This year was our 13th annual vintage kart reunion and was another great event. We had 45 registered drivers, their pit crew (s) and many spectators. In the demonstration heats we had 54 entries in 11 individual classes.
Thursday July 28th was move in and practice day and like usual it rained pretty hard in the morning but as a group effort, when the sun came back out we had the track dried and populated with karts by 1:30 PM and a full afternoon of practice.
Friday July 29th was a full day and the weather was great with practice all morning and heat number 1 in the afternoon and finished by 3:00PM. Following a short break we had a fantastic kart show put on by Kurt and Natalie Bogerman that featured 50 entries. The breakdown was 16 Historic Rear (pre-1964), 22 Rear (1965 and newer), 10 Sidewinders and 2 Minibikes. The show was judged by Paul Hunter, John Phippen and Kurt Bogerman.
Following the show awards we did the 50-50 raffle and as an additional bonus, we also raffled off 10ea $50 gift certificates kindly donated by Red Line Oil who helped sponsor the event and provided us with the gift certificates as well as a couple “trick” banners and medallion lanyards.
After all that we finished the day with a pizza feast compliments GVKC.
Saturday we practiced in the morning, fantastic weather again and ran heats 2 and 3 after lunch. We only had one minor “mix-up” with no injuries and a very safe event. By 3:30PM we had a trophy call and people started packing up to leave. Another one in the books!!!
We would like to thank the VKA for re-imbursing us for the costs of the EMT as well as the entry fees for the junior racers.
Thanks to all who participated in the event as well as the track workers who did such a great job.
By James Kammueller Photos by Lori Biehl, Christy Miller, Don Roll and James Kammueller
It does get hot and humid in the Midwest and that was the case at the West Quincy TNT Kartway during the August 4 through 6, 2022 VKA Event with highs in the upper 80’s to low 90’s, few clouds and no rain during the entire 3-day event. There were 67 karts in attendance, and we also had a great turnout for the kart show that featured many beautiful karts. In all, 22 demonstration event classes were represented. Promoter Jeff Miles and crew, that included family members, did a great job of keeping the event on schedule and handling the numerous duties required both on scene, and behind the scene, at VKA events.
Thursday was a practice day. Friday featured morning practice, the driver’s meeting, tributes to two well-known former drivers who have left us, one heat event, the kart show and some great food including barbecued chicken wings, fried catfish and sunfish, baked beans, coleslaw and watermelon.
The first tribute was made by Guy Roberts. Guy and many of his family members were in attendance to pay tribute to Guy’s father-in-law Bill Bickers who was the first of four generations of kart racers in the family. The family shared a display of trophies and memorabilia from Bill’s career. In 1957 Bill got into karting while living near Chicago. By 1959 Bill had relocated to near Urbana, Illinois and had become a Go Kart 800 dealer and McCulloch engine builder. Bill was an accomplished driver who competed in a number of national championship race events. He took great pride in his engine building as his engines had, at times, beaten more notable builders at major race events. He was one of four people who brought karting to central Illinois by starting a small track called Bolling Green near Urbana. Bill took great pride in watching his grandsons and great grandson also enjoy success in karting before his passing in June of this year.
Next, TNT owner Terry Traeder paid tribute to race driver Rick Gifford who drove not only karts but also competed in various types of auto racing including late model stock cars, sprint cars and road racing. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s Rick won thirteen U.S Go Kart National Championships and in 1979 won the coveted Professional Karting Association Race in Medford, Oregon. After that Rick shifted to auto racing. He was ranked as the 32nd best all time driver in karting.
VKA driver Matt Morgeson showed his vocal talents by singing our National Anthem. Matt Krechel then drove a final tribute lap to Mr. Gifford, to the Garth Brooks song “The Dance”.
Saturday activities stayed on schedule with morning practice until 10:30 AM followed by heats 2 and 3 and the awards.
On June 26-28, 2022, we gathered at Nicholson Speedway in Chestertown, Maryland for the Fifth Annual VKA Vintage Karting Reunion. The turnout featured many familiar faces, in most cases seeing one another for the first time this season.
This event’s official schedule promised a three day format, offering test and tune on Thursday and demonstration Heat races on Friday and Saturday.
Thursday brought with it numerous early arrivals, eager to get on the track and get down to optimizing their engine and chassis tuning. Frankly, I found myself simply struggling to keep mufflers and carburetors attached by all of their intended fasteners. (For Heaven’s sake, I use a torque wrench! Such issues should not plague me!) We definitely got all of the track time one could ask for. At the end of the day, we cleaned ourselves up and regrouped for dinner at Harbor Shack, a local Chesapeake Bay waterfront restaurant. As usual, the food was excellent and our group enjoyed each other’s company and camaraderie.
Friday’s weather forecast had become an elephant in the room several days earlier, and offered the possibility of thunderstorms and heavy rain throughout the day. Several of us gathered in the timing tower, and, armed with up-to-date radar weather maps predicting downpours, we decided to continue practice throughout the day, planning for demonstration Heats on Saturday. As it turned out, the predicted squalls held off until mid-afternoon, as we were cleaning up and looking forward to dinner. The weather system brought high winds and heavy rain. Anchored to some heavy disc brake rotors, my canopy stayed put, but some of the frame connections and rivets were torn and twisted. It was no vintage canopy, and is easily replaceable. I didn’t hear of any more serious damage, so we’ll count our blessings. At the end of the day, once again, dinner and drinks were enjoyed at Harbor Shack.
Saturday, as planned, was “Track Day”, but putting first things first…we had a Kart Show to put on. This weekend’s Kart Show featured 22 entries, including a fine variety of machinery ranging from some very well-restored Rears to some very original, unrestored Sidewinders. Skip Owen, Bruce Ristow, and I judged the show. While trying to be conscious of our time constraints, we had a lot to consider when picking out the “Best” in any category. That said, I’m always impressed by the enthusiasm with which the People’s Choice “Best in Show” ballots are cast! After wrapping up the Kart Show, we rotated through a few sessions of test and tune, and then we got right into the Demonstration Heats. The entries were consolidated into eight groups. With the exception of a brief downpour which evaporated off of the boiling hot pavement in no time at all, we were spared any further aggression from Mother Nature. All three Heats were completed by mid afternoon.
I believe we owe this event’s success to the enthusiasm and interest of the Nicholson Speedway staff and club members who assist on site, and to a kind of grass roots initiative amongst the VKA members themselves, all of whom worked together to keep the event on schedule and running right. While, with the modified schedule, it wasn’t a perfectly conventional event, I think I can say that we all had a blast. Nicholson Speedway clearly supports Vintage Karting, and they’ve made clear, by their words and actions, that we are welcome to enjoy their facility and their hospitality.
Next stop: Lafayette Motorsports Park, June 24 & 25, 2022. Be there or be square.
Hosted by: Mid-State Kart Club, Springfield, Illinois
By Ken Wooldridge Photos by Christy Miller
The Midstate VKA event was held Thursday 5/19/22 Thru Saturday 5/21. Thursday was open practice and was a great day with 65 entries at the track.
Friday we had a total of 78 entries and ran 2 heat races with a outstanding group of VKA drivers. The weather forecast and fuel prices seemed to hold back some from attending.
Jon Clem (Midstate Kart Club president) and his staff did an outstanding job as usual at this outstanding facility and track. VKA is very fortunate to have this great facility on its schedule every year. I also want to thank Christy Miller for all her hard work doing the photos for this event. Christy does an outstanding job for us!
We held the kart show shortly after the 2nd heat race with a great group of vintage karts.
Friday evening, we had a free barbecue dinner thanks to Doug Sharp, The Nagel family, and Dudley Fleck sponsoring the food. Jesse James furnished the beverages. I also want to thank Jon Clem for doing all the leg work for the dinner, the Curry family and the other folks that helped serve the dinner. This was one of the best VKA dinners I can remember!
Friday during the dinner we also had a raffle drawing on the HPV motor donated by Gil and Danny Birge. Dave Doogan was the lucky winner of the motor! Darin Birge (Gil’s Grandson) also donated several tools that were drawn for after the motor. I can’t thank Gil, Danny, and Darin enough for the donations!
Rain set in late Friday night and continue into Saturday. Unfortunately, I had to call the event early Saturday. We had a small break in the rain around 9AM Saturday and held the award ceremony based on the two heats ran Friday. Jon Clem also has tremendous giveaways of tools, etc., that is give away prizes for each entry at the awards. This is an outstanding VKA event, and I hope more of you can make it next year!
Lamar County Speedway, Barnesville, GA 4/7/22 thru 4/9/22
By Bob Barthelemy Photos By Leah Bennett
The vintage karters started rolling into the Lamar County Speedway Wednesday morning and continued throughout the afternoon. A monsoon type downpour started around 5:00 pm and continued throughout the evening. We prepared for the inevitable track drying activity for Thursday morning.
With wet/dry vacuums, blowers, and other hand tools we were able to get the track dry and ready for practice by 9:15 Thursday morning. By the way, the weather was beautiful for the remainder of the weekend activities. As many more vintage karters arrived and completed registration, and track-drying activity was happening, Tommy Hinson, and I (Bob Barthelemy) completed the safety tech inspection of all in attendance. The track was opened for practice just before 10:00 am and continued through 12:30 as we shut down for a lunch break. The Firehouse Cafe again provided a good variety of excellent food for the event. We opened the track for afternoon practice by group with Juniors, Senior Rears, Senior Sidewinders, and Duals practicing in their respective groups. This helped to keep the practice sessions safe with like speed karts on the track at all times. The junior drivers (5 entries) were then allotted a (10) minute practice session followed again by the senior groups. We repeated this order throughout the day and closed the track for practice at 5:30 pm. I am very encouraged that the VKA has agreed to sponsor the junior drivers with a reimbursed entry fee to the promoters (the junior drivers are responsible for their wrist band and meal ticket fees, the VKA reimburses the promoters for the difference).
Friday, we opened the track at 9:00 am and resumed practice with the same groups that ran Thursday afternoon. Friday was another beautiful day with temps in the low to mid-eighties, similar to Thursday. After lunch, we called all drivers and pit crews to the drivers meeting congratulating the drivers on their respectful driving during all practice sessions and encourage them to do so during the demonstration heats as well, emphasizing safety-safety-safety! We also recognized a long time karter, Bill Jackson, whose favorite track is Barnesville. As many of you know, Bill has been fighting cancer over the past few years and has an awesome testimony of how God has been with him all the way. We dedicated the sweeping 180 degree turn coming on to the front straight away as the Jackson Sweeper. We mounted signs on both sides of the fence and presented one to Bill to take home. Needless to say it was an emotional time. Aubrey McClellan lead us in the national anthem Todd Shearin lead us in prayer prior to starting the heat/ demonstration events. Pastor Todd also called the track activities on the PA system throughout the weekend, making it even more exciting for the spectators and fans. We had 19 VKA classes represented and by grouping some of the classes together we were able to run all classes in 12 groups. We completed two heat demonstrations Friday afternoon and by 5:45 pm then enjoyed a delicious heavy orders meal provided by Glen & Vicki Forsyth (Firehouse Cafe) & GSKA to the vintage karters and crew members.
Bill Stocksdale and his team of judges; Tony Severino, and Al Hasenfratz got the kart show judging activity going at 9:00 am Saturday morning on the front straight at the start/finish line. Fair showing of 14 karts entered in the show, and these were some beautiful machines. The Kart Show awards were presented a little after 10:00. We held a 50/50 raffle collecting $1200 ($600 to the winner Chris Hagan and $600 to the VKA. Gay Wlodarsky also conducted a $50 ticket 50/50 raffle and raised an additional $350. We recognized a couple legends of karting Dicky Wilson and Lake Speed and also provided a furthest traveled award to Colm Bryan O’Higgins from Ontario, Canada. The track was then opened for 30 minutes of practice. We called a quick drivers meeting, prayed, we started the third round of heat races by 11:00 am. We completed the third round of heat races before 1:00 pm., then presented the awards for the demonstrations and finished by 2:30 p.m