I would argue with 206 especially that the money isn’t the reason why those guys are killing the fields at the club. They could probably hop in any kart and still do well. For them, and any other driver, it really comes down to seat time. I’d almost prefer racing with the big name SKUSA/WKA/USPKS guys as it’d give me a good measurement for where I am relative to them.
In terms of seriousness, racing is only as serious as you make it to be for yourself. It’s more of a mindset thing than anything else. I raced with one kid a couple years ago and it would be us two and one other kid fighting just to come in not last place. The differences between us was that I never got frustrated with it and didn’t think of it as seriously, while he couldn’t stand the thought that he wasn’t top ten or whatever he wanted. By the end of the year, he moved on to road racing karts because it was easier for him to win, and I kept going at sprint racing. There’s nothing wrong with either direction we went, but the reasoning behind doing it was interesting.
I think many people get into this expecting to be really good right off the bat, and then get frustrated with a lack of results. I’ve seen a good few people do it, even at the national level, and it’s part of the issue with growing the sport. It’s a mindset issue and I think retaining people will need us to help get it through that this isn’t always a serious competition.