2017 Season Finale: Pittsburgh

There is a saying, that “Races are won in the garage”.  Racing the big track at Pittsburgh started the minute we rolled out of post tech at MIS.  We started planning the needed changes and continued to ponder the problems.   The actual work started the weekend before with taking apart and cleaning the fuel system and converting the driveline to chain.  I am hoping giving the fuel system a good cleaning on the road kart will resolve the burping condition that has been experienced for that few races.  Dart Kart Club requires the black restrictor plate and we have been having issues the motors speed to the ideal rpm with the limited gear set available.  By converting to chain, We can use our full set of gears and drivers to do fine tuning and find the fastest gearing.  After every race both motors and tanks are drained of gas and the oil changed, and the clutches are inspected, rebuilt, and adjusted.  This being karting and not NASCAR where they spend 1000’s of man hours getting read for a race.  We only require about 10-20 hours of preparation to stage both karts and and pack trailer for the next event depending on the extent of changes. 

Pittsburgh International Race Complex is the last stop for the Wild Duck Racing team’s 2017 season.  This Dart Kart Club race is the first kart race is the first one hosted by this track.  At 2.8 miles with 19 turns, it is also the longest track and most complex track he has ever driven.  While we were there not only did we enjoy the kart racing, there was autocross on Sunday and Jason even got to take his sprint kart out on the Wilson Circuit for some early preparation of his return to sprint racing.  He thought it was a great track but did not how he had not drive like that for a while. 

Jason piloted the sprint kart very well in both Saturdays and Sundays races.  We have not been making many adjustments to the kart, just using the race time to practice and refine track knowledge.  The only problem with the kart all season has been the development of cracks in the frame.  During Sunday’s race the frame developed another crack this time in the front porch which is a weird place.  At the end of Sunday’s race the throttle linkage snapped In the last lap, he tried to bring it home pulling on the cable with his hand but it was more than he could pull off.  With this latest failure the chassis is now retired from racing.  It carried three drivers to multiple sprint and road racing championships, it’s time. 

Post Race Conference

The garage work on the road kart was a mixed bag of results.  The gearing was wrong and we ended up converting back to belt drive after a couple of practice sessions.  However, the burping seems to have been cured by the thorough cleaning of the fuel system.  Saturdays Sprint Junior race included 4 drivers and Jason needed to get third or better on both days to win the championship.  He had a great start leaping away but immediately got stuck in traffic and then had to check up as the first lap closed to avoid an out of control kart.  The gap between him and the field grew to seven seconds in first few laps. The leader was just gone, the real race was for 2nd place as 2 and 3 swapped back and forth lap after lap while Jason quietly settled into his pace.  As the fought they slowed and Jason began to creep closer, slowly at first, then, once he had them in sight again he push hard and suddenly dropped 2 seconds a lap.  As the crossed the finish line for the penultimate lap he was mere tenths back.  During the closing lap he fell back  as faster traffic cut through the class and then he pulled in close behind 3rd place.  As they entered the final hairpin turn, using late breaking, Jason pulled in front of third place. As the group exited the turn the second place driver bobbled and lost momentum allowing Jason to fly by and finish in 2nd place.  Sunday’s, race was between Jason and one other driver who simply had a much faster kart.  Jason ran some fast laps but they were not fast enough to keep up.  At the end of the weekend Jason had sealed his 4th Championship of the season.  

Thanks to the Junior Sprint drivers: Mathew, Christine, Adam, David and their families for some great racing this season.  Thanks to the Pittsburgh international race complex team for putting on this great event.  

Remembering Joe Pribyl, without whom this would have never been possible. 
Oct 29, 1940 – July 2, 2017

Enjoying the Indy 500 2015
Thanks Dad and Grandpa

Next up for the team is rebuilding and planning for the 2018 season.  Schedules should be out in the next couple of months.  We are going to need to do something about the sprint kart chassis, new kart or new frame, this is one many decisions we are going to have to contemplate over cold winter off season. 

Thanks to our 2017 Sponsors for their continuing support.
Bell HelmetsGoPro, Slick Products, Shorai, AmsoilWinning SyntheticsEVS Sports, Stardust Memorials, The Greenwood Restaurant, C&M Auto Service, Atomic Decals, Danrr Autobody, Christian Lantry Photographer, Jennings Chevrolet, Xona Software