingsworth credited. "I also want to thank my pit crew here Quinton, Randy and Pasty they worked hard all weekend."
John Davis and Mark Bell rounded out the field.
Matt Ellingsworth out dueled Andrew Miller in a two-racer Briggs Controlled Stock battle.
Baltimore, MD based GT Machine powered Coyote kart pilot Dan Koehler dominated Stock Heavy's 28 racer field. On lap three Koehler slipped under Hertricks Auto Sales/Grotto Pizza backed Milford, DE based Matt Jester in the hairpin. By lap seven he was at the rear of the field and beginning to lap traffic just before the race's only caution flag flew. When racing resumed Koehler quickly opened up another huge lead and took it across the finish line.
"The GT Machine Motor put it up in the lead," Koehler credited. "The Coyote kart ran good but the motor saved us after a lot of hay got on the track."
Garland grabbed second, Paul Rice ran third, Wramage followed in fourth and Tom Morgan took fifth.
John Kenny, of Cochranville, PA claimed Briggs Junior Stock's checkered flag with perfection. The 13-year-old GT Machine Racing Engines powered Trick kart pilot ruled the three racer field from start to finish with Randy Hill and Seaford, DE Beef Performance Power Racing Engines powered Matt Hubbard following.
"The Trick kart handled good and the GT Machine motor ran great," Kenny credited adding thanks to Kenco Transmissions of Philadelphia for their sponsorship.
Former Maryland Sprint Divisional champion and SCCA Rookie of the Year Jim Schultz earned his third Direct Drive win at the Milford Grand Prix after a three-year absence from karting. The Philadelphia, PA based pilot earned the pole and led every lap with William Jones hounding him from behind.
"The Top kart ran real good, even though I was a little worried on the first lap. But after that the Bridgestone tires came in and it worked real good," said the Grand Products sponsored winner. "The MISI motor was running real good it could run all day," added Schultz who will be conducting a karting seminar at the Pennzoil Motor Sports Show in Fort Washington, PA Saturday January 13, 2002.
William Jones, Charles Pistorio, Vinnie Dinora and Gunnar Vendersteur rounded out the field.
Dinora's ZT Racing Engines powered Top kart dominated Piston Port Senior's 16-racer field flag-to-flag. From the pole Dinora hustled into a huge lead that was cut by the race's only caution flag with three laps to go. When green flag racing returned Dinora held the front three more times around for the win with Pistorio taking a close second behind him.
"I was worried that Charlie (Pistorio) would get the jump on me on the restart," admitted the Bucks County. PA based winner. "The Top kart handled great and the ZT Racing Engines motor was really great the best it could have been," added the JCRC Hobbies sponsored winner.
Mike Brosman bagged third, Harold Lanier followed in fourth and Dover, DE based Carl's Trim Shop backed Wayne McNatt made fifth.
Next year's PNC Bank/Milford Grand Prix Black Top Kart race is scheduled for October 19-20, 2002. But before that racers in the Nicholson Speedway Club points chase have two more races on their 2001 schedule. Sunday November 4th and their traditional ÔTurkey Race' will be held Sunday November 16th where race winners will get a turkey along with their trophy and points.