TAYLOR, Mo. — The 22nd Annual Vintage Olympics and 62nd Anniversary of TNT Kartways was held August 3-5 and was an incredible and fun event for all. 107 entries from 12 states and 1 international driver from Canada had a great time on the smooth TNT track.
Four officials from VKA attended the event, President-John Copeland, Regional Coordinator and Board Member-Bill McCornack, Dee Curts-Membership Director and Jim Kammueller-Secretary. President Copeland did a stellar job with the 50/50 drawing and raised a historic $900+ for VKA.
Thursday was open practice all day with beautiful weather in mid 80’s. Ronnie Emmick and Vince Puleo circulated through the pits all day, talking to everyone at the track and even taking a few laps around the historic TNT track.
A reception at an establishment away from the track was held on Thursday evening. Ronnie Emmick and Vince Puleo related stories about Emmick Enterprises and Gary and Linda Emmick. Many important events in Emmick history were made at TNT. Ronnie won his first national title in 1973 as a Junior at TNT. The founder of Vintage Indy, Mike Lashmett also spoke about how important karting was to the development of driving talent for most Indy car drivers. A large crowd was in attendance and everyone had a very enjoyable evening. A special presentation was made to the Emmick family, Gary, Linda and Ronnie as they received one of Karing’s most rare trophies, “The Gussie”, named after Gus Traeder. They received Gussie #47.
On Friday, each of the 19 classes ran 2 heats with a lot of good competition.
After the heat races, the vintage kart show was held with 29 entries. There were some very amazing and unique winners including one of the first two Speedway karts produced by Gary Emmick and owned by Stan Long of Canton, MO, a good friend of Gary Emmick. Doug Sharp recreated a Emmick kart with ground effects and water cooled motor like those that were run in the early 80’s during the Professional Karting Association(PKA) races.
After the kart show, a complimentary meal was served to everyone with some delicious pulled pork, chicken and all the sides. Free Beer was provided by Dudley Fleck of Iowa Beverage, a longtime karting driver and a participant in this year’s race.
On Saturday all classes ran the third heat, points were tallied and awards given to the top three in each class. Everyone was loading by 2 pm.
Big thanks go to Jeff Miles-TNT track manager for having the TNT facility in beautiful shape. You felt like you were at a Formula 1 race the way TNT looked.
Thanks also go to Jim Berry-Vintage Motorsports, Doug Sharp-Vintage Museum, Scott Nagel, Russ Warr, Mark Twain Casino, Rusty William-The Revelry and to all the competitors who attended this year’s event.
Big plans are in the works for next year and hope that everyone puts the TNT date on their calendar as a can’t miss event. You won’t be disappointed.
– Terry Traeder, President