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 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.
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 and Joe Pribyl in 2012 at Road America