WKA: North American Karting Championships report

By Bruce C. Walls - Special to Motorsport.com CONCORD, NC-Tod Miller made his third trip to the Briggs & Stratton 300's victory lane Saturday November 3rd during the 8th Annual North American Karting Championships at Lowe's Motor...

By Bruce C. Walls - Special to Motorsport.com

CONCORD, NC-Tod Miller made his third trip to the Briggs & Stratton 300's victory lane Saturday November 3rd during the 8th Annual North American Karting Championships at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Miller, of Salisbury, NC, won last year's event and the 1995 race. Winston-Salem, NC Laser AV-3 pilot Michael Dowell dominated first round qualifying with a 17.320 seconds lap around Lowe's Motor Speedway's 1/4-mile infield track earning him the $1,000 Speedway USA pole award. A17.388 seconds trip put Kernersville, NC competitor Kerry Parnell on the outside pole. Miller started 13th in the 40-racer field. "We run good in practice and things worked our way," said Dowell who drives a Laser AV-3 kart powered by a motor built by Robin Bradshaw of CKI. "The kart felt good on that lap, it was entering and exiting the corners good and I felt it was a good lap, I thought it was good enough to make the top 10, but I didn't think we'd be on the pole." When the initial green flag flew Dowell blasted into the lead and held it for six laps before surrendering it to Parnell. Three laps later Albemarle, NC competitor Kenneth Jones grabbed the lead and held it to lap 68 when Miller's machine, which had reached second on lap 50, took charge for the first time. Jones turned the race's fastest lap time a 17.169 seconds trip on lap 42. On lap 74 the first of five cautions waved. Miller led the restart as he would on the next two cautions, which occurred on laps 180 and 207. Jason Petty, of Creedmoor, NC was in the hunt the whole time and took over when Miller pitted on lap 230. After getting a splash of fuel Miller was back in the contest and right on Petty's tailpipe on lap 238 when the red flag waved for a crash in turn four. "I've still got to make a pit stop so I'm just gritting my teeth," said Petty while waiting for officials to clean up the track before leading the restart. When racing resumed Petty rocketed away from the field with Miller in hot pursuit. At lap 268 Petty was forced to pit for fuel. Three laps later he was back behind Miller pouring on the pressure. As they headed into the rear of the field Miller managed to put a lapped kart between them. Petty closed the gap and was only a kart length behind Miller when they got the 10 laps to go signal. Fuel became an issue in the final laps. Petty had enough to make it, but Miller's machine was getting thirsty. Miller held the lead as Petty tried to close the gap and take it. But, like last year, it would be Miller's day again as he breezed under the checkered flag 2.011 seconds ahead of Petty. "Petty ran his heart out, I had just enough fuel to make it, it was really sputtering at the end," Miller admitted. "I want to thank my wife Melissa for all of her support and ARC, Douglas Wheel, Tod Miller Racing Engines, Jammer Clutches, Buster Bell Paint, Bill Wear, my brother Jody, my dad, Wayne Poole and David Goodman for all their help this weekend," said Miller who added, "I also want to thank God for a safe race." Miller earned $2,700 plus contingency awards and Petty pocketed $1,300 for his effort. "That last segment being 50 laps made it tough," Petty admitted. "I want to thank Tod Miller Racing Engines the motor was awesome as always and I want to thank Phantom Racing Chassis for the kart it was good all race and I want to congratulate Tod on another win." Caroline Court, VA based Beef Performance powered David Collins finished third. "The Phantom Kart was great all night and the Beef motor ran like a champ," said Collins who earned $900. "I got spun in the beginning and we lost ground there and made it up by only pitting twice and the pit crew is what got us on the podium." Jones pocketed $800 for finishing fourth and Robert Baker rounded out the top five and earned $675.

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Series Kart
Drivers Kerry Parnell , Robert Baker , Michael Dowell , Jason Petty , Tod Miller , Wayne Poole