Results of Team #65 Engine Tech.
Full disclosure: The call to impound and tech the #65 was 100% my initiative invoking rule number 6.1 as a result of a concern I heard last week and in direct response to public allegations made by Outlaw Karting of America and put the rumors to rest one way or another. I approached the process with strict enforcement and quality control to protect the integrity of everyone involved, dispel rumors and (at the time) to report to OKA whether or not the motor was in compliance. In fact we momentarily stopped our race program to secure the motor in a measured effort to make sure that their kart/motor was under KAM official’s observation/control from the moment the kart reached the pit area after the feature race until it left the shop yesterday at 5:05pm in a box in a zillion pieces.
The findings: Team #65 Motor was totally and completely LEGAL.
Pictures were taken at all angles at several different stages to document the process.
Sometime during the course of the 2 hours time frame this took I got the “other side of the story” regarding a night earlier in the season when KAM pulled the 3.5 HP class for a surprise inspection tech This is when KAM (Mike) supposedly “played favorites” with the #65 because we didn’t tear down their motor “all the way”.
- First of all there is no specific rule or regulation that dictates to what extent the tear down process will be and in fact Rule #6.1 under “Protest & Engine Tech Procedures” specifically clarifies that it is at the Race Director’s and/or Track Owner’s discretion as he or she sees fit. To further explain, KAM is under no obligation nor is there a rule that dictates that every motor to tech’d on any given race day are to be done exactly the same.
- Secondly, unless the tear down is a result of an official protest or posted requirement for an event, the process and results are between the kart owner, motor technician and KAM officials.
Here is my opinion on the subject and supported by what I learned:
- Robert Saye has served as our Motor Technician at KAM Kartway from year one. When I learned that Robert was the motor builder of the motor in question it became clear that any decision Mike made using the “as he sees fit” rule would have been fitting. We have known him for over 10 years. We trust Robert totally and completely, and therefore the “as he or she sees fit” portion of the official KAM Kartway rule would most fittingly apply if their motor was in fact handled differently. I have NEVER heard a bad word said about him, and I hear ALL the rumors and gossip eventually. He is the most honorable, stand up man I know in the Karting industry and is the first race dad to offer another race dad help! 10 years of direct and personal knowledge of unwavering integrity, quality control, accountability, honesty and competent knowledge demonstration are all very sound and justifiable reasons to base a race call on.
- I was made aware by random small talk that the #65 kart owner, while exiting the back of the shop with his kart after tech, made the statements that included the phrases: “passed inspection… Boy I’m glad I didn’t have my good motor on tonight” and “I left it at home to rest”. This was overheard by everyone in the back part of the shop because he was joking and trying to be funny as he passed the other dads waiting in line for their turn. I couldn’t believe my ears! I had to have the story repeated to make sure I heard it right. I am 100% sure that this is where the so called “Cheater Motor” and that they “are Bragging about cheating” started!!!!!! THIS IS EXACTLY HOW RUMORS GET STARTED and reputations damaged.
I’m sorry if a new race parents don’t like it, has a lingering doubt and/or continues to misguidedly continue to question a decision Mike made based on YEARS of experience, extensive race industry understanding and vast motorsports knowledge. This is directed at no ONE person in particular, but is being addressed as a result of several causing UNWARRANTED DRAMA and everyone who needs to be educated on the process. Have we lost racers based on calls like this….Yes. We are running a type of customer service business and customers come and go in business – it’s just a fact. We have also lost racers based on race calls, flag calls and the like. That is as much a part of motorsports as “rubbing and racing” is. Does it bother me….on a personal level it does! I miss the kids whose parents won’t see past their stubborn pride to come back and race at KAM. I’ve had people tell us at race events we see them at that “they miss us” and that “I need to eat crow” and so on. Some come back and some don’t. The ones that don’t are the ones that raised such a stink it would/ be too embarrassing to be seen supporting KAM. That’s when I must force myself to remember the 80/20 rule of Business and let go of the 20% that leave because no matter what we do they won’t be happy, and focus my efforts on the 80% who truly deserve my attention.
I remember about 5 years ago his wife wanted to quit racing because their son’s race program was suffering due to the amount of time Robert spent on helping other families with their motor work. And I know we made her upset 100 times or more over the past 10 years when we asked him to tech a motor or two after a race because he never said NO, and she and their son sat and waited on him sometimes for hours. **Note to self: send Monica a thank you card!!**
For enlightening purposes I want to also clarify that we discourage using the term “Cheater Motor” and do not give it much credence. It is an out of date and out of touch and almost always misused phrase. To illustrate my point, there seems to be some confusion in the “rules” as to specific part and whether it may or may not be used. I found that our policy is that said part is not only acceptable. However, when I researched the history of the rule I found that the OKA website does not have our most current rules posted. Confused, I went to my files and thumbed thru several different rule books as well as searching computer files and I found the actual copy that is almost word for word what is published on line at OKA and it came from our 2009 KAM Kartway Rule Book. Regardless of the fact that OKA and KAM rules to match, an “Approved” or permitted part versus a part that is SPECIFICALLY not allowed does not, by definition, make a motor a “Cheater Motor”. To avoid misunderstandings, hurt feelings or threat of slanderous comments in the future (and this goes for anyone reading this) please contact Kelley for any and all current and up-to-date text copy of policies, rules or operating procedures documentations. I handle all of the business content editing and file storage of all of KAM’s business documents, marketing material, disclosure notices, and everything else that has to be uploaded, typed, formatted, emailed and/or printed for business use.
**Especially when the part in question does NOTHING to or for the output performance of the motor. The term “cheater” is almost always directly tied to blatant and out-right jealousy with and when one driver is or has been more successful than another during the course of competition. This time of year – the coming to the end of a points series – the term is greatly over-used and most often in and erroneous fashion.