Barnesville Driving Event Summary

Barnesville Driving Event Summary

By Bob Barthelemy
Photos by Brian Allardice

The Georgia weather was a little nippy Thursday morning with temperatures in the mid 40’s followed by temps over 70 by mid-day. Mother Nature was kind to us Thursday and Friday but on Saturday morning a heavy mist followed by a drizzle and later a downpour resulted in no on-track activity. Thank you to Mike Adkins, GSKA President, and the entire GSKA team for a well-run event! Thank you to all the Vintage Karters (44 entries) for participating at this event, and especially the large group from Saltillo, Mississippi.

After a round of safety tech inspections, the track was opened for practice at 9:15. We started with open practice for all single engine senior drivers with a max of 10 karts on the track at a time. The junior drivers were then allotted a practice session followed by the dual engine drivers taking their separate practice session. We repeated this order throughout the day and closed the track for practice at 5:00 pm. I believe everyone had plenty of practice time.

Foreign 8.2 Sidewinder means big power and close racing. Jimmy Gay trails Marc Nagel and winner Bowen Carlock into Barnesville’s signature corner.
There were four entries in the popular Yamaha Dual class. Here 2nd place finisher Gary Combs (14) leads the winner Mark Green’s Margay SR-16 (2).

Friday morning temperatures were in the mid-50’s and rose to the mid-70’s and it was an absolutely gorgeous day. Practice began at 9:00 and went through noon. After the lunch break, we conducted our driver’s meeting including a brief devotional recognizing what God did to save Bill Jackson’s life and to pay respects to my friend, Ronnie Smith, who recently passed away (I conducted the eulogy at his funeral Saturday morning). After a few last-minute corrections to our running order to ensure participants were not driving in back-to-back classes, we were able to get the first Heats started by 1:45 pm. We had 13 classes represented, and by grouping some of the classes together, we were able to run 10 groups. We proceeded with our 1st and 2nd round of demonstration Heats. All Heats went smoothly with no substantial incidents on the track.  

Sportsman Rear winner, Billy Dalton from Mt. Washington, Kentucky was both fast and his kart was show-worthy. Robert Rizzuto and Tony Severino also competed in Sportsman Rear.

We all enjoyed a great evening buffet meal (chicken and rice, pork loin, and a wide range of vegetables and salad) prepared and served by Vicki & Glenn Forsyth in the concession/registration pavilion (outside to comply with COVID-19 protocol). “Legends of Karting” awards were presented in recognition to Dicky Wilson and Bill Berry by Bob Barthelemy. A Longest Distanced Traveled award was presented to Romero Llamas from Canton, Ohio. Romero was also presented the coveted traveling “Yankee Award”. He will be able to cherish it for only five months due to the 2021 Barnesville event scheduled for the March 25th-thru the 27th weekend, when it will be presented to another honored recipient.  

Due to the continuing rain Saturday morning, the vintage karters in attendance voted to call the 3rd Heat. We then presented the awards for the demonstrations (based on finishing order of the 2nd Heat) and finished before 12:00 noon.

Lots of intensity between these two in 100cc Classic, Romero Llamas (11) and victor Tony Ellison had a great on-track battle. Romero also took home the Long Distance award.
Here are the top three in Yamaha Piston Port. Scott Nagel (7) won, George May (14) was second and Jarod Brannon (9) was third.
If vintage karters thought that they’d be rid of the Nagels anytime soon, they haven’t been watching young Ben Nagel who drives his SAE “like he stole it”! This photo shows why the sprocket guard is necessary as Ben rolls the rear tire away from the rim.
Rick Williams (6) and John Pagans (16) take the checkered flag in Over 60 Yamaha. Jeffery Conner finished third.
The 6.1 Sidewinders take the green. Winner Rick Williams (6) had a busy day running in at least three classes. Sean Collins (9) finished second and Todd Breedlove (12) finished third.
Nobody had more fun at Barnesville than Marc Nagel who “wheelied” his dual SAE all over the place. Can’t wait to see young Ben in this rig!
Dual Sidewinder alway7s brings the spectators to the fence. Here Bob Barthelemy gets a little sideways but still held on to second place. Ron Caldwell (7) is considering his options as winner Jerry Nagel exits the photo.
Jerry Nagel always runs up front in Dual Sidewinder. His dual BM 130s give the Komet “Bomb” boys fits.
Mark Green (2) not only won Yamaha Dual, he doubled up with a win in Yamaha Limited. He is followed by Brian Carr (87) who finished 4th, and Bowen Carlock (8) who finished 2nd.
The Juniors had just two entries but excellent driving and speed. Alden Riley from Nettleton, Missouri battled Ben Nagel from Napoleon, Ohio. Maybe we have a Haddock – Dismore rivalry brewing…