Professional racing drivers don’t just arrive at the top. They work their way up a long and complicated ladder competing in many different series and against thousands of other drivers. And many of them start their careers as kids in karting.
Karting is the perfect test. No power steering. No traction control. No overly complicated cars. It’s more or less a small engine, four tyres and a steering wheel. But karting isn’t just for the kids. The big shots still come back to play too. You can tell watching them that this is racing in it’s most pure form. No big money. No tv audience to impress. No press. Just a bunch of guys thrashing karts for the pure fun in racing them.
Mooresville Motorplex (MMX) is a track I’ve been privileged to be associated with since it’s inception last year. Owner Justin Marks had a dream to make a world class European calibre karting track, and build it in the Carolinas. He designed facilities that would not be rivaled in the United States. It sits 2 miles from Penske Racing and a short 10 miles from 90% of the other NASCAR team home bases in Mooresville and Huntersville NC. Racersites, a website building company designed with the motorsport industry in mind sponsored a karting championship at MMX over the past few weeks and it was a smashing success. Some of the NASCAR and Indycar regulars signed up and competed against other professionals and amateurs alike. Where else can you have the opportunity to race some of your racing heroes?? No where! So what a treat it was when I joined MMX and Racersites for their final championship night.
The four different racing classes (two rental kart divisions and two owner kart divisions) did battle on the purpose built track, and it was electric. I particularly remember watching Bubba Wallace make a diving pass for the lead on the last corner of a lap. I could see in his eyes and how he was bouncing up and down in his kart as he passed me that the excitement was as genuine as if he’d made the same pass on the track for the lead in a NASCAR truck race.
If you live in the Carolinas, keep an eye on the MMX schedule for more of these races and championships, or just go out one afternoon and rent a kart. It is a fantastic facility, and a hell of a lot of fun to drive. Though their rental karts aren’t quite as spectacular as the owner karts, you can still get up to a fairly quick 55mph on the back straight away. It’s plenty exciting.
I’ll stop rambling and let you enjoy some of the action from the Racersites Cup. Scott Speed, Bubba Wallace, Ryan Briscoe, Justin Allgaier Michael McDowell, Kasey Kahne, Nelson Piquet Jr, Tyler Cooke are a few familiar names you’ll see here.
ALL the images from Wednesday’s final round can be purchased HERE. 10% discount with “racersites” code at checkout.
© Jamey Price 2013
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