WOW! What a great Season Opener for KAM Kartway. We had 57 karts with 11 different class divisions who all put on a great show for us last night!! With the exception of a couple of smooshed wings and Emilee getting a little banged up in her wreck, I have to say this is the best Season Opener that KAM has ever had. Thank you Drivers, Crews and Family for choosing KAM as your home track. We did have a few more red flags than usual but everyone walked away okay….and our returning Flagman, Ray McPherson was on hand to take care of the program. Welcome Back Ray!!! AND SUZIE, who is in the shop helping Mom. We are so lucky that they agreed to step up and help us out this year. They both are part of the foundation of KAM and have a long history with us. If you haven’t already done so, please stop and introduce yourself and say HI to them at the next race. They couldn’t commit to the full schedule so we will have Kaley flag a few times this season, but they will be here for most of them.
One of our beginner Young Guns caused a Red in their feature when he flipped on his side and wasn’t able to finish the race. But after the restart on lap 4 the rest of the pack finished the race under all green until the checkered. Pretty good for that class on their first night. Speaking of Young Guns we have 8 Registered so far!! That is a great number of drivers entering the sport and I’m so excited. The Young Guns class is sponsored by KAM Motorsports (me and Mike) and we are so proud of this young group of racers who are already showing some skill on the track. This is a non-competitive class and all drivers get the same award. We haven’t figured a way to keep them all on the track for “Winner’s Circle” celebration as they drive straight to the exit after the race, but we will work on this and circle them up so parents can take pictures with them, their fellow competitors and their awards.
The Jr 1 Clone class had 6 drivers and except for the yellow at the start of the race, they too went solid green after the restart until the checkered flag came out. Their are a lot of new(er) drivers in this class and they still have a lot to learn, but as we work with parents on hand signals, keeping pace (and in line/spot) on line ups/starting grid order, and some other basics like that – I’m sure we will have a great class putting on awesome shows for us in no time. Mike took top 3 to scales and checked tires after the races with these little guys as he did for all the other classes. They are in the “big boy” class now and will learn things very quickly as we go along. MWRS is sponsoring this class this year as we switched around some sponsors/classes.
Jr 2 Clone had 5 drivers and a new sponsor: Tony’s Auto Repair owned by Robert and Elizabeth Rowland (Noah’s parents). If you need any service work done to your vehicles, man this guy is the best!!! He’s worked on both mine and Mike’s trucks and each time the work was superior and timely. I’ll be writing a Sponsor Blog about Tony’s this coming week so you can learn more about them, so keep an eye out for that. Well Kamaron lost a tire on the last lap of heat 1 and lost a position, but he finished podium in the feature. Cooper Miller won that first heat and came in 2nd on the second heat, but a wobble in the first lap of the feature had him fighting from the back of the pack when he didn’t stop and no yellow was thrown. Newcomer and Rookie Landon Thompson won the 2nd heat and the feature. This was his 2nd Feature win having just come off the win from last week’s Short Track Shootout. Richard Zimmerman came in 2nd in the feature which is his best finish in this class. They may be a little rusty from the winter break as they need some work on “gridding” up, keeping pace, and lining up but that only showed at the start of the race. Once they got going they were green flag all the way until the last lap. This is really a great group of drivers with equally distributed talent and skills – very competitive drivers. It will be anyone’s race each race day and that will make for some exciting races this points season.
Jr 3 Clone had a whopping 11 karts in the class for the Season Opener, and I know that’s not all of them – so this class will sure to be one to watch for an entertaining race show in the coming months/season. Those smooshed wings I mentioned, well Wyatt’s crew was able to bang his out and make needed repairs during intermission, and he made the feature after his Heat 2 wreck. He finished 4th from a p6 start. We had a 2nd Red flag when the 03 of new driver Bri O’Keeffer went upside down in the back stretch. That was it for her and they had to park it for repairs. We hope she’s feeling okay and not feeling any after effects of being tossed around. Like Jr 2 we had a “rusty” with a “NO START” and a few stalled karts that needed to be restarted causing several caution or pace laps before the green was given, but once they got going – same thing – all green until the checkered flag. It was bumper to bumper the entire race by everyone in the pack with little opportunities for passing but Shawn Marquez was not going to let Kutter Guerra just have an easy win and was all over him as he looked for his chance and an opening to make a pass. In the end Kutter (#32K) did take the win with Shawn coming in 2nd and Kaden Bennett taking 3rd. As usual, top 3 went to the scales and at the Winner’s Circle celebration the podium winners were presented with their trophies. This is another group of drivers with equal talent and skills and a heart for competition…..can’t wait to see what they show us coming up.
We had a treat with the Jr 1 Flat Kart. Only 2 drivers but they put on a show and drove hard and FAST! They were sure tired after the race. This is a class that if we can get a couple more drivers (at least 4 to make an official class) then I would like to see this one take off. The 66 of Gavin Paulus took both heats and the feature, but was one kart short of classifying the victory as a “Clean Sweep” (must have at least 3 karts to earn the sweep title and sticker). So pass the word – we have another class for potential drivers to run if they want an open kart instead of a cage and wing.
The Animal class, I hope, is making a come back – we had 4 at the Short Track Shootout last week, but only 2 drivers in the class for the Season Opener. This is a great class with an easy motor package to work with. I love the Animal class and hope we can grow it. Anyone that joins it will be lucky to compete with the two competitors we have registered: Michael Buck in the 02 and the 18 of Gracie Sonntag. These 2 drivers can get it on!! Of course they went flag to flag without much of a battle or any obstacles in their way – being just the two of them – but let me tell you they were flying! I’d like to get their lap times (comment below Crew Chiefs!!). Help me root this class on and lets get it to grow!! These 2 talented drivers need some more drivers to compete against. Also, thanks to Last Chance Redi-Mix for the donation to this class.
The Outlaw 125 class only had 2 drivers too but like the last one, they were FAST and with Case Penrod winning the first heat and Gavin Treadway winning the second heat, the feature was anyone’s to win and they gave us a great show. We started the night with a Modified Clone running with them but the driver scratched for 2nd heat and feature. This class is a little bigger in East Texas but has yet to make a showing here in North Texas. But we will keep our eye on it. In the meantime the Outlaw 125 teams were willing and agreeable to run the Mod Clone with them as score together. But back to the 125’s – I know we had several 125 drivers that didn’t make the Season Opener (maybe the threat of rain kept them away) so I predict that this class will grow and double over the next coming weeks.
Outlaw 250, our premier class at KAM had a field of 8 drivers and talk about talent and skills. These guys never disappoint and put on a good show. As mentioned earlier, Emilee had a bad break in the feature when she wrecked and we went Red for a little bit while our Medic, Jason took care of her. Not sure what her kart damage is, but she was able to walk away and that is always a good thing. Mitchell Mobley had a little scare too when he was hustled out of his kart when, I think, his header wrap caught on fire. Or least it was smoking pretty good and took a bit to stop. He wasn’t able to finish the feature and came off in lap 12 but was running in 4th spot. Katelynn Dixon is on FIRE lately. Coming of pole position start and a podium finish from last week’s Short Track Shootout she earned Pole position again for the first race of the season and held on to that first place spot the entire race, taking the checkered flag – even after being caught up in one of the cautions around lap 13. But because of the Red flag and several yellows the race timed out and was finished by a Green – White – Checker at around lap 17. Wes Knox came in 2nd and Ben Saye cane in 3rd to round out the Podium in the Winner’s Circle.
Pro Clone had 4 drivers with Class Champion Marc Velasquez took the feature win. He also won a heat and his brother Matt won the other. (Be sure to view the video Matt has posted.) Matt also lead one lap in the feature before big brother took it away from him. Michael Dodd in the 77D was playing double duty and also ran the Yard Karts. He actually has been instrumental in bringing the Yard Kart guys to KAM and we appreciate him and his wife, who also takes amazing pictures and will share them from the night after she edits and uploads them. I love that Matt Richeson has a double role now and added Driver to his resume. He will take his son’s number and run the 73X in the future, but for now is running the #7x that came with the kart. He looks like he’s having a blast!
The Preditor class doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere, with 5 karts and a leader of the group who keeps bringing drivers to the track – to race his karts even. They must be coming back because all 5 of them registered for the season (and filled out the paper work without one eye-roll! lol) Thanks to Billy Mack for being so loyal and diligent in this effort with the Preditors. We are happy to add another Adult class to the line up and hope to see it grow.
Like the Predator the Yard Kart class may be a new addition to the Adult class line up with an equally nice group of drivers. There are a few kinks to work out (mainly their kart numbers being legible) and they come out the exit and turn RIGHT on the track – which is hard to score when your Flagman is blocking my line of sight as they come across the finish line from that direction, but these guys are having the time of their lives and couldn’t be nicer. I don’t know much about them other than Michael Dodd, who won the feature and if it weren’t for Amy (his wife) I wouldn’t have known even that…..she helped me score this class. Thank God!! But I will share more about them as we get to know them and they race at KAM more often. Please make them feel welcome and say HI to them at the next race.
The image below has the points, like I did them last year, but they also represent the finish order from the first race so I won’t do a separate post for that. I plan on posting the race results and the points during the week following races. Here is the Points Spreadsheet for you to use along the way if you want to keep score in your class…. It’s hosted on OneDrive.com and you can edit it and keep a copy for yourself if you’d like. I’ll post the spreadsheet again at mid-season so everyone can see the progress. Make sure I have names spelled correctly (should be as I got most of them off the registration paperwork), and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also message me on Facebook.
We will see you on the 15th for Race #2 with an Easter Egg Hunt for the little ones and an Egg Roll for the bigger kiddos. MOMS!! If you have time, please fill a couple dozen eggs with candy for me to help and make sure we have enough candy for all the kids. Your help is greatly appreciated!!
And as always, we want to personally thank our Sponsors because without them this all would not be possible. Thanks to our Title Sponsor, Splash Haven Pools, and our Class Sponsors: MWRS, Last Chance Redi-Mix, JRPW, K&K Race Services, and brand new sponsors, Tex-Rite Trucking & Tony’s Auto Repair.