Regional Racing Begins

13029597_1059624450765256_7594425668638970111_oApril brought no showers for the the first race of the Mid-American Sprint Series at Mid-State Kart club.  We have only been to this track once, when we ran this series two years ago, and looked forward to racing on it again.  To get the required practice and tuning in we left for Springfield on Thursday afternoon right after school.  We were surprised to find the the track gates locked when we arrived.  Our trailer is small and does not really allow storage of the karts and sleeping at the same time, making boon-docking with karts difficult.  Thankfully, while we were struggling to figure out sleeping arrangements, the locals noticed us and let us in.  We picked a nice spot with good access to the track, and did a little unpacking to make room for a good night sleep.

Friday morning, we finished unpacking the karts and put the Animal on the track for a some “fun” practice and testing.  You never know what you might learn.  It seemed to perform much better than it did in the snow which allowed Jason toIMG_7662 really drive it fast.  After lunch we put the Animal away, since it would not be racing and got out the LO206 kart. Over the next 100 or so laps we started to figure out the setup sweet spots.  This track is unusual for the sportsman class because we gear for power to exit corners instead of gearing for top speed.  The green slide restricts the engine’s power enough getting through the corners quickly and hitting max rpm in the straight is impossible.  This means we had to really pay attention to lap times and gearing to find the right balance.  In the near future we are going to need this skill to set up the animal motor which does not have a rev limiter so we need to hunt for the max speed and power balance.

IMG_7703_cropThe kart count for the sportsman class was low, so Jason practiced and raced with the LO206 Junior class (older drivers and more horsepower).  Jason took to the track and demonstrated how far he as come since he was last at Mid-State; first by racing around and past Junior drivers and then by showing he could run with the top sportsman drivers with consistent low 37 second laps.  Jason’s fastest clean air lap was 37.174.  He even managed to have a lap 36.9 second lap by drafting(just like NASCAR) a Junior kart.  At the end of the weekend Jason finished first in his class and fourth over all in both the Saturday and Sunday races.

New Camera Location, helmet cams banned
We will be returning to the track of Jason’s first road race on May 7th and 8th (yes, Mother’s Day weekend) at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL near St Louis, MO with the Championship Enduro Series.  This first road race of the season and the first time racing Animal Junior kart on a road track.

IMG_7648_cropThanks to my Dad for hanging out with us this weekend.  Karen for putting up with our loud re-entry into the house after an exciting race weekend.

Thanks to Bell Helmets for joining the team and helping us with a new helmet.  We love the fit and form of the Star helmet.  Its a great helmet for karting with its heads up design and ample ventilation for those hot days at the track.

Thanks to our 2016 Sponsors for their continuing support.
Bell HelmetsGoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilEVS Sports, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Worx Industrial Solutions

Seasons First Race at Badger

IMG_20160403_174925The racing season has at long last started.  We haven’t been just sitting around just pinning for race day.  We have been very busy working, while pining for race day.  Last season the animal motor spun its bearings and died.  We had a new one built using some of the parts from the LO206 motor we blew up at the last years first race.  Jason has been practicing at K1 Speed and has now moved up from their small karts to the adult karts.  I have been inspecting and repairing lots of little things on both karts as well as adjusting the karts to accommodate Jason’s growth over the winter.  The LO206 kart remained mostly the same just a bigger seat, while the Animal kart kept is seat but got bigger tires, more weight, and a more powerful motor from Regan at 4 Cycle Central.

12916251_1051697234891311_4392144678230672148_oThe racing weekend started with some hockey practice, then Jason and I headed up to Badger Kart Club for their first race of the season.  As a bonus Karen and Katie would meet us at the track.  Karen was towing our old trailer to deliver to its new owner.  I was hauling the new to us toy hauler with a, also new to us, pickup.  It was a cold and SNOWY(!?!?) day.  I managed to get the 206 kart ready for Jason to get a few rounds of practice in but they were very short due to freezing hands.  The rest of the night was spend in the trailer hanging out and keeping warm.  The warmth lasted till about 8 pm when the trailers heater stopped working.  Thankfully, our friends the Murray’s live near by and brought us a space heater for the night.

Sunday’s race day started early with some last minute work(and snow) on the animal kart to get it road worthy.  IMG_7561Badger has moved to a single practice format and added laps to the races.  This is great for racing but makes fine tuning the setup a challenge.  During the LO206 pracatice the kart took some damage as he was collected some novice drivers crashing in the hair pin, but was repaired with lots of orange Duck Tape just like NASCAR.  The Animal, on the other hand, was having handling issues and the break caliper too tight.  Most of my time was spent working on itto get the brake to stop rubbing and then repairing a broken brake line.  It was finally fixed by adding some washer as emergency shims.

IMG_7452The LO206 ran very well and Jason brought home second all day long with some excellent driving.  He led the feature for most of the race but the local favorite was able to catch him.  There was a puckering 3 wide pass in the hair pin involving Jason, the leader and lapped traffic, all made it out clean.  The kart just needs some fine tuning and seat time to run out front again.  The animal kart is another story.  The kart was reconfigure with more weight to run the Jr class and was out of balance and over weight by 22 pounds.  Fixing the weight made the kart more out of balance and hard to turn right.  The breaks are better but need some TLC to be perfect.  The feature race was exciting from the stands and there was smoke coming from brakes, later it was discovered that number plate was rubbing the break disk and smoking.  It will be a challenge this week to get kart balanced correctly in just a few hours of work each night.   Despite the wacky kart Jason met some luck and finished second due to two other drivers falling out due to their own mechanical issues.

Jason’s next race will be this weekend at the Mid-State Kart Club in Springfield, IL for the Mid-American Sprint Series’ first race of the season. The races at Badger last weekend were rained out, but we did get some practice in on Saturday and the Animal kart is starting to shape up.  Some more seat time and tuning should get it right.

Thanks Marty Murray for preventing our untimely frozen demise and doing technical inspection for both CES and Badger.  Karen and Katie it great to have you around cheering us on and lending a hand.  Reagan of 4 Cycle Central saw the problem with the sticky brakes and built a great Animal for the season.

Thanks to our 2016 Sponsors for their continuing support.
Bell HelmentsGoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilEVS Sports, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Worx Industrial Solutions

2016 Schedule Announcement

2016 Schedule

Wild Duck Racing will once again be traveling the Midwest with 3 regional series and additional local races as time permits.  Jason will be returning to the Championship Endro Series, this year in the Animal Jr class.  He will also join the Briggs 206 Cup and the Mid-American Sprint Series in the LO206 Sportsman class.  

The races below will be added to the schedule as time permits.

Full Hero

Thanks to our 2016 Sponsors for their continuing support.
GoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilEVS, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Worx Industrial Solutions

2015 Season Recap

IMG_6768It has been far too long since our last update, and now the season is over  Since we last sent an update Jason wrapped up the season traveling to old and new tracks.  At USA International Raceway, after locking up the LO206 sportsman championship in the 206 Cup he moved up to the Junior LO206 class and took home second place in his first race(video) in this class.  He also brought home his first Animal Sportsman race(video) win in a very tight race, swapped the lead 4 or 5 times, until he took the win on the last corner.  In early October, Jason traveled to Delmar, Iowa for the 61 Kartway Challenge(video), a 30 lap endurance race.  He spent the morning learning a new track, and that same evening, as the sun set during the race, took home second place just half a second back from the local favorite.

It has been quite a season of racing, it started off a little rough as we brought two karts up to speed.  Despite, early motor and wheel issues, Jason and the karts were very fast out of the gate, picking up an early 206 Cup win.  As the season progressed Jason received some coaching and I got the karts really dialed in, leading to a podium almost every race. At a race at Concept Haulers Jason dominated the track(Heat 1) to the point of breaking_MG_7430 the track record for the year by nearly a second. Our lowest point was at MKA with the 206 Cup where Jason was driving very well but the karts where bedeviled by broken chains and the animal motor problems.  The high point was at USA International Raceway with this Animal win and his first LO206 Junior podium.

Here are some of the honors from Jason’s 2015 season

  • 206 Cup/CES Challenge All Class Champion
  • Briggs and Stratton 206 Cup LO206 Sportsman Champion
  • Championship Enduro Series Novice Jr Champion
  • Briggs and Stratton 206 Cup Animal Sportsman 2nd Place
  • Mid-American Sprint Series LO206 Sportsman 3rd Place
  • 61 Challenge LO206 Sportsman 30 Lap Race 2nd Place

Some statistics.  Because a good race team is about numbers.

  • 2 karts
  • 3 racing series, 3 local track series
  • 20 weekends of racing, 28 racing days, 4 full practice days, 39 races
  • 40 gallons of racing methanol
  • 11 sets of tires
  • 3 motors
  • 11 tracks
  • 1 driver and 1 mechanic
  • Miles and miles of track time and truck time.
  • Fun Fact: Jason has driven approximately 400 miles on BlackHawk Farms Raceway since 2013.

In other news, it seems the TV show that Jason was interviewed for has been put on the shelf.  Hopefully,Adventure Aaron and the producers will find a way to get it out there.

On a more positive note Jason was recently mentioned in a press release from Coyote Motorsports, the manufacturer of his chassis.  The press release highlighted his Championship in the LO206 Cup and featured his first Junior LO206 race and subsequent 2nd place finish.

Lastly, our friend Christian Lantry has taken some end of season pictures of Jason, kart, and trophies. Christian is a professional photographer with deep experience in the professional sports, entertainment, and advertising industries._MG_7331

Looking forward to next year,  Jason is hoping to start racing in the Senior League at K1 Speed now that he is tall enough.  Over the winter, time will be spent in the garage tearing down the karts for inspection and rebuilding to prepare them for racing in Junior classes.

Thanks to our 2015 Sponsors for their continuing support.
GoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilEVS, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Worx Industrial Solutions

206 Cup/CES Challenge Champion

Thanks to Dave Larsen and the Championship Enduro Series team, and Greg Jasperson, Steven Vermeer and the Briggs 206 Cup Team.  Without these guys and their supporting groups this would not have been possible.  Thanks to Regan Verhing at 4 Cycle Central for all his support and giving us a motor that runs fast.

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Thanks to our 2015 Sponsors for their continuing support.
GoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilEVS, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Worx Industrial Solutions

206 Cup Race, Just want to Race

IMG_5710Its has been a pretty good summer of racing so far.  Though, I would have like to see more entries in Jason’s classes.  All three where very light in Jason’s classes.  The best turn out was a club race at Concept Haulers a few weeks ago with 12 drivers in his class, Jason really liked that and wanted to go back just for the on track traffic.  This last 206 Cup race at Concept Haulers was disappointing with only one other driver in each class.  When we plan our season work to keeping our commitments and then having nearly a no-show at Jason’s home track is really frustrating.  We were expecting to have a great time racing with the 206 Cup in both Animal and LO206 classes with good drivers near by.  To make it worse, the LO206 Senior and and Junior classes both had good if not great turnout and were well worth watching.   Jason really wants to race and hone his skills, just putting in laps by himself is not enough.

Enough with the rant, on with the race report:

Jason’s LO206 kart was very well dialed and his only competition was a very green driver in his 7th and 8th race ever.  Jason pulled away at the start and ended all races many seconds ahead.  He did set some very good lap times.

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We thought we had the Animal kart had tuned up, but we unfortunately missed something and it was about a second slower than the other driver.  We never really quite figured it out, though I do have some theories and will be looking to try them out at US Air for the last race of the series.IMG_5695

Jason’s next race will be at South Haven, Michigan’s Gingerman Raceway on September 12 and 13th.  This is the last race of the Championship Enduro Series this season and the 2014 Awards Banquet, were Jason will receive his 2014 Championship Trophy.

Thanks Karen looking forward to the Walworth County Fair and good luck Katie in the show, Mike and his son for coming out to visit, we will get you guys in a kart this summer.

Thanks to our 2015 Sponsors for their continuing support.
GoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilEVS, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross.

Club Night Race at Concept Haulers

In preparation for the third installment of the Briggs and Stratton LO206 Cup, Jason and I visited Concept Haulers Motor Speedway for a some testing and a practice race with the local club.  This track was the first one he put his very own kart on, and he ran his first season of LO206 Sportsman there.  His first race this season was here and he did okay, taking second, but it was not spectacular, fast but not real fast.  After working hard this season he has been reaching for the “real fast”  and the potential for Jason to do well was there.  The hope was that we would be able to at least keep up with the locals and give them a challenge.

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Getting Air while tuning the animal kart

We arrived for an early in the day open practice and tuned up his animal kart until we ran out of gas.  Once official race practice started, he was already warmed up and ready, so,  I put him in the back of the field, first to see what he would do and second to give him some practice passing.   His instructions were to be patient and smart and drive clean.  For the first two practice sessions he was very clean and passed the entire field both sessions.  In the second lap of the third practice, he exited from turn 1 a little hot and spun off the track in turn 2, then rest of practice watching the other drivers.  So much for being patient.

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The field this week consisted of 12 karts.  We have not seen a field this size since his kid kart days.  We knew most of the drivers and understood what they would do, but there were also a couple of unknowns.  Jason started the first heat in the middle of the pack in 8th, and the second in 5th(bumped up to 3rd, due to new drive moving to the back).  Being in the middle give him a better chance of finishing high in the heats and then starting near the front for the feature which makes winning easier with fewer karts to battle with in front of him.

Let’s watch, now, and see how he did.

Race Heat 1, starting 8th
 

Race Heat 2, starting 3rd
 

Feature Race, starting on the pole
I am hoping that you watched the video.  If you look back at the first race of the season he is actually a completely different driver.  At the IMG_5591beginning of the season he was letting off on the gas into corners and over breaking, now he stays on the gas through most corners, using the breaks to adjust speed and and direction to navigate the corner.  Not only did Jason win the heats 1 and 2, and the feature (by 17 seconds) but he also set the new 2015 track record with a 58.967, 1.271 seconds faster than the previous record and only 1.1 seconds away from the over all record.  We will see if it still stands at the end of the season.

Jason’s next race is August 21-22 at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway.  This will be the third race weekend of the Briggs and Stratton 206 Cup.

IMG_5523_cropThanks to both my parents and my wife for letting me muck with cars, motorcycles, and motors.  Without the skills I learned there I would not be able to keep Jason’s kart right.  Thanks to my Dad for hanging out with us this last weekend.  Your company was much appreciated.

Thanks to our 2015 Sponsors for their continuing support.
GoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilEVS, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross.

CES Racing at Blackhawk

trackmapThis weekend the Championship Endro Series held the third race and second visit to Blackhawk Farms Raceway.   Blackhawk is a nearly two mile long race track used for many forms of road racing including cars and motorcycles.  It is a track loved by drivers for challenging 7 turn course and its beautiful woodland setting.  When we visit we don’t even consider getting a hotel room, we know we are going to camp at this track.  Jason has now visited at this track 12 times running some where in the area of 200 laps, that’s about 390 miles.  That’s about 4 hours on driving time averaging 70 MPH.

IMG_5467This weekends competition was regrettably small, with no one in his class to race with he is a little bored.  In the past he has been able to run with some of the other classes but this year everyone is faster then he is and he is often by  him self while others are races up ahead. Its not very exciting for him.  Saturdays race started very well with Jason as usual jumping up to about 4th or 5th place and then as the faster but heaver karts picked up speed he dropped down to 11th of 17 by the end of the race.  Still a good race for him and consistent with his previous races and he won his class.

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Some of Jason’s fellow drivers

After the race on Saturday, started working on changing the kart setup to meet the Animal Junior class rules, with encouragement from his older and questionably wiser race buddies.  This class is normally for drivers 12 to 15, but since Jason is a pretty skilled and reserved driver and should be safe.  The Junior class runs without a restrictor plate on the carburetor and the driver and kart must weight at least 300lbs.  The plate prevents gas and air from getting into the motor and limits it to 7 horse power, down from the stock 12.  While adding the approximate 25lbs, I did my best to keep the kart balanced and safe, an unbalanced kart can be difficult to drive.  The only thing I did not do was put 6 in rear wheels and tires on as I don’t have any.  The tires would likely made him a bit faster.  He was given strict instructions to be careful and thoughtful with the new power and speed he when out for his first real Junior Practice.

Sunday race startThe race on Sunday was a really good time.  It however did start with a very scary moment of Jason spinning out in turn 6 and almost getting run into.  Thankfully, the guys behind him where very skilled and made the moves to get around him with out incident.  The rest of the race he played catch-up picked off kart after kart.  At one point he picked up a draft partner who stuck on him like glue and only briefly managed to pull in front of Jason, but Jason got him in the next corner.  In the end starting in 11th then going to 17th(dead last) all the way backup to 8th, quite the drive.  Although he was not on the track with other junior drivers lap times right there with the current drivers lap times of 1.33, though in the past 1.28 would be the high mark, with some tuning and practice we could do that.

Thanks all our road racing friends for their encouragement and support.  Karen, the season is starting to wind down, soon we can start to enjoy banquet season.  This race was supported by Glenview’s The Greenwood Restaurant.

Thanks to our 2015 Sponsors for their continuing support.
GoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilEVS, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross.

Briggs 206 Cup race at Eau Claire

The second race weekend of the Briggs and Statton 206 Cup was held in at the Mid-West Karting Association in Eau Claire, WI on July 24th and 25th.  Our trip started on with something new, a stop in Madison, WI and a stay at an AirBNB, the Uber of Bed and Breakfasts.  Our lodgings where very nice and exactly suited to our simple needs, a place to rest our heads for a reasonable price, Thanks Dustin and Family, hope to visit you again.

7095276After our Thursday nights rest, we finished our drive to the track and set about to practicing and tuning Jason’s karts.  Jason spent the first few laps puttering round on learning the track and then quickly picked up speed as he tested the track for the fast line.  This tracks main challenge is a squiggle that runs down the back stretch.  The entrance is out of a high speed sweeper and If you don’t set up the first kink correctly you loose more speed and time at each subsequent turns.  At the exit then you have to setup an moderately sharp u-turn in to the rest of the infield.  Getting that entrance wrong will blow the rest of the lap.  While Jason was tuning his driving, I was turning the karts, making the subtle adjustments as he reported back.  By the end of the day we were both hot and tried, but both karts where ready for racing.

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Saturday started with practice which went very smoothly but the racing was another matter.  The LO206 had a drive chain fail and the Animal had a tire come apart during the heat races.  I was able to replace the chain and the tire before the feature.  Unfortunately the “new” chain also failed during the first lap on the LO206 feature.  Both karts had well worn tires, as the day progressed karts got more difficult to drive through corners.  Eventually, as the laps wound down the kart slid around corners like he was using his hard tires and the slower lap times reflected that.  While, it was not our best day we learned some thing about these soft tires, when they go, they go.  Despite the failing tires Jason set the fastest LO206 Sportsman lap of the weekend of 40.242, just needs to work on passing to get around the competition.  That will come in time.  He finished 3 third in both classes for the day.

lead

Sunday Animal Race in the Lead

Sunday started with new tires for both karts and some more practice to break them in and bit of fine tuning.  Like the racing at Badger it was very exciting, but not much actually happened.  Jason and the other drivers in both classes where so closely matched now that they where nose to tail evey lap of every race.  Each driver looking for or to make the opened needed to move up a position and no one giving ground.   Jason was not able to make any progress in the LO206 the 4 races and finished 3rd for the day, but did set the days fastest laps.  In the animal sportsman class race one Jason took and early lead and stretched the lead to a few seconds at the end of his first win of the weekend.  The second race ended when the throttle cap came loose and he retired early.  The feature was quite the battle between the three drivers, again where nose to tail as they raced around the track.  At the end of the 11th lap Jason spotted an opening and made his move to take the second spot.  Jason held on to the position for the last lap, finishing second in the race and for the day.  The day ended with 3rd in the LO206 class and second in the Animal class.  Can’t wait for these guys to meet at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway, Jason’s home track, for the next 206 Cup race.

This next weekend we will be at the 3rd Championship Endro Series race and second visit to Blackhawk Farms, in South Beliot, IL.  This should be a fun but relaxing weekend with our racing friends.

Thanks Neil and Christian for their company and competition in both the sportsman classes.  Congratulations to Regan and Jen on your first born and thanks for the great motors from 4 Cycle Central.  Karen, we have a trailer now and it work mostly, thanks for the trust.  Kate nice working earning all of those ribbon at the Lake County Fair, 5 Grand Champions and 2 Reserve Champions.

Thanks to our 2015 Sponsors for their continuing support.
GoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilEVS, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross.