WKA: Dirt National Southern Pitt report

Furrow finds three wins at WKA Dirt Grand National. AYDEN, NC - A new sponsor was just the shot in the arm Jimmy (JL) Furrow needed to net a trio of WKA Eagle trophies Saturday June 14 at Southern Pitt Raceway during the WKA Crane Cams Grand ...

WKA: Dirt National Southern Pitt report

Furrow finds three wins at WKA Dirt Grand National.

AYDEN, NC - A new sponsor was just the shot in the arm Jimmy (JL) Furrow needed to net a trio of WKA Eagle trophies Saturday June 14 at Southern Pitt Raceway during the WKA Crane Cams Grand Nationals where 858 racers came to compete for bonus points towards their national rankings. Piloting a Larry Ransone Racing backed Eddie Mishue Racing Engines powered Olimpic karts, Furrow, of Rocky Mount, VA, found victory lane from the pole in Prowler Racing Chassis Briggs Senior Champ, PEC/Jr's Trim Shop Briggs Medium and Trick/Olimpic Briggs Lite.

Furrow spun a 15.194 seconds lap for Senior Champ's pole and quickly took the feature's early lead with Chuck Broadway close behind. Broadway grabbed the lead from him on lap three and headed the 30-racer field until they were given the three laps to go signal. Furrow powered past Broadway bringing defending national champion Jody Miller, of Salisbury, NC, with him in time to take the white flag. At the stripe Furrow owned a narrow 0.098 seconds edge over Miller for his first ever Grand National win.

"It was exciting and tough," explained Furrow, who's last national win was at Dayton in 1995. "Champ buggies are always tough, I want to thank Eddie Mishue for the motor, Marc Mode with Olimpic karts and Andy Murray for a great setup and tire choice and Larry Ransone for giving me the opportunity to ride his stuff. I'm the type that likes to be out front, so I took it back and did the best I could. I sat on the pole at Baker in the last national, but I didn't win there."

A 14.710 seconds lap earned him Briggs Medium's pole from where he turned in a perfect performance that ended 3.824 seconds ahead of double winner Jamie Knopf. Furrow rocketed off the pole and was never seriously challenged on his way to a second Grand National win.

"I love it!" he beamed after his second victory, "I can't thank enough people. Andy Murray, he's the man, and Eddie Mishue, Marc Mode, and Larry Ransone; if it weren't for them I wouldn't be here, I'm just a wheel holder. The kart handled good and the motor was great, you can't beat Eddie Mishue's motors. I'm just happy to be here."

Later that night Furrow poised himself for a second wire-to-wire win with a 14.804 seconds lap for Briggs Lite's pole. When the green flag waved Furrow flew ahead of the field and was quickly catching the racers in the rear. Brett Miller fought his way from a ninth place start and was closing in on Furrow in the final lap, but trailed him by 0.389 seconds under the checkered flag.

Knopf and Tony Belk were double Grand National winners that weekend. Knopf made his Animal debut in style battling from a third place start to top ARC Briggs Animal Heavy's 16-racer field with a 1.213 finish line advantage over pole winner Jody Davidson who turned a 14.280 seconds lap for the premier starting position. Knopf shot into the early lead and held off Davison for 20-laps.

"It takes a few laps and then it come in pretty good and I got by them pretty clean," described Knopf, of Lancaster, SC who pilots a Performance Racing Engines powered Shadow Racing Chassis. "I never run the new Animal before. I'd like to thank my dad for getting all of my sponsors for me this weekend and thank Cracker Barrel of Greenville, NC, Day's Inn, Cool Power Extremes, Ryan's, Outback Steak House and Thor Racing Glass. I'd also like to thank everybody at Performance Karting and Rick Little Graphics."

Knopf earned his second win that Sunday with a 1.890 seconds finish line advantage over A. J. Miller in Dixie Karting/Southern Karting Briggs Super Stock. Davidson, the pole winner with a 13.936 seconds lap, hustled into the early lead and then surrendered the front to Knopf in turn one after leading the 16-racer field the first two laps. Knopf opened his lead while Miller, Dee Paschal and Davidson scrapped over second place.

"It was great," Knopf said. "We used the same setup we had last night, the sun went down and the track was a little slicker last night, but the track had more bite today so the kart didn't as long to come in. I want to thank everybody that helped me, Rick Little Graphic, Jeremy Morris for staying up till about four o'clock this morning working on my kart and I want to thank my dad for all of his help and support and I want to dedicate this win to my grandfather who passed away when we were at Daytona."

Belk bagged his wins that Saturday starting with RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Briggs Senior where he grabbed the early lead from the outside pole over pole winner John Fowler, who clocked a 14.836 seconds lap for the top starting spot, and went on to lead the 22-racer field through the race's only restart before beating Donnie Sellers to the stripe with a comfortable 3.005 seconds cushion.

"That caution worried me a little bit," Belk, of China Grove, NC, admitted. I didn't know how far they were behind me. I had a guy over there telling me where they was at, but it all worked out in the end. I knew I had a big lead, but I wasn't letting up. The Phantom kart was great and Tod Miller's motor was awesome."

Belk's second win came later that night in Southern Express Kart Shop, Inc. Briggs Super Heavy where he started on the outside of front row next to Fowler again, When the green flag waved Belk blasted into a never surrendered lead to the end where he was 0.318 seconds faster then Lonnie Dawson.

-Bruce C. Walls, Guest Writer

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