Back to the Beginning at Gateway: Mothers Day!!

The most important thing in this post is this “Happy Mothers Day” to our moms.  Jason and I have not been with our moms for the last few years because of this race weekend We feel bad and miss our moms, but understand that we love you more then we love racing.  Thank you for letting us do this. 


It should also be noted that Jason’s birthday is on the 15th, he still can’t drive a car but drives faster then I do. 

The Last race weekend we were the best prepared we had ever been.  This weekend we where the worst.  Worse then our first road race ever which was also at Gateway Motorsports Park.  The sprint kart was just about ready, just change the motor, clutch, axle, wheels, and mount new tries.  The road kart was another matter it also needed a motor, clutch, new tires, plus generally inspected and cleaned up.  It also need to weight #370.  This meant we needed to add ~#50 of lead weight to the seat.  We made as much progress as we could in the short time working into the dark in the driveway every night.  We still needed to get motors and tires at the track on Friday.  The Hoosier R60 tires for both karts, were attained quickly from TJ of Winning Synthetics, with lots of time to mount them Friday evening.  Our 4 Cycle Central motors would not arrive until 11:30 PM Friday, by that time I was to tired to do any more work. 

Saturday started very early with preparing and mounting the motors.  There was not time for breakfast or coffee, just get busy.  We managed to get the road kart ready for practice at 9 but the breaks where still weak, so adjustment was still needed there.  The sprint kart came off the track from practice early with the engine burping, which led to carburetor adjustment and finally a good cleaning.  The rest of the morning was spent making adjustment and chasing gremlins until the noon lunch break at which point we were finally ready for racing and the karts felt good.   It was a long hard mornings slag to get things to the point where the karts could be raced and even then they need adjustment to make them fast. 

The sprint kart racing was not very exciting as the class is just him and the other classes in the race were are also small.  However, he did use the time on track wisely by exploring the track surface and testing new racing lines.  Its cool how he can still run at speed but still put the kart almost anywhere on the track he wanted too.  I forget how much seat time he has has and how much racing wisdom he has collected over the years.

The road racing was great!  Jason was introducing Animal 370 Junior class this weekend. It is the same as the Senior class but scored separately and he will always start behind them.   He was able to race with the guys he has been looking up to for the last 7 years.  During all the races, Jason found his spot mid-pack as he raced hard and learned a lot.  He finished 6th and 5th on Saturday.  On Sunday the track got slick and we had trouble adjusting so he finished 7th and 8th.  He received lots of compliments and raced like he belong with them.

Picture from Nvus Images of the racing this weekend. 

This weekend we had some great company with my Uncle Mark joining us and finally getting to see a race.  Over the last 7 years of visiting the track he has never watch Jason race due to scheduling, technical issues, or tornado. Thanks to Jack, Keith and Reagan at 4 cycle Central for all the help this weekend, your advice was invaluable. 

The next race is with Dark Kart Club at Michigan International Speedway, we missed this race last year due to injury but look forward to getting back to do another Indy and NASCAR track.   Just need to remove some weight and put the restrictor plates back on the carburetors.  

Thanks to our 2018 Sponsors for their continuing support:
Atomic Decals, Alex Ross ArtAmsoilChristian Lantry Photographer, C&M Auto Service,  EVS Sports, The Greenwood Restaurant, GoPro, Hoosier TiresInTech TrailersJegs Performance, OGIO BagsSlick Products, Shorai Power, Winning SyntheticsStardust Memorials, Jennings Chevrolet, Xona Software, Wicked Audio

Cup Karts of North America at Concept Haulers

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.

Thanks to our 2018 Sponsors for their continuing support:
Alex Ross Art, GoPro, Hoosier TiresInTech TrailersJegs Performance, Slick Products, Shorai Power, AmsoilWinning SyntheticsEVS Sports, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Xona Software, Wicked Audio

CHMS Race 4 and more practice

Once again the trailer was packed for a second dry run at Concept Haulers as we joined them for their Race 4.  The previous week the kart was reset for hard tires and notes were made with planned settings for the medium tires.  This time we planned to stay over night and practice on Sunday. 

The Racing was just about as expected, we are still a middle of the pack kart, but at least now we are in the front of the middle.   For heat 1 Jason started in 7th, and managed to only move up one spot to 6th, after getting a bad start.   Jason started on the pole and was quickly passed by the fast group but was able to hold of the middle pack for 4th.  Based on the other drivers we expected either a 4th or 5th place finish in the feature, 3rd was possible but it was not in his control someone ahead needed to make a mistake.  Knowing the other drivers we knew this was possible.  Jason started the feature in 5th and he and 3rd made plans to push each other to pick up spots at the start.  Unfortunately 4th(our friend #43) broke his throttle just as the green fell and Jason’s start was once again out of sorts.  He lost several spots as they all careened into turn one.  As the 12 laps progressed he and the #13 kart manged to work together to pickup spots until he was 4th.   Halfway through the lead kart spun in the hair pin and Jason managed to pickup 3rd, fate rolled the dice in his favor.   He just need to fend off #13 and the once leader for 6 more laps.  With some skillful driving he both managed to pick up speed and run a defensive line to keep his podium spot until the checkered even putting a gap on 4th and 5th place.

Overnight the kart was reset for medium compound tires.  Tires compounds come in different levels of softness.   Very soft tires are very sticky but wear out quickly but allow for faster laps,  hard tires last for ever by slide easily requiring slower speeds.  The traveling 4 cycle series use a medium compound, a compromise for wear between speed.  Each tire compound requires the chassis to be set up differently to maximize lap times.  Soft tires the kart is tuned to have less grip to keep the kart smooth.  When using harder tires the kart needs as much grip as possible.  A suite of changes required from wheel spacing, caster adjustments, tire pressure, and other tunables.  As the day progressed we made slight adjustments to searching a setup that freed the kart up for smooth driving and low lap times.  In the end we did pick up a second due to tuning and some better driving as well.  We where testing using older tires from last year, new tires will be a little faster but will require further tuning.

Next weekend is the first race of the Cup Kart of North America some of the mid-west best 206 drivers will be there.  The reports are that the junior class will be the biggest ever.  Very much looking forward to seeing were Jason and I stack up, if our current testing holds I would be happy to be near the front of the middle after a year away from sprint racing and improve on that as the season progresses. 

Thanks to our 2018 Sponsors for their continuing support,
Alex Ross ArtJegs PerformanceInTech TrailersGoPro, Slick Products, Shorai Power, AmsoilWinning SyntheticsEVS Sports, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Xona Software, Wicked Audio

New Season, New Skills, New Friends

We missed the first Concept Haulers race because of previous commitments and  second race was rained(snowed) out.  After a year since the last sprint race, Wild Duck Racing has returned the sprint track with Concept Haulers race #3.  We are just about the best prepared we have ever been with two practice sessions and proper time spent reviewing notes and doing kart setup.  The only thing holding us back is the lost time of being away.

Being a one day race we traveled light with just the kart, tools, and a few other necessities packed into the truck much like our early days in kid karts, although we did forget cleaners and lubricants.  The last sprint race Jason ran was in April of 2017 at 61 Kart-away and before that he was a sportsman. Both of us needed to start over.   He is driving a new kart, a 2015 Coyote Wide Track, and it is still very much a mystery.  Now we are and need to study and pay attention to every little thing. 

Jason started heat 1 mid pack and finished there he passed the slower karts and the faster karts passed him.  In heat 2 he started in the back and picked his way to  mid-pack.  The feature race was pretty good race for 4-5-6 and some good practice with pushing and drafting and he finished 5th of 8.  He was 3 second off from the leaders pace which was blazing compared to everyone else.   Just being on the track again was enough, we now know where we stand now and what its going to take to be competitive again. 

Instead of heading home after racing got a hotel room and hung out with some kart friends and relaxed.  Sunday,  we were back at the track for some practice.   Spent all afternoon testing, tuning, and practicing.  By the end of the day, Jason and the kart were moving a bit faster, but, there is still lots of work to do.   We are very likely to do the race and practice again next weekend. 


Announcing the 2018 Schedule

The garage has been busy for the last couple of weeks as the team prepares for the rapidly approaching season.  It looks to be a busy one with 15 weekend of racing, plus a few shakedown races to shake the rust off of everyone.  4 Cycle Central is building the seasons motors and team should be on the track at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway this weekend and try to understand the new sprint kart and learn some new tricks.

Relaxing at the Wisconsin Auto Museum

2018 Schedule

Jason will be returning to the Championship Enduro Series and will be racing with the Sprint Junior and the Animal 370 classes.  He will also be returning to sprint racing and join the Cup Karts of North America Cup Championship(formerly 206 Cup) in both the North and Central series.  There are a couple of conflicting races and we will make the final decisions shortly before the race weekend.  


Wicked Audio Joins as Sponsor

We are excited to announce Wicked Audio as a 2018 sponsor. Jason is sporting a pair of Endo wireless head phones as he prepares for a game.
Follow the link and check them out.

Wild Duck Racing: InTech Max The Tach Finalist

While we are still dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on the 2018 schedule you can see we are also hard at work on 2018 sponsorship’s.  While we are waiting on the the announcement of the top 30 in the  2018 Search for a Champion, the Top 25 InTech Trailers Max the Tach finalists were announced.   Jason and Wild Duck Racing made the cut.  

So now, while we are ordering parts and beginning to wake the karts from the winters slumber, we are working on some special projects for our 2017 sponsors.  There is also recruiting new sponsors for the 2018 season.  A racers work is really never done. 

Click the link or picture below to watch the announcement of all the finalist on face book.  Be sure to like, comment, and share the video to show your support and our social media effectiveness. 

InTech Trailers is a manufacture of custom high quality, light weight, industrial and motorsports trailers.  All of them are designed with a specific customers needs and specifications in mind.   InTech Trailers  are hand assembled in Nappanee, IN. by skilled craftsmen with attention paid to every detail. 

Thanks to our 2017 Sponsors for their continuing support, See you in 2018.
Alex Ross Art, Bell HelmetsGoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilWinning SyntheticsEVS Sports, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Xona Software, Wicked Audio

2017 Season Recap

It has been quite a season for Jason and the Wild Duck Racing team.  Jason wanted fewer weekends away this but the same number of races.  This lead us to planing a full season of Road Racing.  As in the past he raced with Championship Enduro Series(CES) and added AKRA/Dart Kart Club(DKC). The 61 Kartway spring classic was the only sprint race of the season.  To keep the number of races inline with previous seasons we purchased a road kart, and adding the Sprint Junior class in both series.  CES had 6 races a weekend, 4 Animal Junior and 2 Sprint Junior, and DKC had 4 races a weekend, 2 for each class.  If things went as expected he should  have 10 weekends of racing and a total of 47 races for the season.  This is actually a few more then he have run previously, in the end its just numbers.

The season started off with trouble, a crash at Gateway that caused us to skip the first race at Michigan International Speedway followed by a second at Blackhawk Farms.  Thankfully, neither incident caused any lasting injury or caused much damage to either kart, but not a good start.  The first real test of the season was DKC’s Mid-Ohio, against unknown drivers and karts, where he swept the weekend.   Races at Grattan and Michigan International Speedway brought mixed bag of results but overall success as the sprint kart was unchallenged and we warmed up to the road kart.    The season culminated by enjoying the first kart race ever at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, where, Jason had one of his most exciting races(video) of the season. 

Racing does involve some statistics

  • 19 days at the track
  • 12 Race weekend visitors
  • 4200 miles traveled to 9 Tracks
  • 3 1/2 sets of Hoosier tires (14)
  • 3 4 Cycle Central Briggs Animal engines(sigh…)
  • 35 Gallons of methanol 
  • 39 Feature Races
  • 9 Quarts of Amsoil 4T oil
  • 8 Cans of Amsoil brake cleaner
  • 1 nerf bar and body panel
  • 30 first place finishes
  • 39 Trophies, starting to have storage issues. 
  • CES Points
  • Dart Points

2017 Season Results
Congratulations, 4 Series Championship Titles

Champion Championship Enduro Series: Animal Sprint Junior
Champion Championship Enduro Series: Sprint Junior
Champion 4 Cycle Central Road Animal Nationals: Animal Junior
Champion Dart Kart Club : 4 Cycle Sprint Junior
Champion Dart Kart Club: Sprint Junior

Remembering Joe Pribyl, without whom this would have never been possible. 
Oct 29, 1940 – July 2, 2017

Enjoying the Road America Indy Race 2016Thanks Dad and Grandpa

Next up for the team is rebuilding and planning for the 2018 season.  Schedules should be out in the next couple of months.  We are going to need to do something about the sprint kart chassis, new kart or new frame, this is one many decisions we are going to have to contemplate over cold winter off season. 

Thanks to our 2017 Sponsors for their continuing support, See you in 2018.
Bell HelmetsGoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilWinning SyntheticsEVS Sports, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Xona Software, Wicked Audio