Jason, my dad, and I got to spend Father’s Day weekend at Road America watching the SCCA June Sprints and Jason got to race with the Road America Kart Club.
We traveled to Wisconsin Friday morning and hit the pits to check out the race cars. Jason, being a youngster and a racer, has a way of getting invited to sit in race cars, just like we let young children sit in his kart at the kart show. One big highlight of the weekend is that we knew one of the drivers in the Ford Motor Spec class. Unfortunately, he had a really bad weekend crashing in Saturday’s race, but finished. In Sunday’s race, he was collected by a errant car. We had a good time rooting for him but he was not able to share the passion because he had to spend so much time wrenching on his car.
At about 2 pm on Saturday we began to get ready for our race. Jason’s practice sessions were good; lap times were on par with the rest of the group. This is the first year of the club running with the green slide and everyone is still trying to find the sweet spot for gearing. Do you target top speed in the straights or exit speed on the corners? Tracks like Badger, you target the exit speed. Tracks like Concept Haulers, you go for top end speed. Aside from racing for fun here we could get a feel for the kart on part of the track for the MASS race that is here in a few months. Night races use the half track and the MASS races will use the full track. We will be back soon to practice and tune on the full track before the series race.
A little debris on the track
Heat one was very short, he started it the second spot, but the fuel tank came loose just as he went out, so he pulled right off for the DNS (did not start). Heat two he started 3rd and managed to get a great start and kept third. While he was slower in the inner corners than Randy in 4th place he was able to exit the last corner with more momentum and speed, preventing Randy from passing him. Because of the missed first heat Jason started the feature in 4th. Again, he got a great start and immediately pulled into second, but was quickly passed by Seth and a few laps later by Randy. About the 4th lap Seth’s kart dropped its chain and he was no longer an issue. Jason drove on, occasionally making up ground, but not enough, and finished 3rd. This definitely was not a bad race for having last been on this track 2 years ago and only for one race. He was still about a second back but its nothing that some more seat time and a bit of kart tuning can’t fix.
Next weekend is the 3rd Mid-American Sprint Series race at Concept Haulers, Jason’s home track. In the last few weeks he has become much more comfortable pushing himself and his kart . He is a different driver now – more in tune with the kart and the track. It will be interesting to see how he stacks up against his fast time from last year, and some of the old drivers in the series.
Thanks to my father to getting me into cars and taking me to the Chicago Historic Races 25 years ago. They are now called the “The Hawk with Brian Redman“. Without him I would not be the man I am today and be able to share the special relationship I have with Jason now. Also to my wife Karen for having an interest in Wagner Farm where she met the wife of Adam, who helped make the races all the more exciting.