Friday, September 7, 2012

Cadet Racing, Moving up or moving on?

Advice on Cadet Racing from CRP Racing

I want to address a couple of issues and some questions I have been receiving on moving up from kid karts to cadets or Yamaha Jr. Sportsmans. It is true that stepping up to the next level is NOT easy by any means. But if it was easy, wouldn't everyone be racing cadets? It is a huge jump in not only horsepower but chassis tuning ability as well. It is much easier to tune a chassis in kid karts than it is in cadets without question. The speeds that you will reach in cadet will definitely poise more of a setup challenge to you and tuning and scaling will become much more relevant in racing these classes. Even the most seasoned and successful kid kart drivers and teams will often struggle in this transformation. I rarely see, if ever, those that dominated in kid karts move up to dominate in cadets, it usually takes a season just to get up to speed. Before you go bashing me, there are few exceptions. Especially for those that have the 100s of laps logged in at their home track, but then move them to an unfamiliar track and watch them struggle. A couple of areas cadet parents need to get smart on right away are gearing and carb settings. Gearing was a no-brainer in kid karts (89) and as far as carb tuning you basically had 5 choices of jets and most of the time you ran a 57 or 58. The Tillotson carb is a whole new ball game and it will require patience, good note taking, proper plug and temp readings and learning to use the graph on your MyChron. Even the best built K80 motor in the sport won¡¦t run worth it weight if the carb is not tuned properly. Once you have it dialed in, you will know and the lap times will prove it.

The good news is there are plenty of people at the track that will help you along, most of us know that when it is all said and done it's the drivers race to win in the first place, but that is an entirely different topic all together. If you do not have folks willing to help, you are racing at the wrong track. The best advice I can give you is grab a decent chassis, and a blueprinted engine and get the seat time, this will pay dividends. Get out there on those practice days every chance you can get and just let them drive, drive, drive. Don't go putting your young 8-9 year old out there and expect them to be running up front with the seasoned 11-12 year olds. It will make their adventure not so much fun. Explain to your driver there is a ladder that they must climb to get to the top, and right now they are on the bottom rung. The other good news is, all those parents that have been cheating with their kid kart engines and having their child lap everyone not even using the proper driving line. Well, that is now going to come back and bite them. For those of you who have been running legal and learning the proper line, passing in traffic and the craft of racing, well that is going to pay dividends for you now.

As far as chassis and engine choices go, pretty much no different than kid karts. There is no magical chrome molly super chassis out there and those that believe that are quite simply delusional and need to get of the hype wagon. I am sure if Top Kart or Birel or one of the other Italian chassis makers were to keep track of there kid kart wins you would see double the number of wins that others are advertising. I have seen just about every cadet chassis on the market today win at the Regional and National Level as well as most engine builders K80s running up front. Pick your chassis and engine builders like you would pick your wife or husband. Make sure that they are someone that you want to spend time with while at the track, make sure they are someone you can trust with your hard earned money, ensure they are really good listeners that genuinely care about what you are saying and someone you enjoy talking to allot. I never really liked those girls that in the first 5 minutes of the conversation they had already told me how many ex-boyfriends they have had, how much money their dad makes, asked me if I thought they were pretty and wanted me to come meet their parents. Seriously, if you intend to spend any length of time in this sport relationships are very important, start making good ones now. This is how our decisions were made, we trusted Gary Lawson (if you don't know who this is Google his name and the WKA) enough to try Arrow, we had seen Ben and Sam Beasley at the track on numerous occasions and they were always helpful. It was a no brainer, Gary had been helping Kaden with his driving and known him since Kaden sat in his first kid kart. Went with Arrow and are happy with our decision. Engines are another story, but in a nutshell we had tried several other engine builders with Deven and Kaden and quite often felt like a little fish in a big sea, which is in effect what we were but no reason to be treated like that by guys that are getting your hard earned dollars. A couple of folks that I trust very much locally, tried MCR and we gave them a shot after numerous phone calls. After talking to Matt and Clay we learned more in a month (before even purchasing an engine) than we did from the others we had used in the past. We committed and one of our engines just qualified 3rd at the Charlotte Man Cup race with a 9 year old driver K. All these folks mentioned above I enjoy talking to, trust them and they are providing us with what we feel is excellent feedback and service. What more can we ask for? I am sure there are others out there that do the same, but only you can make that choice. If you trust me, follow my lead, if not live and learn.

We are here for you and although we are not at the top of the Cadet ladder (YET) we are working are way up and the lessons we have learned are still fresh in our minds. Give us a call if you have any questions or anything else.

Good Luck!!!

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