The 2021 15th Annual GSKA VKA Vintage Kart Winter Nationals

The 2021 15th Annual GSKA VKA Vintage Kart Winter Nationals

@ Lamar County Speedway Barnesville, Ga.
3/25/21 thru 3/27/21

By Bob Barthelemy
Photos by Don Roll & Forest Bass

The weather was beautiful all day Thursday with temperatures in the mid 70’s.  Dicky Wilson and Eric McMillian started the safety tech inspections Wednesday, as many arrived early to get their pit spots set up, and continued throughout the day Thursday.  Thank you to the GSKA workers and the entire GSKA team for a well-run event!  I also want to thank Todd Shearin for making it exciting calling the races and a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem Saturday.  Also, thank you to Aubree McClellan for leading us in the National Anthem Friday.  A special thanks to Eric McMillian for his help throughout the weekend.  Thank you to all the Vintage Karters with 89 entries participating at this event.

Jerry Nagle was the only entry in C-Open Sidewinder, but gave the BM130s a workout anyway.

After a round of safety tech inspections Thursday morning, the track was opened for open practice at 9:30.  We started with open practice for all senior drivers (40 minute session with a max of 10 karts on the track at a time). The junior drivers (9 entries) were then allotted a (10) minute practice session followed again by the senior drivers.  We repeated this order throughout the day and closed the track for practice at 5:30 pm.  I am very encouraged by the number of entries in the junior class as they represent the future of our sport.

Friday morning rain was forecasted and they were correct.  From 8:00 to 9:30 it was a torrential downpour followed by steady drizzle till 2:00 pm.  We worked over an hour to get the track dry with a shop vacuum and several blowers. After getting the track reasonably dry, we opened it for practice (approx. 45 minutes) to ensure the track was dry enough for competitive action.  We then conducted our driver’s meeting including a brief devotional recognizing Mike Adkins, Pearle Gamble, and Lou Smiley who all passed since December of 2020.  We were able to get the first heat races started by 4:00 pm.  We had 20 classes represented and by grouping some of the classes together we were able to run all classes in 13 groups.  We completed all but a few of our 1st heats when light rain delayed the program again.  We called a quick drivers meeting on the grid asking the drivers if they want to dry the track and continue with most of the 2nd round of demonstration heat races under the lights or shut down for the day and pick-up on Saturday.  The overwhelming majority wanted to continue into the night so we dried the track again and did just that.  All heat races went smoothly. We completed all of the 2nd heat races for the day about 9:00 pm and proceeded with the banquet.

Yamaha Masters (over 60) lining up for the green.

We all enjoyed a great finger food buffet prepared and served by Vicki & Glenn Forsyth in the concession/registration building and pavilion area.  In honor of Mike Adkins, Pearle Gamble, and Lou Smiley, Bob Barthelemy acknowledged that “In memory of” plaques will be placed on the walls of the concession building.

Romero Llamas and his team of judges got the kart show judging activity going at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning on the front straight.  The Kart Show awards were presented a little after 10:00.  We recognized Pete Lotz as the furthest traveled and awarded the plaque to him (Belgium, Wisconsin).  We then conducted the 50/50 raffle presenting several GSKA & VKA T-shirts and calendars.  The big money winner was Steve Mox, who graciously donated half of his winnings back to the VKA. David Luciani headed up the sale of 50/50 raffle tickets ($1220.00) a record high for our event.  We then opened the track for 30 minutes of practice.  We called a quick drivers meeting, prayed, and Todd Shearin sang the National Anthem and we started the third round of heat races before lunch.  We completed the third round of heat races before 2:00 pm., then presented the awards for the demonstrations and finished by 3:00 p.m. 

Great show participation with outstanding karts. Individual show coverage and photos will be posted shortly.

Kart Show Results

Unrestored: Aubree McClellan 1968 Margay New Breed
Restored: Rob Rizzuto 1961 Dart Mac 91B

Unrestored: David Luciani 1960 Go Kart 800 West Bend 820
Restored: John McMullen 1961 Percival Hellcat SL
Modified: Kevin Rice 1961 Fox West Bend 820

Unrestored: Rick Williams 1987 Coyote Bullet
Restored: David Brock 1978 Hartman
Modified: Dustin Merritt 1987 Invader

Past Champion:    

People’s Choice: Bill Shelly 1975 Blackhawk

Yamaha Masters started to spread out through turn 1 with Rick Williams leading and Marty Weston in pursuit.
It was good to see WKA Sprint legend Joey Lunati (#2) at Barnesville. Joey was the only entry in 150cc Classic – come on Haddock, he needs some competition. At one time Joey had about 75 Macs in his attic…
A swarm of Yamahas take the green flag in one of the many Yamaha heat races.
Cale Boarman from Owensboro, KY gets crossed-up but his aggressive driving style took him to victory, sweeping all three heats in the Junior Class.
Trevor Lotz negotiating the Wilson Twister on his #19 SAE to a win in the Rear 6.1 class.
Bowen Carlock leads a huge pack of Yamaha Limiteds on his way to winning the Limited class victory.
Aubree McClellan showing perfect form in her Mac49 ’68 Margay New Breed. She also won Best Historic Unrestored class in the kart show.
#41 Stuart Keller, #177 Brandon McMillian and Dustin Merritt#112 in Yamaha Limited navigating the Wilson Twister.
Rear 8.2 Mark & Autumn Nagel and Bill Winegarden followed Rear 6.1 Sean Kavanagh and Trevor Lotz (out of photo).
Mark Green from China Grove, NC in his Yamaha Limited pursued by Bowen Carlock.
Rick Gilmore gets loose in his 8.2 sidewinder.
Aiden Riley power sliding through turn #1 finished third overall in the Junior Class.
Sportsman Rear groups A&B led by Tony Severino into the Wilson Twister.
Tony Severino leads Robert Rizzuto in Sportsman Rear through turn #1.
Jamey Stropko from College Station, OH, finished 2nd in the Junior Class.
Mark Green’s Yamaha Dual finished 2nd to Gary Combs, but is hard to ignore in day-glow colors.
A pair of 100cc Classics with Sean Collins on pole and six Yamaha Limiteds led by Steve Lofton come down to take the flag.
Jerry and Mark Nagel in Rear C-Open doing battle. Jerry kept the lead for the win.
Had to show you Jimmy Gay (AKA Chicken Man) from Hoschton, GA, in his Historic entry. Driving attire put a smile on everyone’s face!