And like that the 2019 racing season has started. We have been very busy over the last couple of weeks, preparing the karts for the season. The sprint kart has been getting the most focus. We have been tearing it down and building it back up. On the road side, the his animal are out for some refreshment at 4 Cycle Central.
Jason got this years first track time for some warm up laps and a shakedown of his Coyote Wide Track. As usual this happens at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway, which will also be the site of the seasons first two races. We have been working in the garage for the last few weeks waiting for the right weather. It works pretty well but yet ready to set any records, some tuning is going to be needed and them some more track time and tuning to get it just right.
Here it is, the first of February, its still too cold and frozen to hit the track for some practice days, and race day is months away. Thanks to InTech Trailers and RacingJunk.com we now have something to take the edge off parked kart syndrome. You can plan out your dream race trailer from InTech Trailers and then find something racy to fill it with at RacingJunk.com. You can even find parts and service vehicles there too.
Now for the part were Jason needs your help, race over the InTech Trailer Max The Tach voting pages and vote for Jason. This is the first round of the voting for the top 25 teams. For the last two years Jason has made the top 25 and then the top 10. Lets see if we can get him all the way to the top 5 and on to number one. Please follow the link and vote there are only 5 days of voting in the first round and your vote really helps.
To Vote click on the banner below and select type Pribyl in the search box to find Jason, enter your email address, click submit and we are off to the races. Don’t forget to share this with your friends and family. THANKS!
Here are the videos we made for the MaxTheTach top 10 for 2018 and 2017.
We have some exciting news, Jason was recently interviewed on ‘Inside the Garage with Andrew Kurland’. Andrew is a up and coming NASCAR journalist and member of the Acceleration Nation(A NASCAR Media site) reporting team. Jason’s segment is slotted amongst some of the greatest drivers in NASCAR. Have a listen and share this and help build our fan base.
Follow one of the links below or search on Apple iTunes search for ‘Inside the Garage with Andrew Kurland’
The Cup Karts of North America had two series(North and Central) and Jason competed in both but did miss 2 in the northern series and 1 in the central series due to conflicts. Sprint racing started off pretty rough both Jason and crew had to work through pains returning to sprint racing. He finished just mid pack in a field of 16 at the first series race. The kart went through a transformation as we made both small and big changes. As the season progressed, Jason made moved in to top 10 and started to approach top 5 by the Grand Nationals, If not for some mechanical issues he was on goal to finish the season as one of the top 10 Junior 4 Cycle sprint drivers. He finished 4th in the CKNA Central Series, 5th in the Northern Series and 24th at Grand Nationals due to failed wheel bolts. Thanks to Viking Kart Products for sponsoring the Junior Class this season. (Image: Post introductions at CKNA Grand Nationals)
Road Racing was another matter altogether, it’s was a complicated season. The easiest class to deal with is the Dart 4 Cycle Junior class. Jason ran unopposed in the class in his Animal Powered sprint kart. He put in laps with the karts on the track and had some great races, the favorite was at Mid-Ohio with a Senior Super Heavy where they battled till last lap when the other driver was beset by complete chassis failure(Sorry Keith).
Sprint Junior at both Dart and CES, Jason had some great competition. The CES races he won handily but at the Dart races the winner was determined by who could field a consistent and reliable kart. Jason won CES with Sprint Junior by a large margin, however, a single point margin determined his victory in the Dart series.
The highlight of the road season was with the Road kart with the CES and the Animal 370 class. Jason ran as a Junior but raced with the Senior rules and was more about the progress of his racing skills than series points. As a junior he was required to start from the back of the field and work his way up. At the beginning of the season he could only manged to get his kart up to the second pack and move toward the front. By the end of the season he was able to hang with the front back and started to attack the top five. An impressive feat for a young driver. (Image: Gridding at Gateway)
The season was capped off with a trip to the National Corvette Museum for the World Karting Association Road Racing Grand Nationals. The team fought rain, cold weather, and a some motor issues during practice but Jason was able to fight off strong contenders winning each days feature. (Image: Grand Nationals F1 winner)
This was a long season with many weekends on the road. The team had many hardships fighting heat, cold, mechanical issues, and shaking the cobwebs out of the sprint driver but Jason remained positive thorough out. It was definitely a season with many great memories. We are looking forward to what 2019 has in store for Jason.
The weekend of November 9th was the final race of the 2018 Season for the team. The WKA/KART-MARRS Road Racing Grand Nationals was held at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, KY. This was a first race at this track and with the World Karting Association and with this years success in road racing our confidence was high. However, we still needed to keep honest with ourselves. we still have a load to pull for more wins and anything could happen. On the upside, we did not have any pressure from a series stand point, so really the plan for the weekend was to have fun.
Part of the fun was leaving Wednesday night with the plan to arrive Thursday and visit the corvette museum. Before that the first stopping point was Indianapolis and spend some time with some of the Xona Software team, providers of automation software and sponsor for some personal thanks for supporting the team. Thanks! Dave and Mike. Then off to Walmart for a cold night. The weather for the weekend was expected to be very cold, below freezing over night and low 40 for most of the day, in the 50s by Sunday. The worst weather looks to be on Friday with some morning rain, at least snow was not expected.
After a stop for some extra propane to heat the trailer, Thursday morning, we drove on to Bowling Green, KY to the National Corvette Museum. We last visited the museum a few weeks after the sinkhole had opened up and swallowed a few of the rarest cars the museum had. Jason was very excited to see the all of the Corvettes but now with the eye that appreciated a finely crafted racing machine. The new exhibit for the sinkhole story was great but also really sad because they could only restore 3 of the cars the rest were too badly damaged or were so unique that the parts are unavailable and it was better to retain the cars history. Jason even got a turn in the race corvette simulator, which he of coursed grinned through.
Friday morning brought the first of the weather tests for the weekend, it was raining. Thankfully, it let up around noon and we were able to take to the track for a few hours and learn and tune. Jason started around a 1:55 and by the end of the night was down to a low 1:53. The day was not with out challenge, we had to replace the motor due another blown gasket, the good news is the new motor was fresh and strong. We did do some scoping out of the other drivers and Jason seemed faster but race day can be another animal when it comes to speed. After practice we went out to dinner with some other drivers including Mid-Life Karting Crisis host and Wild Duck Racing supporter T.J. Hollingsworth. This was great change of pace for us and had a blast swapping stories.
The weekend was cold. Cold is good for the motor give us a little more horse power but hard to use that power because the tires and track are hard and slippy. We adjusted the kart and Jason put painters tape on his gloves in an attempt to block the icy wind. The feels like temperature at 70 mph is always colder just like a blustery day. The days schedule was compressed because of the cold and Jason’s race was moved to the second of the day. He started on the pole for his class and would be taking the 4th of 5 starting flags to add to stress of the start. At the drop of the flag he was off and #110 managed to pull in front but Jason was ready and took the lead in the first corner. #110 dropped back and Jason was pursed by #71 who was a few seconds behind. Jason pushed on for the 25 minute race and didn’t give any ground running fast and clean. Still in the lead he in the closing laps he extended his gap and sealed the win at the checked flag. We wrapped up the day with some quality time in the trailer keeping warm and discussing possible kart changes for Sundays race.
Sunday started cold but warmed nicely by race time. We decided to change the rear gearing for a bit more power on exits and adjust the front end to find some more grip. Since is was so cold during practice his lap times were low but did show improvement with the changes. His race was moved to the first of the day and he started on the 2nd flag. Again on the poll, he had a great start but the #110 kart jumped to the lead and pulled away until the 5th corner where Jason made up ground thought the technical part of the track eventually making the pass a few corners into the lap. As they came down the front straight, #110 caught and passed Jason just before turn one but well past the start finish line, this was a good omen for a win. This repeated until Jason made a single move to block the #110 pass, but the next lap #110 passed on the other side. Jason remained behind for 2 laps but close until he passed #110 as their kart succumbed to mechanical issues. At that point Jason was able to continue on completing the final two laps cleanly winning again. See Speed Hive Results for lap times other interesting statistics.
Stay tuned for the karitng silly season and we wait for the 2019 schedules to come out. Thanks, to my Dad who would have loved this trip so we took extra enjoyment in his memory. Dave and Mike at Xona Software for a great product and supporting us. T.J. at Mid Life Karting Crisis for the videos, Amsoil, and Hoosier Tires. Reagan at 4 Cycle Central for some powerful and consistent Briggs Animal motors.
My dad told me a story about a turbine power race car in the Indy 500. Legend has it that the car was amazingly fast. The day of the race the weather was just right for it to perform at the maximum horsepower The team was expected to dominate the race. It led most of the race until the last few laps when a $6 dollar bearing in the engine failed and the car retired just short of the goal. I heard this story more than 20 years ago and it was a setup for my son and I learning this lesson first hand. You can put in all the time and prep for a race and even be the fasted car out there but there are going to be things you can’t control that are going to spoil your plans.
Check out the story of the Lotus 56 in the 1968 Indy 500.
October 13th Jason, myself, and Holtz Racing(Crew Chris and Driver Will) met at Road America kart track for their annual 2 hour endurance race. I had spent the last week in the garage with Jason getting the sprint kart configured for sprint racing with the animal. We had high expectations of getting the over all win with a fast kart and a sound pit stop strategy. Jason took the kart out first for a 10 lap shake down. The gearing was off but the kart looked good. I did see what looked like dirt coming from back of the kart and might have spied a line getting put down on the track as he drove through a corner. He pulled off and we readied to switch drivers. Jason hopped out and started to look at the motor and pointed at the very slick rear tire, there was an oil leak. Chris and I pulled the motor off looked for leaks, drained the oil(looked OK) put it back on, refilled it, changed the gear and put Will in. He put two laps in and came off because the fuel tank cap came off and was spilling methanol on him. As he stepped out the motor was pouring oil and that was that for the day. Further investigation revealed that the side cover gasket let go. We packed up and the Team Holtz left on the way to celebrate a birthday(Happy 14th Birthday Will). Jason and I headed home for him to suit up for some Hockey practice and team pictures.
We capped the 2018 sprint kart racing season with a national level race the weekend of September 28th 2018 at New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle Indiana for the Cup Karts Of North AmericaGrand Nationals. The CNKA Grand Nationals brought dedicated and skilled drivers from all over the US and Canada. New Castle Motorsports Park is a world renowned track that challenges any driver with long fast straights and technical corners. Precision and focus from both driver and crew is required reach peak performance at the end of three days in the final race. At most races by the Sunday final we had things in some sort of order to race the top 5, however, for this race we are aiming for top 10 due to field size, competition, and the need to learn a new track. We still wanted to focus on having a relaxed and fun weekend of determined racing.
Jason has never been to New Castle before and he needed to be a quick study to hit his marks. We spent Thursday night at a local Walmart sleeping on the trailer floor, we missed the 7pm arrival dead line, sigh. Friday morning we unpacked the trailer for 5 rounds practice. Jason’s day started with just walking the track to get a feel for the racing line and and track conditions. The first session was primarily focused on learning the track and getting some initial validation of the work in the garage setting up the kart. As it turned out we had setup nearly right and as the day progressed we only made minor adjustments. Jason got faster every session as he acquired a better track sense and we both scouted the competition. At the end of the day he was just a bit off pace from the lead pack but a top 10 finish seemed in sight.
Unlike most race weekends where Saturday is a two to three practice rounds, qualifying, two short heats and a feature, the day would be one pre-qualifying warm up, a qualifying session, followed by three 8 lap heats. The total points from the heats(link to scoring) would set the grid for Sunday’s pre-final. In the pre-qualifying warm up Jason got stuck behind some slower traffic and was not able to get any open laps and his qualifying start position behind much slower karts which he quickly caught. They were supposed to yield position to faster karts with a tap from behind but this driver instead ‘raced for position’, Jason was able to eventually make the pass but did not have enough remaining laps to get up to full speed. Despite this he still managed to qualify 11th and knew he could make short work of a couple of karts in front of him in each of the three heats. He was crashed out of the first heat on the first lap when another driver went wide and the group scrambled to clear, finished 28th. The second heat went much better, Jason made quick work of 10th and then 9th in the first lap and held them off for the rest of the race. In heat 3 Jason put on a great display of his driving prowess starting 11th and jumped up to 8th in the first lap but as he moved for 7th and was forced wide and shuffled back to 10th in the second lap. Over the next six laps Jason battled back up to 8th but fell to 9th in the closing lap. His hard work and recovery put him on the grid at 13th for the pre-final on Sunday despite the poor first heat.
Throughout the day Jason said the kart was OK but was handling weird, we did find a crack and had that welded back up, but it really wasn’t an issue. It was in a spot that was previously cracked and my not have been new. We consulted with Jim from Coyote about the handling and suggestions. After Jason and I careful went over the kart we found a setup error in the front caster. It was set to 9 degrees on the left and 15 degrees on the right. It should have been 15 on both sides. We worked together to replace some washers and reset the caster correctly before dinner and had a quiet evening before heading to the trailer for the night with racing dreams
The Sunday morning warm up Jason put the kart though it paces and found it was better than Saturday. Most of the days setup discussion was about what tire pressure to run in the longer races and as the day warmed. The kart tends to get really tight after about 7 laps and we have been working on finding the right pressure to go fast for the 12 pre-final and 16 lap final. Lower tire pressure makes the kart loose and the tires are slower to warm up. At higher pressures the kart comes in faster but becomes tight sticky as the continue to heat.
Jason started the pre-final in 13th and at the end of the first lap was up to 12th then picked up 2 sports for 10th by the end of the second lap. Over the next couple of laps fell down to 12th then 13th. He pushed hard and through moving for the openings and some luck he moved up to 10th and was battling with 8th and 9th. As the lap closed he changed focus to defending his position and finished 10th.
The final race of the weekend started with the pomp and circumstance of a professional race. First there was a parade lap followed by driver introductions and mini interviews. Of course Jason, having been with the series for sometime and a character was giving a loud “Number 59 ‘Racin’ Jason Pribyl” introduction. The race got off to a rough start with a kart in the back field getting hooked up and rolling over as they exited turn one bringing out the red flag. The driver was OK but his day was over and the field was reset for another attempt. This time they got off with out issue and Jason again picked up a spot for 9th in turn one and then two more up to 7th in the second lap. As they battled Jason again was shuffled down to 12th and started to work his way back up again. Lap 4, back to 11th, lap 7 to 10, lap 8 to 9th. Then in lap 9 while moving up to 8th the rear right wheel studs broke and the rear wheel flopped around as he slid off the track into the grass ending the race for him. He enjoyed a great seat as the last 7 laps ticked down without him. In the end he finished 24th of 29, despite that we both had a great time working together. We even had a good laugh on the way back from the tech barn about him driving the kart until it broke.
I really want to thank our family for support this silly think called kart racing. To the folks thank make our karts go Jim Lipari at Coyote Motorsports , Rob at Kart City Performance , Brian Jacobson at Viking Kart Products. None of this would have been possible with out your support and assistance.
We missed posting on the last Dart Kart Club race for our season. In a quick, Saturday was nearly rained out but the thanks to everyone working together to adjust the schedule was 2 rounds of practice and everyone got to race. Jason finished first in both his classes, though he only drove one kart, with two transponders, he finished .001 behind himself. Sunday was nice and dry. Jason, put the road kart through its paces and kept it up front for the win. The racing highlight of the weekend was the 4 Cycle Junior race on Sunday. While he was the only one in his class but he had a great race with some Animal 380 drivers. They were faster on the straights but he would catch them in the in field. He made a good run at running up front a few time but their straight away speed was too much. The other high light was my mom came with and got to enjoy the unique experience of a NASCAR track including a track walk on the road course, something most race fans never get to do.
The weekend of September 8th and 9th we returned to Gingerman Raceway for the last race of the 2018 Championship Enduro Series season. It was also the 2017 CES banquet, Jason received his 2017 championship trophies for Sprint Jr and Animal Junior. Congratulations Jason!
The sprint kart was fast all weekend and gave us no trouble, so not much to tell there.
Saturday the road kart started off poorly, it was once again struck by carburetor trouble and would not start. We never tested the motor after putting the CES rule carburetor. After replacing the fuel system, took the carburetor apart and cleaned it. The kart was ready for the the first practice session with no time to spare. During practice, Jason reported that the kart was running and handling great. Saturday race one went well but once again we were off pace because of gearing and he finished 10th. For race 7 we moved up a tooth and he was able to run with the front pack again and finished 7th.
Racing on Sunday was more challenging, the road kart started handling poorly. A seat mounting nut fell off and after it was fixed the kart was never the same. It was still fast but was not cornering without sliding around more then he liked. Race 1 was OK he was still able to hang with the front make and took 6th trailing 4th by a few thousandths. I made some handling adjustments for race 7 but ended up made things worse. He ran fast but off from the front pack. During the last lap he pushed too hard and the kart refused to turn driving off into the grass. Others had worse trouble so he still finished 10th. In hind sight I wonder if the loose bolt on the seat was good for setup. I think I can find a way to mount the seat with some more freedom of movement but not so much Jason is loose in the kart.
This was the last race of the season and Jason was the Championship Enduro Series 2018 Animal Junior and Sprint Junior Champion. I don’t know where he would fall if he was ranked with the Senior class he raced with all season but I would guess somewhere between 7 and 9th. Next year we hope he can run for points with the Senior class.
The next race it the Cup Karts of North America Nationals at New Castle Motorsports Park. This will be our first visit to one of the most popular and important tracks in the country. Entries are expected from all over the country and there will also be a contingent from Canada making for international competition.
Thanks to the folks in what has been recently named Animal Nation for allowing Jason to race with you. He has learned so much from you all both on and off the track. Dave Larson, congratulations on 30 years of the Championship Enduro Series. Thanks to Regan Vehering at 4 Cycle Central for the great motors, good luck with sled season.