Qualifying Racing CHMS #4

This was the last race to prepare Jason, the Kart, and myself for the first series race.  The weather thankfully was great for racing – no jacket and a warm track.  We also had six drivers to boot.  The new guy, Tommy, in his first time in a kart, put some fast laps in and also showed some interesting driving techniques.  The LO206jr class at CHMS is growing, and I think there are at least two more drivers in the wings.


The plan for practice was to work with Brandon for the first session to adjust Jason’s racing line and see if he could improve on his lap times.  It actually turned out to be two sessions one with Jason chasing and one with Brandon chasing.  One of the problems working with a 7 year old is communication.  With Brandon’s help Jason made some changes to his line and is better able to articulate what is going on.  Brandon also pointed out that Jason’s kart was loose, i.e. the rear wheels were sliding more then they should as he turned.  After discussing the issue with Brandon’s dad I moved the front wheels out a bit.  I also found out that the body needed to be moved forward to make more room for the wheels, but this was something I would have to take care of another time.  The  wheel adjustment seemed to improve Jason’s lap time.  Though, It is hard to say where the improvement really was, since he is still learning to drive the kart.

This weeks race where qualifying format, which is are similar to what is done in NASCAR, Indy, F1 and some kart series.  Each driver has an opportunity to go out on the track by themselves for a limited number of laps, in our case 3.  The fastest of the 3 laps is used to set the position for the start of the pre-feature.  This gives the fastest driver the pole and so on down the line.  Jason’s run (mylaps, full mylaps results) was a little slow for him: he ran a 1:05699 second lap – almost a half second behind the next fastest 2 and 3.  This seems to confirm a suspicion that he does better when chasing someone.

For the 8 lap pre-feature, the field was set by qualification laps in this order: Brandon, Kyle, Tommy,img_0243 Jason, Logan, and Chad.  Tommy was surprisingly fast and Chad spun out in the first lap and was not able to get going again.  Jason is a fairly cool driver – he is very focused and only takes chances when he is sure it will work. This race was an example of his style.  He pressures a driver and waits for him to make a mistake.  This is in keeping with him being faster in the chase. The race started with him looking for a way to move a spot up, weaving a bit in traffic.  He stayed on the heels of Kyle for the first lap as Brandon and Tommy pull away.  On the second lap they are able to catch up to Tommy just as he spun off in the hair pin and both Kyle and Jason got by safely.  In the video you can see Kyle’s kart is really loose and moves around quite a bit.  On the third lap he gets real loose in the 3rd corner and loses momentum.  This lets Jason pass him in the straight on the way to turn 4.  From then on Jason settles in and holds off Kyle until the end, taking second place.

The Feature start order, which is 12 laps, is set by the pre-feature finish: Brandon, Jason, Kyle, Chad, Logan, Kyle, ant Tommy.


Brandon does really fast parade laps and Jason hung right there with him all while moving the kart around to warm up the tires.  On the start Jason sticks right with Brandon like he is going to try to beat him to the first corner.  He backed off and Brandon starts to make space between them.  The most exciting moment in the race was in the 6th lap when Tommy(who is being lapped by Jason) is too fast and tight coming out the of the monza and spins 180 degrees and is driving backwards down the track in front of Jason.  Jason has his wits about him and is able to get by without incident while Tommy travels backwards about 100 ft down the track.  Tommy explained later it was really hard to steer while going backward.   Jason finished in second.  Chad made a last second pass around Kyle for second.  Jason’s fastest lap ever, 1:3469 seconds, was the first lap where he had to push to keep up with Brandon.  Another excellent race for these boys.

This week and next is get the kart ready for one last practice and CES in two weeks in St Louis.  Look out Mark and Judy hope you are ready for us!

Thanks this week to Brandon and his dad for working with us to improve the competition. Our sponsors with out whom we would not be the same.  To my lovely wife, who I miss when we are away, but who enjoys the quiet.