Well if you follow my social media at all, you’ll have seen that I will be racing SuperNats this year in a last-minute decision. Obviously I’ve all but retired from “pro-level” racing, just doing 1 or 2 races a year the past few years, but keeping sharp by doing a lot of practice days and a lot of coaching. However, through my connection with @Paul_Montopoli , the BestKart factory needed a driver for KA Senior at SuperNats, and my name was thrown around. I was flattered to be considered, as usually factory teams aren’t going for old washed up dads with growing beer bellies as their team representatives, but apparently I’ve kept relevant enough that I have something to offer yet! I was hesitant to accept for a few reasons. Like I said, my racing has been limited lately, so I wasn’t sure if I would be sharp enough to mix it up at the biggest race in the world. But I’ve been pleased with my last few race weekends and felt basically as strong as ever, so I quickly brushed that doubt aside. And then I felt like leaving my wife and kids for a week would be a pretty big commitment, and I didn’t want to leave my wife hanging trying to juggle our crazy littles by herself, so I had to have her really be okay with it, and fortunately she was. She is always supportive and accommodating toward my racing because she knows how much karting means to me, and she saw this was a cool opportunity, which is so awesome. Then there was the money factor. SuperNats is obviously an expensive weekend and between diapers, daycare, and my car hobby (addiction), I didn’t know if I could swing it. Fortunately our deal with BestKart is pretty lucrative and also my mechanic (dad) was happy to step in and front some of the cost because he wants to go race as much as I do. So the boxes were all ticked and I said yes to the deal just a couple weeks ago.
So what am I actually doing? Basically, BestKart are trying to bring a new chassis to market and want to push into the Americas, so they are debuting the new karts at SuperNats with the hope we can perform on a huge stage. We want to test and develop the karts and give feedback to the factory on how we can improve them. This is pretty exciting for me, as I’ve never been part of a real “factory” effort like this. Though it will be a challenge to show up in a kart I’ve never driven before, I’m stoked to get to grips with this chassis and some of the new components AMV is bringing for the kart, and see how they feel and give my feedback on them. Part of my reason for saying yes to this was to further expand my knowledge base on different karts and learn how they work so that I can better serve drivers I’m coaching and tuning for.
I will have two different chassis models at my disposal, and we will test to see which is better suited to the track in Vegas. I’ve been chatting with the factory guys and they are very excited and positive about some of the stuff they are bringing. De Conto has been testing some stuff for them and he has been upbeat about it as well, which is a good sign.
Today my dad and I will be starting all the prep-work, including tearing down my OTK to the frame and bringing along my lead, electronics, engine etc. SKUSA released the track map today, and I’m certainly happy to continue running my Innovative engine, because it looks like we are going to need some serious power here.
Anyway I leave for Vegas Tuesday afternoon, I’ll land there in the evening and hopefully get to do some quick introductions before we hop into practice Wednesday morning. This will be my 7th or 8th SuperNats, I lose track, but I haven’t raced it since 2019 and I haven’t raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway yet, so it’ll be a learning curve. I will try and keep this updated so you guys know what’s going on behind the scenes!