Nothing But Smiles
story by Bruce Walls
photos by Susan Taylor-Walls and Bruce C. Walls
BEAVER FALLS, PA-This year’s American Kart Racing Association (AKRA/VEGA) National Road Racing Series finale race of the 2018 season had more than double the entry numbers as last year’s event with a record 293 competitors packing the paddocks of Pittsburg International Motorsports complex September 29-30. When it was over most could be seen wearing big smiles as they headed back home.
After his first round of practice veteran karting legend Louie Magiera, who posted a Piston Port Final win, credited the track’s smooth surface for the smile on his face. “That’s the smoothest track I’ve ever run on. I road around the entire second half of practice looking for bumps, and didn’t find any,” Magiera said.
Saturday morning started with a drivers meeting held in the new tower and banquet hall. Along with getting race instructions racers got to see the newest addition to this growing facility. Four hours of practice was followed by four more hours of very safe but competitive racing.
“The rescue team was idle all weekend, they just sat and watched two days of exciting racing,” said AKRA President/CEO Bill McCutcheon. “The Chamber of Commerce weather was just the icing on the cake.”
Full fields from Cadets to Super Karts competed both days on the 3.2-mile road course. Spectators saw close door-to-door battling right down to the finish where in one class just 0.001 second separated first and second.
“Many thanks to the entire Dart Kart Club (DKC) team for another great weekend of racing. A complete, flag-to –flag, race report with photo from Bruce and Susan Walls will follow in the coming days,” McCutcheon noted adding that the 2019 schedule will be posted in the coming weeks.
Wimmer Wins 4 at Pittsburgh
Gaithersburg, MD racer Robert Wimmer ruled four classes over the weekend. Wimmer’s first win came in the weekend’s first Final TaG Senior Heavy, which Wimmer won over Russ Kemple. Robert Parker posted the third place position followed in the top five by Richard Parker and Dave Ahrens.
“ The Kosmik Kart handled beautifully,” Wimmer said after his first win. “I was able to keep it wide open nearly all the way around the course and I barely lifted and had to break in a couple of corners so it was hooked up I could drive it any were I wanted to. I was able to easily go around other karts, Wimmer explained adding, ”I want to thank my wife for putting up with me she puts up with a lot of crap.”
Wimmer earned his second win later that afternoon in Saturday’s TaG Masters Sprint Final. Sunday Wimmer captured the TaG Master Sprint Final 2. Earlier he led TaG Senior Heavy racers across the stripe with George Petry 3.527 seconds behind him. Dave Ahrens finished third trailing by 9.203 seconds. Russ Kemple and Robert Parker crossed fourth and fifth.
Four racers earned double wins that weekend. Allen Hollinger handled both Formula 125 Finals and Paul Nickl, of Detroit, MI did the same in G125 Shifter. In Saturday’s Final 1Michaell Crawford was 19.657 seconds behind Nickl’s Praga Kart powered by motors he builds himself. Michael Coleman crossed third.
Matthew Gibson won both of the Junior Sprint finals. Saturday he took the final flag with 1:08.936 minutes. Jonathan Ocasio, Max Night and Zachary Critchfield followed in the top five.
Sunday Gibson Critchfield finished 50.337 seconds ahead of Ocasio. Max Nichl crossed third and Critchfield crossed fourth.
Bridgeview, PA based RWC powered LAD pilot Scott Grenier fought hard for the Yamaha Pipe Final 1 win. Brian Ellis was on his back bumper the whole race. Ellis pressed Grenier down to the wire where only 0.317 seconds separated them. Michigan Kart Supply factory pilot Nick Cole crossed third followed by Adam Trumbley and Colin Jedrzegele for the top five of 11.
“I got a good start and got the early lead,” Grenier said. “Then Brian (Ellis) started to catch me a little bit. I maintained my pace, stayed out front and he never passed me. The kart handled good and the VEGA Tires worked good.”
Dennis Cole dominated Yamaha Sprint Finals 1 and 2. Saturday Cole ran away from the seven-racer field taking the checkered flags with a full lap on the field. Cory Patterson was second across the stripe followed in the top five were Andy Leighninge, Steven Pasteiner and Adam White.
Sunday Cole lapped the field again. This time Leighninger Patterson and Jeff Leighninger rounded out the top five.
Fisher Racing Engines powered Sodi Kart pilot Mark Nagy, of Dayton, OH showed 15-125 Shifter Final-1racers across the stripe. Nagy dominated the field leading by a full lap. Bill Pyles was second, Colin Johnson trailed in third Dan Chalk crossed fourth followed by Chad Donner in fifth.
Royal Oak. MI racer Adam Trumbly lapped the field in Piston Port Final 2’s 10-racer field. Ted Carbonaro was second across the stripe trailed in the top five by Magiera, Jerry Apuzzi and veteran Dan Stowell.
“I just went out there and ran consistent laps and won,” Trumbley explained. “The Margay Kart handled great and so did my dad’s motor. The track is nice. It’s nice and tight and technical. It’s a lot of fun. I want to thank my parents for their support and the time they put in so I can race. “
After a brutal 12-lap battle Brandon Basela, who was piloting an Italian Motors powered Birel Kart and Bill Pyles headed for the 125 Shifter checkers. When they got there 0.046 seconds separated them. Collin Johnson, Chad Donner and Chalk captured the remaining top five of 12 positions.
“I was pretty tired to be honest with you. I was just happy to see the checkered flags,” Basela admitted. “I want to thank Birel Karts and Rockdtech Motorsports.”
Also winning that weekend were:
Jack Reall-4-Cycle Sprint 350
Greg Trainor-Piston Port SSX Can Sprint Final 1
Benjamin Holden-TaG Sprint
Arthur McKinney-Vintage Piston Port USA Final 1
Adam Myers Controlled Final 1
Timothy Koen-Formula 100 Final 1
Mallory D’Augustine-100cc Limited Enduro Final 1
Greg Wright-Vintage Twin Engine Final 1
Ben Eberhart-Vintage Unlimited Final 1
Shane Hayden-Junior Enduro Final 1
Jerry Revely-Open Sprint Final 1
Ian Hornish Senior Tag Senior
Bob Stockdale-Yamaha Sportsman Sprint Final 1
Max Renner-4-Cycle Sprint 370 Final 1
Matthew Gibson-Junior Sprint Final 1
Douglas Marsh-Clone/LO206 Sprint Final 1
Dean Martin Super Kart 250 Final 1
Joey West-Unlimited Final 1
Dan Chalk-Stock Honda Final 1
Sean J. Sholtz-Cadet Final 1
Mark D’Elia-Vintage Piston Port USA Final 2
Sean Swisz TaG Senior Sprint Final 2
Dennis Cole-Yamaha Sprint Final 2
Tony Wimmer-4-Cycle 370 Final 2
James Denholm-Clone/Lo206 Sprint Final 2
Sidney Danals Super Kart 250
Brad Berelsman Unlimited Final 2
Russ Pyles Stock Honda