Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Night Race at North Texas Kartway this Past Saturday
The North Texas Karters ran the third race in the Sidewinder Series this past Saturday. Joe, Stuart, and I made the trek up to Denton to race under the lights at NTK. The Sidewinder Series is a 4-race money series over the summer with payouts for class wins ranging from $100 to $300 which is pretty good for some local karting action.
I got to the track around 3 in the afternoon and setup camp for the other guys who showed up a bit later. I did 1 practice session before the 6:30PM driver's meeting and the track was extremely slick. With temps well over 100 degrees, the track conditions were nothing like they would be for the races later that night. At around 8, we took the track for a 5-minute qualifying sessions and I was able to grab pole by 0.1s despite being well behind my pace from the previous NTK SWRC races. The kart was understeering terribly and I could hardly turn the thing on entry.
I switched to a different set of tires, changed the cold pressures, and widened the front track to help the front grip issues and it worked for the 8-lap heat race. I picked up about a 1 second from the my quali pace was able to take the heat race win after an initial charge from Stuart at the start. Joe and Stuart picked up their pace each session and we ran very similar lap times all night. With the conditions now very different and it being pitch-black outside, I started from pole for the 12-lap feature race. Joe got a good jump from the outside pole and almost got by me in Turn 1. I was able to duck under him as we went two-wide through the first corner and settle into the lead by Turn 2. After some contact between Stuart and Joe for 2nd place, I was able to come home comfortably with the win by 8s.
My next race will be the mid-August Southwest Regional Cup race in Katy, TX. This will be a three-day race just like the ones before and is sure to be brutally hot once again!