Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Street Race...Our First Experience

 Indy Street Races Here We Come

We decided to try a street race this year. My husband has raced several in his racing career and he loved it so we thought we'd give Ashlee the experience. She was quite nervous because she has only raced at one track. It was kind of a last minute decision. The night before my husband asked hey is there any way we can pack up and head to Indianapolis for the weekend? Of course!

Friday after work we got in the car and headed for our 4 1/2 hour journey. The ride started out good (as good as it can with an excited 7 year old and 4 year old.) When we got to Indiana the rain began. It rained, and rained and rained. It was a miserable and treacherous drive. We were so thankful to arrive at the hotel.

Saturday morning we arrived at the track at Greenwood, IN (just South of Indianapolis.) Great city! The track was around a park (baseball fields.) It was very humid and chilly. They had record rain fall so the track was wet, and by wet I mean there was basically a river going through turn 2. We signed Ashlee in. They were so nice. The gal taking our information said they were glad to see another girl driver, her daughter was racing in another class. There was another little boy in line behind us. His name was Aiden and he is 6. He was the kid she would be practicing with and racing that day. The other kids were not arriving until tomorrow.

Usually they have the kid karts go out first but since the track was so wet they had the older drivers go out and dry it off for the kids. The track was fast. If we had to guess we'd estimate it at 3/4 of a mile. Basically it was an oval with a chicane going into turn 1. They use straw bails and plastic barriers to mark the track. It's a little challenging because there is really no where to pull off the track unless you pull into the pits. Another thing that was new and different for her was the way they did their flags to begin the race. She had to get used to the way they waived them. Practice went really well. She got her feet wet and no spin outs or crashing. Bonus! She gained her confidence and was able to win her heat race. We were so excited that she was starting out front especially because there would be more competition the next day.

Now I'm going to go off on a tangent about the great people we met at this great SIRA event. Aiden's parents were awesome. They made us feel so welcome and included in their racing family. It makes the experience so much more enjoyable to be surrounded by friendly and welcoming people. There was  another girl driver, she greeted us almost immediately. Her name is Makala Marks, that girl can drive!! We were so impressed with her. I hope to blog more about her later. Her mother was so extremely nice and helpful. I cannot say enough nice things about the people we met. I look forward to building relationships with them as we continue in the racing circuit.

Let me get to the feature...Ashlee started out in front. She kept the lead for oh maybe 1/8th of the track. Kaden a very talented 8 year old boy jumped out in front of her almost immediately. She was keeping up with him pretty well for the first few laps and then she slowed down quite a bit. Unfortunately her muffler was knocked loose. The kart sounded horrible. One thing we learned about street races is that it is very hard on your kart and equipment. They are going over bumps and cracks and all the other things you will find on a street that aren't on a track. These roads were built for cars not racing karts. Another girl caught her and passed her then almost immediately after spun out. Ashlee was able to hold onto 2nd for the remainder of the race. Thank God the muffler stayed on!

We are so proud of her results from the first street race. I've got to admit we are hooked. I'm not sure if it's to the street races or just to the City of Indianapolis and all the racing opportunities there. I'm sure we will be making many more trips down there in the future. Now if they could only make that drive shorter...

For more information on Southern Indiana Racing Association and their schedule check out there website:

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