One step forward and…

It’s been two weeks since we returned from the second Championship Enduro Series weekend this time at Blackhawk Farms.  The week prior we were waiting for Jason to heal and scrambling to find a source for racing methanol.  We found  a local source at Chicago Connection a race shop that is associated with US 41 Motorplex.  Thanks to them we are now the proud owners of a 55 gallon drum of Sunoco 99% Pure Methanol.   By Wednesday Jason was cleared to race again.  I picked up the barrel on Friday morning and that afternoon as soon as school let out we piled into the truck and went to try our luck again an see if we could beat our gremlins. 

We met up with my Aunt and her friend on Friday night.  We hung out in the pit/camp and caught up on family events, relaxed, after doing last minute kart adjustments.  They returned on Saturday morning to watch a full day of racing.  Saturdays practice went really well.  The sprint kart as usual was really hooked up right.  It was turning super fast laps and handling really well.   The road kart was starting come together it was faster than the sprint kart few seconds and was handling pretty well.  Jason was starting to get the hang of driving it.   Race 1, in his sprint kart, went great and he started 23rd overall and finished 11th.  Race 6 , in his road kart, started well, but after three laps he took turn seven too wide and clipped a hump with the rear wheel and bent the rim.  Once again he was out of the race.  The last race of the day was in his sprint kart and again he did very well moving from 23rd to 11th.  We were able to source a wheel from our parts bin and the kart was ready for the next day of racing. 

Sunday brought two rounds of practice and then right into racing.  During race 1 Jason in turn one of the second lap the print kart was collected by another kart as it spun out.  The contact bent his left side nerf bar and totaled the side panel.  Thankfully, Jason was not hurt but the kart was not going to be repaired for race 7, no parts.  Jason was eager to race in his road kart but with the heat of the day and the days earlier incident we we decided that he should take a token lap to register a start and call it a weekend.  The karts were packed into the trailer and we headed home disappointed but looking to race another day.  

We have been very busy fixing the sprint kart and it is almost ready for the second Dart kart club race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington Ohio.  This will be our first trip track and are very excited to see what it is like.  It has an nice off camber turn and some really long straights.  Practice starts on Friday and we will posting live videos and pictures all weekend long on our facebook, twitter,  and instagram pages.

Thanks to our 2017 Sponsors for their continuing support.
Bell HelmetsGoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilWinning SyntheticsEVS Sports, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Xona Software

Gateway fast and fighting, Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend! In addition to all the kart stuff going on, it’s Mother’s Day.  Yes, our moms let us race on Mother’s Day, and they are awesome.  It’s also Jason’s birthday on Monday, so Happy Birthday too!!

Wild Duck Racing returned to the track that started Jason’s road racing career, with new karts.  Almost 5 years ago to the day we first visited Gateway Motorsports Park for our first ever Championship Enduro Series road race.  Back then Jason was driving an LO206 powered kart in the Junior Novice class.   He was not fast compared to our competition but that was not really the point.  This year, we brought the sprint kart and the new road kart.  Both Briggs and Stratton Animal powered and both fast.  Back then he was running laps in 1:40+.  This weekend he ran 1:20 in both karts.

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We arrived on Friday afternoon and set up our pit area in the garage.  Gateway has one of my favorite garage areas because it comes with power and air.  We get to use the same garages that the NASCAR Truck Series and Indy Series use a few weeks later.  One of the highlights of Friday night was a impromptu interview of Jason by a karting blogger and our Amsoil supplier TJ Hollingsworth of MidLife Karting Crisis fame and owner of Winning Synthetics.  I step away and let Jason do his own interviews without any coaching during it, but we do practice occasionally and he pays attention to the kart and what’s going on with it during the race day. 

Saturday started with practice, Jason decided to run the road kart in the break-in session to start get a feel for it, and then ran it with the first 4 cycle session.  It ran ok for a few laps, until he pulled in complaining that the motor was burping in the corners.  This problem would plague us all weekend and was not solved until the Sunday’s race.  The sprint kart was amazing, it was fast and just needed some slight gear changes to optimize.  It was fast enough that he practiced with the 2 cycle group and had no troubles with with traffic.

Once practice was over things really fell apart.  I found that the sprint frame had broken on the right side and needed to be welded.  In the meantime Jason took the road kart to the 4 cycle central pit for some investigation.  While there, he was grabbing tools and tearing down the motor so Regan could take a look and hopefully find the issue.  This was a real first.  Jason put forth a great effort working on that kart trying to get it back into racing shape, unfortunately everything checked out and we need to keep looking for the problem. 

While putting the newly-welded sprint kart back together, I found that one of the rear seat struts was also cracked and needed to be replaced.  With only 15 minutes before the race start.  I was really thrashing on the kart to get it fixed.  Tools and parts were flying in our pits along with some strong language.  With just a few minutes to go, I managed to get the kart to the grid and just in time for the start, only because the start was delayed by some other issue.  Race 1 and 7 in the sprint kart went very well with Jason setting his record lap times and putting on a great show with the Animal 360 karts.  The road kart was not as successful.  He got to start the race and pulled in after the first lap with burping issues.  Back to work for the rest of the evening.

Saturday’s race 1 in the sprint kart was great again.   It was really dialed in and he was doing great things, working on passing and timing, and working on the draft.  He is kart is as fast as the slow pack of 360s.  If he continues to get the draft in the straights he should be able to really fly.  We finally find the problem with the road kart:  the engine was so thirsty for methanol, the fuel system was vacuum locking.  However, since we did not get much practice in we did not get much tuning and it was handling poorly.  During the race the rear tires broke free while exiting the corner into the big oval and it backed into a tire barrier pretty hard.  Jason was checked out and was OK but his racing day was over early.  The kart sustained a bit of damage.  Between this and some other issues we are are forced to skip the Michigan International Speedway race since there is just too much do to get ready. 

Once again thanks to Regan at 4 Cycle Central and Marty Murray for helping keep the karts on the track, and to Kat Murray and Judy and Mark Nielsen for help after the race, yummy dinner and excellent company on Friday night.  Thanks to our Moms, and Grandmothers for their support and for getting us this far.

Thanks to our 2017 Sponsors for their continuing support.
Bell HelmetsGoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilWinning SyntheticsEVS Sports, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Xona Software

Racing Season Begins!!

The 2017 racing season has started, with the 61 Kartway Spring Challenge in Delmar, IA.  The sprint kart was prepped with the freshened LO206 motor and loaded in to the trailer for a weekend.  Both crew and driver were very rusty,  the kart was on the track for practice on Saturday night only gear changes were made just to start the kart tuning.  Once again, I made the mistake of not really checking my notes, so did not make many changes to the rest of the setup.  While we were ahead for Sunday’s racing, the kart was not quite up to speed yet.  

During the first practice runs the kart was 5-6 seconds off the pace, after making some adjustments that did not do it, I looked at my notes and got the kart close to the required lap times but we had a few set backs during racing.  Everyone on the team was a bit rusty.  Heat 1 he was able to keep up with the leader but not make any moves, the kart was still a little off.  With some tuning he for Heat 2 he made progress and had 2nd place in hand until he was forced off the track while fending off a pass.  He started the feature in 4th and was able to make some great moves in a four wide start jumping up to second.  He stayed there until one of the rear wheel hubs loosened and moved in and stuck the tire against the frame ending his race early.  Despite all that, it was a fun weekend and felt good to be back at the track. 

We made a good effort to bring the 1991 Margay into working condition but it was simply not the right chassis for 4 cycle racing, not enough room for the big motor between the rails.   With a hot tip from 4 Cycle Central’s Regan we headed out to purchased this P4 road kart, it had everything we needed and was mostly set up.   We should have some neighborhood test runs soon.   It will first hit the track May 13-14 at Gateway Motorsports Park with the Championship Enduro Series, we are both pretty excited about putting this kart through is paces and getting the sprint kart back on the big track.  This should be a good season if we can keep everything put together. 

Thanks to our 2017 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, Xona Software

Xona Software

Wild Duck Racing welcomes Xona Software to the team for the 2017 season.  If you have more than one server you need automation software.  Xona Situate provides workflow and release management for Windows and Linux based systems.   You can manage the full life cycle of your software from deployment, daily processing, and upgrades all from a single console.  Xona Situate is self-documenting workflow automation software to automate everything so your IT staff can think, plan, and design.

Thanks to our 2017 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, Xona Software

Welcome Sponsor Jennings Chevrolet

Wild Duck Racing is excited to announce that Jenning Chevrolet is returning as a sponsor for the 2017 season.  The original Wild Duck Truck was purchased at Jennings as was the current Chevy Silverado 2500.  We also have a VW Jetta that was also purchased from Jennings VW, just next door.   As a budget minded team we have been very pleased with our vehicles and with Jim Walsh and his sales team.  Thanks Guys!

Service & Parts: (847) 510-6692
Vehicle Sales: (847) 510-6694

L-R: Jim Walsh, Jason, Abu Badar

L-R: Jason, Abu Badar, Andy Sweis, Jim Walsh

Thanks to our 2017 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, Xona Software

2017 Season Race Schedule

2017 Schedule

We finally have the season’s schedule sorted out.  Jason will be returning to the Championship Enduro Series and joining Dart Kart Club and Michigan Kart Club for a full season of Road Racing.   He will be racing in the Animal Sprint Junior class and new this year the Animal Enduro Junior 300 class in a new to us kart.

Every Weekend he will be racing on Saturday and Sunday.  The race day will be interesting with 3 races every day.  The mornings will be filled with practice and tuning both karts.  The racing will start in the afternoon with a 15 minute race in his sprint kart and end with a 30 min race in his road kart immediately followed by another 15 min race in his sprint kart.   Unlike sprint racing, where he was cycling back on track every 20 minutes all day, this should be more relaxing and enjoyable. 

May 13-14 Championship Enduro SeriesGateway Motorplex, Madison, IL

May 20-21 Michigan Kart Club, Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI

June 3-4 Championship Enduro Series, Blackhawk Farms Raceway, South Beloit, IL

June 16-18 Championship Enduro Series, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH

July 14-16 Championship Enduro Series, Grattan Raceway Park, Belding, MI

August 12-13 Championship Enduro Series, Blackhawk Farms Raceway, South Beloit, IL

September 9-12 Championship Enduro Series, Gingerman Raceway, South Haven, MI

September  16-17 Michigan Kart Club, Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI

September 30-1, Dart Kart ClubPittsburgh International Race Complex,Wampum, PA

 

Thanks to our 2017 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, Xona Software

InTech Trailers Max The Tach 2017

Just wanted to follow up on our the other day.  Jason and the team made the Top 10 cut , but were eliminated in the Top 5 round.   We had a great time working on this project and hope to be able to try it again sometime.   Thanks to InTech Trailers for supporting grass roots racing. 
 
Here is the facebook link to the Top 5 Video.
 
Here is the facebook link to the Top 10 Video, Jason is announced about halfway in. 
 

You can see the top 25 Video announcement on the link below.  For the impatient, Jason is announced about 5 minutes in.

 

InTech Trailers Top 25

In January the team submitted an application for sponsorship with InTech Trailers. Yesterday morning they announced the top 25 candidates and Wild Duck Racing was among them. We are honored that they see the potential of our team. Should we be picked the team will get use of a very nice 28ft trailer which will include all of our sponsors logos on the side. Wish us luck as they trim down to 10 next Monday and announce finalist on the 28th.  If we make it to the top 10 we will need to submit a 3 min video for consideration. 

You can see their video announcement on facebook. For the impatient, Jason is announced about 5 minutes in.

Jason’s Thank You Video

You can see the trailer here

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, Xona Software

 

 

 

 

End of Season Thanks

The team has been working hard all summer long and Jason was in the hunt for season championships in the last two series weekends.   It is your support this season that has gotten us here, all we can say is “Thanks!”

Jason and Grandpa at CES Banquet at Grattan, 2015 ChampionWe visited Grattan Raceway Park near South Haven, MI over the weekend of September 10th to finish the season with the Championship Enduro Series.  He had missed two weekends of racing but had done well enough to still be able to move to first place if he won the last four races.  This was very possible as long as our new(to us) kart performed and held together.  We had a tested it at Badger Kart club the weekend before and it was very promising.  Unfortunately, the weather had other plans. It rained all day Saturday giving everyone rain points and putting the championship out of reach.  On Sunday, the new chassis broke but we were able to repair it and Jason went on to win both races for an exciting but slightly frustrating weekend.

The weekend of September 17, we finished out the Briggs 206 cup at USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI.  The LO206 sportsman class was already decided with Jason locked into 2nd place.  Jason struggled with an underperforming 22016 206 Cup Animal Sr Champion at USA International Raceway06 kart all weekend but he still was able to finish in 4th place on both days.  In the Animal Sr class he still needed to finish the weekend’s races near the front of the pack become Champion.  Saturday’s racing was excellent with Jason keeping up with the leader and finishing both heats and the feature in second.  On Sunday, Jason set the fastest lap in qualifying, repeating Saturday’s feat, and finished 2nd in the first two heat races.  Starting 2nd in the feature Jason dogged Regan Vehring, his motor builder and race leader, for the first 8 laps of 10 laps, but not pushing too hard.  In the 9th lap, Jason feigned attempt to pass in the back stretch looking to the inside before hairpin corner.  As they made the final lap the Regan moved to the inside to block in the same place as Jason moved to the outside making the pass for the lead.  Just a quarter lap later Jason earned his first Animal win of the season.  These results where more than enough to seal the Championship.  Congratulations Jason.

img_1034The last race of the year was at the happiest place on earth Road America.  They held a 100 lap Endurance race.  Jason partnered with on of his sportsman competitor Will to run LO206 Junior.  We knew we would not have the fastest kart racing against animals and yamahas, so we planned to pick up time during driver changes.  We put on a big gas tank that would easily finished the two 50 lap stints.  This made our two pit stops very fast, as we only needed to change drivers.  Other teams needed to change drivers and fuel, putting their pit stops on the order of minutes compared to our seconds.  The boys drove very well at one point they were as high as 3rd but eventually fell back to 6th as the fastest karts were able to make up their pit time.  At the end of the day Will and Jason finished first in their class and 6th overall.



A short video we made for a school about me project

Here is where things ended with all of the series Jason raced with.

Jason testing his Road Kart for 2017 at GrattanThanks to all of you for your support this season, it would not have not been possible without this great team to support us.  We are already starting work on the 2017 season starting with getting his sportsman karts ready for sale so we can build new karts for even more racing next season.

Thanks
Steve & Jason

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

Some Club Racing

This is hardest part of the season, there are only a few more weekends of racing left and the long weekends are starting to take their toll on us.  Add to that, school has started causing our focus to start to wander a bit.  So far, Jason has locked up 2nd place in his LO206 Sportsman in Mid-American Sprint Series and the Briggs 206 Cup. With one race left in each series the Championship is still on line in the Championship Enduro Series and Briggs 206 Cup Animal Class, so we need to stay on task to do well in these last weekends.

Jason_Robert_KartFor the last four years Jason drove karts that are build for smaller drivers.  It’s made with smaller tubes and has more flex to help the light weight driver for better grip and handling.  Jason has been growing all season we have had to move the pedals twice and change out a seat on one kart.  His growth is starting to affect the karts drivability.   A few weeks ago we purchased a “new to us” kart for the Animal class, a 2005 Coyote LE from Robert Murray Racing.  We have just a couple of weeks to get the kart tuned up and ready to attempt to finish with some wins.

Initially, we had just planned to race at Badger Kart Club on Sunday to give the new kart a shake down, but, about 10 am on Saturday the plans changed.  I made a comment to Jason about getting in on the night race and Concept Haulers Motor Speedway he was all on board with that.  So we spent the next 2 1/2 hours getting both karts ready.  We staged the Animal for a Sunday morning load and then tossed the 206 and tools, in the back of the pickup and headed out to Norway for a 4:30 pm practice.  He have not done a two track weekend since the kid kart days.  It’s lots of fun but takes some perseverance to pull off.

IMG_0098Our expectations for the night race where high, I tried to keep things on a even keel, its important to not get a full head.  Jason had always done well against the local kids at Concept Haulers, but we also knew they had been getting faster.  Jason started every practice session in the back and was able to work his way up to 2nd or 3rd by the end.  His passing was getting a bit aggressive and pressing other drivers to let him by,  but he still kept it clean.  The random draw for the first heat started him in second for the first heat and finished there, the fast local driver was seconds ahead by the end.  He started 6th for the second heat and was up to 4th with in a few laps but was unable to make moves on slightly off line and but just a hair slower traffic.  Jason started in second the feature, he dropped back to third and then was passed in the back stretch for 4th but gained it back in a really great pass as he exited the hair pin.  Seven laps in with 5 to go, he was working on 2nd place as he exited turn three but closed the gap to fast and had to break hard on the causing the 4th place kart to bang in to his rear and sending him spinning into the grass and ending his race.  Our ride home was quiet but we learned some new tricks, some of it what not to do.  At home we unpacked the kart and headed to bed for a few hours sleep before more racing the next day.

New_59Up early on Sunday, we loaded up spare set of tires and the new kart in to the truck and headed to Badger Kart Club .  There was quite a large crowd for their last race as number of championships were still in dispute including in the Animal Junior class.  Our goal was to stay out their way and learn to tune the kart and have some fun.  Practice was awful, with cold and slick tires he spun off the track in the third turn, the kart was way too loose for his driving style.  I tried to make adjustments to the wheels to fix the problem but to no avail, the kart was still driving him.  We finally removed the wide squished wheels and tires and put on the newer, skinnier, and taller set for the feature and he was able to get the kart under control but the gearing was off by a half dozen teeth so he lacked top speed.  Despite finishing 6th of 7 it was a good day of testing, we were both pleased with the results and the knowledge and experience gained.  This should bode well for the critical last few races.

IMG_0082The next race will be after the weekend after Labor day.  It is the last road race of the season and Jason is in second place with a good chance of winning the Championship he just needs to finish in front of the class leader in all four races.  He can do this, hopefully we will be able to keep the kart in shape.

Thanks to Robert, Marty and Kat Murray for the help all season long and getting the new kart ready for us.  Thanks to my parents who came out to the Concept Haulers race to cheer Jason.  Good Luck to Katie and Karen this weekend at the Walworth County Fair this is one of our favorite non-karting weekends of the summer.  We get to watch Katie ride and hang out at the fair all weekend.

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