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Lamberth ready to take next step in karting career

Posted: January 22, 2015 1:47 p.m.
Updated: January 23, 2015 1:00 a.m.

JOSEPH LAMBERTH POSES with his grandfather/crew chief/mechanic/sponsor, Paul Appleton, after being awarded the trophy for winning the 2014 title at the Powerade Mini-Max Division Karting end--of-year awards banquet at Carolina Motorsports Park.

One championship was nice. Two, however, is better for go-kart racer Joseph Lamberth.

The Statesville, N.C., resident and grandson of Debbi and Paul Appleton of Camden won his second consecutive Powerade Mini-Max Division Karting championship when he was presented with another championship cup at last month’s end-of-season banquet held at the Carolina Motorsports Park in Westville. CMP not only hosts the year ‘round series but also serves as Lamberth’s home track.

In 2013, in his second year driving karts, Lamberth won his first Mini-Max title. He repeated the feat in 2014 while also embarking on a new challenge after having won seven of his eight races in the series. In order to help prepare himself for a 2015 campaign in which he will head into the Junior Max class of karts, Lamberth sat behind the wheel of a Junior Max kart for the final two races of the season.

The transition to a more powerful ride was seamless as Lamberth was leading in the final of his first Junior Max race; only for a mechanical problem preventing him from making a run to the checkers.

With his grandfather and former motorcycle racer, Paul Appleton, serving as his crew chief, coach and sponsor, Lamberth said he looks to his grandfather for inspiration, knowledge of the sport and for helping to instill a winning attitude in him.

Since first starting racing a go-kart, Lamberth has been a quick study. By the middle of his rookie years in 2012, he was making his way onto the podium with top three finishes. In 2013, his racing took him from CMP to Ocala, Fla., to the Grand Nationals at the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, N.C., in which he finished 15th. Later that year, in an event at CMP, he won an invitational ticket to the Grand Finals World Championship in New Orleans, where he placed 18th among the best Mini-Max kart drivers in the world.

Returning to Ocala in 2014, Lamberth took the track by storm as he won all but one of the races he competed in while taking home the award for the fastest lap time in the series. Finding an added passion for the ROK series, Lamberth found time to make a few appearances on the ROK series track and will be looking into doing more of that in 2015.

Last July, Lamberth and Appleton traveled to Utah for the Grand Nationals and looking for a top 10 finish. The pair embarked on a five-day trip across the country in their RV pulling Joseph’s kart trailer behind them. With only a few days of practice on a track he had never seen, never mind driven on before, Lamberth set his mind to learning the track and watching the other drivers to learn their lines. It was a hot and stressful week but Joseph did well by taking 12th place out of 45 entries despite a rain shower during the final.

Lamberth will turn to running in the Junior Max division, which is a level higher with bigger and faster karts. He drove a new Haase Spirit junior kart for the first time in his debut in the series last November at CMP. He plans to run in the junior division throughout 2015 while developing and work extensively with his team and growing to be even more prepared for a competitive season next year.

One thing which Lamberth has going for him at his next level is a talented and experienced group of junior drivers at CMP who are always willing and ready to help him whenever needed.

Lamberth said he is excited to see what the start of the 2015 season will bring, asking himself if he can be a regular on the podium during his first full Junior Max season while all of those backing this talented junior driver surely hope so.

Lamberth credits his success to unwavering support from his father, mother and sister who are proud of his successful and committed dream of becoming a NASCAR driver.

With that, Joseph Lamberth can only look forward to what is ahead in his karting career.


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