CONCORD, NC - Competitors for the WKA National Road Race Series took time out of their busy weekend racing schedule this past Friday evening in Bloomingdale, Georgia to partake in the annual awards presentation, honoring the 2015 national champions, as well as many other worthy recipients from the most recent years national events. Taking place at the Bloomingdale Community Center, just a few short miles from Roebling Road Raceway, site of the second major event for the 2016 Road Race program, guests kicked back to music and great food provided by Pure Vinyl Entertainment and Barnes Restaurant, 2 local establishments.
While the evening was all about the champions, this night belonged to longtime Road Race competitor, Dad, and enthusiast Pete Michel, who became the latest inductee into the World Karting Hall of Fame. Joined by several members of his family who flew in for the function, Michel, totally oblivious to the impending award, drew a roaring applause and standing ovation from the packed house on hand. Starting racing at the age of 9, Michel won the World Championship in 1960 in Nassau, Bahamas, owned and operated a kart shop and track from 1965-1983, was the C Open National Champion in 1971 and 72, and continues to this day to build engines and karts, all while helping his son Matt, another recipient of a national championship this past season in the Yamaha Sportsman Heavy Class.
Joining Michel in the popularity category for the night were Rob Hindery and his Dad, recipients of the Karting Family of the Year Award, yet another popular choice to the guests in attendance. Hindery was on hand to receive his 4th place award in the Animal 360 Class, a title taken by David Clevenger this past season.
After missing out on the Manufacturers Championship Trophy last season to MGM, John Klutz and the gang from Competition Karting Incorporated returned to the top of the heap with a vengeance, taking 51 victories in 2015 with the CKI Chassis, outdistancing the competition by some 18 wins, returning to the top of the podium for yet another year.
Also on hand for a special award was Tim Linthicum. While taking home the hardware in the Yamaha Sportsman Lite and CKI sponsored Yamaha Medium Classes, Linthicum was also recognized for his sportsmanship at Daytona, by stopping on the track on the final lap of his event, an event he was leading, to check on the status of fellow driver Matt Michel, who was involved in a grinding crash in turn 3. Michel sustained several broken ribs, among other injuries, and has recovered fully. Linthicum, by virtue of his race status at the time, was well ahead in the event, and won the race. But his actions on that day displayed the true passion and love the Road Race Family has for one another.
Linthicum was not the only dual winner of titles in 2015, as several other drivers were honored for their double championship efforts, including Abigail Tobin in the Animal Junior Sprint Lite and Heavy Classes, as well as fellow drivers Chris Hines, taking the Stock Honda 1 and 2 Classes, Amy Hollowell, 2 time champ in Junior Sprint Lite and Heavy, as well as Kent Vaccaro, champion in the Junior Enduro Lite and Heavy Classes. Veteran Louie Magiera also laid claim to a pair of titles, taking down the Yamaha Sprint and Sportsman Sprint categories.
Other champions included Michael Tracy in The Agile Group sponsored 100cc Controlled class, while Travis Miller took down the KALL Racing/Millers Dynotime Racing Formula 100 class. Ian Bushey was the top dog this season in the Streeter Super Stands Stock Leopard class, while Bill Anderson took the Matthai Material Handling Yamaha Heavy class. Here’s a look at the rest of the 2015 Champions.
100cc Controlled: Adam Myers
100cc Pipe Heavy: Anthony Vaccaro
B Stock: Robby Harper
Animal Masters 410: Robert Garland
Animal 385: Blake Beattie
Pro Gas Animal: Stephen Wheatley
Clone LO206 360: Ben Thomason
Clone LO206 385: James Cartledge
125 Shifter: Donald Santini
WKA Sprint: AJ Ellis
Yamaha Medium: David McCauley
On behalf of the World Karting Association, our sincerest congratulations to all of the 2015 champions, as well as recipients of the Year End Awards Ceremony. The high energy in the room was a clear indication that competitors are realizing the WKA Road Race program is on its way back with good leadership and solid people now in place that truly cared about each and everyone in the room that night, as well as those that weren’t in attendance. Stronger than usual numbers for the second race at Roebling Road was also a good indicator that the road back is getting smoother. WKA salutes the 2015 champions of the National Road Race Series.