61 Kartway has not been on the Wild Duck Racing schedule for two years and it’s too bad. It is an awesome technical track that Jason really enjoies racing on. Jason last raced at 61 in the beginning of 2017 for the spring classic. We returned this summer for the Cup Karts of North America. We have been working on qualifying so that he can keep clear of mid-pack chaos during starts. After the success at Badger Kart club earlier in the month we hopped he could continue to be successful.
Our usual arrive on Thursday night and prep the kart on Friday morning worked out great. We were very relaxed in getting the kart ready and well rested for the days work. Practice started at noon and went well as Jason adjusting quickly and refreshing his memory. Jason and the kart were close to the front pack and he should be fairly competitive with some more seat time and some persuasion gently applied to the kart.
Saturday, we tried to duplicate the plan we used at Badger, practice twice on old tires and then put on the new ones for the final practice for a qualifying test. That test went poorly, he was a second off the pace and qualifying did not go better, 14th. The track had started to gain grip as the karts laid more rubber on the track and we missed the queue to adjust the kart. The first heat start one was red flagged as karts piled up in turn one, on the second try, he made some quick moves forward on the green flag but was shoved off the track and had to fight hard to get to 16th from a 20th. The second heat started with bang as the field piled up behind a spin in turn one collecting Jason. The second start was cleaner and he moved quick and hard to move from 16th to 11th. Unfortunately, kart setup was undone by the 2nd heat accident and the kart was very hard to drive never mid fast. He started 11th and then quickly dropped back to a 15th place finish. Over night we inspected the kart and found the issue but suspected that it might also be bent, something we could not fix at the track.
Qualifying on Sunday went very poorly again there was too much grip in the kart, he was 16th. To add to this the field had gotten much faster and tighter, the top 10 where only a few 10ths apart. We need to practice that and understand how to get the kart up to speed faster and pay better attention to changing track conditions Starting the first heat in the middle and getting spun off the track in the middle of turn three was not a great start to the day. Thing got slightly better in heat 2 with a good clean start and he moved up to finish 11th. As the feature started he was again driven off the track but this time in turn 4 and has work to catch the tail of karts. He again pushed hard and make up time and moved from 20th to finish 13th after penalties were given out. After returning home we checked the kart carefully and found that it is not bent, so we need to keep working on setup and keeping up with track conditions.
Next is Advanced Racing School followed by some time off, though we might try to get a club race in for some more practice. We want to reach out and offer our condolences to the Midwest Kart Association on their last race weekend at the their current track. Hopefully, they will find a new place to race. Jason has only raced there once and will miss the track, but we still will race with the folks we met there.