Sandy Hook Summary (10/9)

Sandy Hook Summary (10/9)

By Kurt Bogerman
Photos by Rolf Hill

Juniors, Rear 6.1 & Sportsman Rear take the Green

The Rolling Stones repeat the famous lyric “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need”.  I have no idea what the rest of the imagery in that song is meant to convey, but I have often found that lyric to ring true.

Case in point:

On Saturday October 9, 2021, the NE Region closed out their 2021 season with the Dessert Nationals at Sandy Hook Speedway in Street, MD.  Originally scheduled to be a two-day, Saturday/Sunday event, by mid-week we found ourselves confronted by a high percentage chance of rain, particularly on Sunday.  As described in my previous event summaries, we have often adjusted an event’s schedule to run two Heats one day and one the next. In this instance, it was decided in advance to nix Sunday’s schedule entirely, and the event was condensed into a one day, two Heat affair. Fortunately, this was all negotiated by Thursday morning, so, for the most part, participants were able to adjust their schedules accordingly.  Bright and early Saturday morning, we rolled in, looking forward to what, for many of us, would be one last day of VKA vintage karting in 2021.

People’s Choice 1960 Simplex Mark IV with dual WB 580s was shown by Paul Hunter (L) and Jon Clark (R). It deserved two photos!

The schedule was, of course, very tight, and, as a result, there was not much “Tier Two” action available this time around.  We had our drivers’ meeting and got into practice right away.  We kept things rolling by alternating simply between rear engine karts and sidewinders, ten or fifteen minutes per session.  The Sandy Hook staff kept us on schedule giving us 1st, 2nd, Final Call announcements over the PA system.  I should say, “they made a valiant effort to keep us up to date,” but inevitably there was always at least one cantankerous kart motor that absolutely had to be revved heavenward just as the PA would click on.  Isn’t that always the way?  By the time we took our break for lunch, most of us had found sufficient time to get things shaken out, shook loose, or both! 

The concession stand was open for business and had a tasty variety of burgers, dogs, and…  “walking tacos”???  Natalie and I make it a point to patronize the concession stands at the tracks we visit.  What I did not realize is that Natalie had been looking forward to having another Sandy Hook “Walking Taco.”  If you have not seen one of these, it is very clever:  They basically build a taco salad in a snack-size bag of Doritos.  You fork it right out of the bag as you walk away.  It cannot be “good” for you, but if it is only once a year…. Right?

Getting kart show participants was a challenge, but nonetheless, fruitful.

After lunch we got right into the Heats, rapid fire. There were chains derailing (Rodrigo!) and ignition points wires fleeing the scene (mine!) as the drivers jockeyed for position out on the racecourse. Traction seemed to come and go, partially, I assume, because of the local club’s rubber being progressively scrubbed off the track surface, in conjunction with the track temperature fluctuating over the course of the afternoon.  Turn One changed the runningorder of more than one Heat, for me, for sure!  At this point, if this were a YouTube video, I would be gesturing towards wherever the Heat results will be posted in the final edit. 

With the Heats completed in record time, we launched headlong into the Kart Show.  Honestly, the condensed schedule made it difficult to raise enthusiasm to get karts back out on the show field.  Many drivers opted to begin packing for their departure.  The karts that were displayed in the show represented our hardcore participants and we made the best of it!  Doug Jorgensen, Doug Tenney, and I judged the Show.  We decided to forego the “Past Champion” category (as many of these were, in fact, Past Champions) and instead evaluate them all head-to-head.  It does not get easier, even with a smaller field, especially when you might know the stories behind each kart or have detailed knowledge of the trials and tribulations of a particular restoration.  We aimed to keep it fun and fair, and I hope that our participants agree!  The winners, of course, are posted in the Show Results chart.

The Sandy Hook VKA Dessert Nationals were short and sweet this year.  Approaching the event, I wanted a big, two-scoop cone, and  I was lucky to enjoy a single scoop dish.  Next year I can dream about a three-scoop sundae can’t I?  Till next year!


Doug Jorgensen’s MC-75-powered ’64 GoKart 1200 won Historic Modiied
Diego’s dad, Rodrigo DeFrancisco won Sidewinder Unrestored with his ’87 DAP.
Young gun Diego DeFrancisco’s ’65 Rupp A-Bone won Rear Modified. Diego wrings out the MC-92 as well as anyone.
Lots of tasty Rear-engined karts on the East coast. Sandy Hook was a bit of a time warp.
Paul Hunter’s MC-91B1-powered ’68 Bug Sprint won Best Rear Restored honors to go with his Peoples Choice award.
Beautiful fall weather with the leaves falling and plenty of track time. Here a couple of “square tire” Rears surround a fat-tired 4-stroke SW.
Small trailer? No problem consider a “stacker”
Entering the banking offers plenty of options: go high if you need to build momentum – go low for the shortest way around.
Next time you load up that cumbersome kart stand, consider this…
Sal Paltucci won the Rear Unrestored class with his ’64 Dart Grand-A II with a MC-90
Another green-flag start – small grids provided plenty of racing room and little to no kart-to-kart contact.
Coming down off the banking provided plenty of G-forces and thrills
The DeFrancisco brothers took 1st and 2nd in the Junior class.
AKRA and Dart Kart Host Vintage Enduro Celebration at Pittsburgh Motorsports Complex

AKRA and Dart Kart Host Vintage Enduro Celebration at Pittsburgh Motorsports Complex

Text and Photos by John Copeland

Fred Stoll led every lap in Vintage Open.

Woodbridge Kart Club Vintage Coordinator Arthur McKinney took advantage of the expected large crowd of enduro racers at September’s AKRA/Dart Kart enduro event at Pittsburgh Motorsports Complex to showcase Vintage Enduros in a whole new way. The first ever Vintage Enduro Celebration staged a special 20 minute race at the end of Friday’s practice sessions at the breathtaking 2.78 mile race course. A total of 22 Vintage Enduros in 3 divisions took the green flag for a special 20-minute exhibition event. Notably, Yamaha Enduro hot-shoes Patrick Olsen and Adam Trumbley came over from the “modern” karting world to try their hands in more “time-honored” machines.

But it was Fred Stoll who showed these young guns the quick way around, leading every lap with his Vintage Open machine. Surprisingly, the next fastest 6 places all went to karts in the vintage Piston Port division, led by Olsen, followed by Art McKinney, Trumbley, and John Copeland. The closest race of the day was between Jerry Bowgren and Dennis Griffith who finished an astonishing 0.189 seconds apart after 20 minutes in the battle for 5th in Vintage Piston Port.

In Vintage Open, Stoll was followed to the finish by Greg Hartley, Phil Reuter, Chuck Morgan and John Konkle.

A special class titled Vintage Exhibition was created for karts that did not fit into the regular Vintage classes. Jeremy Baldi was the only entry in that class and, unfortunately, only finished a single lap.

All 22 entries were happy to be able to “strut their stuff” in front of the crowd of 800+ participants at Pittsburgh and organizers hope that the Vintage Enduro Celebration will become an annual fall event.

Pittsburgh Motorsports Complex is BIG!
Mike Schlager brought 2 vintage twins; a twin B-Bomb Mean Machine and a twin Mac Chaparral.
This rear view of Mike’s twins puts the “Mean” into his Mean Machine.
22 Vintage Enduros graced the spacious Pitt Grid.
Copeland’s Piston Port Coyote has seen plenty of action this year
As 2021 Season Winds to a Close, Vintage Karters Flock to Whiteland Raceway Park

As 2021 Season Winds to a Close, Vintage Karters Flock to Whiteland Raceway Park

Story by John Copeland
Photos by Denny Scott and Don Roll

Fall in central Indiana means bright sunshine, warm days, cool evenings. It also brings the annual Fall Classic VKA event at historical Whiteland Raceway Park. Since they purchased the track, the oldest continuously operating kart track in the country in 2017, Sarah Fisher and Andy O’Gara have committed to transforming it into one of the premier karting facilities. New buildings, upgraded facilities and services, and expanded track layouts have made Whiteland a “can’t miss” date on the VKA calendar.

Cody Brookman won Best Modified Sidewinder

This year the event boasted 102 entries and featured the “Rathman Rumble”; a special event showcasing Rathman Exterminator karts built by 1960 Indy 500 winner Jim Rathman. While many Vintage Karters, myself included, had seen an Exterminator at other Vintage events, the Rathman Rumble provided for these historic machines to actually race as a subset of the Historic class.

Prime pit space is always in high demand and this year the most desirable spaces were already reserved from last year. But, with the help of Whiteland’s terrific and helpful staff, we were able to find convenient working pit space for everyone who arrived. As expected, most karters reserved their spots for next year already, but Andy and Sarah have acquired additional property just north of the existing pit area and will be expanding into that space for next season.

Jerry Nagle smoked ‘em inb 6.1 Rear

Thursday is always practice and get acquainted time, with plenty of time for R&R (‘reck and repair?)It’s always great to catch up with other Vintage Karters, even if it’s only been a few weeks since you saw them at the last race. Whiteland’s layout for the VKA weekend was ½ mile long, but compact enough for everyone in the pits to watch all the action.

After a short driver’s meeting Friday morning, practice resumed. Due to the threat of rain on Saturday, a vote was taken at the driver’s meeting to adjust the schedule to run heats 1 & 2 on Friday and the final heat on Saturday. VKA President Gary Wlodarsky provided lunch for everyone.

Wheels up! Walter McDade tries a new cornering technique

Everyone completed Friday’s heat races in good order, with no significant incidents and it was time to set up for the kart show. About 30 outstanding unrestored, restored, and modified karts were displayed and judges Romero Llamas and Tom Kelley had their work cut out for them picking the winners. One of the highlights of the show was Mike Anderson’s unrestored Rathman Exterminator, originally owned by, and autographed by, Jim Rathman himself.

After the kart show everyone was treated to a special BBQ dinner prepared by Jim Donovan. Jim always does such a great job and seems to have a terrific time doing it, too.

Saturday morning it looked like the decision to double up the races on Friday would be a good one. Rain was forecast in the early afternoon and everybody moved quickly to get the program in. There was some great racing throughout the weekend, but especially in the finals on Saturday. Unfortunately the rain arrived a bit earlier than expected and the last 3 finials were unable to be run. After everyone gathered up their stuff and got packed up, the awards ceremony was held in the lobby of the main building. Here are the results:

So, another VKA Fall Classic at Whiteland Raceway Park is in the books. The facility continues to get rave reviews and the event showcases what is best about Vintage Karting; fun, challenging, competition among the best in the sport. If it’s not already on your calendar for next season, pencil it in now; Sept 29 & 30, Oct 1st. See you there!


Darren Critchett won Past Champion Sidewinder
John Copeland (with original kart owner Sam Brumment) won Best Restored Historic
Joe Kiene won Best Modified Historic
Scott Kerestes won Past Champion Rear Engine
Joe Kiene won Best Mini Bike
Nick Sgorro won Best Modified Rear Engine
Shawn Moore won Best Unrestored Rear Engine
Iwan Davies won Best Unrestored Sidewinder
Loran Critchett won Best Restored Sidewinder
Mike Anderson won Best Unrestored Historic with his Rathman Exterminator
The Vintage Kart Calendar

The Vintage Kart Calendar

You may know him as the Editor of the VKA Magazine, FirsTurn, or the driver of the blue and orange Fox Kart #4, or you may know him as Rolf Hill.  What you may not know is that he started karting when he was about 13; raced for six years at Upper Marlboro, MD and 75/80 kart track in Monrovia, MD.  He took a 45-year break for college, family, and a career.  In 2010, he was retired and wanted to renew his interest in karting and according to Rolf “rebuild my memories in karting.” 

This next phase of his life included total immersion in the Vintage Karting Association.  At first it was 10 events a year, three Fox Karts that he restored to look like his original, then five engines, so he had “spares,” (something he learned at his first VKA event at Barnesville in 2011), and ultimately enough “spares” to run a dual. 

To keep his life organized (and so his wife would know of upcoming events), he created a wall calendar, complete with pictures.  “It turned out pretty good, if you ask me, and I thought some of my new friends might like a copy.”  So, if they sent him $15, he would print one off on his home color printer and mail it to them.  As requests increased, Rolf started to take pre-orders and used a professional printer.  For the first five years, Rolf donated the profits to VKA.  Then things changed. 

“Nobody has heard of Friedreich’s Ataxis (FA),” says Rolf.  “It is classified as a ‘rare’ disease.  Only one in 50,000 people have FA.  ‘Rare’ or not, when it strikes someone you love, how ‘rare’ it is, doesn’t matter.  It is real.”  In 2016, his 12-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with FA … a neurological, degenerative, condition that affects balance, speech, and other physical attributes. [If you want to know more, check out the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) website:]  Since that time, her youngest sister also has been diagnosed with FA.  Profits from the 2017 Calendars (and beyond) have gone and will continue to go to a non-profit organization to help find a cure and to help others with Friedreich’s Ataxia expenses.  Visit to see how the money they collect is spent. 

Each year’s calendar has had a theme: Peoples’ Choice winners, virtual kart show winners, unique and one-of-a-kind karts, etc.  The 2022 theme is VKA tracks and Rolf has expanded his fund-raising efforts to include them.  Track supporters will get a full-page aerial photo and 10 free calendars.  Rolf hopes the 2022 calendar will be attractive to modern karters as well as vintage karters who use those tracks.

According to Rolf, “In the last five years, profits have gone to the non-profit to find a cure and help with FA-related expenses. Since 2017 vintage karters have raised nearly $13,600 from sales, advertising, and donations.  My goal for the 2022 Vintage Karting Calendar is to exceed $20,000 for the 5-year total contribution.” 

“I couldn’t be more grateful for all the support I’ve gotten from vintage karters.  Any support, large or small, is welcome.  Every dollar helps.  It could be the last one we need to find a cure,” according to Rolf.   

The 2022 Vintage Kart Calendar will go on sale in October.  Mailing is scheduled for early December … just in time for Christmas.  If you are interested, contact Rolf at

6th Annual East Coast Vintage Nationals –Oreville, PA

6th Annual East Coast Vintage Nationals –Oreville, PA

By Kurt Bogerman
Photos by Rolf Hill

Bruce Ristow was judged by Dick Teal to have the best restored Fox, a ’61 with a MC-90

On September 10 & 11, 2021 the Northeast Region VKA reconvened at the Oreville Speedway in Mertztown, PA for the 6th Annual EAST COAST VINTAGE KART NATIONALS. This event, though only two days in duration, had lofty aspirations. Not only was this event a regularly scheduled celebration of vintage karting, but it also coincided with INTERNATIONAL GO KART DAY. Additionally, this gathering also hosted a FOX KART REUNION, with Dick Teal, of Fox Karts fame, who graciously accepted the invitation to be our special guest. Finally, it was lost on no one that this weekend also marked 20 years since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

The gates officially opened on Friday at 10AM, though when I arrived “late”, at 10:05, there were quite a few canopies already erected. I was expecting the pits to be muddy, given the heavy rains that had passed through with Ida just a week before. I observed ducks swimming in the still-flooded front yard of a nearby farmhouse, yet the speedway property was, in fact, quite dry and solid underfoot. The track opened for practice at 12:00, and the afternoon was spent testing and tuning until 5pm. Of course,there was a lot of catching up to do with friends old and new. In particular,if you weren’t completely captivated by Dick Teal’s detailed observations and anecdotes, from his unique point of view,you just weren’t paying attention.

As we’ve done before, arrangements were made to meet in the evening at the local restaurant Florence Italian Grille. Per previous norms, we were expecting a core group of about a dozen. Our poor server… Inexplicably, we found ourselves pulling more tables and chairs together and our party eventually expanded to about 24 guests! These are tough times for understaffed restaurants, and this was a perfect storm. This woman -running mascara and all -maintained her pleasant composure -even as she was also responsible for a wedding party in another, different room! Recognizing that this was an untenable scenario, Natalie Bogerman and Ginny Hunter stepped in and assisted with such tasks as distributing menus and silverware, as well as directing traffic when food began to arrive. The food was great,and the conversations were excellent.

Karl Haydt spiced up the FOX display with this triple sporting MC-94s with dual carbs. That’s six carbs to adjust folks!

Unique among our Northeast events, with it usually reserved for Friday night, the first order of business on Saturday morning at Oreville wasthe Kart Show. This show was, for good reason, flush with Fox karts. I mean, Fox is always well represented in Vintage, but there was definitely an influx of Fox products for this Fox Reunion. Oreville Kart Club reportedly has a robust vintage racing class, and those regulars love Fox karts, too. Another perfect storm, but in a good way! In celebration of the Fox marque, Dick Teal was not just our Special Guest, but he was also asked to evaluate this field of Foxes to present awards for the “Best Restored” and “Best Modified” Fox karts. John Wolkiewicz, Sr., Chris Gruber and I were the judges for the regular array of Kart Show awards, and as a result, we were privileged to stand side by side with Dick Tealand hear his insight regarding the many nuances that he saw in each Fox kart that he inspected. Steering wheels, road wheels, brakes, the yellowing of clear seat piping over time, -the very thread used in the stitching of the upholstery -He took all of this into consideration as he evaluated each kart. His firsthand, original source expertise was incredible. Eventually Ginny Hunter’s Fox, with its West Bend 580was awarded “Best Restored”,and Carl Haydt’s Mercury powered Fox was awarded “Best Modified”.

After the Kart Show, it was time to get to the heats. First, though, we remembered those who were lost during andas a result of the 9/11 attacks,as we heard our National Anthem and observed a moment of silence for the fallen.

Mr. Fox Kart Dick Teal was on hand for the Fox Kart tribute.

The heats went off without incident! This track is short and fast, and this has led to a couple of hairy moments in years past. We were all very pleased with the good clean demonstrations of our vintage machinery and driving skill. Of course, the podium results will appear in a graphic somewhere nearby.

As always, I am grateful to the staff at Oreville Speedway. They have been professional and gracious in years past, and they seemed especially so this year. Alex Greenzweig and Kenny Denglermade sure to make us feel welcome, and the other staff members were quick to help in whatever ways they could. Thanks, too, to the folks who plan and negotiate and arrange these events, including Skip Owen, Karl Ginter, and Sal Palatucci. It was another (another!) great weekend of Vintage Karting Fun!

Show Results

Demo Results

Karl also won the Peoples Choice award with his Mercury outboard-powered FOX.
The East Coast is rear-engine country and the fields in the rear engine classes were robust.
Oreville is a challenging track with sections like this downhill sweeper that required plenty of body English from the rear competitors.