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When you head to a National level race you have to be prepared to put in full effort for the weekend to be competitive. You can’t let up, everyone is working as hard or harder than you are. Jason and I put in 3 solid days of hard work and pushed our skills and knowledge to this limits. On the surface looking a the the results from you would think that this weekend was a disaster, but while it was all happening we were having a blast and working hard. Just showing up to a National Level race and being competitive is saying something.
The Cup Karts of North America held its Grand Nationals October 4-6th at New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle Indiana. We arranged to use a Coyote Combat kart and get support from Coyote Motorsports for the weekend. This should give us a leg up for the weekend over our usual the mechanic is totally lost situation. This was a new program for both us and Coyote so the weekend was very much and experiment. It was successful experiment, we got great support and help and would definitely work with Jim and his team again.
We arrived just after the gates closed on Thursday night and sleep on the floor of the trailer in the parking lot so we could get in early on Friday morning. Since this was something like an arrive and drive, it was all hands from Coyote and Wild Duck Racing getting Jason’s kart build before practice. We took the combat frame as a base and then tore down our two coyote wide tracks for parts, creating a hybrid bodied kart ready for racing in just about 2 hours. We then executed the plan day of practice. First get Jason used to the new kart and correcting things like improper steering shaft length quickly. Then on to tuning to get the kart up to speed. The afternoon of practice was was started a freshened motor and new tires for some qualifying practice ending the day running in front to see who was catching us. All day the kart kept moving faster and near the top 10 of a 43 kart field. The team put in a solid 12+ hours picking up 2 second throughout Friday just to keep up with the field.
Saturday practice and the heats from a speed perspective where pretty good, but the results weren’t that great. The biggest thing we did was shed some weight on the kart, about 8-9 pound where found and we shifted the seat around to get the balance right. He set an inadequate pre qualifying time which he was in the second group starting second, but put him behind a much slower kart for qualifying. He caught the slower kart by the second qualifying lap and never got a good flying lap in. The First heat with him in 28th and he made spots very quickly. As he was working on 18th in the 5th lap he was bumped off the track in turn one ending his race. He started heat 2 two in 40th of 43 and the the battle at the rear was brutal he have to fight very hard to stay on the track and gain a meare 8 spots to move up to 32nd and his nose was destroyed in the effort. Overnight we cleaned up the kart and replaced damaged parts from the days battles and tried to get some rest.
Sunday was going to be a long day there was only one practice, one heat, and the feature we still had to stay on our toes and keep Jason and the kart in top shape. Heat 3 was probably the highlight of the weekend. The morning had started with rain and everyone switched to a rain setup. He had a great rain set up thanks to the folks at Coyote. Jason started the race in 32nd and treading carefully but still very quickly on a very wet and slippery track moving, in 8 laps, all the way up to 9th. The feature was probably the low light. The rain had stopped and everyone had including us switched back to a dry setup. As the green flag dropped the rain started again rain and karts started sliding everywhere. During the first lap Jason hit a puddle under heaving breaking as he slowed for a accident in front of him. He slid hard into another kart as was sent spinning over the top of karts. After a rotation and a half, touching each corning in turn, he landed safely and drove hard for the next few laps picking up spots in very dense and chaotic traffic. Having made his way up to 18th place by the 5th lap the the rear left tire damaged in the first lap crash let go and went flat and he pulled off to to watch the race relegating him to 38th place.
Despite not finish the feature for the second year we had a great time racing. The help and support from Jim and Coyote team was superb, we would definitely do that again. Rob from Kart City also gave us some great support as well. He helped us find a bit more speed and gave us the clues and hints we needed to get his motor race ready.
Thanks to the Greg, Steve and the whole Cup Karts of North America Team this season has been great and we have learned a lot and race with some very tough competition. You guys have come a long way since you started with a barn storming 206 series.