New Drivers

Welcome to KAM Kartway!!

Here are some things you need to know before racing at KAM Kartway:

Know the Rules

Your first order of business is to have a working knowledge of the Rule Book and Policies governing KAM’s race program.  So be sure to read over the Rules, whihc are outlined in three sections on the website; Rules, Competition Rules, and Class Rules.  These Rules (also known as the Rule Book) can also be found in a printable pdf file on the Forms page with yet another a copy posted in the ‘Notes’ section of KAM’s Facebook page.  You should also read and be familiar with the Code of Conduct found under the “Driver Info” navigation menu tab and the Fan Guide located under the “Fan Zone” menu navigation tab.  Finally, our Social Media policy is located in the Forms section and all participants who intends on using any of the KAM sponsored internet platforms must be familiar with these guidelines prior to use.  Any questions or concerns about the rules or policies should be resolved before your first planned race day participation.  For General Rule or policy questions, you may contact me (Kelley) by email at kelley@kamkartway.com, or for class technical questions or clarification text Mike at 817-938-7692. 

Additionally, all Clone classes are governed by AKRA and their rules are used as the guideline by KAM.  Why? This sanctioning body is considered the industry expert for the clone classes. An AKRA rule book is highly recommended and can be purchased thru AKRA by calling them at (704) 764-8138. AKRA does not allow its tracks to publish their rule book and it is your responsibility to know ALL your class rules so having a copy of the rule book in connection with the KAM rules is a necessity if you are running any Jr Clone or Adult Clone class. 

Understand that some specifics will vary from track to track or even from the AKRA rule book (ie: age requirements,  restrictor plate, pipe specs or class weight for example) and any “contradictions” or track specifics will be outlined under the Class Rules section. 

While most area tracks and special event venues have adopted similar technical rules over the years to make it easier for the racers to cross attend, each race event or track’s set of rules is unique to that track or special event.   Know before you go and ask if you have doubts. 

 

Special Note: All drivers must be in compliance with all the rules by their 3rd official race before being subject to the disqualification rule that governs the violation(s).    First time drivers, or guests from other tracks, may be given some tolerance in some technical area requirements and allowed to run with the class that best/closet fits their kart & motor package and/or driver’s age group according the track officials determination – they just will not receive points for the race event.     

New Driver Registration Paperwork Required

These forms are required for all new drivers as well as guest drivers at KAM Kartway (all of which may be found on the FORMS page):

  1. Driver Registration form
  2. Minor Waiver
  3. No Cheat Pledge
  4. Rules Acknowledgement

There is a one-time Registration Fee of $25 per driver that is due at the same time in addition to the above forms, all of which is required by all first time drivers at KAM.  This fee may be waived for guests or new drivers starting after mid-season.  These forms are then required Annually for each points race season by March 1st to be considered an officially registered. 

NOTE: there is a form that must be signed on race day, often referred to as “driver registration”, that is not the same as the above mentioned forms.  That form is the race day Liability and Indemnity Waiver that must be signed by, or on behalf of (if minor), every race participant and spectator. This is part of every race day driver sign in process and must be during the registration time period between “Gates Open” time and the “Drivers Meeting” time. 

Race Schedule and Times

 All race events and times are posted online on the Schedule page of KAM’s website as well as listed in the Upcoming Races section located at the top left side bar area. Duplicate postings may be posted on KAM’s Facebook page under Events section.  Race day times are also frequently posted on the KAM’s social media channels as a friendly reminder, so be sure to LIKE or Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Weather Alerts

In the event of an unexpected weather delay or cancellation, a notification will be posted on Facebook and a group text sent thru the “Rain Out” app/service.  Since weather conditions can come on suddenly be sure to sign up for this “Rain Out” app service to get the most time sensitive information delivered via text message on your smart phone device.  This app can be found on the KAM website – at the bottom of the Side Bar from any main page – and is a free service to racers.  A great tool if you are not signed in to the internet or in-transit to the race.  

Pit Parking Procedure

The pit spots, or event parking, is pre-assigned parking for most race events so be prepared to be told where to park on race day by the track officials.  To get your own Reserved Pit Spot you will need to get me for availability and use the Form to officially secure your spot for the season (or special event if applicable).    A parking spot given to new drivers is not a guaranteed parking spot for the rest of the season so be sure to follow this procedure to avoid confusion or parking in another race team’s reserved spot that just happened to be opened at the time an you were parked there as a first-time racer or guest.  (See Pit Parking page for more information.)

Race Day Procedures

Upon arrival at the track the first question is almost always “where do I park?”.  As previously mentioned, the pit parking is assigned and not a first come type system on a regular points race event (some special events may first come basis).  Guest or non pit crew spectators arriving in separate vehicles must park at the North end “spectator parking area”. Only vehicles attached to race trailers allowed to park in the pits.  

Here’s a run thru of what to expect when you arrive at the track:

  • Pull in and stop at the stop sign.  It is posted posted in front of the shop. You will be assisted and told where to park by a track official.  While you wait, or immediately after you have been parked, please come into the shop and Sign In (aka: Driver Registration) and pay for the race event. You will be given your Pit Passes – n event wrist band to be worn and are required for all race participants.  
  • Note: All 1st-time drivers will start in the back, but for future reference this is where drivers pull a number for the starting grid line up. 
  • Make sure that you have all the required forms listed above ready to turn in! 

Have people coming to watch the races?  Make sure you tell them what to expect, were to park and how to purchase their Pit Passes.  Everyone is considered a race participant on race day and must sign in, pay and obtain a wrist band (ie: pit pass) before entering the facilities.  The entire property at KAM is considered “Hot Pit” area on race day and there are no free spectator viewing areas due to the limited space available.  Make sure your friends and family are aware of this and prepared to pay the Pit Pass fee for everyone in attendance, including children over 4 years of age. This is normally $15 but may be higher for special events.

  • After parking and registering your driver for the race, unpack trailer and set up your pit space in preparation of kart & driver for the race program ahead.  Being new can be overwhelming and every wants to make you feel welcomed. So don’t be shy and introduce yourself to your pit neighbors. 
  • Next you will want to locate the and Flag/Score stand area and be ready for the Drivers Meeting.   This is a mandatory meeting for all drivers and at least one parent to attend.  The Race Director or Flagman will conduct this meeting and will discuss race programing issues or concerns, track conditions, race procedures and other race related announcements.  New drivers are given special race flag instructions and given time to ask questions if needed.  To conclude the meeting, a race day prayer is said and then the  National Anthem is played.  Drivers are not dismissed until the Anthem is over.
  • Following the Drivers Meeting are the Hot Laps sessions.  We go right into these so be ready!  This is the time for drivers to get a ‘warm-up’ session prior to the races for a pre-race opportunity to make chassis adjustments or set up changes based on current track conditions and driver feedback. 
  • Races immediately follow the Hot Lap.s You will want to check the Grid Board for the line order of your class before each race session as it changes for each Heat and the FeatureThe Grid Board is located directly across from the track entrance and is where the racing order and class line ups (grids) will be posted.   If you have questions the Grid Steward (the guy at the gate) is there to assist you and your driver while in the staging area and/or before your race. 

TIP: Be aware of the race program and progression with special attention to your class being “called to staging area”.  This may or may not be an actual call out on the PA system but is the normal operating order of the race program and anticipated race program procession.  It is your responsibility to be ready and in the proper position  (line up grid order) at the gate when its time for your class to go out for its race.  The most common mistake new racers will encounter is that they missed their Heat race because they were not on time to the staging area. If you miss your class’s Hot Lap or Heat race the driver will not be permitted to go out with another class. 

  •  The normal running order is: Hot Wheels, 3.5 HP, Pure Stock, Jr 1 Clone, Jr 2 Clone, Jr 3 Clone, Outlaw 250 and Adult Clone.

So that’s the race format: 2 Heats and a Feature following a short session of Hot Laps and it all starts right after the Drivers Meeting.

FYI: The first heat line up order is arranged by the pill draw at registration with the 2nd heat being an inversion of that order.  But remember,  First-time drivers will always stay on the back of the grid for all the races.  The Feature line up grid is arranged by the finish order points from both heats combined for a total score used to sort kart order..  The Points Standings are used in the event of a tie in heat points. The Feature grid will be posted during intermission and any questions should be clarified BEFORE racing resumes after intermission.  The scorers are the race officials to notify if you feel the grid is wrong or to clarify anything related to the line ups. (ie:  heat finishes/calculations).  This is all explained in detail in the Rules Section as well as in this Blog Post on the topic.

Other Programing Notes

  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers, also known as the Podium Winners, will be presented awards at the end of the feature race and given an opportunity to take pictures (this is also known as the Winner’s Circle).  Explain to your driver that if they finish in the top 3 they must first go to the weigh area to be weighed and as directed by the on-track workers, then they will proceed to the Winner’s Circle area (in font of Flag Stand) and park in the finish order with the other Podium winners.  All other drivers will exit the track where a pit crew member (parent) should be waiting to meet them.  Kill the motor upon exiting the track.
  • Parents are not allowed on the track until directed by the track officials!!
  • No driving in the pits.  Karts must be pushed from pit spot to grid and exit shoot back to pit spot.  KAM is considered a “Cold Pit” track once the Drivers meeting has taken place.
  • Be prepared for kart/class Tech’ing and follow instructions given by track workers when asked to go to a designated area to after the race, also known the “Tech Area”, before going to your pit spot.    Motor or safety tech for a class is at the track’s discretion and is usually just the top 3 feature finishers.  NOTE: There may even be times when the entire class is called to Tech.  The purpose is to keep everyone accountable in complying with rules and procedures and above board at all times.  Non-compliance or being illegal may result in a DQ  for the driver and any points or awards will be taken away.    
  • Everyone is held to the same set of standards with 1st time or guest drivers having some exceptions as previously mentioned.  Beginners may be held to a different degree of tolerance as advanced classes/drivers as well as some special circumstances may be considered in the event of fairness as long as it doesn’t give one driver an added or unfair advantage over another, or the class as a whole. 

After race practice: Remember seat time equals race experience – that is why KAM leaves the track lights on after most races for drivers to hot lap. This is a good time to run drills, test set-up adjustments, practice a technical maneuver, etc.  This is the time to put that Coaching hat on and have some one-on-one training sessions with your driver (ie: run drills or test for driver comprehension of a certain task or skill).  SPECIAL NOTE: the track is also available for rentals for for private use as well to help new drivers get added seat time.       

  • The Kart Shop

    The “Pro Shop” (aka KAM Motorsports) may already be familiar to you because you purchased your kart or equipment from us to to get started.  Great! We appreciate your business and need our local racers supporting their local race shop as this is important with all racing communities in order to keep them strong and growing.  Please be aware that on race day the shop is open from “Gates Open” time until 1 hour after the “Driver’s Meeting” time (ie: 5pm to 7pm during Summer months) and possibly during intermissions.   You may pre-purchase needed parts and have them ready at the counter for you on race day by ordering them on-line at www.kammotorsports.com.  Simply add items to cart and at checkout click “pay at pick-up”.    If you are in need of a part or special technical assistance in an emergency situation (ie: prevents you from racing the feature for example) and the shop is closed, find a track official to assist you.  The Grid Steward is ideally the first stop as he will radio a staff member to come open the shop for you.  The Race Program succession and time constraints may not all requests feasible, but we’d prefer our racers be able to take the track than not if we are at able to help them.   


Above all, have fun & don’t stress! This is a huge step for you and racing was a brave youth sports choice for your child and family.  Parents must become the Coach of their drivers, and wearing those two hats on race day not always easy.  Plus you have a big investment riding on your shoulders. Taking it slow and steady is the best advice we can give.  Remember it takes Seat Time to gain on-track race experience.  And it takes on-track experience to create driving skills with comprehension of kart/motor dynamics.  Skills and comprehension are then needed to master the class division in order to be competitive.   No one is born to race nor is it in your blood.  All the top professionals started the same and followed the same or similar progression in the beginning of their careers. 

Your driver may want to be a professional race car driver one day so they will need to build a solid motorsports foundation first.  The program we provide at KAM is success proven with years of experience and follows industry expert guidelines. Choosing KAM for your Driver Development program means giving your driver a solid start in competitive motorsports with the best chance for long-term racing career sucess. 

Final Advice:

Enjoy the process of learning your new sport and have fun as a family and making new friends at the track.  Celebrate the little steps and consistency from race to race in the beginning – because racing is hard!  These kids just make it look easy.    It may take some time to get that first trophy depending on class size and overall competition level of the drivers.  We’ve had Rookies go an entire year before getting their first win.  Don’t panic or use a trophy as a measure of success for new drivers.  That first win is special and should be a well earned victory. The only class that gets participation awards is the Hot Wheels class which is our baby class of 4 & 5 year olds.   The end-goal for the year should be  mastering the class or division techniques in order to move up to the next class the following year.  Understand this and you understand the ladder step system of learning for which technical comprehension is vital to building skill sets.    Any kid can strap in and mash the gas while going in a straight line and get to the finish line first.  But that’s not all there is to racing. Track conditions, technical obstacales, driving competition, luck, kart set-up & motor tuning and physical ability – its all of that and more that makes racing a sport. 

For more information for beginners and new drivers visit the Blog section of the website, or search “Beginners” on the home page, for related posts on the topic.  Our Facebook page is another great place to start so be sure to LIKE it and skim over.  The “Notes” and “Events” pages will have useful info so check those often in addition to the timeline posts. 

 

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