Michel Puts Icing on the Cake at WKA VIR Weekend

With rain in the forecast many were wondering if they would even get to race at Virginia International Raceway, but that didn’t seem to stop the dedicated racers from showing up and bringing their (A) game.  As we entered into the 5th race of the season at VIR many had never raced at this track and were excited to see what it had to offer.

Since this is only the 2nd time WKA has ran at this track in quite some time, here is a little background.  Virginia International Raceway originally opened August 3, 1957 but closed in 1974 and then reopened in March of 2000.   VIR offers six track configurations, of which two can be run simultaneously. The “Full Course” is 3.27 miles in length while the “Patriot Course” stretches for 1.1 miles entirely inside the Full Course. The “North Course” is 2.25 miles long and the “South Course” covers a distance of 1.65 miles. Both consist of a portion of the “Full Course” and short connecting sections that connect to portions of the “Patriot Course” to produce the two courses that can run simultaneously.

After a full day of practice and fine tuning many racers felt prepared for the next 2 days of racing.  Some came with brand new karts never to have touched a race track and others came with seasoned karts ready to take home 1st place.

Starting out in the 1st race of the day was the CIK LO206 Sr class which brought 14 racers to the grid.  One particular racer who made a special appearance in this race was Woodbridge Kart Club’s very own president Rodney Smith.  He, along with the father/son duo of Clark Gaynor Sr and Jr, Greg Heberle, and Scott Clark made up the lead pack for this class.  A few laps later JC Sanders had made his way up to the pack while Gaynor Sr fell back to the 2nd pack along with Mark McNaught, Todd Horton and Jon Tedder. These 2 groups continued to battel for position through out the entire race.  In the end Clark Gaynor Sr. took home the 1st place finish on Saturday but came in 5th on Sunday’s race.  Jon Tedder came in a close 2nd along with Scott Clark, Clark Gaynor Jr. and Greg Heberle rounding out the top 5.

The Yamaha Sportsman Heavy class brought some tough competition with the likes of Randy Fulks, Matt Michel, Chad Dokken, and Bill Holder.  With Matt Michel leading in points, he was going to do whatever it took to take home the 1st place finish to make sure he stayed on top.  Starting out Fulks, Dokken, Clark and Michel drove away from the rest of the class.  About halfway through the race Clark fell out and came in with an 8th place finish.  That left Fulks, Dokken and Michel heading up the lead pack.  Throughout the race the lead changed several times between Randy Fulks and Chad Dokken but in the end the Fulks pulled out the win with a 1 sec lead over Dokken with Michel bringing home a 3rd place finish.

IAME Sprint class also brought a large number of racers to VIR.  There were 14 racers that would battle for the 1st place finish.  Clark Gaynor Jr would be fighting on his own in this race as Sr did not race.  Gaynor Jr would battle the lead pack which consisted of Robert Wimmer, Greg Heberle, Walter Troup, Sebastian Bushney, Chase Speacht, and Indy Kassy.  By the halfway mark the lead pack had dwindled down to only 5 with Gaynor Jr. still leading the way.  He would go on to win the race by one tenth of a second over Robert Wimmer. Heberle, Bushney, and Speacht rounded out the top 5.

The WKC Vintage Open (LO) class also brought an impressive 12 racers to the grid.  As soon as the green flag dropped Louis Mageria took off like The Flash and ran away with the lead.  He continued to dominate all the way to a 1st place finish with a 12 sec lead over 2nd place Rodney Garrison.  Phillip Copeland, Arthur McKenny and Terence Armstrong rounded out the 5 top for the LO class.

The Yamaha Sportsman Medium class also brought out a whopping 15 racers ready to take the checkered flag.  Coming into the 5th race of the Vega Road Race Series racer Justin Greene was leading the class points with a 200-point lead over 2nd place Donald Dump.  The lead pack was soon established with the veteran racers of Randy Fulks, Chad Dokken, Matt Michel and Zack Clark on the lap one.  Throughout the race there were a few lead changes between Fulks and Dokken with Clark and Michel battling in the 3rd and 4th positions.  With only a few laps to go the 3 main contenders continued to be Fulks, Dokken and Michel.  Then on the last lap Michel and Dokken teamed up to pass Fulks which helped Michel go on to take the Checkered flag and Fulks and Dokken coming in 2nd and 3rd. Matt would walk away with three 1st place finishes, one 2nd place finishes and one 3rd place finish for the weekend.

This win for the Matt Michel was just the icing on the cake for the Pete Michel racing team as it was the patriarch’s 70th birthday on Saturday. The name Pete Michel has been synonymous with the karting industry for many decades. Pete himself started racing in 1958 and then started building motors for other racers in 1967.  He has since pass down his love of racing to his children Matt and Ashley.   They too have added many wins to the racing team and tradition will continue when Pete himself starts racing again in the Vintage Sprint class in the near future.

The last race of the day featured Stock Honda and TaG Heavy which brought in an impressive 30 go karts to the International Raceway.   The lead pack consisting of Torres, Rothenhoefer, Waddell, Harding and Bushney made their presence know as they pulled away from the rest of the Stock Honda class.  The top four continued to battle through out the race leading Pascal Torres to a 1st place finish. He finished the weekend with two 1st place wins both in Stock Honda.  Rothenhoefer, Waddell, Harding and Eller rounded out the top 5 positions.

TaG Heavy also proved to be a class of warriors with 16 racers ready to do battle.  As the racers took off at the drop of the green flag, Brad Adams, Indy Kassy, and Robert Wimmer quickly made their presence known by pulling out to take the lead.  John Bryant and Ashley Michel quickly followed suit.   Adams continued to hold onto the lead all the way to a 1st place finish.  He would also take home the win in TaG Heavy on Sunday.  Wimmer, Bryant, Michel, and Sircy would finish out the top five for this class.

On behalf of the World Karting Association, we would like to thank all who participated in the 5th race of the Vega Road Race Series, the drivers, families, sponsors, crew members, officials, and so many other people that make this series so special!

Here’s a look at all the of the winners over the weekend:

Saturday:

Cadet LO206: Mac Harrison
CIK LO206 Senior: Clark Gaynor Sr.
Formula 100: Travis Miller
Junior Enduro (LO): Ryan Harrison
WKC Classic Controlled: Chuck Morgan
WKC Vintage Piston Port (LO): Arthur McKenny
Yamaha Sportsman Heavy: Randy Fulks
Clone Sprint 390: James Cartledge
IAME Sprint: Clark Gaynor Jr.
LO206 Sprint 390: Trey Kelley
TaG Jr: Ajay Sotolongo
WKA Sprint: Adam Meyers
Yamaha Sprint: James Crawford
Unlimited: Andy Kiker
WKC Open Sprint: April Danals
125 Sprint Shifter: Pascual Torres
Jr. Enduro: Ryan Harrison
WKC Vintage Open (LO): Louis Magiera
WKC Vintange USA (LO): Dennis Griffith
Yamaha Sportsman Medium: Matt Michel
100cc Controlled: Adam Meyers
Animal Sprint 390: Robert Garland
Formula 125: Allen Hollinger
Jr. Animal: Croix Beason
WKC KA100 Jr. (LO): Levi Holt
WKC KA100 Sr (LO): David Dalton Jr.
B-Stock: Robby Harper
Formula 100: Allen Hollinger
X30 Laydown: Brandon Schenkel
Yamaha Sr.: Brian Ellis
Stock Honda: Pascual Torres
TaG Heavy: Brad Adams

Sunday:

Cadet LO206: Mac Harrison
CIK LO206 Senior: Greg Heberle
Formula 100: Travis Miller
Junior Enduro (LO): Ryan Harrison
Yamaha Sprint: James Cartledge
WKC Vintage Euro (LO): Phillip Copeland
Yamaha Sportsman Heavy: Matt Michel
Clone Sprint 390: Darren Greene
IAME Sprint: Indy Kassy
LO206 Sprint: Trey Kelley
TaG Jr: Ajay Sotolongo
WKA Sprint: Adam Meyers
Yamaha Sprint: James Crawford
Unlimited: Allen Hollenger
125 Sprint Shifter: Pascual Torres
Jr. Enduro: Jordon Johnson
WKC Vintage Open (LO): Louis Magiera
Yamaha Sportsman Sprint: Kyler Febbroriello
Yamaha Sportsman Medium: Matt Michel
Animal Sprint 390: Clark Brittingham
Jr. Animal: Croix Beason
WKC KA100 Jr. (LO): Makena Rice
WKC KA100 Sr (LO): Victoria Helm
Formula 100: Travis Miller
X30 Laydown: Paul Wyzga
Yamaha Sr.: Brian Ellis
Stock Honda: Pascual Torres
TaG Heavy: Brad Adams

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