Tough Situation In My "Karting Career" Can Anyone Help?


(Davin Roberts Sturdivant) #23

@Gage_Hembree BTW here the podcast that Chris and I did talking about sponsorship. When you’re at that point, it might be a good starting point to start thinking about how to add value to sponsors. (Pro Tip: It’s not about you. :wink: )

(Kyle Keenan) #24

Gage, let me first start off by saying welcome to KartPulse.

At age 14, you still have a TON of time to go racing and do the things in life you want to do. Dont worry so much about age, 14 is still young. Must say, you are a great writer.

I started in karts at age 5 but my family was super limited on budget, to the point by 11 or 12 I wasnt even driving. I started racing sims around 14-15 and really learned a lot. Not just in how to race, but how to market, how to work as a teammate, etc. There’s so much you can learn through sim racing then just turning laps. I moved to sports car racing at 17, by literally begging a racing school to hire me to wash cars and perform basic maintenance, I worked there all year for free in exchange for a school. From there, we built a spec miata on the cheap and off I went sports car racing. I’ve always been very tight on funds, have always been the guy to take everyone elses tires from the dumpster, etc. At 22 I was picked up by an auto manufacturer and was able to do a few races in Pirelli World Challenge, and since then have raced a lot of cool cars, coached a lot of cool drivers, and have made a ton of great experiences. I wasnt able to maintain funding to stay in pro racing, even with having some amazing partners, and after a head injury I walked away from racing professionally to focus on life away from the track. Now, I work for Zamp Helmets, designing and developing racing safety products, which quite honestly, is the coolest thing I’ve ever done.

I still race sports cars with my friends and I have more fun running a local club race with my buddies, then I do running the bigger races and shows. Add to that, the karting community has been so freaking cool since I came back to karts around 2 years ago. I’ve made so many amazing friends and have done all sorts of cool racing events.

I dont want this to sound all lolly pops and gum drops because it’s not, I quite literally sacrificed everything at the chance of making it, to the point I never once went to a school sport or function, never had a social life outside of the track, heck I even lived on couches and in race shops for YEARS trying to race pro here or there. My advice to you, is to always follow your heart. Just go out and race every race like it’s your last, like it’s your race. Don’t get caught up in trying to move up a ladder, always enjoy what you’re doing. Always thank people for everything, weather someone gives you some advice, a dollar here or there to buy food on the way home, or even a chassis to run. If it’s meant to be, it will all work out. Just enjoy yourself and have fun.

Long story short: Be a kid, go out and enjoy yourself on track. Don’t ever lose sight of the reason you began racing in the first place; For the fun of it.

(Davin Roberts Sturdivant) #25

So much of this ^^^ (20 characters)

(Ryan Odi) #26

A LOT of cool knowledge and experience dropped in this thread.