GROVETON — The North Country Family Restaurant Karts were back in action at Lil’ Speedway 51 for the Snap-On event last Saturday. A thoughtful blessing was delivered by Jr. Mini Pro race mom Jen Gilbert followed by the National Anthem sung by Jr. Mini Pro driver Summer Boutin. Mother Nature showed some signs of pending storms in the area, so each division ran the feature event only, meaning there will be double points for the heat races and trophy dashes on Aug. 19. Points racing will end on Aug. 19 for the season. Racing was intense this week as drivers tried to gain every point possible.
Christopher “Cridda” Shannon of Lancaster drove his No. 111 Snips Plus sponsored kart from the rear into the front in the Batch’s Kwik Stop Pro feature with the championship on his mind. Shannon has a 42-point lead over Julian Kenison of Groveton going into the final event. Following Shannon to the checkered flag was Cody Brown of Groveton and Brian Rogers, Jr. of Milton, Vt., rounded out the top three in the Waste Oil Heating Systems of Vermont sponsored kart.
Luke Shannon of Groveton and close point competitor Jesse Laquerre East Montpelier, Vt., put on another intense battle for the fans in the Batch’s Kwik Stop Mini Pro division. These two rivals are just nine points apart with only one points race remaining. Laquerre, in the Jeff Laquerre Motorsports sponsored kart, shot to the front and never looked back on the field as he left almost every lap and took home the win. Shannon, in the Lisa Hall Associates, Inc. sponsored kart, worked very hard to get to the front and was on the outside of Laquerre for the lead when he spun coming out of turn 4 and had to restart in the rear. Shannon was racing with a heavy heart in memory of his friend, Seth Savage, who lost his life in an accident earlier in the week. Shannon sported a Savage decal on his kart in his memory. Kamryn Ledger of Lancaster, driving the Poulins Sales & Service sponsored kart, was back in her rhythm this week following Laquerre to the line to declare second and Shannon rounded out the top three.
The enthusiastic drivers in the Batch’s Kwik Stop Jr. Mini Pro division drove like veterans. Feature winners were Chase Robinson of Lyndonville, Vt. and McKenna Merchant of North Concord, Vt. Robinson drove his No. 19 Magic Touch Cleaning & Detailing sponsored kart from the rear of the field followed closely by Revvin’ Evan Gilbert of Gorham, in the Albany Auto sponsored kart and Autumn Bushey of Fairfax, Vt. driving the Waste Oil Heating Systems of Vt. sponsored kart rounding out the top three of the first feature event. Robinson did a polish victory lap in memory of close family friend Jake McDowell who was a popular driver at Speedway 51. Merchant took the lead in her No. 99 Inked Again sponsored kart and never looked back at her competition finishing a half a lap ahead of second place Logan Farnsworth of St. Johnsbury, Vt. in the Jeff’s Auto Body sponsored kart who had another solid run in his No. 22 and hometown favorite Mylee Kenison of Groveton in the DK & Sons Auto Repair sponsored kart rounding out the top three.
The fans were treated to another fun race in the Batch’s Kwik Stop Rookie division with Conner Charbonneau of Groveton in the Action Jackson Powersports sponsored kart taking home the win followed by Kamrin Boutin of Fairfax, Vt. in the Shocker Graphics sponsored kart.
The Aug. 12 weekend will be a weekend off for the kart racing teams as many of the teams support the Griffin Donald Kenison Memorial Softball Tournament all weekend.
The Aug. 19 weekend will kick off with the North Country Family Restaurant of Groveton Kart Series on Saturday morning at 10 a.m., featuring the Batch’s Kwik Stop four divisions sponsored by the Kennett family in memory of Joel Kennett a longtime supporter of Speedway 51 and the kids' karts. This will be the final point event of the 2017 season as the kids are getting ready to go back to school and promises to be an event that you will not want to miss. There will double points awarded for the heat races and trophy dash races and regular points for the feature events. Pit admission is $10 for spectators and drivers and under age 5 spectators are $5. Spectator grandstand admission is free.