WKA: Pavement Grand Nationals race report

WETUMPKA, AL-Multi-class winners gobbled up half of 22 classes offered at this year's WKA/Ultramax Racing Chassis Speedway Pavement Series C&D Motorsports Grand National s hosted by Wilson's Motorsports Track in Wetumpka, AL August 1-3. ...

WETUMPKA, AL-Multi-class winners gobbled up half of 22 classes offered at this year's WKA/Ultramax Racing Chassis Speedway Pavement Series C&D Motorsports Grand National s hosted by Wilson's Motorsports Track in Wetumpka, AL August 1-3. Holland, NY racer Wayne Baker led with four wins, Michael Edwards, of Winchester, VA followed with three and New Hyde Park, NY racer Jesse State and Kernersville, NC competitor Kerry Parnell each posted a pair of wins.

"It takes a little bit of luck, a little bit of hard work, great karts, great setups and just getting through the weekend without any troubles," Baker said of getting four wins in one weekend.

Baker, a Shorty's Automotive powered Phantom kart pilot, arrived at Wilson's Motorsports Park early Saturday morning. After getting in a few rounds of practice he was ready to tackle some of the Series toughest classes starting with that Saturday's sixth feature G-Man Kartsworks/Super Seat Briggs Limited Medium where he cranked out an 11.073 seconds lap on the 1/5-mile asphalt oval.

Milford, DE competitor Matt Jester clocked the outside pole time at 11.187 seconds and offered Baker some early race challenges, but trailed him by 3.529 seconds at the end.

"This track is something else, it's unbelievable," Baker described. "The kart handled pretty good for getting here this morning and only getting a couple of rounds of practice so we did a lot of thrashing out here this morning. The kart handled good and Shorty's motor ran great. I'd like to thank Phantom Racing Chassis, Shorty's Automotive, Toyota of Warren, OH, Yamaha of Warren, OH and Baker Motorsports."

Later that day Baker dominated Cool Power Briggs Controlled Medium. He clocked the pole-winning lap at 11.090 seconds and led the 13-racer field flawlessly finishing 1.072 seconds ahead of his brother Robert Baker.

"This one was all Shorty and my dad getting the kart setup right," Baker said of his second win adding, "I'd just like to thank everyone that helped today, I appreciated it a lot."

Baker bagged two more wins that Sunday starting with the day's first feature Custom Trophy Briggs Controlled Heavy which he captured just 0.144 seconds ahead of fifth place qualifier Jason Petty. National points leader Gene Nasworthy, of Gray, GA, turned the pole-winning lap at 11.232 seconds and Baker produced an 11.294 seconds lap for the outside pole position.

Nasworthy powered his way into the early lead with Baker glued to his rear bumper. On the second lap Baker worked his way around Nasworthy for the lead as Petty pulled into a close second. Next time around Petty took the lead and began opening a comfortable cushion over Baker. Several laps later Baker closed in on Petty, recaptured the lead, then showed the 14-racer field home from there for his third win.

Baker capped his four-win weekend with a third wire-to-wire trip this one in Horstman Manufacturing Briggs Limited Heavy which started with a track blistering 10.971 seconds top qualifying lap and ended a whopping 8.513 seconds ahead of outside pole winner Joseph Rentz.

Edwards earned four poles and three wins that included his continued dominance over the Briggs Animal classes. Saturday he turned an 11.113 seconds lap for MY-CHRON by Aimsports Briggs Animal Medium's pole from where he piloted his Michael Heath Racing Engines powered Phantom kart with perfection nipping Concord, NC competitor Justin Hill by 0.687 seconds at the stripe.

"This was a critical win," Edwards said. "We were tied with Justin Hill in the points coming into this one, so it will be down to the wire at the last race. We needed this win, we knew we had to get out early, get the kart to go early and stay out there, which it did. It started to go away a little at the end, but we gained so much at the beginning that it was fine."

Sunday Edwards was the top qualifier out of 32 entries in CKI Briggs Medium with an 11.502 seconds trip. Outside pole winner, Petty, offered several early challenges and was glued to Edwards tailpipe the whole race trailing him by just 0.l16 seconds under the final flag.

"It takes consistency and not making any mistakes," Edwards explained. "You can't make mistakes when you run against the best like Petty, Parnell and Moore, I know that. When you run against them you can't make a bobble. I got caught up behind a lapped kart and then he gave me room and I think that's was killed my momentum and that's how they got closer to me, but all I seen was the checkered flag."

Edwards finished Sunday with a second flag-to-flag ride in Coyer Enterprises/Longacre Briggs Animal Heavy trailed by outside pole winner Jeff Leeke of Verona, KY.

Parnell produced perfect wins that Saturday in American Power Sports Briggs Senior and in Twister Karts Briggs Heavy. The Laser AV-5 pilot pumped out an 11.748 seconds lap for Briggs Senior's pole and beat fourth place qualifier Wayne Tilley to the stripe by 1.160 seconds. He turned an 11.598 seconds lap for Heavy's top starting spot and was trailed across the finish line by Princeton, WV pilot Michael Small.

State swept both Briggs Junior classes. In Saturday's MCP Brake Systems Lite the Schu Powered Phantom kart pilot posted 11.894 seconds pole-winning lap from where he led the 25-racer field flawlessly for 20 laps finishing just 0.494 seconds ahead of Gray, GA based Hunter Peacock. Sunday he fought his way from a sixth place start in Airbag Services Briggs Junior Heavy finishing 0.194 seconds ahead of outside pole winner John Paynter.

Eleven other classes competed that weekend. A full report and additional photos will be published in an up coming issue of WKA's Karting Scene. To subscribe go to the WKA web site at www.worldkarting.com or call the office a 704.455.1606.

-By Bruce C. Walls

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Series Kart
Drivers Matt Jester , Kerry Parnell , Robert Baker , Jason Petty , Gene Nasworthy , Justin Hill , Wayne Baker , Mike Edwards