The first race of the season was all over the place with highs and lows. Let’s start with the wacky weather. The temperature was between 50 and 60 degrees but it was windy with intermittent showers. So all day long we were either too hot or too cold every few minutes. On the good side Jason’s grandma came along to help out and cheer him on. The moral support meant a lot to us. The actual racing was a similar mixed bag but still a good time.
This was the first race on the new LO206jr class at CHMS and everyone, including the track folks, was a little lost on what needed to be done. Our first mistake was going out to practice with the Yamaha rookie and sportsman class. Jason held his own but it was a little sketchy – those karts are fast! For the second and third practice sessions he went out with the other LO206 and LO206jr. That was better but the Senior drivers found the slower karts distracting. Hopefully, next race, they will split the classes up so the everyone is safe.
For the first heat, Jason was in the number 2 spot in the first row on the outside. He got a kick out of hearing his name announced. The 4 racers started off down the track for the warm up lap and then promptly slowed to a crawl. They were so intent on staying together they came to a dead stop and then Jason’s engine died. The track crew did not know they could just pull start it. So, a few of us ran out and gave them some directions and they kids were off to a crawl again. At the green flag Jason jumped out into the lead and lead for most of the race but he was passed in the back stretch before the monza and ended up in second place. I had been messing with the gears again and got it wrong. After consulting with more experts it made a change for the second heat. Still pretty impressive to take 2nd place in spite of my error!
Rain delayed the second heat for about 20 minutes. It started during the Yamaha rookie race and most of them drove off the track. For his second heat Jason started on the outside of the first row and again leapt out on green for the lead, with #99 following right behind and dogging him around the track. As they exited the last corner #99 had a better line and passed Jason as they crossed the start/finish line and into corner 1. Jason stuck with him until the second to last lap, then ran right up to the back of #99 just before the hair pin turn. I realize that Jason has just figured out how to handle this section. They finish the lap, cross the line and get the white flag to start the final lap. This is it. Now or never. Through the monza, up to the hair pin. #99 slows down and hugs the corner at the jog, giving Jason room to take the outside and pull next to him. Jason now has the inside on the hair pin forcing #99 to brake and back off. The pass sticks and Jason leads them to the finish for a first.
With the second and first in the heats, Jason earned a spot on the pole for the Feature. After yet another rain delay, the kids took the parade lap very very slow. This is something we will all have to work on. It was so slow in fact, that Jason’s kart stalled again just before the flag dropped. Thankfully everyone else stopped and waited for Jason’s motor to be started. Next time he won’t be so lucky. Finally, the flag dropped and they were off with Jason in the lead. Unfortunately, on the very next lap Jason got confused and almost took a turn for the kid kart track instead of going straight. #99 passed him and never looked back. Jason tried to catch up but never had the opportunity to get by him again. He finished with a solid 2nd place. He is now tied for first in points at CHMS.
All in all it was a good day. We are getting better and all this practice should help when we start running the road races. Next week we are taking Saturday off due to baseball but might head up to Badger to race with the Briggs Animal on Sunday. But that depends on the rain and it’s not looking good. UPDATE: We are racing tomorrow at CHMS, baseball game was canceled.
Thanks to Grandma Pribyl the “Best Grandma Ever” for helping out and putting up with our nonsense. We were glad to have you. The folks at Concept Haulers for putting this together. My stupendous wife Karen. Our sponsors AtomicDecals for the number stickers and Danrr Autobody for painting the body.