My second real race at Englishtown, I showed up nice and early, before the track opened to be ready for the race. I figured I would get a couple of practice runs in and then be all set and ready to run the races. Unfortunately, that is not how this turned out. I ended up not being able to start the kart on the first practice session. I had it running the day before, as stated in this post, but when it was time to start it on the track it did not start.
This ended up being the spark plug that I had put in it the day before. I took it out and put the old plug back in and the kart started without an issue. I then took a new spark plug and gapped it to half of the recommended gap (.30 this time) and put it in. The kart was able to start and I managed to get out on the track for the next practice session.
Then next practice session went fairly well and I ran my fastest laps ever! I was in the 44 second range which I thought would make me at least competitive. I was very conscious of my tire pressures and keeping them at a level where I thought it would be good for grip.
The third practice session, the kart had absolutely no power! I must have killed the battery when I was attempting to get the kart started on that first session. Now I had nothing! What a bummer. I needed to borrow someone’s generator and another person’s battery charger to get the kart up and running again. Needless to say, I did not get the practice I was looking for. However, the new seat did its job and my back is not any sorer today than it was the day before the race! I knew that other seat was too small!
I was able to get out on the track for a lap or two on the fourth session but it was not enough to gain any insight as to how fast I was getting. I really needed to have more time on course. I need to start the kart before getting into the hot pits.
For race 2 I drew a low number and for Heat Race 1 I started on the outside pole, #2. I was getting pushed from behind on the starts but came to find out that he was actually trying to help me get a run on the pole guy. If you can match him into the first turn, you have the inside line on turn 2. That’s not the way it went but I raced pretty well for my second time and finished the race 5th.
The next heat race the field was inverted and I started in the back. I did not finish as well but still managed to pull in a 7th place finish. There were only 9 competitors today and 2 of them were extremely slow, I was merely just slow! Either way, I didn’t finish last and I did not get lapped. There was a kart on track that even I lapped……
The main is where things got interesting. I started 5th since the main takes your average finish from the first two races and starts you there. There was one guy starting behind me who was much faster than I was and he let me know all about it! He pushed me down the straight and sent me into the turn at the end way too fast. I managed to reel the car back in and get back on line but he came up the inside, I could not see him, and hit my rear wheel sending my kart on top of his. I again managed to get the kart back under control and keep moving. I was taking it a little easy at first to make sure I did not have any damage and then I continued on. I believe one of the track officials was pretty upset about this. You may be able to see him waving his arms in disgust at that driver. This guy did end up getting around me and moving ahead. He caught up to the other pack and ended up completely taking out another karter. This time it was much more serious than my incident and the other driver ended up pinned under his kart. The race was red flagged and the ambulance was called. The karter ended up being ok, I talked to him after packing up, they did not make him go to the hospital.
Because of the unfortunate wreck, one of the karts did not finish and I believe I took 6th place on the day. I would be happy about it except for the unfortunate circumstances that happened at the end of the race. Thank the racing gods that he was ok.