Well this its time, 10 years of work have led Jason to entering the SCCA Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We don’t really know what the week is going to bring but we have great hopes and thing he will be running near the front. Here are some ways you can follow along.
Here are the previous two races as we count down the last few days to the SCCA Runoffs. Additionally, Jason has won the SCCA Northern Conference Majors in his rookie season. Congratulations Jason!
Back in early July, Jason has his second race weekend at Road America in the SCCA Cat Nationals. This was also Jason’s grandma’s first race with him driving a car. While she has been to a kart race but the stress and excitement of auto racing was a bit of surprise but by the end of the weekend she was all smiles and ready for the next weekend.
Jason’s weekend was excellent he spent Friday testing and tuning his car. The worked payed off on Saturday when he qualified second. Jason put on a great show keeping hot of the tail of the leader and made a pass with two laps to go but was quickly passed back. With one lap to go Jason made a heroic pass in turn 5 and finished first. Unfortunately he missed a yellow flag in turn 4 before the pass and was called to the steward for a discussion. He handled it very well and was given second place and probation for the next event. On Sunday, he made up for his mistake and again qualified second but this time quickly passed for the lead and drove it all the way home for his second win of the season.
In late July Jason raced at Gingerman, at track he as been racing karts at since 2013. This also his mom’s first race in a while and like Grandma she was not quire prepared for the driver Jason has become. She did enjoy the weekend but was worried about her ‘little boy’. In the end she had a good time supporting her racer at the track.
On both days Jason qualified third. Saturdays race you could really see the change in his driving it was much more aggressive and he picked up over all spots on the start, though two FE2 leaders made a good gap. He did finish 2nd because on of them had an off and was not able to recover. On Sunday Jason started 7th on the grid and 2nd in his class. When the green waved, he put pressure on the drivers in front of him into turn one. By turn two he was by on and side by side with 5th place and by turn 5 he was by. He held his position for the rest of the race bringing home 3rd in his class and 5th over all.
Next up are the SCCA Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jason is mentioned in as a Majors winner and potential contender in a SCCA Runoffs Report. Jason has been working hard off the track and spent last Sunday at Autobahn turning his car and himself up for the season ending race. GO JASON!
Thanks again to Rennkraft Motor Works for supporting Jason’s season we really appreciate the many hour of preparation that have gone into the car to get it read before each weekend. We would also like to thank all our sponsors this season we hope that we have lived up to your expectations. Thanks to the two Mom’s who share their children’s passion even though they don’t always understand it, we could not do this with out you.
This a few weekends ago Championship Enduro Series visited to Gingerman Raceway in New Haven, MI. Jason’s first visit to the track was nearly 9 years ago, when he drove his little Briggs 206 powered green kart was well out classed by the other karts in his class but drove the full 30 minutes on both Saturday and Sunday. As a 8 year old he was a dedicated driver and learned a lot about driving these big tracks. Now, as a 16 year old he is racing with the adults is still working on his race craft and share his passion for endurance racing.
The weekends task was to try to bring the black kart back to it former speed after reconstruction. The chassis has been welded and re-enforced, it has a new seat, and has been wrapped in a new body. It was first on the track at Grattan but only for a few laps, it was the limited mod kart at Mid-Ohio and was quite the handful but we didn’t really put any effort into it. We put a few more lap on it at Blackhawk farms but it was seconds off the pace and it got parked. To make it fast we really need to put some extra time in it. Now that we had a few hours of practice on Friday that seemed possible.
It would turn right well but left turns where just not happening. In the 3 short hours of practice, Jason made some adjustments to the kart and eventually, the kart was handling mostly well. He moved left rear wheel out and adding some left caster. Even then, at the end of the night, he decided to reinstall the seat and it was another hour of thrashing on the kart but he felt it would be better.
Saturday morning brought a surprise our friend Violet Townsend was going to race her 206 sprint kart. After watching her drive in the first race, while the animal whizzed around and remembering Jason’s early days, we decided she needed to be in Jason’s other kart. Since, Jason had raced it all season it was nearly race ready and was rolled over the their pit for a fitting, which turned out to be spot on.
Jason finished his first animal 370 race in 2nd and the won the Animal 390 race. Violet joined the Animals for the second 370 race. She got off to a great start, as did Jason. Both of them worked together pushing each other to the front. Jason finished in 2nd and Violet in 3rd not too far behind. The rest of the day was spent hanging out and bench racing with Chuck Townsend and Violet before they left for the night.
Sundays Racing was great as well, unfortunately Violet had to retire early in race one but Jason finished 3rd. For the Animal 390 race Jason finished second and blew up his motor as he came off the track. Since Violets day was done the four of us trashed on the the white kart putting wheels back on and taking off weight. We dropped it on the ground and Jason drove it to the grid few moments before the race started. He spent the first two or so laps adjusting to the karts handling while keeping up with the pack. As the race progressed he pushed hard finishing third.
This was Jason’s last kart race of the 2021 season but not quite the end of the race season and it was great to share it with the Townsend family. Watching Violet step into a road kart and drive was really one of this seasons highlights. Next up is a test day at Autobahn followed by the SCCA Runoffs at Indy in his FE2.
Sometime in the late 60s Jason’s grand father, Joe Pribyl, made the trek to Road America with some some friends for his first SCCA June Sprints. That event trigger my trips to Road America and eventually Jason’s first trip shortly followed by his first kart race at 6 years old. Now, some 60 years later, countless trips to Road America, and nearly a decade since Jason first raced his kart over June Sprints weekend, Jason joined the SCCA drivers on the track.
June Sprints 2014 with Grandpa, karting, and trying out a Spec Racer Ford
June Sprints weekend can be very intense, it’s one of the biggest SCCA race aside from the Runoffs. Drivers can easily get carried away with trying to win making critical mistakes. Everyone on the team needs to manage emotions and expectations for the weekend. Jason’s goal for the weekend was primarily to get through the weekend with out damage and learn to manage his car and himself.
2021 June Sprints in a Formula Enterprise 2
We didn’t initially plan on going to this race, because of the potential stress. However, after the success of Blackhawk Farms, the lack of car racing in June, we decided that Jason needed to be there. As it also turns out adding this race would allow him to run for points in the series as well.
Like most of our racing weekend is karts the weekend started with practice, however there were only two rounds to learn the track and adjust the car. Road America is 4.2 miles long and has 14 corners, each lap takes just over 2 minutes. If you recently watched the Indy or NASCAR races it can even bite the pros. Jason did have some previous experience practicing in a Miata and practicing in iRacing. He also has pretty good feel for his car and his limits. During practice, he did have a couple of minor offs during practice and even some close calls but none were of consequence.
Saturday was a single qualifying session and a race. Jason qualified 9th of 19 and would start middle of the pack. His lack a experience showed at the start with a tentativeness that caused him to drop back a few spots on the start. He then had to push and pass many cars to work his way back put to 11th in his class. He worked to improve his pace every lap and by the end of the race put in a lap time that was close to the leaders but that time his group was well back. Saturday Race Video
In Sunday’s qualifying Jason was able to run more consistent laps but other folks where faster and he started 12th. Again, he had a rough start but again moved back up the field and picked up a spot finishing 11th after the race was shortened due to a crash. Importantly, he pushed his limits and still drove some fairly consistent laps in various traffic conditions.
It was a great weekend but a little bitter sweet to return to what is his other home track with many good memories. The only thing missing was the man who started him on his journey, his grandfather. Jason progressed very well and with the awesome support from the Rennkraft Motorsports team managed his weekend and we look forward to coming back in a few weeks for the SCCA Sock Hop Cat Nationals.
Jason had his first practice weekend at Grattan Raceway to shake down his road racing karts. We managed to get the new PT4 kart tuned up and running. We did find the break lines needed to be replaced and the seat fit was just wrong, both were fixed at the track. The old PT4 was eventually put together and had two laps put on it before the weekend was over. Both karts need some adjustment before they will be race ready for the Championship Enduro Series opener at WorldWide Technolgoy Raceway May 7-9 but both seem fast.
The weekend of May 1st, Jason took flight in his first SCCA race in a Formula Enterprise 2 race car. World Bridge Partners Executive Search supported his entry in the Mark Amenda Memorial Majors. Rennkraft Motorsports prepared his car and coached him through Friday practice as he got himself comfortable. He didn’t show much speed but by the end of the day there was some glimmer of potential and we was starting to have fun driving. Saturday, began with practice and qualifying, had some good speed and qualified 2nd a class of 6 cars. Unfortunately, during the days race he made a mistake in turn three and went off track and dropped back quite a bit. He was able to recover and kept pushing and passing cars to the checkered flag, finishing 4th.
Overnight, Jason and his coach Tony studied the days data. Some adjustments were made to the car and Jason made adjustments to his drive. At the drop of the green Jason hit turn one in hot pursuit of this rival and stayed with him for the first two laps when a yellow came out for some other cars. On the restart Jason again was on his tail. A few more laps in, Jason, still chasing, backed off when the lead car started leaking water and then eventually retired, putting Jason in the lead. From that point on Jason drove a clean race to earn his first win in a car.
The 2021 season is going to be the most ambitious yet. Jason will again campaign his 4 Cycle Central Powered TS Racing PT4 in the Animal classes. Additionally, he will run a second PT4 in the Open class at select races. The big kart race this season will be the Animal Nationals at Summit Point Raceway in May. The biggest change in the season will be a campaign in a Formula Enterprise under the Rennkraft Motorworks tent. Jason hopes to qualify for the SCCA Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wild Duck Racing would like to thank our 2021 sponsors. Each of these people and companies are an important part of our team. Please support them as they support the team. If you are interested in sponsorship have a look at my Become a Sponsor page.
2020 did not go as planned, from a racing stand point was a good thing. While waiting for the pandemic delayed kart season start but he made due with an WKA iRacing series and a trip to Road America for practice in a Miata. As the season schedule reformed racing opportunities appeared that weren’t on the original schedule. From June to October we where on the road for three out of 4 weekends racing and even added some additional practice days.
Every weekend was full of racing. Jason entered 2 classes in the Cup Karts of North America, which meant more track time but also more work as we only had one kart. He was cycling on the track every 30-40 minutes for 3 days at a time. At the first cup race Jason was offered a seat in a Arrow X5-4S by Noah Stark Engine Works and we ended up running the kart for the rest of the season. On the big tracks was entered ether a singled class with two races or three classes with a single race each day. Again only with one kart. During one weekend we added a motor swap at Pittsburgh during practice and between races, so three races, one kart and two motors. The highlight of that weekend was hitting 109 in his kart down the back stretch. The last big adventure of the season was getting Jason into a Formula 1600 race car for some wheel to wheel racing at 130 mph. All that racing added up to to some spectacular results.
2020 Season Results Dart Kart Club Series: Animal 380 Senior Champion Dart Kart Club Series: Animal 360 Senior 3rd Dart Kart Club Mini Series: Open 2nd
Dart Kart Club Mini Series: Animal 380 Senior 4th Dart Kart Club Mini Series: Animal 360 Senior 3rd Championship Enduro Series: Animal 370 3nd
Championship Enduro Series: Open 2nd
Formula Race Promotions Pittsburgh Race 2: Formula 1600 7th and 4th
Cup Karts of North America: 206 Light 6th
Cup Karts of North America: 206 Medium 10th
Result of an excursion at New Castle Motorsports Park
In October 2011 Jason took his first drive in a kart at 6 years old, over the last 9 years he has logged thousands of miles in kart a driving as fast as he can. In October 2020 Jason stepped into a race car to participate in his first race.
The 2020 season was supposed to include more car racing when covid arrived and reeked havoc on our plans. Jason was able to get into a Miata at Road America for his first track time of any kind for the season. After that karts seemed more of a priority and less complicated. Having all but given up on cars for the season, I connected with Greg at Rice Race Prep who had a seat available in an F1600 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. Even better, the race was just a couple of weeks after the Dart/CES kart race giving Jason would have recent knowledge of the track.
Jason and T.J. a fellow kart driver preparing a F2000
The trip started with the usual pandemic activities, me driving and Jason going to school as we traveled. The first task after our arrival was to introduce the Jason to his car and begin what turned out to be 2 days of getting him to fit with some comfort. He was a little tall and broad shouldered for the car as it sat. The Rice Race team adjusted the car until Jason was relatively comfortable and was able to move about the cabin enough to drive and shift. Though, it did take a good part of two days, normally this would have been taken care of at the shop prior to the race but time and scheduling prevented it.
Jason spent all day Friday and Saturday morning practicing and getting used to the car. By the he started his first race he was fairly comfortable driving the car at speed and was on the verge of running laps with the leaders. His biggest challenge was finding the confidence to make passes when we was faster car. He finished the race in 7th after dogging on the tail of a slower driver for most of the race.
The second race started with slight off as he battled for position that put him, again, behind some slower traffic. He struggled to pass until the halfway point when he finally broke free and began to push hard to try to catch the cars up front. He was making ground for the next two laps until he dipped a wheel off track and slid into the wall in the back stretch. If you watch the video you can seem pump the brakes to slow and hear him have words. Thankfully, he was uninjured and was able to climb out to safety quickly. The car, however, was done for the race but not for the day.
All weekend Jason had made adjustments to his driving as the Rice Race crew adjusted the car around him. Jason and the car had bonded and were starting to work well together. At the drop of the green flag, he got an excellent start but held back as he rebuilt his confidence and felt out the now repaired car. While the front pack battled hard he carefully made up the gap. As the race wound down he caught up to 4th and 5th and made bold passes to take 3rd. In the second to last lap he missed a shift on the exit of the final turn and dropped back down to 5th. Jason pushed himself and the card hard to try to reclaim 4th but came up just short. In the end after penalties where assessed he finished 4th over all and 2nd in his class. Thanks for Greg and Rice Race team for giving Jason a great opportunity.
Thanks goes out to C&M Auto Service of Glenview, Jason’s very first sponsor. Chuck and the team have supported him since his kid kart days welding his first cracked chassis and more recently a broken road racing chassis. They also support all the Wild Duck Racing fleet of cars, trucks, and trailers.
September brought the end of the Cup Karts of North America regular season. Jason finished 6th in Senior Light and 10th in Senior medium. Both where very competitive classes and he showed a great deal of improvement in his first year in the class.
In the last weekend of September Jason joined in the last race Dart Kart Club 2020 season at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. We are still awaiting final results for the 3 classes in the full and mini series. We can report that he had a blast racing his kart with a limited mod animal on it. It was astoundingly fast topping out at 105 MPH with his drafting buddy Jack Reall. The only down side is we found the speed and power ate tires and rear gears. Because of some of Jason’s limited mod testing there has been some talk about creating a new class with a faster version of this motor and sprint karts next season.
The first weekend in October Jason brought the Cup Kart of North American Grand Nationals IV. While Jason started off mid-pack fast, the kart suffered through another accident and it never quite recovered. Jason and the team worked very hard to bring it back up to speed. After Saturday’s heat he made the medium feature starting 45 of 60 and was mid-pack in light. Unfortunately, in both features on Sunday the kart had no speed and was the last finishing kart in both races, but he did finish. It was a very disappointing weekend of racing but still a good weekend spent at the track.
The penultimate race of the season is not a kart race but a stint in the #13 Rice Race Prep F1600 formula car at Pittsburgh with the Formula Race Promotions series. Rice Race had two drivers of their F1600 win two of the three Team USA scholarships which opened a seat for Jason. The weekend will start with a full day of practice and coaching followed by two days of more practice and 3 races. We are very excited for this opportunity to show his racing prowess with a high level team.
Thanks to Glenview State Bank and David Kreiman for continuing to support Jason dreams and the Glenview Community.