Badger vs Norway

I live roughly halfway between the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. If I were to start racing again, it would be at Badger for sure, because almost nobody races at Norway anymore. Norway has a small weekly LO206 class, and thats it. Although on open practice days, Norway is full of karts ranging from 4-strokes to shifters.

Here is my question. Why doesn’t anybody race at Norway anymore? Back in the early days of the TAG class, around maybe 2004 or 2005, Norway had a TAG class, plus mutliple Yamaha classes, plus (I think) a HPV/KPV class. Where did everybody go? What happened?

How does Badger maintain such strong numbers? The chicago metro area has almost 9.5 million people. The Milwaukee metro area has less than 1.5 million people. Shouldn’t Norway have much bigger numbers?

Any ideas about this? I was just curious about what everybody thinks.

Does Norway have rental karts?

Yeah Norway has a Friday night rental kart league.

They also rent out the rental karts on practice days, although they usually kick all the other karts off the track while the rentals are driving. At least that’s how it always seemed to me.

Kindest way to explain

Badger is a club and for the most part being run by racers for racers. Always looking to make the events better and track better for the racers.

Norway is privately owned and not handled like noted above.

It shows in the entry numbers. With the population available to Concept, there should and could be 100+ racers there for a club event.

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I would agree with this and also note that Badger is just a better maintained facility. Norway could use a full make over, from the facilities to the track itself.

If they repaved Norway, smoothed it out and fixed the curbing, it would be a top 5 track for me. The layout is awesome and it’s fun to race now, but it definitely could be improved.

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Rental karts often take priority as they are more sustainable financially.

Badger is a club-owned facility only used for owner-driver racing, so it’s more focused on that kind of competition.

Although I often wonder why rentals never ended up at badger even on occasion. I even toyed with the idea of bringing some at one point, decided to take summers off instead.

Nobody wanted to put up the investment for it. That’s asking a lot of money for a rental fleet, Badger doesn’t have the money to do it. The idea gets tossed around from time to time, but there’s not really ever a good reason to do it.

Thinking more, they’d also need storage for the karts, mechanic area, etc. that would be a large investment as well, not just the karts alone.

Yeah there’s also quite a few people who race every weekend at Badger including myself who drive the 2 hours from Chicago. It’s a very well run track and the facilities and competition is strong. I’ve never been to Norway but from what I’ve heard and seen it’s kind of poorly maintained and run.

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@tjkoyen the layout at Concept is awesome. The 1,2,3,4 combination before the long straight to Monza and back to high speed and then heavy braking is some of the best out there. You miss a mark and you kill your speed and have to defend rather heavily.

Heck, the last combo heading to front stretch back to 1 and hard braking into 2 is just as good

It’s just an awesome lap but it beats the snot out of you.

As you said, repave, get rid of the monster kerbs and remove the culvert but fill it in so you keep the hill.

How awesome would it be for us WI and IL guys to have RA, Badger and Concept all on new(er) surface. :heart_eyes:

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Yep the idea is that the club would rent out the track\facility with an agreement on reserved dates for competition karting. That’s how Stockholm operates from what I understand. Track is owned by the club (NRKA, I think) and is rented out to Stockholm Karting Center with provisions that certain number of dates are reserved for their sanctioned competition karting.

Seems like there’s some opportunity there that could be explored. I’m not saying that the club could or should take time/coin to explore it. Just sharing my observations of how it could/might work. I’m still keen to do it some day as I think having rental karting at such a historic track would be great.

I wont be quite as kind in my explanation :slight_smile:

I was racing at Norway, and during a club race the a$$hole in second was actively trying to push me off track. As in not using ANY brakes going into the turn 8 hairpin. I had it on video, several people saw it, and the owner did absolutely nothing about it. Every club race is an absolute s$*t show. People cheating regularly with little to no consequence. People nearly getting into fights in the pits. They dont have any corner workers and the club races take WAY longer than they need to simply because its just run so poorly.

The owner hasn’t put a dime into the track surface in at least 15-20 years. Its really rough. The curbs will ruin a kart in one shot if you go over the wrong one. People bend kingpins just driving the track normally. The whole thing is just a mess. Safe to say I switched tracks after putting up with it for a couple seasons.

Its sad because I grew up racing there and completely agree that the layout is a good one, but its not worth it. Badger is 1000x better if you’re equidistant.

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Badger Kart Club is very unique for all of the reasons mentioned above, and more. We are VERY limited in what we are allowed to utilize the property for. In fact, we go before the town board annually to have our conditional use permit renewed.

We can rent the track to the occasional traveling series, but a “Rental Business” would likely not work within the rules of our permit. We also try hard to not take racing or practice time away from our members.

There is a group of racers and parents that make up the board of directors. Our focus is on providing an exceptional race experience for our club members. We enjoy hosting the likes of Rte66 and CKNA as a way to fund continouos improvements of the facility, but our main focus is always on our club members.

That is why we have such stong membership and race entries. I believe we averaged over 125 entries per race day last season!

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Yep that’s pretty typical and exactly what I’m going through now with a raceway, also in Wisconsin.

NRKA, John and Jaime

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Thanks. I was thinking of the Boston group.

To be fair, 15-20 years ago Mike Combs owned the track. He actually won the TAG Heavy class at the Rock Island GP in 2003. I guess you can get really fast given unlimited track time. :thinking:

Anyway I’m not sure exactly when he bought the track, or who owned it before him, however he owned it from at least 2003, possibly earlier. He sold Tony Karts at the shop located at the track and called the shop “Intense Karting” or something like that. They sold the EasyKart (remember those?) there too.

I think he sold the track to Les (the current owner) around 2007 or 2008, and for the first two or three years he leased the track to his son, who operated the track shop as “Jet Karting” and they sold Birels in the shop.

Then maybe around 2010 or 2011? Les ended the contract to lease the track to his son at the end of the season. Seemed cold blooded to me. Putting your own son out of business? Anyway, I don’t know the details, so I don’t know whar really happened.

So after that Les has been running the track, although the daily operations are supposed to be handled by the track manager.