This weekend we had three very specific goals. The first is to get both karts setup for race speed. We have not run either of them in this configuration this year, the white kart with the LO206 motor and the orange kart with our freshly rebuilt 4 Cycle Central Animal. The second was to get Jason some coaching to break some old habits and bring some new one to find those those elusive seconds. At lastly, simply see if we were capable of managing two classes. If things go really well, Jason should win some races this weekend.
The first challenge of running two karts, is getting them there, so, I rented a trailer to transport the second kart and a bit of equipment to the track. The first trailer had a tail light out and it took some extra time to figure that out and get a new one hooked up. We still were able to have a relaxing breakfast at The Greenwood Restaurant before hitting the road. A few hours later we were unpacking karts and getting them ready for a day of practice. We met up a veteran Badger driver Robert Murray and his father for some assistance for the day. Robert was going to help Jason find a faster line around the track and give him some general driving tips. Robert is a former champion at Badger and knows his way around this and other local tracks. He is also now an Eagle Scout, Congratulations Robert!
Once the karts were ready, Jason took a few warm up laps in the orange Animal kart and found that it really pushed, the front was sliding instead of turning. While I fixed the pushing by moving the front wheels our by 1/4 inch, Jason and Robert discussed how he could go faster if he turned deeper(later) into the corner and let the kart slid to the outside more in the first corner. The gearing seemed about right, he was hitting the right RPM at the end of the straight for maximum speed. When Jason the the track again working with Robert he got faster and faster with each lap.
We then began working on the LO206, this is a well known kart for us and we can tune up quickly since we have run it this way for 2 years. Robert and Jason began working their way round the track giving each corner adjustments that where really shaving time and altering his style. The kart its self only needed some minor gear changes to keep up with his new found speed. The only thing that went wrong the 206 kart was a lost bolt on that held a side panned bracket on and it suddenly “would not turn”, I found a new bolt and he was back out. It is amazing how he can feel the changes in the kart to that degree. He knows when something is not right, can’t always tell me why but has the clues to find the problem.
While practicing with the animal kart the clutch came loose and the exhaust bolts started pulling out of the head, that put the Animal on hold for the day. Jason was also starting to lose focus, so, he took a quick trip around the old practice track in the 206, which was a bumpy kidney buster, we packed up the trailer for the night. We put the Animal in the truck and took it to Regan to fix the head bolts and get clutch parts. Jason’s repaired primary LO206 motor was also ready for pick up as well. After returning from 4 Cycle Central, we grilled meatballs for dinner, did a bit of kart work(LO206 motor swap, fix animal clutch), hung out with friends, and got a good nights sleep in the tent.
First lap of first Sunday practice and he is pushed into the bags
Jason’s LO206 pre-feature was probably the best race I watched all day and one of his best ever. He qualified in third putting him at the very back of the pack. The Senior Class was also in this race starting in front of the Sportsman. He made a quick shift to the outside to get the fast line at the green but was a little late and far back to gain position. In the hair pin of the first lap Jason and Camden #57 both passed Riley #91, putting Jason in second, 4th over all. By the hair pin of lap 2 they both had caught up to a slower LO206 Senior and Jason was putting pressure on #57. They both passed the Senior in the boot and as they came out of the tree turn Jason made a good attempt at a pass on #57 but it didn’t stick. For the next four laps Jason just dogged #57 looking for the mistake or way around. In lap 7, Jason made the pass out of the tree turn as #57 bobbled, just as Jason perfected his timing through corner. They flew passed the white flag into turn one where #57 tired to pass on the out side but Jason held his foot down into and through the sweeper and headed down into the hair pin in first place. He started to pull away and took the checker with a very loud yell and fist pumps. A really great race, no matter who won, both drivers really worked hard and challenged each other.
Even worse, the Animal feature never started for us. The motor stalled out during the parade lap and I was not able to get it to keep running to start the race and that was that. It was a really disappointing way to end what ultimately was a great weekend. However, we were able to get him and the karts in a state where he can go fast and win races. All of the problems we had we fixed before the race or will be fixable in time for the next weekend. Once he got over the shock of not finishing both feature he was proud of the work he did and was looking forward to the next race. I think we are in pretty good shape to race two classes as long and we stay focused and keep our wits about us. Though, I have to admit, it was a lot of hard work for both of us.
Next weekend Jason will be at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway for the first race of the Mid-American Sprint Series. The weather on Saturday is looking good but Sunday has a good chance for rain. As long as its not a monsoon rain there should be racing.
We owe a heap of thanks to Regan at 4 Cycle Central getting the motors in shape for the season and help us out this weekend. Marty and Robert Murray both of which provided in valuable assistance in keeping the karts on the track and getting Jason driving tuned up. To Karen for not being to ticked off about renting a trailer, it seemed to work and will keep up on budget and out of trouble.
Thanks to our 2015 Sponsors for their continuing support.
GoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, Amsoil, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, T.J. Ross.