We returned to Badger Kart Club for the first time in two years August 10-12 for the last race of the Cup Karts of North America Northern Series. The track was old and new since we last raced there. The old section had some surface improvements and the new section was, well, new to us. Both Jason and crew were very exited to get back and hang out with friends that we had not seen since the beginning of the season at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway. We also hoped to take what we had learned over the last season and make a final mark on the regular sprint season.
Friday practice was good, Jason started off slow remembering the old track and learning the new track. He ended loving the new section and was able to fly through it. It has one banked hairpin followed by a tighter flat hairpin. This combination is tricky as the first one is fast and the second one is slower. He also learned that he can control the kart on two wheels when he needs to. At the end of the day we were on the mark, last years top laps where in the 53 second mark and Jason was just on the cusp of breaking in to that time range.
The season has brought good Friday practices follow by crappy Saturdays. This is no exception all though we are better able to roll with it now. The Jason was off pace and complaining of inexplicable issues, kart was tight then loose all in the same lap. He kept looking at his kart saying it was cracked, and I kept saying it was fine. We did get the kart the kart into shape but were still battling weirdness. Eventually, I saw the crack and found the welder in Conner Lund’s pit. He tacked it up quick for the feature. After the race we stripped the motor so he could do a full weld. Conner was off racing so I went and did some other things. Later that evening, I was asked if I knew my kart was on fire. Apparently, they had started to work on it with out me and managed to ignite the gas that had leaked from the carburetor in into the seat. Thankfully, they put it out quickly with no real damage. Jason was quick thinking and smothered the grass fire with our pit carpet. The days results where: qualified 3, heat one 4th, heat two 3rd, and feature had a great battle were he finished 3rd.
Over night I made changes to the kart setup drastically. Saturday was good but we could do better. Normally, would not make multiple changes but we really did not have anything to lose since we were already light for northern series points. I copied the setup from on of the fastest senior karts, which was the same year and brand as ours. The one practice session almost did not happen as we found yet another frame crack. That was welded up, with out a fire this time, but missed our practice session and went out with another class ruining our great pre-qualifying session. He qualified 4th and finished heat one in 4th but set the fastest lap. In heat 2 he battled for third but came up short with 4th. He started the feature in 4th and had a great partner in 2nd to push with. Jason and the 2nd position had a stupendous start and Jason moved to 2nd and stayed there for the first 7 laps hot on the heals of first. At the 7 lap mark his kart started to tighten up and 3rd place made a great pass and 4th followed him shuffling Jason back to 4th. He tried to retake third but there was not time or opportunity to make the move. Overall a great cap to the regular season.
The race completes the Cup Karts regular season Jason finished 4th in the central division and 5th in the northern division. The final race will be the national race in New Castle, in a few weeks, The next Race is Michigan International Speedway Fall Classic last race we will make with Dart Kart Club in 2018.
Thanks for Kart City Performance for the motor that ran great this weekend and will allow Jason to show his potential at the up coming cup Nationals. Thanks to Don and Randy Westie for their coaching and setup help. Conner Lund for some great welding except for the fire part. To Cup Kart Track side team for their understanding and assistance in troubled times. Last but not least thanks to Brian at Viking Karting Products for supporting the Junior class this season.
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