2011 Triple Crown winners Atkinson, Snyder each win three mains
CONCORD, N.C. – The WKA Vega / TS Racing Road Racing Series driven by Mazda made its return to West Virginia’s Summit Point Motorsports Park this past weekend for round six of the seven-race 2012 national tour.
Approximately 325 entries filled the Summit Point pit area for the first national at four-decade-old facility since 2008. A full day of Friday practice ran under sunny skies. The turnout looked light on Friday until dozens of haulers pulled in between Friday night and Saturday morning, filling the paddock nicely and giving the Woodbridge Kart Club-hosted event a solid turnout and profitable second national of the season.
Two rounds of practice and three race groups ran Saturday before dark clouds moved into the area. The storms crept north of the track for a good hour, allowing race four to take the green flag. But continuous dark clouds continued to surround the area and finally rain started falling, halting the fourth race of the day. Rain persisted through the afternoon, canceling races four through seven, which marked the first rain outs of the 2012 Road Racing season.
Sunday was a beautiful day, allowing all six race groups to run their full lengths.
Two-time WKA Triple Crown champion Courtney Atkinson was the top winner on the weekend. The college sophomore won Friday evening’s Yamaha Sportsman Special Money Race, pocketing $300 for her efforts, and backed it up with wins in Yamaha Sportsman Lite and Yamaha Sportsman Medium on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
2011 Triple Crown champion Aaron Snyder won both TaG finals on his Energy kart. Snyder’s win in Sunday’s TaG Final 2 was good for a set of new VEGA tires, sponsored by TS Racing and WKA. Snyder also captured the Spec 125 TaG Final 2 race.
Randy Fulks wheeled his CKI chassis to wins in 100cc Controlled Spec 1 and 2.
Maryland’s Zachary Linsell raced his MGM mount to wins in Animal Sprint 335 and the red-flag-shortened Animal Sprint 360.
Clark Gaynor Jr. swept the Stock Honda mains, which both started over 20 karts, while Kelly Lawrence won both Unlimited finals.
Adam Myers won a pair of enduro contests. The Western New York racer won 100cc Pipe Medium and Formula 100 Final 2.
In the junior ranks, Chris Kuley triumphed in the pair of Animal Jr Sprint features and local runner Zack Clark won Jr Enduro Heavy and Jr Sprint Heavy.
Here’s a rundown of the 10 race groups that were able to beat the weather this past weekend at Summit Point.
Friday Yamaha Sportsman Special
Eleven drivers signed up for the new Yamaha Sportsman Special Money Race, made possible by the sponsorship of “Wild” Bill Holder’s Safe Harbour Wine Storage and Jeramie Bolt’s Bolt’s Saw Service.
Wisconsin national regular Courtney Atkinson jumped out to the early lead ahead of heavy-hitters Holder, Bolt, Scott Clark and Randy Fulks. Fulks pulled in after a few laps, leaving Clark, Bolt and Holder to try to run down Atkinson. The trio raced hard but couldn’t find enough to close the gap on the leader. Atkinson took the win and cashed in on the $300 prize by a 4.5-second advantage over Clark. Bolt was a few tenths back of Clark in third. Holder was fourth and Joe Dempsey fifth.
The fastest kart on the track was Nate Morgan, who dominated the WKC Classic Controlled local option. Morgan’s fastest lap was a 1:30.643 – about 2.5 seconds a lap faster than the top Yamaha Sportsman competitors. Chuck Morgan was second and A.J. Reuter third.
Saturday Race 1
Nine karts each entered Sleeper Racing Team 100cc Controlled Spec 1 and Yamaha Sportsman Lite.
Randy Fulks continued his hot streak in the Controlled Spec division, winning by a 20-second advantage over Lance Fry. Ian Morgan was about 36 seconds back of Fulks in third. Brandon Fry finished fourth and James Rupert rounded out the top five. They were the only karts to finish of the nine starters.
Courtney Atkinson earned her second win of the weekend in the Yamaha Sportsman Lite division, a new class in 2012 that has seen consistent entry counts throughout the year. Atkinson won over national regular Lance Yunck, who with his father, Kerry, travel countless hours from their South Florida home to make nearly all the WKA National Road Racing events.
Joe Kennedy was third, WKC regular Bob Burkett fourth and Kristina Griffith fifth.
Arthur McKenny won the 100cc Pipe Heavy class over WKA Vice President Dan Stowell.
Fiona Collins won the WKC Vintage Limited local option.
Saturday Race 2
One of the largest groups of the weekend hit the track for Saturday’s second race, which included TaG, Yamaha Sprint and Briggs Animals.
Aaron Snyder traveled to Summit Point from his Illinois home and won DRT Racing TaG Final 1 in convincing fashion. Snyder bested Massachusetts’ Keith Buffo and WKC regular Sean Conlon in the 30-minute race. Chris Hines was fourth and Kevin Aikens fifth.
New Englanders Adam Trumbley and Michael Hines put on a great show for the win in AM Motorsports Yamaha Sprint Lite until Hines dropped out at the 20-minute mark. Trumbley cruised to the victory from there. Hines was still credited with second and John Jezierski third.
The competition continues to heat up in Hoosier Tire Animal Sprint 335 but so does Zach Linsell. It took Linsell and his sleek flat black MGM chassis several laps to clear the top three or four racers, but once he did he pulled out to a seven-second lead and a fairly easy victory. VIR Best Appearing Sprint Kart winner Sam Sheckells was second aboard his MGM. Joey Kuley was third, Leon Hodges-Austin fourth and Austyn Flurer fifth in the 11-kart field.
While 11 karts started the Lite version of Briggs Animal, 14 took the green in Hoosier Tire Animal Sprint 385. Jonathan Tedder, Kevin Colborn and Jay Russell put on a good show up front. After racing hard for the lead throughout most of the contest, Tedder pulled out to a 2.4-second lead over Colborn, who was making his first Road Racing appearance since Daytona. Russell took third, some six seconds back of the winner. Kevin Boyko was fourth and Toni Alexander rounded out the top five.
Chris Kuley was the lone entrant in Animal Jr Sprint Lite, thus getting the win.
Don Johnson won the WKC Vintage USA local option over Bill Anderson and Kenneth Chew.
Saturday Race 3
The fastest karts in attendance graced Summit’s 2.0-mile Main Course in this one. Kelly Lawrence got a terrible start but fought back to win Unlimited Final 1 by a cool 37-seconds margin over Michael Lattos. John Ziermann was third.
The weekend’s largest field belonged to Stock Honda 1 with 23 starters. The race featured the usual fast pack up front, comprising Clark Gaynor Jr., Brian Fisher, Tiffany McCollum, Chuck Taylor and Bear Rothenhoefer.
Thirty minutes of dicing and trading the lead resulted in Gaynor getting another victory by a mere 0.075 seconds over McCollum. Taylor crossed the stripe only a tenth back from the winner in third, while Rothenhoefer was right behind in fourth. Fisher had problems on the final lap and finished 14th.
Mark Nagy lost touch with the lead pack but rounded out the top five. Sixth through 10th were Greg Heberle, David Harding, Philip Davis, Carson Miller and Jeff McClure.
Saturday Race 4
As noted, rain stopped Saturday’s fourth contest three laps into the event and that marked the end of the day as the wet weather persisted through afternoon.
The rain probably cost “Wild” Bill Holder his first WKA national win of the season. Holder looked stout in the opening laps of Yamaha Sportsman Heavy, wheeling his CKI to a 2.2-second lead over his teammate Jeramie Bolt.
J.C. Sanders was ahead of Zack Clark in Jr Enduro Lite by a two-second advantage when the race was red-flagged.
Sunday Race 1
Unlimited and Stock Honda hit the track to open Sunday’s racing in fast fashion.
Kelly Lawrence made it two wins on the weekend with his 125cc-powered laydown. Lawrence dominated the Unlimited Final 2 main, crossing the finish line over a lap ahead of Brian Zwart. John Ziermann was third, veteran Robert Harris fourth and Michael Lattos fifth. Lawrence’s fast lap of the race was a blazing 1:20.341 around Summit’s 2.0-mile Main Course.
While Lawrence was cruising to his second win of the weekend, Clark Gaynor Jr. was doing the same in Stock Honda 2, although “cruising” probably isn’t the best adjective to describe his win. Gaynor traded the lead numerous times with several drivers in a lead pack that included seven of the 23 starters.
Brian Fisher recorded the fastest lap of the race at a 1:20.060 – three tenths of a second better than Lawrence’s quick time – but had to settle for second. Tiffany McCollum was third, Chuck Taylor fourth and Bear Rothenhoefer fifth. Mark Nagy and Carson Miller battled in the lead pack and finished just outside the top five in sixth and seventh. John Sullivan, David Harding and Philip Davis finished eighth through 10th.
Sunday Race 2
This race was cut short by a turn nine accident involving Lindy Toland just past the 15-minute halfway mark. Toland’s arm and leg were bruised from the incident but he was OK otherwise.
Aaron Snyder completed his sweep of the TaG finals with another dominating performance in TaG Final 2. Snyder bested Sean Conlon by a 34-second advantage. Chris Hines was right behind Conlon in third, Gabriel Robleto fourth and Colton Aikens fifth.
Eighteen Briggs-powered sprint-enduros started Southern Kart Club Animal Sprint 360 to make it one of the largest fields of the weekend. Zach Linsell, Sam Sheckells, Kevin Colborn, Steven Kilsdonk and Leon Hodges-Austin race in a competitive five-kart battle for the win. Hodges-Austin fell back a few laps before the red came out, leaving four karts in the lead pack. Sam Sheckells ran off the track while running second on the final lap but when the red came out the field was reverted to the last fully completed lap, moving Sheckells back to second, just behind winner Zach Linsell.
Colborn settled for third and Kilsdonk fourth. Hodges-Austin was fifth in the final rundown.
Clark Simonton Jr. scored the Animal Sprint 410 victory over Toni Alexander. Bruce Peck was third, Ben Morris fourth and Steve Johnson fifth.
John Jezierski was the only entrant in Yamaha Sprint Heavy and Chris Kuley was the only entrant in Animal Jr Sprint Heavy.
Ben Eberhart won the WKC Vintage Euro race over Chuck Morgan and Duane Eberhart. Laurence McKenny ran with Eberhart up front but dropped out a couple laps before the red.
Sunday Race 3
Randy Fulks and Lance Fry waged a spirited battle for the 100cc Controlled Spec 2 win before Fry retired 36 minutes into the 45-minute contest. Fulks cruised to the victory from there, crossing the stripe 19 seconds ahead of Jim Fry. Ian Morgan was third, Scott Stauffer fourth and Lance Fry was credited with fifth.
One of the best races of the weekend came in CKI Yamaha Sportsman Medium, which started 20 karts. The lead pack consisted of Courtney Atkinson, “Wild” Bill Holder, Jermie Bolt and Lance Yunck.
Bolt led much of the race while Yunck, Atkinson and Holder traded second position. Yunck had a carburetor problem on his CKI chassis and dropped off the pace around halfway, ultimately finishing fifth.
Late in the race a couple 100cc Controlled Spec karts separated Atkinson from Holder and Bolt, giving Courtney a four-second lead by the time the checkers waved. Bolt was second and Holder third. Tim Linthicum passed Yunck late in the race to take fourth.
Adam Myers won the 100cc Pipe Medium contest by a wide margin over Adam Trumbley and Mallory Davis.
Zack Clark and JC Sanders had a terrific race in Jr Enduro Heavy. Clark edged Sanders for the win by 0.137 seconds. Joshua Krause was third.
Sunday Race 4
Only four karts started Saturday’s fourth event. Steve Flatt was the only entrant in WKA 125 Sprint 2. Donald Santini was the only starter in CIK 125 Shifter 2. Aaron Snyder won his third race of the weekend in Spec 125 TaG 2 over Keith Buffo, who had problems and only completed one lap.
Sunday Race 5
Good-looking fields took the green in WKA Sprint Final 2 and Stock Leopard Sprint Final 2 with 13 karts in each class.
Scott Clark and Courtney Atkinson battled it out WKA Sprint until Atkinson stuck her K71 engine on the final lap. Clark scored the win by a 16-second margin over Keith Shampine, who was making his return to karting aboard a Rodney Smith-owned kart after a seven-year absence. New Englander Ted Carbonaro was third, Atkinson credited with fourth and Eric Stockford fifth.
Clark Gaynor Sr., Bob Wimmer and Brandon Taylor separated themselves from the rest of the Stock Leopard field. The three racers swapped the lead several times and came across the finish line three abreast. Gaynor scored the win by a 0.041-second margin over Wimmer. Taylor was third. Jeff Wesell finished 14 seconds back of the lead trio in fourth and Pirooz Javan was fifth.
Derek Somers and Michael Holman put on a terrific show in Heiser Trailer Leasing Yamaha Sportsman Sprint Final 2. The pair traded the lead numerous times before Somers, a West Virginia native, crossed the stripe 0.277 seconds in front of Holman. Louis Magiera was third, Andy Leighninger fourth and Jeff Leighninger fifth.
Six karts started Animal Limited Modified 360, making it the best field of the season for the Mod group. Wisconsin’s Dennis Smith scored the win over Jonathan Tedder. Charles Wilbur was third, Toni Alexander fourth and James Toland fifth.
Zack Clark won Team Finork Racing Jr Sprint Heavy. Local option winners were Logan Aikens in WKC R-TaG 2, David Planakis in Clone 360 and Ian Bushey in WKC Jr CIK Heavy.
Sunday Race 6
Adam Myers earned his second win of the day in KALL Racing Formula 100 Final 2. Myers won by a wide margin over Michael Tracy and Todd Hayden.
Lance Yunck bested Arthur McKenny in Dart Kart Club 100cc Yamaha Heavy. Yunck crossed the stripe 37 seconds in front of McKenny. Bill Anderson was third, ahead of his brother, Bob.
One race remains for the 2012 National Road Racing Series. The circuit will close out the season Sept. 28-30 at Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah, Ga. Pre-registration is currently open for the Southern Kart Club-hosted event.
Click here for the Roebling Road Nationals entry form.