The End Zone Seat: Breast Cancer Research Wins at WVMP
Racing at Wyalusing Valley Motorsports Park (WVMP) has never been just a guy thing.
From the very beginning, talented female drivers from the youth karts to small car divisions have run very competitively with the boys at the Homets Ferry facility.
On Saturday, July 30, the track, along with the Anderson Racing team, hosted a Pink Ribbon event, raising $1,057 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Northeastern Pennsylvania affiliate to help ensure that the ladies would stay in the race, free of breast cancer.
Nearly all of the karts and cars raced with pink ribbons flying from their bumpers or roll cages Saturday.
The event was held in honor of Michele Ross of Troy, who was in attendance.
Her husband, Jerry, crawled into the cockpit of a pink-liveried Anderson Racing No. 92 Sportsman kart to show his support for the cause.
The event also included a Chinese auction and donation jars.
Two of the track’s regular female drivers in the 600 Microsprint division talked about the meaning of the event to them.
“I think it’s great that they are doing that for the community,” said Jessica Moyer, a 23-year-old from Tunkhannock.
Kayla Wilkins, a 2011 Lackawanna Trail graduate who recently became the first woman to win a 600 Microsprint feature at WVMP, had a number of reasons to be appreciative.
“A lot of my family has cancer,” said Wilkins, who hopes to join the health-care field as a surgical technician. She has started her studies at Lackawanna College-Towanda Center and will later matriculate to a school in Harrisburg.
With a large winner’s purse coinciding on Pink Ribbon night, she also was looking forward to the upcoming feature.
“I’d like to win,” she said, noting the victory would be dedicated to her family members who have battled the disease.
Unfortunately, for both Moyer and Wilkins, the night didn’t end particularly well.
Moyer’s car didn’t fire to start the race and had to be pushed off the track before the starting green even fell.
Wilkins, who started toward the front, was one of the first victims of a wild feature that completed only 19 of a scheduled 40 laps before its curfew expired.
After spinning out very early in the race, she did advance—thanks to heavy attrition—to seventh by the time the race was halted.
The trip to the big cars has been a similar one for the two women.
Moyer started out in go-karts, racing for two years before moving up to the 600s.
“My boyfriend’s kids race 600s,” she explained. “They started on go-karts when they were little. I got started on go-karts. Then they got the 600s and I really wanted to try that too.”
Asked about the biggest transition from the karts to the 600, the answer was simple.
“It’s a little faster,” she said in a bit of understatement. “I like the speed. It’s a lot of fun. The faster you go, the more fun you have.”
Wilkins logged four years in karts, including the last three at WVMP after racing one year at Hamlin Speedway.
Last year, she captured two WVMP Adult kart titles, claiming the Medium and Heavy crowns.
“I liked doing the go-karts,” Wilkins said. “I always wanted to go bigger. Originally I wanted to go to a Late Model.
“I asked my dad once I got a championship, could I go up? I got two last year so I finally got to move up to the 600. I absolutely love it.”
Wilkins acknowledged that her feature win on July 16 was unexpected.
After finishing third in her heat, she got a break when the draw for starting positions put her on the pole.
“I led every lap,” she said,
“The track was absolutely beautiful and the car finally handled well.”
From older drivers like Wilkins and Moyer to the littlest pilots in the Youth kart division, the ladies have always been welcome.
Hopefully, the money raised on Pink Ribbon Night will keep them healthy and fixtures at the track for years to come.