The fifth annual Vintage Kart Winter Nationals held March 24th thru 26th at Lamar County Raceway in Barnesville, Georgia was again a huge success. A big “THANK YOU” goes out to all those that worked to put on the event and especially all those that participated. Beautiful weather, safe driving, and Vintage Karters having fun were some of the things that we were blessed with that comprised an enjoyable weekend for all.
Thursday morning started with registration open at 8:00 and was quite busy most of the morning. Chip Bearing started safety tech inspecting the karts by 8:30 and by 9:15 we opened the track for controlled practice with six groups (like speed & style karts) after the noon hour lunch break, controlled practice resumed and completed about 5:30.
Friday morning we opened the track for controlled practice before 9:00 a.m. and had several rounds of practice by group. Due to forecasted potentially bad weather by midafternoon Saturday, we decided to get two heat demonstrations in Friday and be able to finish the event early (before the forecasted storm Saturday). After lunch, we conducted the drivers meeting, National Anthem and prayer we had started the first round of heat race/ demonstrations before 2:00 p.m. It was actually after 6:00 p.m. before we finished the last of the second heat races Friday- all heat races went well, no incidents, no injuries. After the heat races we all gathered at the former elementary school in Barnesville and enjoyed a buffet meal banquet complete with live entertainment and awards presentation. Awards were presented to participants that have attended all five of the Vintage Winter Nationals to day. We also presented some special awards as follows: Mike Lotz family & Billy Winegardener family – Recognition of Dan Lotz & Jerry Winegardener who have passed on to be with our Lord since the 2010 event (we sub titled the 2011 event the memorial race for these two gentlemen of our sport); Duffy Livingston – Grand Marshall; Lynn Haddock – for bringing Duffy & his very impressive historic engine collection; Louis Smiley – Furthest distance traveled; Jimmy Gay – inspiration to start the first Vintage event at Barnesville in 2007; and the Fenwick & Seewer families for their enormous support and dedication to the success of the Barnesville Winter Nationals. There were also a few “Twisted Sprocket Awards” presented that were a lot of fun!
Saturday morning’s kart show was a big success with the front strait filled with karts being critiqued by our esteemed Judges; Jack Murray, Pearl Gamble, and Scott Kneisel all doing an excellent job. Chip Bering and his team handed out and collected and counted the peoples choice ballots. Due to the need to get the third heat in before the storms hit we finished up the kart show, skipped the planned practice session, and proceeded getting ready to race. After the drivers meeting, National Anthem & Prayer, we had a (10) minute devotional lead by Bob Barthelemy & Lake Speed on the subject of forgiveness. Jerry Jackson opened the devotional with a medley of hymns. We had a very good audience and heard several good comments on the devotional. We plan to do this at other vintage events and if anyone is interested in helping please get in touch with Bob or Lake. The racing got underway and we finished the last heat by 2:30 p.m. All of the heat races were very exciting and enjoyable to watch; by the way everybody drove very respectfully throughout the entire event. There was a large group of spectators at the track watching the races from the grand stands. We had (88) race/show entries and (3) practice only entries.
The 50/50 raffle drawing and Awards presentation started shortly after the last race of the day. Some very nice donated merchandise from Target Distributing, Vintage Speed, Comet Kart Sales, TS Racing, Competition Karting Inc. and the GSKA was awarded as preliminary prizes at the 50/50 raffle (Thanks to our Sponsors). This was our first vintage race that we implemented the motocross scoring system and the use of the AMB transponders for scoring and although we experienced a few minor hick-ups overall this system worked quite well. We finished the awards presentation before 4:00 p.m. and it wasn’t much after that that the storms hit the Barnesville area. Again, a big THANK YOU to all in attendance and we look forward to 2012.
God bless you all,
GSKA Vintage Race Director