WKA: Palmetto pavement opener report

By Bruce C. Walls Elgin, SC-Multi winners highlighted this year's WKA/Bandit Racing Chassis Speedway Pavement Series RLV Tuned Exhaust Products sponsored 'Winter Nationals' which brought 428 racers to Palmetto Supertrak in Elgin, SC March 16-18.

By Bruce C. Walls

Elgin, SC-Multi winners highlighted this year's WKA/Bandit Racing Chassis Speedway Pavement Series RLV Tuned Exhaust Products sponsored 'Winter Nationals' which brought 428 racers to Palmetto Supertrak in Elgin, SC March 16-18. Gilbert, SC based Titan kart pilot Ricky Keisler kicked off his 2001 Pavement season with a trio of wins from their poles taking both Junior Sportsman-1 classes, Lite and Heavy and Rage Motorsports Briggs Junior Sportsman Champ.

Keisler's Schu-Powered kart clocked South West Cable Junior Sportsman-1 Lite's pole time with a 14.255-seconds lap and led the 20-racer field the first few times around before briefly surrendering the lead to third place starter Josh Berry's HRE Motors powered Phantom kart. Berry's Mallards Restaurant sponsored machine led three laps then surrendered the lead back to Keisler who captured the win with a .825-seconds advantage over Berry.

"That was a fun race," said the 10-year-old triple winner. "The Titan kart ran good and the Schu Power motor was awesome and lapped karts moved out of the way which helped me stay in the lead."

Ryan Nicholas ran third, Zachary Chiz, who turned the race's fastest lap time at 12.623-seconds, finished fourth and was followed by Cole Fogle who completed the top five.

Later that Saturday Keisler turned Briggs Junior Sportsman Champ's pole time with a 15.268-seconds lap and led the 18-racer field wire-to-wire finishing just .140-seconds ahead of outside pole winner Jessie State. Defending national Champion Paulie Harraka, of Fair Lawn, NJ finished third and was followed in the top five by Kyle Hall and Jake 'the Snake' Crum.

"I just kept the pedal to the floor on this one," Keisler credited. "I also want to thank Randy and Kenny Harper for all of their help."

A 14.246-seconds lap earned Keisler Prowler Karts Briggs Junior Sportsman-1 Heavy's pole. Keisler commanded the early laps and then Ryan Nicholas roared up from fifth to lead the 18-field several times around before Keisler recaptured the front for good. Nicholas kept the pressure on until the end where he was just .007-seconds behind Keisler across the finish line.

"It's awesome winning three races here this weekend," said Keisler. "I almost ran out of fuel on this one, but I'm going to Hooters to celebrate tonight," he added.

Moon Powered Phantom Kart pilot Kyle Nicholas captured both Junior Sportsman-2 classes. Saturday the Naples, FL based 12-year-old battled his way from a seventh place starting position to take Ultramax Racing Chassis Briggs Junior Sportsman-2's checkered flag 1.400-seconds ahead of pole winner Scooter Way. Way earned the pole with a 13.603-seconds lap and led the 26-racer field the first two times around before surrendering the front to outside pole winner Hunter Peacock.

"Rohn Moon help us all weekend, he's great," said Nicholas. "Rohn told me to think about the tires they won't come in for a couple of laps so I waited and he was right. The Phantom kart ran great and the motor was brand new and worked great it is one of our best."

Peacock finished third and was followed in the top five by Jesse State and Harraka.

Sunday State clocked RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Briggs Junior Sportsman-2 Heavy's pole time with a 13.696-seconds lap. From the third starting position Peacock roared into the early lead, but on the third time around caution waved for the 22-racer field. Peacock led the restart with Vance Smith threatening from second. Smith took the lead next time around as Nicholas took second and set his sites on Smith. Nicholas grabbed the lead in time to take the white flag and held it around once more for the win just .261-seconds ahead of Smith.

"I really show em who Moon Power is this weekend," said Nicholas. "I was really worried Smith would pass me he had a good kart, but it turned out like I wanted it to and getting two wins is a good way to start the season."

Michael Gervais, Jason Shultz and Way rounded out the top five.

Robinson Speed Shop powered Bob Baker bagged Love Concrete & Masonry, Inc. Briggs Controlled Medium where he is the defending national champion and Security Systems Controls Briggs Controlled Heavy from their poles. Baker turned a 13.011-seconds lap for Briggs Controlled Medium's pole, but let North Wilksboro, NC competitor Matt Adams, who started fourth, take the early command over the 16-racer field. Adams held off charges from John Woodward, Jr. and Baker before the half. Woodward slipped by Adams for a piece of the lead and then Adams quickly recaptured it only to have Baker blast by him at the end with Wayne Baker and Gene Nasworthy drafting by with him. Baker beat his brother to the finish by just .067-seconds.

"It was tough," admitted the Holland, NY based Ken's Service & Sales/Lighting Lite Body Works/Baker Motorsports sponsored winner. "I had my brother all over my rear bumper and the kart got a real loose and it was hard to hang onto."

Woodward was caught t light at the scales and was forced to surrender fourth to Adams who was followed in the official fifth position by Pennsylvania pilot Matt Mattlin.

Baker and Mattlin shared the front row in Sunday's first feature Briggs Controlled Heavy. Mattlin rocketed into the early lead with Baker behind him the first two times around. Baker took charge of the 16-racer field on lap three and never let go beating Adams, the defending national champion, to the finish by 1.358-seconds.

"I just kept it to the floor," Baker admitted, "I knew everybody behind me was fast and it would be tight and I just hung on."

Following Adams across the finish line in the top five were Troy Bunch, Nasworthy and Tim Fidanza.

Mifflintown, PA pilot Lindsay Barton posted a pair of champ kart wins. Saturday she earned Beam Distributors/United Express Line Briggs Junior Champ Lite's pole with a 14.242-seconds lap. From there she lead the 14-racer field wire-to-wire through a lap seven caution restart finishing the perfect ride 1.715-seconds ahead of Irmo, SC racer Danny Efland.

"The Trick kart handled great and Tod Miller's motor was great," credited the 15-year-old double winner after her first victory.

Kyler Cafro took third Stan Way Performance powered Dillon Crosby crossed fourth and Andrew Rogers rounded out the top five.

Chris Howard clocked D&G Custom Briggs Junior Champ Heavy's pole time with a 14.134-seconds trip. Howard rocketed into the early lead with Barton quickly advancing from third to second. A lap three caution trimmed Howard's lead. He and Barton swapped the lead until the race's second caution waved on lap 11. Howard led the restart again, but quickly lost the front to Barton who grabbed it just before the third and final caution flag waved. Barton led the restart and narrowly held Howard off at the finish line by .132-seconds.

"I didn't know if I'd get it," Barton admitted. "Chris (Howard) and I were battling and my kart got a little tight, but the motor got me through it."

Trailing Howard in the top five of 18 were Rogers, Crosby and Brad Hoisington.

Twister Karts Briggs Heavy and Competition Karting, Inc. Briggs Medium were captured from their poles by Marion, IN racer Scotty Weir. A 13.227-seconds lap put Weir on Briggs Heavy's pole and he led the 28-racer field flag-to-flag from there finishing a comfortable 3.362-seconds ahead of Dwayne Craver. "The SBR motor got hot and it was faster and faster with every lap and the Phantom kart stuck to the track," Weir said after his first win.

Outside pole winner Russell Moore ran third, Andrew Peters finished fourth and Joseph Bauolacco capped the top five.

Weir earned Briggs Medium's pole with a fast time of 13.199-seconds. When the green flag waved a battle for the lead between Weir, Jason Petty and Andrew Peters began. In the final laps Peters lost his gas cap which took him out of the contest as Coyote factory pilot Chris Carroll took second. Weir held the lead and narrowly beat Carroll to the finish by just .057-seconds.

"The kart was perfect and the motor was running good," Weir credited after his second win.

Petty was disqualified for rough driving and forced to surrender third to Ross Rogle. Dwayne Spires and Woodward rounded out the official top five of 30.

Weir was first across O.S.I. Ltd. Briggs Lite's finish, but he lost a position due to improper driving and was forced to surrender the win to Carroll. Petty earned the pole and finished third, Wayne Baker followed in fourth and John Woodward, Jr. completed the top five of 28.

Stockbridge, GA racer Jeremy Seigler showed 15 Seigler Motorsports Star Champ Competitors across the finish line. Nicholas Hutchins trailed Seigler by 1.029-seconds. A 13.424-seconds lap put Dusty Cornelius on the pole and he took the early lead while Seigler and Hutchins squabbled over second which gave Cornelius a chance to build a small lead. Seigler secured second and went after Cornelus who slid off the track defending the lead. Seigler took the lead and kept his distance from Hutchins all the way to the end.

"It was tough with the #2 kart (Cornelius), but after that I didn't have any challengers," said Seigler. "The Titan kart ran great and the TRE motor was awesome. I also want to thank SBR Graphics and Seigler Motorsports.

Lee Harrell started out in third and ended up finishing there. He was followed in the top five by David Henderson and Michael Rivers.

Titan Karts by Myers Fabrication Briggs Senior Champ's checkered flag waved for West Columbia, SC competitor Furman Myers who beat pole winner John Humble to the finish by just .378-seconds. Humble handled the early lead and then surrendered it to Myers who battle his way from a fifth place start. Just as Myers assumed command over the 25-racer field the race's only caution flag waved. Myers led the restart, but Tommy Beavers quickly took it from him. Myers kept up the pressure and got the lead back again, but only briefly as Humble powered by him in time to take the mid race signal. Myers took the lead for good next time around and started to pull away as Humble and Beavers battled for second. On the final lap Humble secured second, turned the race's fastest lap time, but fell short of catching Myers's Schu Powered Titan kart at the finish line.

"It was close, we were all pretty even and I felt that definitely made it exciting," Myers described. "I felt I could have done better, but every time I got a line somebody got a nose by me. I want to thank Mike Schumacher for helping me set up the new kart. He deserves a lot of the credit for this win."

Beavers finished third and was trailed in the top five by South Carolina competitors Mark Hall and Hutchins.

John 'John Boy' Lucas did it all in American Power Sports Briggs Senior. The Lake Wally, SC based Schu Powered Shadow kart pilot earned the pole with a blistering 13.456-seconds led the 10-racer field wire-to-wire and turned the race's fastest lap time of 13.718-seconds.

"First of all I want to thank my wife Christy," said Lucas. "The brand new Shadow kart was working good and I have to thank Charlie and Dan Sox for putting us on an excellent chassis and I also want to thank G-Man Kart Works for their support."

Dave Favorite trailed Lucas by 1.435-seconds and was followed in the top five by Edwin Bartlett, Norm Messier, and Rory West.

Nashville, TN racer Michael Driskell was first under MCP Brake Systems Briggs Restricted Junior's checkered flag, but after earning the pole and recapturing the lead late in the race he was DQ'ed and forced to surrender the win to Kyler Cafro. Cafro, who started fifth, was leading the 27-racer field at lap seven when the race's first of two caution flags waved. Joe McIntyre was leading the field when the second caution flag waved at mid-race. When the green flag waved again Cafro rocketed into the lead and held it with Driskell challenging until the final laps when Driskell recaptured it.

"The MRC Titan kart handled well and we had a lot of horse power thanks to Schu power," said the 14-year-old Coventry, CT based official winner.

Trailing Cafro in the official top five were David Carr, Jr., McIntyre, David Larussa and Chris Howard.

Driskell was on the pole again in Sunday's third race Airbag Service Briggs Junior. Once again he let the early led slip by him and had to recapture it in the final laps to beat McIntyre to the finish by .388-seconds. "It was tough because of the close passing in and out, but I got by and it was an awesome ride we were flying," said 14-year-old Driskell. "I want to thank Keith Marvin, Michael Heath for the motor and Bryan Vickers."

Matthew Bucher crossed third, Larussa finished fourth and Michael Edwards took fifth out of 27.

G-Man Kart Works/Super Seat Briggs Limited Medium's checkered flag was captured by Creedmoor, NC competitor Jason 'The People's Champion' Petty. Wayne Baker bagged the pole with a 12.679-seconds trip and held the lead until Petty powered his Phantom kart into the lead from fourth. Once Petty grabbed the lead he never let go finishing .124-seconds before Baker.

"That was a real hard race," admitted the Wynns/High Speed Photos sponsored winner. "First of all I want to thank God for a safe race. I also want to thank Harrill Wiggins for a great chassis and Tod Miller for a great motor." Mooresville, NC competitor Dan Synder crossed third, Rick Leonard followed in fourth and Jimmy Rivers rounded out the top five of nine.

Wayne Baker bagged Horstman Manufacturing 4-Cycle Modified's win with a 1.682-seconds advantage over defending national champion Matt Adams of North Wilksboro, NC. Tim Fidanza clocked the pole time with a 12.285-seconds lap. Baker earned the outside pole from where he rocketed off into a comfortable lead that he held to the end. "The Ultramax kart handled excellent and the motor was great," credited the Holland, NY based winner. "I want to thank my parents, Ultramax Racing Chassis, Tim Marburger Dodge, Short's Automotive and Toyota of Warren, OH for their support."

Rounding out the field behind Adams were Fidanza and Ricky Carter.

Vincennes, IN racer John Ivers, Jr. captured Custom Trophy Briggs Super Heavy's checkered flag for his first national Pavement win. His Xcaliber Motors powered Ultramax kart crossed the finish line .636-seconds ahead of Carl Beasley. Defending national points champion Wayne Tilley turned the pole time at 13.549-seconds and Mooresville, NC competitor Tim Snyder shared the front row with him. Tilley took the early led after he and Snyder battled side-by-side the first time around. Then suddenly mechanical troubles took Snyder from the field in turn two and at the same time Troy Bunch, Beasley and Ivers blasted by Tilley and into the top three positions. Beasley got by Bunch on the mid-race lap and had Ivers threatening from second. When they got the five laps to go signal Ivers made his move to the front and held it from there. "It was great, a really good run and I want to praise God for the chance to race," Ivers said. "The Ultramax kart was awesome and the Xcaliber motor was tops." Tilley took third with Bunch and Floyd Holmes behind him in fourth and fifth.

Coyote factory pilot Walt Barnes ruled Smith Engines/Bostick Karting Tecumseh Stock from start to finish. The Monroe, NC based McCutcheon Motor Sports powered Barnes secured the pole with a 13.173-seconds lap, turned the race's fastest lap time on lap seven and beat Jonathan Doster to the stripe with a comfortable 4.225-seconds cushion.

It was a little bit kart and a little bit motor," Barnes explained. "I want to thank McCutcheon Motorsports, RT Clutches and I want to say a special thanks to the crew we had here this weekend," he added.

Brandon Dockery finished third, Paul Cornelius came in fourth and Lee Jordan finished fifth out of eight.

Orange County Raceway in Rougemont, NC will host the WKA/Bandit Racing Chassis Speedway Pavement Series 'Spring Nationals' April 27-29. The Series 'Grand Nationals' will be raced at Chapel Hill Raceway in Humphrey, NY on June 22-24. On July 27-29 Twin Fountains Raceway Park in Shelbyville, TN will host 'Summer Nationals', which will be followed by 'Fall Nations' October 12-14 at Wilson's Motorsports Track in Wetumpka, AL.

-WKA

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Series Kart
Drivers Bob Baker , Paulie Harraka , Kyle Nicholas , Lindsay Barton , Ricky Keisler , Dan Sox , Rohn Moon , Michael Rivers , Chris Howard , Dwayne Spires , Nicholas Hutchins , Furman Myers , David Henderson , Josh Berry , Edwin Bartlett , Michael Driskell , David Carr , Russell Moore , Dwayne Craver , Jason Petty , Gene Nasworthy , Matt Adams , Jonathan Doster , Tod Miller , Ryan Nicholas , Jeremy Seigler , Lee Harrell , Kyler Cafro , Wayne Baker , Danny Efland , Chris Carr