Chestertown Summary

Chestertown Summary

By Rolf Hill

After covering New Castle (without a kart), I was glad to get back on the track.  Nicholson is close enough so I could commute each day.  It’s an easy drive over the iconic Chesapeake Bay Bridge … when there aren’t any jumpers like last year.

It was a small but enthusiastic crowd.  Classes were combined into five groups.  As with New Castle, the weather was “iffy” for Saturday.  A good decision was made to adjust the schedule to allow two Heats to be run on Friday. 

As is customary at VKA events in the NE, the participants gathered at a local restaurant to enjoy Maryland crabs and other seafood.  The gathering was organized by the track manager, Joe Weisner, at the iconic Harbor Shack in Rock Hall.  It is on the water and was a fun time for all.  All 24 people enjoyed the seafood menu and socializing that is always plentiful when vintage karts start bench racing. 

The Nicholson staff provided seamless flow of both Heats followed by a very well attended Kart Show.  The Show was organized and managed by Natalie and Kurt Bogerman with assistance from judges John Wolkiewicz, Sr. and Bruce Ristow.  

CHESTERTOWN Demonstration Heat Results

13th Annual New Castle Super Nationals

13th Annual New Castle Super Nationals

By Jeff & Sherri Brown 
Photos By Rolf Hill, Don Roll, Tony Cassata & Deo Curts

Newcastle, IN-  If you drove past the Newcastle Motorsports Park (NCMP) June 17 -19 you would have seen a sea of multi-colored canopies filling the pits for the 13th Annual Vintage Thunder event.  Over 168 vintage karter entries were part of this historic turnout for the three-day event! 

Dual Yamaha is exploding in popularity, and New Castle is the perfect place for them. Here Jim Ryder #31 leads a couple of Yammi Duals to the flag.

The event was a huge success and included many activities for karters, pit crew, spectators, and guests.  Thursday evening provided everyone an opportunity to socialize at a “meet and greet” social hour we provided, along with the employees and staff of NCMP. 

Friday was a full day.  Sunny skies and robust breeze made for a perfect day.  Practice and demonstration Heats were spectacular and provided endless thrills for the drivers and spectators alike.  Due to the threat of rain on Saturday, the schedule was adjusted to include two Heats on Friday.  This necessitated moving the ever-popular Kart Show to Saturday morning, leaving time for a fabulous fried chicken dinner with all the fixin’s for over 200 hungry fans in the track restaurant. 

Honored guests, Don Freber from Margay, Terry Traeder from Quincy (TNT), and Bill Jackson from North Carolina all received Vintage Hall of Fame awards.  The chant of USA…USA could be heard, loud and clear.  Old Glory Flag was present at the highest peak. 

Romero Llamas brought out his beautiful Rathman and showed us that vintage karts are to be driven…

Peoples’ Choice of Rocky Buff … complete with tire temperature sensors! 

They say, “patience is a virtue.”  How true for those who stuck around.  The rain stopped and the track was dry by 11AM.  Heat 3 came off without a hitch.  The final results, in many cases, depended on the outcome of Heat 3 … which, of course, made for some exciting demonstrations. 

Romero then put an exclamation point on his implied statement when he slid it off the track. No problem! Dragged it back on and dusted it off!

One more positive of this event … most everyone, including those at the trophy presentation, were on-the-road by 3PM … great for those with 5+ hour trip home.  Thanks to all who came to “the greatest spectacle in vintage karting,” especially the Dismore crew.  Hope to see you all soon.  God bless you all.

New Castle Kart Show Results

The threat of rain necessitated an adjustment to the schedule on Friday.  Instead of one Heat, two Heats were run.  Despite the warm weather, the “snowball-effect” required the need to move the Kart Show to Saturday morning.  Even with the horrendous, canopy destroying storm Friday night, the show was held inside the spacious café. 

P.S.  Thanks to “Mrs. Rocky Buff” for taking the “Class Picture” out on the track.

New Castle Demonstration Heat Results

Robert Cain’s Lil Indian with a PowerBee 700 won best Mini Bike.
What can you say about Randy Gryczkowski’s ’78 Shiffert Enduro with Hartman Water Bombs except AMAZING! Randy deservedly won the endure class.
The karting “brain trust”, Mike Giessen, Lake Speed and Lynn Haddock pondering the shape of an exhaust system.
Matt Hays (driver), Ferico Rotella (builder of the Fedvader Invader reproduction chassis) and Brent Hays (Matt’s dad)
Rocky and Debbie Buff’s ’87 Corsa Swiss Hutless was the Peop;es’ Choice, and it powered Logan Adams to 2nd in 150cc Sidewinder on the track.
Nick Kammueller showed his Past Champion in Sidewinder. It is a 1977 Panther X with a MC-91b1 motor.
James Kammueller grabbed the Modified award in Sidewinder with his MC-91b1-powered 1975 Invader.
Gordon Juhasz’s ’67 Dart with dual WB-820s was the Past Champion in the Rear category.
Jack Murray’s MC-30-powered 1963 Percival was awarded best Restored entry in the Historic category.
Romero Llamas not only drove the wheels off of his MC-9-powered 1960 Rathman Exterminator, he won the Unrestored class in the Historic category.
Kirt Bennett’s (manufacturer of the Mac connecting rods) daughter, Kory in her Sportsman Sidewinder ready to go.
Jeff and Mark Brown’s C/Open barely turned a wheel at this years event. The usual C/Open gremlins kept it off the grid, and the Browns were just too busy running the event to work things out.
Dual rear was hotly contested with Jerry Nagel taking the top spot, Rusty Ferguson 2nd and Scott Nagel third
Yamaha Piston Port was well attended too. Mike Giessen #68 led it off with Steve Curts also #68, Howard Combee #11, Rodney Fish #00, Pete Vetter #23, Dale Dennis #4 and Ron Funkhouser #3.
If you can’t find someplace to pass at New Castle, you’re not trying. Here some 100cc Sidewinders head into the great expanse that is New Castle.
17 Yamaha Limiteds showed up at New Castle for some great racing. Fixed rules are stabilizing this class.
Dve Doogan #67 and Hal Orndorff duke it out in 150 Sidewinder. The action was hot and heavy throughout the pack.
The 150 Sidewinder demo races were some of the best of the event with extremely fast times and close finishes. Here’s the start for one of the heats.
Brian Hannon’s first trip to New Castle was a smashing success except for a little bout with the stomach flu. Regardless his dual K35-powered Hartman won the Dual Sidewinder Unlimited class and as you can see, he was running them plenty safe!
Lake Speed at speed. Lake showed all of the Dual Sidewinders how it was done (AGAIN!) by not only winning the class, but by being a full second faster than his next competitor. Very impressive!
The first heat in Dual Sidewinder saw Lake Speed taking off in the lead, Richard Swantek in second, and Brian Hannon’s “Unlimited” in third.
First lap traffic in Yamaha Masters was a challenge.
Yamaha Masters Over 60 start was impressive with 16 karts!
Over 60 Masters is growing. Here they get off to a clean start with Jerry Nagel and Steve Mox leading the pack.
Lining up Sportsman Sidewinders for the start.
Open practice can be interesting. Here a couple of Historics roll into the corner with a sidewinder.
New Castle boasted 170 entries this year. Here are most of the lucky karters that got to attend.
Don Freber from Margay was on hand to give a talk on the history of Margay. Margay made a big impact on karting through the years, and Don has a wealth of information about Margay’s development. Standing to his right was event promoter Jeff Brown who put on an incredible event.
Sportsman Sidewinder was well represented with 12 entries. ¬Here Hasen Fratz #85, Dean Didion #62, Mark Green #2, Vern Bergman #58, Guy Roberts #4, Brian Giessen #68 and Kevin Rice #7 line up for the start.
Here Kamran Jobe #7 and Ben Nagle #32 demonstrate how hot the action was in Juniors.
John Gillman’s dual West Bend Historic was runing good and quite a blast from the past.
100CC Sidewinder start with Dennis Crose on pole, Pete Vetter outside, Austin Alvarado #14, Kyle Sauder #41 and Danny Conway #741 just entering the photo.
No I.D. on this dual rear, but this SAE and the Don Roll photo were too good to leave out.
More heat in the 150 Sidewinder class – Craig Bennett #3 and Garrett Adams in Team Swantek’s single.
Scott Nagel had a good New Castle driving the Steve Jaimison-tuned Dual Sidewinder. He ended up in third behind Speed and Combee.
Jeff O’Hare drove this hard-charging Dual Yamaha (A) in a field of six entries.
We need to ask Jerry Nagel if he likes driving his Dual Rear SAE or his Dual Sidewinder better. I’m guessing the answer will be “BOTH”!
Mike Giessen’s second trophy of the weekend came in Dual Yamaha. Team Haddock had the twin running and handling to perfection.
Howard Combee’s 2nd – place finish behind Lake Speed was a cooperative effort with Richard Swantek driving the first heat before turning the reigns over to Howard. The incredible Swantek Brothers “Goldfinger” is an outstanding piece or workmanship.
Rick Gilmore is a regular at New Castle. This year he ran his single in 150cc Sidewinder.
Dean Didion’s Sportsman Sidewinder looks from the rear as not having enough parts to run. Class was popular with 10 entries.
Brian Hannon towed all the way from the Northwest with 3 karts, 2 vintage “Unlimiteds” and a dual Yamaha. Here teammate Doug Waterman wheels one of the twin K35-powered Hartmans
. He finished behind Brian in the final standings.
The number of truly outstanding restored karts competing in the demo heats was impressive, well Illustrated by this rear-engined entry in lime paint.
Howard Combee drove for the Swantek brothers from SoCal. Here he wheels the team’s SR-16 Margay in Yamaha Piston Port.
Drafting at New Castle “is” a thing – especially in Yamaha Limited. Here Dusty Merritt leads the train.
Perennial C/Open competitor Daniel Birge (left) had a great New Castle event. Mark Story another C/Open guy didn’t get his rig together in time, so gave Daniel a helping hand.
The demo heats were hotly contested at New Castle. None more so than 150cc Open as illustrated by this fierce battle between Haddock’s Mike Geissen and Dismore grandson Logan Adams in Rocky Buff’s “loaner”.
Young Cale Boarman drives his Yamaha-powered sidewinder like he’s auditioning for the Fast & Furious drifters.
Rusty Ferguson is seen here exercising Team Haddock’s ’66 Big J Lancer, Wide Rear GT by Rupp powered by a pair of Mac 101s. Five Dual Rears competed.
Photographer Don Roll caught this unicorn photo of someone (Combee) in front of Lake Speed in Dual Sidewinder. It was a just a mirage as Speed went on to dominate the class.
Junior start. These kids drive with enthusiasm and aggression.
New Castle is long and fast, but it didn’t intimidate this group of Juniors.
Historic Class start with Billy Dalton #15, Romero Llamas, Kevin Rice #6, and John Stultz #9 taking the flag.
Vintage Enduro Racers Participate in Historic Event

Vintage Enduro Racers Participate in Historic Event

Dart Kart Club Brings Biggest Enduro Event in Decades to Mid Ohio

By VKA Enduro Director John Copeland

VKA banner welcomes Vintage Enduro racers to Mid Ohio

“Road racing’s dead” they say. “Nobody goes enduro racing anymore” they say. Well, tell that to the hundreds of Enduro Racing enthusiasts that flocked to iconic Mid-Ohio Sports Car course in mid June for the largest gathering of big-track karters in decades. There were, in total, 942 entries. That’s right, 942. These are numbers that haven’t been seen in more than 2 decades at any track; not even Daytona. The question on everyone’s lips was “Why?” “Why here?”  ”Why now?” It’s likely a combination of factors: pent-up demand, creative promotion, collaboration between sanctioning bodies AKRA, WKA, KART, and CES. In the vernacular of the 60’s, this wasn’t just an event, it was a HAPPENING. Racers came from California, from Massachusetts, from Georgia, and from Oregon.

And while Vintage Karters made up only a small part of the enormous entry list, it was a wonderful opportunity to share our passion with many “modern” karters who had never seen a Vintage Enduro kart. And it was a chance to show that you don’t need fancy bodywork to be fast. In fact, in several races the Vintage Karts either led or were the outright winners.

John Konkle’s Hornet/K78 Vintage Open

Rain cancelled most of the practice time on Friday, but it stopped and the track dried in time for each practice group to get in a full session before the end of the day. Classes (and there were a lot of them) were grouped into 7 race groups each day, but only 4 practice groups, so there were A LOT of karts on the track at any given time. Rain returned Saturday morning but, by afternoon, the track was drying and racing began. The compressed schedule meant that races were shortened to fit the remaining time on Saturday. But Sunday was clear and comfortable all day and the races ran their full scheduled distances.

A quick shout-out to the folks from Dart Kart Club and the dozens of ordinary karters and their families who volunteered to get this event done. They did an incredible job. An event like this is powered by PEOPLE. From getting the crowd into the paddock (and the campgrounds, and the roads into the paddock), to registration, to the grid, to the scales, Dart Kart, one of the oldest Road Racing clubs in karting, outdid themselves. Well Done, one and all.

The first Vintage Class to grid Saturday was Vintage Piston Port, with 10 entries. With a total of 8 classes on the track at once, there was always someone to race with. Perennial front-runner Ben Eberhart blasted into the lead at the start and never looked back. Eberhart ended up turning the fastest lap of the race, a few tenths quicker than Makena Rice in a TaG kart. Other than Rice, no one else was within 3 seconds a lap of Eberhart. Woodbridge Kart Club stalwart Art McKinney was 2nd in Vintage Piston Port, followed by William Anderson. Unfortunately a red-flag incident involving vintage racer Herb Dickel, Jr. ended the race a bit early. Dickel suffered minor injuries, but his kart took the brunt of the damage.

Fred Stoll in Vintage Open

Eberhart was back for the much-anticipated “Battle of the Twins” B-Stock race. He was 1 of only 3 Vintage Twins sharing the track with 15 of the best full-bodied B-Stockers in the country. Imagine the surprise along the pit wall when, at the end of the first lap, it was Eberhart, in his unbodied, twin LMR Vintage kart that led the field of modern B-Stocks. Eberhart battled with B-Stock ace Tom O’Reilly until contact with a slower kart put Eberhart out. Eberhart’s departure put Mike Schlager’s twin-B-Bomb Dart Mean machine into the lead. Schlager’s kart, with it’s overhead pipes and Goodyear Blue Streak tires (where does he get those??) always puts on a great show. Unfortunately, a lap after Eberhart’s departure, one of Schlager’s engines called it quits, handing the win to Tom Tretow.

While the twins were in the spotlight in race 5, Vintage Open was also racing. Fred Stoll was the class of the Vintage field, lapping in the 1:47’s. In a field of 59 karts that included B-Stock, 100cc Controlled, Open Sprint, TaG Enduro, and Vintage Twin, Stoll finished 14th OVERALL. Arthur McKinney ran 2nd early, but dropped out, handing the position to Terry Armstrong, a lap down at the finish. Tony Ellison claimed 3rd.

Sunday’s Vintage Piston Port saw the same cast of characters as Saturday’s race, and with the same results. Eberhart led from flag to flag and was, incredibly, almost a second faster than he was Saturday. Arthur McKinney was also quicker than the day before and beat William Anderson by 2.7 seconds for the runner-up spot. Anderson ran toe-to-toe with Fred Stoll, nipping him by less than 3 tenths of a second for 3rd.

Greg Hartley mixes it up with a couple of CIK Yamaha Sprints

The final Vintage race of the weekend was Sunday’s Vintage Open event.  This one was a battle of attrition with Ben Eberhart running off into the distance before mechanical woes sidelined him at about half distance. By then Don Axe and John Konkle had already retired and Terry Armstrong took the lead. Armstrong’s day ended 5 laps later but, as the last man standing, he took the win, followed by Eberhart and Axe.

In total there were 36 Vintage Enduro entries. The weekend was a reminder of how enduro racing used to be, and how it can be again, if everyone just works together to help grow this important part of the karting scene. There are several more Road Race events in the coming months that will welcome Vintage Enduro racers. And the promoters at Pittsburgh Motorsports Complex are already talking about breaking 1000 entries at their event in September. So dust off those Vintage lay-downs and come join us.

Arthur McKinney checks his stable of Vintage Elite karts
Ben Eberhart leads B-Stock
William Anderson, Vintage Piston Port
Darryl Bertram in Vintage Piston Port
Chuck Brewer (331) and Herb Dickel, Jr. (108) wait on the grid
Vintage Piston Port lined up and ready to go
William Anderson, Vintage Piston Port


By Ken Wooldridge
Photos by Christy Miller

Springfield VKA event had a great turnout with 74 entries. Thursday practice day was with a great turnout and weather!Friday was great weather again and with the threat of rain Saturday I had the VKA participants vote on whether they wanted to do all heats, kart show, and awards Friday. That was the overwhelming consensus.We had 12 races with plenty of breaks and time between heats and final. We had the pizza dinner after finals were completed around 7:30PM and was a great success. Kart show was during dinner with the awards passed out after the heat/finals awards were given.Everyone seemed very pleased with the event and a great time was had by all! Thanks to the outstanding job Jon Clem and the entire Midstate Kart Club crew did during the entire event.

Dual Rear start with Jerry Nagle #77, Shawn Welte #6 and Mark Andermann #4
Yamaha Limited had an unusually small but competitive field. Ron Funkhouser #3 and Michael Day #13 bring them to the green flag.
More Yamaha Limited action with Amy Scoggins leading eventual winner, Ron Funkhouser.
Jerry Nagle once again won C/Open, but was chased by Daniel Birge and the very competitive dual 4-stroke entry of Nathan Hamilton.
You needed to see this close-up shot of Birge being stalked by Hamilton’s wild creation. It was well driven, but still fast enough to stay in touch with the 2-strokes.
Sportsman SW had a great turnout with Marty Westen #4 taking the win.
Here’s some more Sportsman SW action with Bill McCornack #6 tuning followed by Nick Kammueller.
There were two karts in Single 4-cycle. Here Aaron Kruger leads eventual winner Nathan Hamilton.
100cc SW had five entries. Here eventual winner Matt Morgeson #5 leads Dave Doogan #67 , Jim Rowe #75 and Dean Didiou #03 ot the green flag.
Phil Warlow’s 100cc SW entry ended 6th, but is an awesome piece with it’s 100cc rotary power.
West Bend SW had a good turnout. Here John Konkle #16, leads Mark Gustafson #21 and Randy Duncalf #63.
Yamaha Heavy was fiercely contested with seven entries. Lorenzo Marco #55 brings Jim Howe #75, Gene Lang #632, Dan Bucher #8, Steve Wagner #55, eventual winner Denny Scott #9 and Davey Fisher #14 down for the start
Yamaha Piston Port start led by Rodney Fish #00, Don Axe #79, Cameron Stock #6, Steve Curts #68 and way in the back, Ron Funkhouser who placed first.
LaFayette VKA Northeast Spring Nationals

LaFayette VKA Northeast Spring Nationals

By Rolf Hill
Photos by Stephen Parker Jr., Michael Hofmeister & Rolf Hill

What a great way to kick off the Northeast VKA season. Great weather (thanks to the gentle breeze) and no rain, great friends and hosts, great karts, great demonstrations and show and … a great track. We had 38 great contenders on and off the track and quite a few wives and pit crew … and a “stray” dog or two.

Kart Show Rear-Engine line up

Right up front I must say the attendance was not what we expected. But these are difficult times for all of us. As we might all suspect, the COVID virus kept some away. Hotel restrictions were still in place … masks, social distancing, fist-bumps, etc. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

Weeks before the event, TWO local universities CHANGED their graduation dates back two weeks and they ended up on our race date. The track had reserved a block of rooms at a reasonable rate, but all the local hotels raised their rates, and the track hotel did as well. It’s a cutthroat business.

The third factor, I feel, was the uncertainty of the availability of gas in the Northeast. The shutdown of the Colonial pipeline the week before the event affected many of us in the Northeast. I, for one, witnessed lines, fuel shortage and price gouging. When I was able to get gas, I filled-up (at $3 plus) and that car sat in the driveway. Then the question for me, and I’m sure others, was, I may be able to get there, but will I be able to get home? The answer was just not known. I considered not going.

Quite frankly, between COVID, room rates and gas uncertainty, it is a wonder we had 38 entries. But if they are like me, I’m glad I went. It was a great “opening day” for vintage karting in the Northeast.

Now, back to the event … although the schedule showed one Heat on Friday and two on Saturday, the track and the contenders decided to run two Heats on Friday. We had plenty of time for a kart show, local wine and cheese tasting and a fabulous dinner with all the fixin’s. Ya know, they make some good stuff in the Northeast. Just sayin’. (Sorry Jim.)

One Heat on Saturday worked out great for many of us with a 5+ hour drive home. We got out in time to get home before the sun went down. We loved it.

Diego and Sebastian going at it hard!

On the track there were no major incidents, but there were some exciting demonstrations … just like the old days … bumper to bumper. The first-place finisher in one Heat, came in second in the second Heat. The 3rd Heat was the cliff-hanger in more than one case. Some good “racing.”

Friday evening, nearly half the vintage crowd met at The View for a great evening of socializing and good food. (As an onion ring aficionado, I must say, they have THE BEST I’ve ever had.) The gathering with the fabulous food and drinks really makes for a memorable event. I’m looking forward to it (and the onion rings) next year.

Vectors Lite serenaded us during the wine/cheese tasting and dinner buffet. It was a wonderful evening under the stars.

Friday evening, nearly half the vintage crowd met at The View for a great evening of socializing and good food. (As an onion ring aficionado, I must say, they have THE BEST I’ve ever had.) The gathering with the fabulous food and drinks really makes for a memorable event. I’m looking forward to it (and the onion rings) next year.

Vectors Lite serenaded us during the wine/cheese tasting and dinner buffet. It was a wonderful evening under the stars.

Kart Show SW line up
Engine builders Bill McCornack (L) from WI and Scott Kneisel (R) from NY trading secrets.
Historic Unrestored; ’62 Fox; MC-75; Doug Jorgensen
PEOPLES CHOICE; ’65 SAE Sprint; WB-820; John Wolkiewicz, Jr.
LIVE MUSIC BY VECTORS LITE, played during wine & cheese tasting during kart show
6.1/8.2 SW start
Yamaha Limited start
Rolf “dreaming up” the next issue or FirsTurn
Sportsman Rear action
Historic photo finish?
Grid 8.2 Rear
8.2 Rear start
Skinny tire rears can be a handful!
Skinny tire rears can be a handful!