by Bruce C. Walls Rougemont, NC-The WKA/USTAR TV Series, raced at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC, showcases 16 classes of kart racing televised on the New England Sports Network and the Sunshine Network. The 10 race series began March...
by Bruce C. Walls
Rougemont, NC-The WKA/USTAR TV Series, raced at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC, showcases 16 classes of kart racing televised on the New England Sports Network and the Sunshine Network. The 10 race series began March 3rd and ends October 27th. According to Tony Barton, WKA Director of Marketing, track owner Mike Hudson, who started the series last season, wanted a sanctioning body on board this season for promotion, support and rules and regulation.
The May 5th race ran on the Saturday before Orange County Raceway's hosting of the Briggs & Stratton Pro Kart Tour's Raptor 200 May 6th. Thirteen P&P Speed Shop Briggs Heavy racers started in the event's first feature race. Benjy Frazier earned the pole and was first under the checkered flag, but his wire-to-wire win ended in a disqualification that moved second place Wayne Poole into victory lane. Filling the official top four were Mark Dille, Steve Hayworth and Tim Miller.
CV Products Briggs Junior was captured by pole winner Kyle Long who led the six-racer field flag-to-flag with Mark Ball close behind in second. "The '96 Phantom Stalker kart handled real good and the C&T Speed Shop motor ran great it was full of power," credited the 13-year-old Hurdle Mills, NC based winner. Mark Thrasher took third and was trailed in the top five by Jacob Atwood and Dana Messier.
Morgantown, NC brothers Zach and Eric Chiz finished first and second in Tommy's Karts-ÔN'-Parts Briggs Junior Sportsman-1 Heavy. "The Schu Power motor had lots of power," Zach credited. "The O.S.I./ADT/Hot Sock Racing sponsored Titan kart handled great. I just want to thank all of my sponsors for their support." Geoff Hudson, of Durham, NC, dominated My-Chron Briggs Senior Champ's field from start to finish. "The Phantom kart felt good the whole race and Brandon and Bill Lawnburger's motor was excellent, it had great horsepower the whole race," said the 16-year-old winner.
Lillington, NC competitor Adam Taylor topped G-Man Kart Works Briggs Junior Sportsman-2 Heavy. The Coyote Kart pilot earned the pole and led the early going before fighting it out at the finish. "I just had to use my head and try not to win on the first lap," said 12-year-old Taylor. "The kart was a little loose, but the Checkered Flag motor had plenty of horsepower."
Alpha Carbs Briggs Super Heavy's checkered flag was captured by Hollyridge, NC based Tod Miller Racing Engines powered Rocker Kart pilot Lee Ottaway. "We had a good run, 15 good laps," described the 26-year-old winner. "The horsepower pushed us up there so I've got to chalk this one up to Tod Miller," he added. Michael Hayworth earned the pole position, but was a kart length behind Ottaway across the finish line. Lee Richardson and Les Trueheart rounded out the field. Both JR Performance Bandolero classes competed together. Statesville, NC competitor Jake Ôthe Snake' Crum took the Junior Bandolero checkered and Hurdlemilles, NC racer Ricky Barbour bagged the senior Bandolero class. According to Crum, "The car handled good."
"I want to thank all the Bandolero competitors, that was a good field," said Barbour. "I changed a gear after qualifying because I knew he'd be there at the end."
Kyle Long and Bryan Long shared Dyno Cams Briggs Restricted Junior's front row and swapped the lead three times before Kyle settled into the lead and beat Mark Ball to the stripe.
"I pulled up under him (Mark Ball) and went down lower and hung in there," Kyle described. "The Ultramax Racing Chassis was excellent and the Schu Power motor had plenty of power."
Mark Thrasher was third across the stripe followed by Jacob Atwood and MDana essier for the top five.
Marion, IN racer Scotty Weir led 23 Ultramax Racing Chassis Briggs Pro Stock racers wire-to-wire across the finish in what would be a preview of the Raptor-200 that would follow that Sunday. "I figured they'd run me down near the end because the kart was getting a little tight, but the SBR motor ran great all day," said the winning Phantom kart pilot.
Bostic Pro Karting Tecumseh Stock's checkered flag waved for Belmont, NC competitor Bill Bostic who's UpFront Racing Engines powered Phantom Nemesis led the six-racer field flag-to-flag. Jonathan Doster trailed Bostic across the finish line and was trailed in the top five by Cliff Honeycutt in third, Brandon Dockery in fourth and Dave Mahl in fifth.
"This was a Phantom Racing Chassis team effort and an awesome kart," Bostic credited. "I was really worried that's a tough field."
Jennifer Spain, of Graham, NC, claimed Performance Unlimited North Briggs Junior Sportsman Champ's checkered flag. The 15-year-old P&P Speed Shop powered Laser AV-1 kart pilot posted the pole position and turned it into a perfect performance rocketing into the early lead scoring the win without serious challenge.
"The kart was perfect and the motor was there the whole time," Spain credited. " I just want to thank all the help I have here, Freddy Partin, Andy Walls, my parents and my brother."
Justin Johnson trailed her in second and was followed in the top five by Robert Zook, Brad Justice and Andrew Rogers.
Wakeforest, NC based P&P Speed Shop powered Laser AV-2 kart pilot Jeff Lewis narrowly captured Phantom Racing Chassis Briggs Medium's final flag. "I just put it in there. It was a hard one the kart was a little loose, but it wanted to kick out," said Lewis who added the motor was running great it's had a lot of horsepower in the past two and a half years."
Steven Lewis followed suit in Tri-Star Racewear Senior Sportsman (Amateur-350). "We was beating and banging," described the Wakeforest, NC based P&P Speed Shop powered winner. "The '96 Phantom Stalker handled great, but I owe this win to P&P Speed Shop for the motor and Fred Partin for scaling the kart right."
WKA/USTAR TV Series racers will compete six more times before ending their season. Future scheduled dates are June 16th, July 14th, August TBA, September 1st and 29th and October 27th.
Racers in the WKA/USTAR TV Series will receive recognition, awards and merchandise the Thursday night of KartFest 2002 at the Hickory Metro Trade Center.