WKA: VIR Enduro race report

By Bruce C. Walls DANVILLE, VA-Gregg Heminway grabbed four WKA/Dunlop Tire National Enduro Road Racing Series wins June 1-3 at Virginia International Raceway near Danville, VA during the Woodbridge Kart Club's hosting of the Series' fourth...

By Bruce C. Walls

DANVILLE, VA-Gregg Heminway grabbed four WKA/Dunlop Tire National Enduro Road Racing Series wins June 1-3 at Virginia International Raceway near Danville, VA during the Woodbridge Kart Club's hosting of the Series' fourth race of the season. Two of the 510 racers who competed on the 2.25-mile north course that weekend were triple winners and three were double winners.

Hemingway, of Pensauken, PA, posted wins in both Euro 5 and Yamaha, Lite and Heavy classes starting with Saturday's Euro 5 Lite where he dominated from start to finish ending with a very comfortable advantage over Virginia Beach, VA racer Travis Miller. "I just took off and never looked back," explained the Heminway Racing Engines powered Margay kart pilot. "The kart and everything worked good and it would have been hard to loose with that much horsepower."

Daniel Hart, Robert Harris and Jay Hillmer completed the five-racer field.

Sunday Heminway beat Beacon, NY racer Phil Jackson to Euro-5 Heavy's finish. "I just took off like yesterday it's the same package. The kart worked great and the motor had lots of horsepower," said Heminway, who had to be towed in after the win. "The throttle cable broke after the checkered and I had to be towed in," he explained.

This time Hart, Jen Ferreira and Hillmer handled the top five of eight.

Heminway narrowly captured New Concepts Design Yamaha Lite's win over Richie Warren. He started 16th and was in fifth before the first lap was complete. "Richie (Warren) was with me the entire race," Heminway explained. "Basically it was 45 minutes of not making a mistake so he wouldn't get by me." Trailing Warren in the top five of 17 were Simon Whitnell, Brandon Schenkel and Michael Davis, Jr. Heminway also ruled Russell Karting Yamaha Heavy taking that final flag ahead of Aaron Falkenstein. Steve Gore grabbed third, Dale Granger followed in fourth and William T. Anderson finished fifth out of 17. Funkhouser powered Emmick Kart pilot Jason Knuteson captured a trio of sprint heavy wins that weekend. The Indianapolis, IN based racer bagged two wins that Saturday starting with Piston Port Can Sprint Heavy were he beat Chris Tomasik to the finish. "He (Tomasik) was giving me something. He had top end, but the Dunlop Tires buried them with handling and the motor had great powered in the straight," Knuteson credited. Kent Weaver, Ron Helsey and Robert Smith rounded out the top five of 25 entrees. In WKA Sprint Heavy Knuteson captured the early lead, rocketed away from the 12-racer field and roared across the finish line with a healthy advantage over Robert Smith. "The kart was unbelievably fast. I've never had a kart handle like this, it was a missile," described the Douglas Wheel/Outerwears/Dunlop Tires/ Emmick/Funkhouser sponsored racer. David Bruinsma, Helsey and Ron Simpson completed the top five. Knuteson finished his sweep taking TS Racing Yamaha Sprint Heavy's checkered flag ahead of Helsey. "Every body in the top five gave me a workout and the kart got really loose at the end," said Knuteson after his third win. "The motor was really good and crisp all race, no problems at all." This time Simpson, Greg L'Heureux and Paul Schunke scored third, fourth and fifth. St Petersburg, FL based Brian Morse also scored three wins that weekend. The TS Racing kart pilot posted his first win that weekend in Saturday's 100cc Controlled where he beat Robert Harris to the checkered. "The kart was perfect and the motor was the final piece it took to complete it," credited Morse who builds his own engines. "I got a reasonably good start from the back. You just do what you can do. We swapped the lead a couple of times and I got it for good three laps from the end." Handling the top five of 12 behind Harris were Pierre Huang, Dan Stowell and Ian E. Morgan. Later that day Morse took Open's checkered flag ahead of Darrin Cuthbertson. Filling the remaining top five of 10 were Huang, Paul Wyzga and Virginia Beach, VA based Bill Miller. Sunday Morse was first across Elite Engraving Controlled Limited's finish line with Huang following. "Same kart as yesterday, different motor, Jim Russell built this one," Morse said after his final win. "I got a poor start on this one, missed the clutch setting and had to work hard to get to the front. The kart worked fine, but the motor made it possible especially down the front straight." Completing the top five of 14 were Gustavo Vidal, Harris and Robert Lilly, Jr.

DeBary, FL racer Mark Burt bagged RLV Tuned Exhaust Junior Lite and American Power Sports Junior Enduro Heavy's wins as he continues to defend his national titles in those classes. In Saturday's Lite class Burt grabbed the lead on the third lap and never looked back. "I was fourth on the start and took the led on the third lap and was battling with a sportsman racer a lap ahead of everybody else at the end," Burt described. "The kart was getting looser and looser and I was hanging on at the end, but the TS Racing Engines motor worked perfect." Adam Romito ran second, Donald K. Warren III took third, Scott Davis finished fourth and Lucas Wolfe capped the top five of seven. Davis followed Burt across Junior Enduro Heavy's finish line, but Burt was over a lap ahead of him at the end. "I was surprised I got a better start today. I was leading at the end of the first lap and just took it from there," Burt said after his second win of the weekend. "The kart pushed a little today, but the motor ran good like yesterday, plus being here last year gave me a little experience." This time the remaining top five of eight positions were filled by Wolfe, Drew Lehman and Warren. Capps Racing Engines powered Phantom PT-4 kart pilot Rob Hindery ruled Briggs Sprint Medium and Heavy finishing ahead of Jerry Turner each time. Hindrey handled Saturday's Briggs Sprint Medium's 18-racer field with ease. "I got a good start and the clutch kicked in good and I just took off," described the 17-year-old Port Orange, FL based winner. "The kart was in the zone and I tried to run consistently and the motor, which was fresh for Daytona, ran great, I couldn't have asked for more." Keith Lorentzen took third, Sherry Tichenor finished fourth and Evan Jewell capped the top five. Trailing Turner in the top five of 18-Briggs Heavy racers were Todd Demarchis and Jewell capping the top five again. "It was exactly the same as yesterday," Hindery explained. "After the third lap I saw Jerry (Turner) behind me and got a little worried. But the kart worked great all weekend and Capps motor came through again and I got lucky enough to win two." Brandon Taylor, of Manassas, VA, topped Saturday's Pudge Engineering Junior Sprint Lite and Sunday's TS Racing, Inc. Junior Sprint Heavy. After Saturday's win the 15-year-old George Righter Racing Engines powered Coyote kart pilot said, "Dad messed with the needles on the grid. I made my way to the front on lap three and that was it." Jackson, NJ racer Justin Casazza captured third, Romito ran fourth and Kevin Kopp capped the top five of eight. Sunday Taylor rocketed off Heavy's start and never looked back. "I got a much better start than yesterday,' Taylor explained. "I got out front early and it was practice laps from then on. It takes a good motor and a great chassis to win two nationals in a weekend." Romito ran second this time and was trailed in the top five of seven by Casazza, Wyatt and Ray. Romito, an Opelika, AL based Robinson Speed Shop powered Elite kart pilot, avenged himself in Sunday's CKI Trackside Briggs Junior Sprint Lite beating Sean Ballentine to the finish. "I got a good start and took the lead from Sean Ballantine on the second lap and then all I heard dad say on the radio was that I had a second an a half lead the whole time," Romito reported. "The kart was a little loose at first and then it tightened up." Steven Grant grabbed third, Dan Rossignol ran fourth and Beth Chryst completed the top five of seven. Ballantine, of Sykesville, MD bagged Elite Karting Briggs Junior Sprint Heavy's win. "Adam (Romito) pulled on me at the start and then I got by him under the bridge and held on from there,' described the 15-year-old SuperTech powered TS Racing PT-4 kart pilot. "I want to thank Kevin Colborn for the fantastic motor and my dad for all his help and support," Ballantine added. Grant finished second, Chryst took third, Jennifer Millis made fourth and Romio rounded out the top five of seven. Ted Tackett and Chris Taylor topped Pro Speed Karts 125 Sprint 1 and Bridgestone/Grand Products 125 Sprint 2 respectively. Trailing Tackett in the top five of 25 were Andy Kiker, Daniel D. Bales, Christopher Reinhardt and Clark A. Gaynor, Jr. Charlettesville, VA based Taylor beat Bales to 125 Sprint 2's finish. "We've been working hard on the kart and motor and finally go the package together," said the winning Power Source Racing Engines powered CRG kart pilot. "The kart ran really good. I went out on unscuffed tires and they worked and the motor was excellent. I want to thank my mom and dad, Taylor's Auto Body, Aria Helmets and Power Source Racing for all of their support." Gaynor, Jr. grabbed third, Jay Spoden followed in fourth and Reinhardt ran fifth out of 22. Robert Smith led 10 WKA Sprint Lite drivers across the finish line. "I got a good start and took the lead 3/4's of the way through. Billy Shaw and I swapped the lead a couple of times and then he went off the track," said the Camp Hill, PA based winner. "The Cyclone kart ran great on Dunlop Tires and the Heminway motor ran great too." Scott Buerman bagged second, Shaw finished third, Mark Taylor took fourth and David Bruinsma rounded out the top five. Coyote factory pilot Richie Warren, of Mentor, OH, was first under Horstman Yamaha Sportsman Medium's checkered flag. Following the LAD powered winner across the finish in the top five of 31 were Michael Davis, Jr. Jason Owenby, Scott Grenier and Tom Lutzi. "I started dead last," said Warren. "I got third on the first lap and took the lead a little before half way. The kart handled perfect and the LAD motor had plenty of power." Jacksonville, IL based TS Racing Engines powered Margay kart pilot Randy Fulks ruled Custom Trophy B-Stock's 12-racer field with Ronnie Jackson, Jim Farr and the Birmingham, AL father/son Robby Harper and Robby Harper III team close behind. "I led every lap," Fulks boasted. "The kart handled like it was on a rail and the motor was running like a top like they should do, but Ronnie Jackson, the Harpers and Jim Farr kept the pressure on me." At the stripe Jackson was second, Farr finished third and was followed by Robby Harper III and Robby Harper for the top five. Andy Kiker captured Unlimited 1's win. The Egg Harbor Township, NJ based Cyclone kart pilot comfortably beat veteran Georgia racer Jim Brannon to the finish line. "I got a good start and had clean track until I hit lapped traffic and I just picked my way through it," Kiker explained. "The Cyclone kart ran great and the Power Source motor ran great too." Gary Slahor finished third out of 13 and was followed in the top five by Jim Anthony and Douglas Taylor. Birmingham, AL based Ronnie Jackson held off Brannon for Sunday's Unlimited-2 win. "I got a good start and the Trick kart handled great and the CKI motor ran great," said Jackson. "I took the lead on lap four and from there on it was a pretty big lead." Filling the top five of 17 behind Brannon this time were Ken Forsha, Greg Trimmer and P. Anthony Hammond Michael Davis, Jr. grabbed Piston Port Can Lite's early lead and commanded the 35-racer field to the finish where he owned a comfortable advantage over Scott Berkheiser. "I led going into turn one and led the whole race from there," described the 17-year-old Novelty, OH based LAD power Coyote kart pilot. "The Coyote kart handled great and the LAD motor had awesome horsepower the whole race." Rounding out the remaining top five behind Berkheiser were Jeremy Bolt, Robert Burkett, Sr. and James Simbro, Jr. Robert Smith captured Sunday's first feature, Kris Buerman Racing Engines Yamaha Sprint Lite. Trailing him in the top five of 11 were David Bruinsma, Indianapolis, IN based Funkhouser factory pilot Chris Tomasik, Paul Schunke and Billy Shaw. Also running in Sunday's first feature were two classes of WKC Vintage karts. Lewisburg, PA pilot Duane L. Eberhart topped WKC Vintage Enduro 1 driving a 1973 Bug Stinger kart that boasted a tiller steering wheel that was only WKA legal for two years. "I purchased it in 1974 and it's been in my attic for many years until they came out with this class." "This kart's handling is very twitchy, my other kart is a duel lay down and there's a world of difference between them," Eberhart continued. "The Corsair T-80 motor was built by my daughter Stacy who also builds my B-Stock motor. I do the machine work and she does the assembly." Phillip Copeland was second across the finish line, Robert Lilley, Jr. and Sr. followed in third and fourth respectively and Jack Foster, Jr., who help start the Vintage Class, took fifth out of 14. Poolesville, MD pilot Bill Anderson topped the Vintage USA class in a 1966 Margay kart that he purchased in 1981. "It was my first kart. I restored it last year to race this class," Anderson said. "It handles pretty good and the motor held together and that's a lot in this class." Clements, NC Coyote kart pilot Jason Owenby captured KSF/Teamleadfoot.com Yamaha Sportsman Lite's checkered flag ahead of Jackson, NJ racer Michael Casazza. "I got a good start," said Owenby. "It was back and forth between Casazza and I had to keep him behind me. I want to thank Mr. Gray for the motor and my dad for all of his support." Crossing behind Casazza in the top five of 20 were Mark Lutzi, Davis, Jr., and Giehl David M. King. New Holland, PA Elite kart pilot Kent Weaver won Piston Port Can Sprint Lite over Tomasik. "I got a decent start, took the lead in the first turn and drove like a hunted animal from there," said Weaver. "The motor was excellent and the kart ran good. I just want to thank all of the people who made this possible ZT Engineering, Gary Shapenski, Jack, Aaron and Steve and say that it's great to win my second national against the best of the best." Buerman took third out of 23 and was followed in the top five by Shaw and Taylor. Scott Grenier grabbed Competition Karting Yamaha Sportsman Heavy's win over Ronnie Jackson. "I got an excellent start got the lead on the second lap and gained about a second per lap over the rest of the field," described the Justice, IL based LAD powered Coyote kart pilot. "The kart was perfect and the motor was excellent."

Fulks, David Somers and David Lee rounded out the top five of 25.

Chicago, IL based Coyote kart pilot David Somers showed 29 Piston Port Can Heavy drivers across that finish line with Peter Ludwig trailing in second. ZT Racing backed Robert L. Stickley took third, Ronald R. Miller followed in fourth and Barry Motsinger capped the top five.

"I started close to the back and it took me three laps to get to the front and then I built a little every lap and just tried not to drive off the track," Somers described. "The kart handled very well in stuck in the corners like glue and the LAD motor performed brilliantly as usual."

Robert Idol soloed the Local option Open class.

Four more race remain on the WKA/Dunlop Tire National Road Racing Series. The next stop is New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NN June 29 to July 1 and from there the series travels to Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, WV July 20-22. September 7-9 they will be competing at Nashville SuperSpeedway in Nashville, TN and then the season ends November 2-4 with Grand Nationals during the North American Karting Championships at Lowe'11s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.

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Series Kart
Drivers Mark Taylor , Sean Ballantine , Robert Smith , Peter Ludwig , Lucas Wolf , Travis Miller , Kevin Kopp , Robert Harr , Beth Chryst