04.25.2012 - WKA national racing back at Barnesville this weekend

CONCORD, N.C. – Round two of the 2012 World Karting Association RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Gold Cup Series is set to go off this weekend at the historic Lamar County (Ga.) Speedway, better known in karting circles as simply, “Barnesville.”

This weekend’s Michigan Kart Supply Nationals is the first WKA national at Barnesville since 1994, when the Gold Cup and Manufacturers Cup series ran national events at the venue that’s located about an hour south of Atlanta.

Since then, the Georgia Sprint Karting Association has run its popular club series events at the quarter-mile sprint track. The GSKA club features a large contingent of Box Stock (Clone) sprint racers, in addition to a host of other 2-cycle and 4-cycle classes.

A solid following of Southeast-based Box Stock and Animal sprint racers on the Gold Cup circuit last year prompted WKA officials to take a look at returning to Barnesville for a national, and after productive meetings with GSKA officials, the event was added to the 2012 slate as round two, roughly two months after the series opened at another popular southern sprint course, the North Florida Kart Club’s 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Fla.

Approximately 300 entrants filled the Barnesville pit area for Gold Cup nationals in 1993 and ’94, and after nearly two decades, a similar count is expected this weekend.

Fans of the series will have plenty of storylines to keep an eye on this weekend.

Some of the largest classes this weekend are expected to be Senior Box Stock, which had 17 entrants at a GSKA club race this past weekend, Stock Medium and Stock Heavy, both of which featured over 20 starters at the Jacksonville opener, and of course the popular Friday night Animal Heavy Money Race, which has 13 drivers already pre-entered.

Maryland’s Jacob Heavlow swept the Jr Lite, Medium and Heavy classes at Jacksonville aboard in trusty Bandit chassis. Heavlow has a new MGM chassis in his possession and it will be interesting to see which kart he runs this weekend and if he can keep his streak of junior division feature wins alive.

The senior Animal divisions featured stout competition at Jacksonville, and this weekend should be no different. Racers to keep an eye on include Maryland’s Tyler Sandmeyer, who won Stock Heavy at Jax and nearly led all of Sunday’s Stock Medium feature before Ohio Arrow pilot Gary Lawson muscled his way past the MGM standout on the last lap.

Sean Meier, Dakota Bell and brother Dylan and Jason Zobkiw flew the Coyote Motorsports banner high at Jacksonville. Meier won the season opening Money Race and may be in attendance this weekend on a Coyote-owned mount. Bell ran strong in nearly every race he started at Jacksonville aboard a Michigan Kart Supply Coyote and is pre-entered for this weekend’s event.

Top 4-cycle sprint youngsters will be back in action in the Sportsman 1 and Sportsman 2 Animal and Box Stock divisions. Young Gold Cup talents to watch this weekend include Wisconsin brothers Jacob and Gabriel Zellner, Georgia’s Dylan Murry and Connor Tebbe, New York’s Nick Fauci, and Maryland’s Zach Wells, Trent and Douglas Barnes and Matthew Miller.

Barnesville’s gates swing open Thursday at noon for pit pass sales and parking.

At-track registration and pre-tech is slated to open Thursday at 4 p.m. A full day of practice begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. and runs until 5, when the country’s best 4-cycle sprint racers will do battle in the second Animal Heavy Money Race of the season.

As always, Saturday and Sunday feature a full slate of national racing, which begins with one round of practice each morning followed by qualifying, heat races and main events and each of the 33 divisions on the card.

Click here for the Michigan Kart Supply Nationals weekend schedule, directions to the Lamar County Speedway and other important information regarding this weekend’s event.