Nearly 225 kart drivers entered their four-by-six feet, 150-pound bodyless karts in the Washington Sprint Internationals last night in the Starplex Arena before 1,800 enthusiasts.
The event, run on a one-fifth mile oval track, attracted participants from as far away as Maine and South Carolina. Many were racing indoors for the first time.
"Here, it's real tight," said Mark Taylor, 28, of Fairfax, Va., the 1982 Sprint Kart Grand National champion. "The track is so small that you just have to stay low and hold on."
The final of the 100cc controlled light, two-cycle engine classification, a 10-lap race crowded with 24 qualifiers, matched Taylor against Todd Shaffer, a seven-time grand national champion. "Mark is always a threat," said Shaffer.
"In every national event (1984), either one of us was in the top five."
In this final, however, neither Taylor nor Shaffer finished in the top five. Aaron Griffith, of Harrisonburg, Va., won, followed by Bob Resco. Griffith added another victory lap when he won the following 100cc MAC. "I ran the whole race without one mistake," he said.
Walt Stearly, who finished second in the 100cc MAC, took the lead quickly in the 10-lap 100cc controlled heavy final, with John (Ace) Lane closely behind through the final lap. It was around the final bend that Lane attempted to make a run on the outside. But Stearly cut him off and won.
Griffith clinched the Capital Cup for most points, finishing third in the Piston Port Light heat.