Green Valley Speedway
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Two Double at Maxxis Turkey Trot
by Bruce C. Walls
ASHLAND, Va. -- Zach Bullis and Connor Ezzell were double winners Saturday November 22 at Capital City Speedway during the Ashland, VA track’s first annual Maxxis Tires Turkey Trot. Bullis bested both Junior Sportsman 1 classes while Ezzell earned 2-cycle wins in Yamaha and Tag Sprint.
Bullis bagged his wins in perfect style. The 9-year-old Millsboro, DE based P&P Speed Shop powered Phantom Icon kart pilot posted pole lap times of 13.972-seconds in Heavy and 13.942-seconds in Lite on the ¼-mile clay oval. From there he led the eight-racer fields wire-to-wire. Blaine Sharpe trailed him across Heavy’s stripe. Dylan Jackson was third across the stripe followed by Reese White and Kayla Hart in fourth and fifth. “It was my dad who did the tires and P&P Speed Shop,” Bullis credited for his first win.
In Lite Troy Doggett finished a distant second. Doggett failed to show at post race tech and was disqualified advancing Jackson to second, Sharpe to third, White to fourth and Hart to fifth.
“Winning two feels good!” Bullis beamed after his second win adding, “I got two poles and won two races. The kart handled good this time and the motor was fast.”
Ezzell, of Bumpass, VA, shared Yamaha’s front row with Dan Longfellow who earned the pole in 12.588-seconds trip that was 0.142-seconds faster than Ezzell’s 12.730-seconds best effort. When the green flag waved Ezzell roared into the early lead with John Decker trailing him from a distant second. Nick Hall, Longfellow and Jonathan Wharton completed the top five.
“I had a blast. The track is smooth and we had the tires perfect,” Ezzell said. “The Phantom kart handled awesome. It entered the corners like a charm it didn’t take much at all.”
Ezzell turned a 12.819-seconds lap for TAG Sprint’s pole. George Clark cranked out a 13.052-seconds run for the outside pole. Ezzell shot into the early lead and never looked back. When he crossed the stripe for the final time Clark was still trailing him. Nick Hall was third across the stripe trailed in the top five by Wharton and Michael Flagg.
David Puckett dominated the other 2-cycle offering Open. Puckett produced the pole lap in 12.930-seconds. Puckett’s Rim Tech Motors powered Trick/Olimpic Apex Kart rocketed into the early lead. While Puckett was enjoying a brief comfortable lead Bubba Carter was working his way from an eighth place start to the front. Carter closed the gap after several laps and began challenging Puckett for the lead. Puckett held on as Carter worked high and low behind him waiting for the right moment. That moment may have come, but Carter’s kart developed problems and he dropped back into the pack. David Dill took over second and began offering his own challenges, but Puckett prevailed at the stripe.
“I could feel him (Bubba Carter) back there,” described Puckett, of King George, VA. “I didn’t know who it was. It was pretty slick out there and I was trying to not over drive it. I was waiting for somebody challenge me, but it never happened. The kart was good. It was a little loose, but it was good everything ran fine.”
Mechanicsville, VA based Dougie Young was the day’s first winner. Starting Stock Heavy from sixth place Young battled his way to the front before mid-race. Ahead of him pole winner Steven Adams (12.868-seconds) and third fastest qualifier Brandon McGee were fighting side-by-side for the lead. McGee led a freight train by Adams as Young continued climbing through the field. When he reached second Dagan Bowdion was behind him pushing him into the lead. Once he was in the lead Young fought off challenges from Bowdoin and Kevin Elliott. In the final laps Young distanced himself from his pursuers taking the final flag with a comfortable cushion over Bowdoin. Behind Bowdoin in the top five of 23-entries were Elliott, McGee and Kyle Ezzell.
An exciting Junior Champ race followed. Gilson Fearnow and Dylan Brockwell clocked the top two fast time laps. Fearnow was fastest at 13.508-seconds. Brockwell’s best effort of 13.884-seconds was 0.376-seconds off that pace.
When the initial green flag waved Fearnow and Brockwell battled side-by-side into turn one and out of turn two. Down the back straight they traded the lead. The lead swapping fight continued through turns three and four and down the front straight. Brockwell finally got a solid grip on the lead before they entered turn three the second time. Fourth fastest qualifier Bailey Moore made his way to third and then stole second from Fearnow. After securing second Moore closed in on Brockwell. Caution waved before Moore got to offer Brockwell a serious challenge.
Brockwell, of Smithfield, VA, led the restart with Moore nipping at his heels. They stayed locked nose-to-tail with Fearnow, Tyler Davis and Sydney Johnson following while fighting their own battles. As the lead pack exited turn three for the final time you could have tossed a blanket over them. Less then a second later the rest of the field followed.
“I had pretty tough competition. It wasn’t easy,” Brockwell said adding, “The Rage kart handled pretty good and the Comet motor had plenty of power.”
Sean Keith Stanley showed the Junior Sportsman 2 field from start to finish. The Amelia, VA based Tod Miller Racing Engines powered Prowler kart pilot produced the pole time lap in 14.168-seconds. He quickly broke into the early lead and was on his way to a comfortable cushion when, after two laps, caution waved. “Actually yea, that caution worried me,” Stanley admitted adding, “I didn’t know because immediately after the caution if my tires would come in or if I’d be doing good and they would wear away. They were good in the first part of the race. So it worried me a little bit, but the tires by Andy Murray worked great.”
Kevin Hart tried to get a jump on Stanley, but Stanley was quicker on the throttle. Hart was forced to settle for second while Stanley stole the show building a huge lead. In the final laps Van Davis drove by Hart for second. Angelamarie Steele and Chris Wiseman crossed fourth and fifth.
“Compared to my Joker the Prowler kart is a lot tighter, but if will win that’s good for me,” Stanley said with a smile.
Brandon Comer clocked Senior Champ-Flat Head’s pole lap in 13.733-seconds. From there he commanded the field decisively quickly opening the lead stretching it out further with every lap. Outside pole winner Matthew Ridgeway ran second, and third fastest qualifier JD Eversole also finished where he started. Jeff Davis was fourth across the stripe followed by Linwood Folds in fifth.
“The kart was good. I don’t know if they got bunched up behind me or whatever,” described the Shenandoah, VA based winner. “I started on the pole and I turned around after a couple of laps and we had a nice little lead. So I just got lucky and was able to coast it the rest of the way. I want to thank the guy from TKS that’s a bad fast kart there and C&T Motors they run.”
Rob Matthews ruled Stock Super Heavy’s qualifying with a 13.008-seconds run. Billy Tweeden was second fastest. Tweeden took off at the initial green flag. He rocketed into a huge early lead. Then on the third circuit caution waved cutting his advantage. Tweeden led the restart and quickly escaped his pursuers.
Then in the final laps Mike Matthews closed in on Tweeden with Mark Gromovsky in tow. Things heated up when Matthews grabbed the lead. Tweeden quickly took it back. Matthews tried to get back by him, but ended up wheel hopping him and spinning off. Gromovsky inherited second. Matthews gathered it back in time to take third. Stephen Caton and Rob Matthews rounded out the top five.
Dylan Jackson spun a 15.302-seconds fast time lap for Junior Sportsman Champ’s pole. Camden Testerman was second fastest of 13-qualifiers with a 15.347-seconds lap. Jackson jumped into the early lead with fourth fastest qualifier Blaine Sharpe glued to his tailpipe. Next time around Sharpe stole the lead from Jackson. Jackson recaptured it on the following lap and began opening the lead as Sharpe and Testerman fought over second. Sharpe secured second and went after Jackson who was approaching traffic. Jackson put a lapper between he and Sharpe. Suddenly karts ahead of them started spinning bringing out the race’s second and final caution flag.
Lucky not to be in the melee Jackson led the restart with Sharpe now close behind him. In just a few laps Jackson opened another comfortable cushion over Sharpe who trailed him across the stripe. Testerman trailed in third, Matthew Knighton followed in fourth with Chris Doggett behind him in fifth.
“The Rage Kart handled good and Tod Miller’s motor was fast,” credited the 9-year-old Lakeside, VA based winner who added, “I just tried my best and ran my hardest.”
Chase Williams and Nicolas Ogles split the Restricted Junior classes. Williams won Lite, Ogles won Heavy. Ogles, of King Williams, VA, earned both poles with lap times of 13.093 and 12.856-seconds. Lite’s third fastest qualifier Bradley Scara scampered into the early lead with outside pole winner Gilson Fearnow following close behind. Near half way the race’s only caution flag waved. Scara led the restart, but surrendered it to Williams who took it from there.
Scara was third across the stripe followed by Brandon Brown and Fearnow for the top five.
Williams and Scara scrapped over Heavy’s early lead. Ogles saw an opening between them for the lead. From there the 13-year-old racer ruled the 14-racer field. Following across the stripe in the top five were Sacra, Fearnow, Tim O’Connor and Richard Parks, Jr.
“ It was great. The track’s a bit dusty, but I intended to hang onto it surprisingly. The kart was the best it could be. Dad’s motors are unbelievable, they don’t compare to anyone else’s I would say.”
From Stock Medium’s front row Steven Adams and Dougie Young put on quite a show. Fast time laps of 13.003 and 13.010-seconds earned them those starting positions. Spinners on the opening lap forced a single file restart led by Adams. Adams tried to use it to his advantage, but Young got the jump on him entering turn one. Adams pressured Young who finally surrendered the lead near mid-race.
In the second half Adams stuffed a lapper between them, but the race’s second caution flag, that turned red, took that advantage from him. Adams led the restart and once again Young got the initial jump on him. Two laps later Young was leading another restart with Adams breathing down his neck. Young shot out in front of the field. Next time around he took the five to go signal. Then, with just two laps remaining, Adams completed a final charge for the lead. Young crossed less than a second later followed in the top five by Brandon McGee, JD Eversole and Kevin Elliott.
“It was a close race. That red flag really killed me,” described Adams of Fore Oaks, N.C. “The racetrack got a little slick and my tires went away a little bit, but after the restart it came on back in and I was able to move around Doug (Young). He drove me clean it was a good race. I really want to thank Bryan Bradford for letting me drive his kart and P&P Speed Shop, Harrill Wiggins and Phantom Racing Chassis and all of my help for a great weekend and I hope to be back here in Victory Lane again tonight.”
Three early race caution flags kept Animal Medium’s 23-racer field bunched up during the feature’s first half. Thomas Underwood and Brandon McGee were the top qualifiers turning laps of 12.544 and 12.572-seconds. After a failed first attempt to get the field started Underwood led them single file back to the green flag. McGee pulled alongside of Underwood as they exited turn two and beat him out of the lead entering turn three. Two circuits later caution waved for a second time. McGee led them back to the green flag again for another two laps before caution returned for a third time.
When racing resumed McGee rocketed away from the field on his way to a comfortable cushion. Behind him Colton Cox got by Adams for second in the final laps. Adams held onto third across the stripe followed in the top five by Josh Ayers and Simon Jones, Jr.
“The kart was good. It got a little tight towards the end. But we were able to get out there,” said the Powhatan, VA based winner. “The caution worried me that late in the race. I want to thank Tod Miller Racing Engines and Bajer Kart Shop.”
Later that evening 27-racers entered Animal Heavy for a chance to win $1,000. Once again McGee and Underwood were on front row in opposite starting spots. McGee grabbed the pole with a blistering 12.443-seconds run that was 0.122-seconds faster than Underwood’s 12.565-seconds lap time.
While McGee and Underwood scrapped over the early lead karts behind them tangled in turns three and four for the race’s only caution flag. McGee led the restart. Behind him Kevin Elliott began threading his way through the field. Along the way he picked up fifth fastest qualifier Brian Fallen and seventh place starter Chris Beazley. Working together they reached the front with only a few laps remaining in the 20-lap feature. Any of the top four could have taken in as they exited turn three. But when the dust settled South Boston, VA based Elliott was the winner by a nose.
“Man to tell you the truth I didn’t even know I’d won it,” laughed Elliott, of South Boston, VA. “The kart was so fast my head was hanging back I didn’t even know I’d won it. I came off the scales and everybody was hooping and hollering and I didn’t know a thing about it. I don’t know what happened up front. I didn’t know what went on, but I got the money and that’s all that matters. It’s going back into my karting program. I’m going to buy a couple of tires. The kart was alright, but it was still a little loose in the race, but I think everybody was like that so it wasn’t much of a big deal.”
Fallen followed Elliott. Beazley was third across the stripe and Yancey and Adams rounded out the top five.
Starting 11th in a field of 28-Senior Champ Animal racers Dagan Bowdoin, of Glen Allen, VA, battled his way to the front pack in time to be part of a three-wide battle for the checkered flag. Chris Johnson and Troy Martin lined up on front row. Johnson’s 13.150-seconds best qualifying lap was just 0.041-seconds faster then Troy Martin’s fastest lap time of 13.191-seconds.
From there the fight was on. Johnson and Martin banged into each other battling down the back straight on the first lap. The collision took out both drivers demanding a complete restart single file. Johnson led the restart with Martin lining up friends for a freight train. Working together they put Martin up front. Several laps later Brandon Comer got a little help from Tanner Aman sending him to the front.
The lead pack reached the field’s tail as they took the white flag tightly bunched together. They stayed tightly packed exiting turn four heading for the checkered flag. Suddenly a lapped kart appeared in front of them. Leaders scrambled in different directions avoiding a collision. When the dust settled Bowdoin was first across the stripe. Close behind in the top five were Scott Heath, Kevin Chavers, Mark Claytor and Jason Lineweaver.
“The kart was pretty good. A lapped kart got in the way on the last lap. Luckily it didn’t cost us the win,” Bowdoin explained. “I want to thank Ellis Racing Engines, Brandon Brown, and all of my help, Kent Lewis, my dad, Jimmy Ogles, my girlfriend and her mom for their support and thank God for keeping us safe.
Taylor Doggett produced Stock Lite’s pole lap in 12.659-seconds. Colton Cox clocked the outside pole lap just 0.012-seconds slower at 12.659-seconds. Doggett and Cox battled for the early lead. From third, South Boston, VA, based P&P Speed Shop powered Phantom Icon pilot Simon Jones, Jr. made a charge for the front past Cox and Doggett. Once in charge of the eight-racer field Jones, Jr. continued building on his lead while Josh Ayer and Shane Forrest advanced to second and third in the final laps. Rob Robinette and David Dill rounded out the top five.
“It was a very good race. I couldn’t have done it without Brian doing the tires,” Jones, Jr. credited. “It handled great because of him. It was Cadillac . Tod’s motor was great; it was a hoss off the corners. I couldn’t have asked for a better motor.”
Blaine Sharpe and DJ Cunningham were Junior Sportsman 2 Champ’s slowest qualifiers, but fastest racers. While pole winners Andy Reeves (14.402-seconds) and Mason Bailey (14.547-seconds) battled for the lead Sharpe and Cunningham climbed through the field. They and Logan Willis went three-wide into turn one with Reeves emerging as the leader when they exited turn two. Reeves stretched out his lead until mid-race when the caution flag cut all he’d gained.
When racing resumed Sharpe pressured Reeves pushing him to overdrive turn four. Reeves spun out, Sharpe assumed the lead as the caution flag waved again. Sharpe led the restart. The caution flag would be a final factor waving with just two laps left. Sharpe led the two-lap shootout. D.J. Cunningham challenged Sharpe down to the stripe where Sharpe scored the narrow win.
“That last caution worried me a little because I thought people would catch me and get by me, described the 11-year-old Oilville, VA based winner. “Who knows what they could do. The Falcon Kart handled good. It stuck to the ground and it was like it was on a rail.”
Mike Mitchell and David Knighton shared Champ Over 35-Flathead front row. Lap times of 13.890 and 14.146-seconds got them there. Mitchell quickly assumed the early led building on that advantage every lap. Jeff Davis drove by Knighton closing the gap on Mitchell for an exciting finish.
“The kart was a little tight. I’d say we had too soft a tire on there,” Mitchell said adding, “The P&P Speed Shop motor was good, if it weren’t for I wouldn’t have been where I was.”
That concludes Capital City Speedway’s 2008 race season. A January awards banquet is being planned. The 2009 season starts in March. Highlighting their early season will be an American Kart Racing Association (AKRA) national scheduled for the first weekend in April. For more information visit the speedway’s website at: www.capitalcityspeedway.net.
For photos of this event, follow this link: Speed Scrapbook: 2008 Turkey Trot at Capital City Speedway