I'm Old and Haven't Raced In 22 years.... Am I crazy?

Where are you located? Indianapolis, IN - Plan to run NCMP and Whiteland

What age bracket are you in? Junior (<16), Senior (16+) or Masters (30+)

I’m pushing 42, so senior and/or masters? I am leaning towards 206 if I can get my hands on a motor.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your mechanical ability, or willingness to wrench on things?

I would say a 9, there isn’t much mechanically I can’t do or figure out, but no matter what skill it is, there is always someone better, so 9 it is.

Talk a little about your racing experience so far.

I grew up in a racing family, Karts, SCCA etc. My old man raced with the Comet guys back in the day (it helped that we lived 2 miles from the shop). I raced junior Briggs and moved on to Yamaha light back in the mid-late 90’s. The last time I raced competitively was '00. I had this brilliant idea to go work for an Indycar team to help pay for my racing… Didn’t take into account the fairly serious scheduling conflicts and haven’t raced a kart since. I spent 15 years in the series as a mechanic and ultimately a crew chief but got out of the biz for a desk job with a GC about 7 years ago. I am also part owner a 1/4 scale RC car company that I do all the chassis R&D and design work for.

I have spent a majority of my life working on other people’s shit… It’s my turn now and I’m excited to get going!

What’s the main thing you need help with to get you started.

  • I have a 22 year gap in knowledge, so I am trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can about everything. Any recommendations for resources to learn are always appreciated. I have turned this forum inside out and read and watched most of the recommended intro and 101 stuff, but need more, deeper stuff, primarily about setup and tires.

-I would love any words of wisdom or encouragement for an out of shape, slightly overweight old guy that wants to go play. ( I sold this crazy idea to my wife as a motivation to get in shape… she’s bought it so far haha) Any specific work out stuff you guys do?

-I am still in the kicking tires phase, but pretty sure I know what direction I want to go chassis wise, but wow there are a million brands and a lot to take in. I plan to go nose around Comet this week and see what they say too.

Thanks for any input!
CH

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Of course you’re not crazy, well no more than the rest of us.

42 is plenty young yet. Lots of guys much older than you just starting out.
206 is a good starting plan to get your feet wet again, Comet is a great resource and New Castle has a strong club series. You’re in a good spot and these are good first steps.

Lots of topics here on chassis setup and driving, some good YouTube resources out there as well. The search function here will turn up just about anything you could ask about. Otherwise, this forum is a great resource to get some opinions on things, and surely Comet can provide a lot of advice as well. They know as much as anyone.

Welcome back.

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Welcome back! As TJ mentioned Comet is a great resource, and has a strong LO206 chassis and engine program. That’s a great place to start, and you’ll have large fields at both NCMP and Whiteland.

Come find me once you’re ready to jump in a shifter! We had 24 shifters a few weeks ago at NCMP for a club race. :sunglasses:

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I’m just getting started in karting and I’m in my late 30s. I bought an Eagle from Comet and an LO206 from Ghost Racing. You should check out Whiteland Raceway Park. Its just south of Indy and its a super nice facility🏁

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Any age is a good age to race in a purpose designed racing vehicle :wink:

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Absolutely this, it’s your turn and you would be crazy to not take it!

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[quote=“C-Hogue070, post:1, topic:9109”] I sold this crazy idea to my wife as a motivation to get in shape… she’s bought it so far haha)
[/quote]

Perfectly legitimate too. The only times in my life that have been somewhat fit is when I was racing. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it was the only thing that motivated me.

So I say roll with it.

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DO IT!

After being on the sidelines tuning and wrenching for my Son he talked me into racing. Ran a couple last year and this year the plan is for the entire season.

I’m 45 and out of shape, though round is a shape :laughing:, and had a blast yesterday with a full day of track time.

Edit: just checked out the 1/4 scale cars. Those are bad #$$ :star_struck:

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Main thing I’d stress, and it’s been mentioned a bunch in other threads, is to get a good rib protector.

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Yup, my ribs hurt really bad after my first race weekend. I got a Bengio, problem solved…

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42! You a spring chicken

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Karting is for adults. We just let the kids play, too.

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Your’re crazy but let that stop you from having fun.

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Of course your crazy, crazy to have waited so long . . .

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As others noted you’re not too old and welcome to the fray. With your knowledge and background you’ll be better off than most. Comet is definitely a great resource.

I use this sport as my motivation to get and stay in shape too. 80%+ of your weight loss and management is diet once you’re over 30 so start there. For strength and conditioning I use kettlebells and highly recommend them to others. However, I have lived the old saying of “you can’t out-train your diet” so you need to get that squared first.

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Come race 206, its pretty easy on the body and you can be pretty lazy and still have high enough fitness for the class. I would get hooked up with the comet guys its going to be so easy for support and parts basically like cheating on getting the equipment part squared away.

Then, just drive… have fun! Hope to see you around in Master

-Ronald Swift (37)

P.S. at our club last weekend a 73 year old had a feature win in a 420cc kart (much more conditioning needed) so you got alot of good years ahead of you.

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Your young. I’m 72 and started back racing about 6 years ago. TJ posted a photo of a seat. If you think your going to have ribs problems I highly recommend this seat. It’s made by Franklin Karting and it’s called a Deep Seat. I to had rib problems when I started and no rib protector helped. I bought several and it was to the point I wasn’t going to be able to continue if didn’t change things. I bought this seat and every since then which it’s been over 4 years now haven’t had to wear a rib protector with NO PROBLEMS. Just keep this seat in mind if you start having problems. Comet and NCMP are both owned by Mark Dismore. Mark does everything he can to help karting stay alive and affordable. You can shop around but you won’t find any better pricing. The 206 classes are large and competitive. At your age you could run several classes in the same day plus you can go just about anywhere and find a race. I run the Yamaha Master class and we would love for you to join us. Just a thought. LOL.

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I went from 215 to 165 with karting as the motivator. I race young folks that typically weigh between 90-140 lbs so it’s kinda necessary.

To lose the weight I just karted and starved until I was no longer hungry. It was rough at first but got easy once my appetite went away. Broccoli, salmon, etc. It went too far, actually, because your stomach shrinks and you don’t have much appetite. I got down to 156 at the extreme, for me. Ultimately I put back on some weight and am about 175 now, which seems good for most events. I will need lead against the grownups, but not 50lbs like I used to.

I did some push-ups etc as well but maybe 15mins 3 days a week. Karting will make the muscles you need just from doing it.

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Now you have a great reason to get in shape, make sure you keep the craziness going for as long as you can…
Have fun!