There are few race tracks in the world that can come as close to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. LeMons is older, Monaco has a more rarefied crowd, and Daytona is famous in the US, but the Brickyard has everything a motorsport fan could ask for. Fast cars with historic drivers and history making races. As an facility it is beyond amazing for both driver and fan. We spent the 4th of July weekend at the track racing with some fastest drivers including a couple of Indycar drivers, Conor Daly and Gabby Chaves. Just one part of the amazing experience was his ‘parade lap’ around the big oval, add another story to his pocket.
The Battle of the Brickyard was a great experience for the team. This race is a true international race with drivers from the US, Canada, South America, and as far away as Australia. The track could called a street style layout at around 1.2 miles, it has the long smooth lines of a road race and the tight technical corners. Jason has the unique experience as a road and sprint racer to quickly understand the speed of the track. The challenge will be getting the kart into a state where he can drive it fast and stay in the draft.
Our pre race preparation and experience paid off quickly in Friday’s practice 3 short practice sessions. The kart only required minor adjustment to get it up to speed where Jason could drive near the front. He wasn’t the fastest but he was able to run with the front pack and as long as we kept moving the kart forward he should be able to get a top 10 finish. As usual, we needed to work hard to search for the karts sweat spot, not over think things, and not succumb to the weekends oppressive heat and hold off on rain.
Qualifying was on Friday night after practice and was a very informal process. The karts were sent out in bulk with instructions allowing drafting but no bump drafting. Unfortunately, Jason was not able t find a suitable drafting partner and qualified 14. This forced him to battle for position during most the Saturday’s heat race instead of moving forward and finished 14th. The pre-feature was rained out on Saturday night and was rescheduled for a shorter 5 lap race on Saturday morning. With a great start he moved up to as high as 11th but then fell off the draft and had to fight very hard in a 4 way battle for 12th. He made a great last corner pass to capture 12th at the checkered. In the 14 lap feature Jason moved from 12th to 11th in a few laps and started to pull away with the lead pack. However, a few minor mistakes plucked him out of the draft. Unable to draft he was forced to wait for the pack a few seconds behind him to catch up to him for new draft partners. While they were not able to help move back to the found he was able to race and with them easily. He was able to swap places with this pack and made moves at key moments to take the pack lead retaining 12th as the race ended.
The next race is Cup Karts of North America at Badger Kart Club. This kart is pretty much ready to go, just need to change the clutch and tires. We had an attempted test race a few weeks ago and got some limited data and practice. Hopefully, he can make some ground.
Thanks to Karen my lovely wife and Jason’s mother for letting us race on our wedding anniversary. Thanks to TJ Holingsworth of Winning Synthetics for the Amsoil and the seeds of the 2020. Lastly, a thanks to Jim Lipari at Coyote Motorsports for the weekends tuning advice.