Justin Hill Hustles to Briggs & Stratton 300 Triumph
The 18-year-old racer ran among the top-five for much of the event and assumed command just 18 laps from the checkered flag when he drove around Robert Baker of Holland, N.Y. Hill quickly opened a sizable advantage and was 5.13 seconds ahead of Baker at the end of the 75-mile event. The victory was worth $2,500 plus contingency awards.
Baker settled for the $1,200 runner-up prize after fending off his brother, Wayne Baker, during the closing circuits as the first three karts completed the full 300-lap distance.
For much of the race, it appeared as if Kerry Parnell of Kernersville, N.C., would make go-kart racing history. Parnell, winner of the first two rounds in the three-race Briggs & Stratton Pro Kart Series, was in line to collect $13,000 in bonus money if he could win the series finale.
Parnell earned the pole by topping the 107 drivers who attempted to qualify for the 40-kart field and dominated the early stages. He was a full lap ahead of his closest rival with just 100 laps remaining. However, when Parnell left the pits without a gas cap following his final stop on lap 239, his hopes of claiming the richest prize in WKA history were over. He settled for fourth, two laps behind the winner.
Jason Bowling, Scott Bajer, Justin Moorefield, Tim Sullivan, Chris Hooker and Matt Mattlin rounded out the top-10.
The race was stopped for several incidents, the most serious of which involved Ronnie Binkley. Binkley was momentarily knocked unconscious in a two-kart wreck on lap 266. He was conscious and alert when transported by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center where he underwent a CT scan. He was listed in fair condition.
The Briggs & Stratton 300 was part of the ninth annual North American Karting Championship, which concludes Sunday afternoon with a series of road-course races including the 3 Hours of Charlotte.