The Cup Karts of North America Spring Nationals at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway is the 2019 kick off race. This is a national level race with drivers from all over the US and Canada. So far, we have been in our own little world for practice sessions, how do we stack up? Not only do we get to race, but we can hang out with all our racing friends in meat space. It feels good to be back at our second home on the road. Jason and I really appreciated the personal feedback from our friends, fans and followers. It is part of what makes the racing community great.
This year Jason is racing a new to him 2015 Coyote Wide Track. This the same model of kart he raced last year but only has one season on it it. The old kart was well used and had been welded many times. We have been struggling with finding the perfect setup on this kart and have gotten very close. In practice, he is just about on pace with the front pack but is still battling some handling issues.
The Bolins gave us a big hand with the kart setup and suggested some ackerman changes. This setting is done at the steering column, by moving the distance of the tie rods to the column. Closter to the column the faster the steering turns the wheels. It also changes the twist of the kart in corners and can be used to help lift the rear tire during turns and improve kart rotation. With that adjustment Jason picked up another half a second and moved closer to the front. Some more on the topic of kart geometry.
Despite arriving on Thursday night, getting on the track for for Friday’s practice was rushed due to delays at registration. We rolled the kart up a few minutes after practice started but still got some solid laps in. In the second session Jason spun in the hair pin and was bumped pretty hard by a following kart and bent his axle. Without missing a beat a new one was installed for the third round. Then the gear carrier was left loose and spun off the axle key. It had to be cut off and replaced. Despite the mechanical issues, by the end of the day he was looking to be at or very near the pace. As always there is never enough time to really get the kart dialed in.
Practice on Saturday started with a rear wheel failure during the second practice session. This ate in to the valuable tuning time to adjust to the days warmer track conditions. As racing started Jason qualified well starting heat one in 9th and finishing 7, in heat 2 he finished 8. He was in the thick of battle in the second pack. At the start of the feature he dropped a spot and spent most of the race in a 4 way battle for each taking turns in 6th. As the laps closed he moved up to 8th and then 6th and 7th tangled in the hair pin giving Jason 6th. In the last lap he a the 7th played late breaking chicken in the hair pin and Jason spun. He stayed on the track but lost many positions finishing 18th. An excellent race but a disappointing finish.
Sunday played out in a similar way. He qualified 9th moved up to 8th for heat 1 and 2. Then in the feature he was bumped in the first lap and fell back to 15th and into slower more erratic traffic. He did manage to avoid further difficulty while he picked up two spots to finish 13th. He had the speed to run near the front all weekend and our efforts were dashed by bad luck.
Mothers day weekend of racing with Championship Enduro Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway was rained out. We are next headed to Nelson Ledges Raceway(Dart Kart Club) for the first kart race there in 20 years. Jason will also be running as a Senior in two classes this weekend and is very excited to be in the hunt for the championship.
Thanks Jim at Coyote Motorsports for the kart and tuning help, Rob at Kart City Performance for the excellent motor. Thanks for the extra seat time to Ksobiech’s, always interesting to try something new. A big shout of thanks to the Bolins for giving us a hand when they were struggling on with their own issues. The stickers on the kart were made by Seth from Hot Rod Designs, he does excellent work.
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