The first regional race, with the Cup Karts of North America, was a blast. I had forgotten how much work sprint racing was. Both Jason and I are tired and sore form the weekends workout. I am in disbelief that we used to manage to race two sprint karts. Really, the best part of the weekend was re-connecting with all our sprint race friends again. It was great to hang out at the track and swap stories of the day and of years past.
The Cup Karts of North America Champion Cup Series, formerly 206 Cup, is a pair of regional kart racing series that focuses on racing the Briggs and Stratton LO206 motor. The motors are sealed at the factory and the parity is very high. The biggest differences comes from driver skill and the crews pre-race preparation. The series attracts some of the best teams in the country. Based on our previous outings this summer we high mid-level expectations, somewhere in the top 10.
The prior week was spent tearing down the kart and rebuilding it. The axle was changed out for a softer one. The kart was scaled and aligned to the best of our ability. We arrived on Thursday night and prepped for Friday practice and testing. Based on last years times we had a pretty high mark to hit of just under 54 seconds. By the end of Friday we managed a only just a few 53 second laps. Some of this was due the usual driver and set up issues but we also had carburetor issues but Rob from Kart City Performance helped us resolve that very quickly. He ended up assisting many folks get their carbs sorted out by the time the weekend was out.
Saturday morning things fell apart and we were back to mid 54s again. The track was hot and sticky which cause the kart to grip and hop causing slow corner exits. I also missed the gear changes, the hot dry weather caused the motor to drop horse power. Jim Lapiri of Coyote Motorsports gave us lots of great tuning advice and we manged to tune the kart back down to 53s by the end of the feature. Jason, despite our troubles, managed 7th feature against a field of 16 excellent drivers.
Based on Saturdays lap times and results, Sunday’s target lap time was mid 53 seconds/lap to get to the front and that would be a very tall order for the team. For practice the kart was good and he was able to get the lap times setup right off the bat, but still short of the lead, but a top 5 finish was possible. With some more help from with chassis tuning from Coyote Motorsports, Jason picked up spots all day long until he was starting the feature in 6th place. The 12 lap feature started very well he held his spot and was battling for 5th. As the race ticked the 7th lap in the tires started to get really sticky and the kart stopped sliding and started hopping again. Jason started taking corners on two wheels but still managed to hold his spot. During the last lap it became to much too defend and keep the karts speed and he dropped to 8th as two karts passed him in the monza. It was pretty amazing that he kept the kart where he did, it looked awful to drive. We have some plans to fix the late race issues net time around.
The next race is the first road race of the season at Gateway Motorsports park near St Louis. MO. The next week will be spent changing setup on the sprint kart and prepping the road kart for our first outing in Animal 370 Junior. He will be starting behind the Animal 370 senior class and learning to race with the drivers he has been looking up to for years.
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