SUMMIT POINT, W. Va. — Enduro karting veteran Scott Stauffer was the top dog May 22-23 in the competitive Yamaha Pipe division for laydown enduros at Summit Point Motorsports Park, where the AKRA National Road Race Series opened its 2021 campaign.
Stauffer, of Hampton, N.J., led the way both Saturday and Sunday at Summit Point on his LAD Specialties-powered CKI chassis, winning each 45-minute race for the Yamaha enduro competitors. Stauffer finished about 12 seconds ahead of Colin Jedrzejek in Saturday’s contest and backed it up with a convincing win over Rusty Benson Sunday afternoon. Fifteen racers entered the class each day.
The 36-year-old union pipe fitter has called Summit Point his home track for 20 years and while he’s won a number of Woodbridge Kart Club regional races at Summit and elsewhere, his most recent wins were his first national victories at any track.
“It feels pretty good; we’ve been at it a long time and this was probably our best weekend,” Stauffer said. “We actually missed the first two practices Saturday morning with a fuel valve problem, so luckily we had that third session and we were able to get some laps in it. We turned a high 1:29 in the final practice and figured we were ready for the race. We ran in the (1:) 29s all race and we’ve never been able to do that consistently at Summit, so that was a pretty good achievement for us. It’s nice to come away with a couple of wins against a good field of racers.”
The Yamaha Pipe category — formerly Yamaha Lite, Medium and Heavy — has been a staple class in road race karting for decades and in recent years the division has seen a resurgence.
The 50-Kart Challenge this past December at Daytona, which attracted over 50 enduro racers for both days of competition, has turned the momentum up a notch and since Daytona the class easily has been the best-attended traditional enduro division with around 20 entrants at WKA races at Roebling Road in March and Charlotte Motor Speedway in April. A big Yamaha Pipe crowd is expected for the second AKRA round June 18-20 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, an event that already has over 600 race pre-entries among all divisions.
“It’s nice to see the enduro racers going in one direction,” Stauffer commented regarding the solid Yamaha Pipe numbers as of late. “There have been so many class options that I think that’s been one of the problems in road racing. Most of the enduro racers have kind of gotten together to move toward the Yamaha Pipe class, which has been great. We ran Sportsman for a lot of years, and now that’s pretty much died out. Then we ran Controlled for awhile, but you always want to have fields with good competition and we have that now with Yamaha Pipe.”
Stauffer finished a strong P7 in the 50-Kart Challenge at Daytona and after his success at Summit Point we’d expect his familiar blue and red enduro — colors that have been in the sport for decades dating back to Stauffer’s former teammate Dale Granger — challenging at the front of the pack at Mid-Ohio in June and Pittsburgh in September. Stauffer says he may also attend AKRA rounds at Nelson-Ledges in July and the return to Summit Point in August if scheduling works out.
“I want to thank my whole family — my mom and dad, my wife for allowing me to fulfill my dreams, my buddy Bob is always there, and Dale and Debbie Granger. Dale is always at the track when he can be, and I’ve learned a lot from him over the years. We’ve been running these blue and red colors since acquiring a kart from him years ago, and we like to keep the color scheme going.” Stauffer said.