Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Drum Roll Please!!!

It has been long overdue, but the day has finally come and the kiddo has made his way around the race track! He is doing a fantastic job with his kart! I could not be more proud of him. Today he managed a time of 1 min 25 seconds around the track and this was only his third time out. But let me start from the beginning for everyone.

North Texas Karters has a wonderful membership program. You can pay the membership fee and they will give you a key to race around the track whenever you want for practice (on non race days). This has been super beneficial for us because it was the only way we were going to get the kid in the kart to practice. So we finally got a key and we were ready to go.

We have hit a little snag in our plans to race because it has become very apparent that we need to have a truck or a trailer to use for this adventure. We have wonderful friends that have been super helpful in getting the kart to and from the track. He would not have his practice time otherwise.

On day one, he could not wait to get to the track. When we got there some of the other classes were there and he watched what they were doing. When it was his turn to get on the track he took it nice and slow. He figured out what the track looked like while driving on it and gradually sped up. He had his first wreck that day. It was not as bad as it sounds though. He went around an "S" turn and over corrected a mistake he made and went into some tires. We straightened him out and he got right back on. We were there for a couple hours and he seemed to be very comfortable in his kart by the time we left.

The second day went even better. He tested the limits of his kart a little more, so much so that he was spinning out trying to figure out how to brake going into the corners. It was amazing to watch how quickly he was picking up on things. Besides the spinning out that happened, there was no incident and he had a great practice.

Today was day three. He had a super fast time of 1:25 and I am pretty sure his last lap was faster than that, I just forgot to time it (bad mom move), but we were all cheering him on as he whipped through the corners. The downside to today was that "S" turn that he wrecked on the first time. This time he was hauling butt around it and we all knew he wasn't going to make it. He hit the tires and then he went through the tires and hit pretty hard. He started to get out of the kart before it was even turned off. I ran up to him and when I picked him up, he lost it. It scared the snot out of him that is for sure. He managed a cut above his eye and a bruise on his temple from the sunglasses we thought would help him see if he wore them under his helmet (lesson learned, looking into a sun visor for the helmet tonight). After he was calmed down, I coaxed him back into the kart and he started running really good times.

It has been an awesome week. He is doing amazingly well with his kart and he has really learned how to handle it through many situations. All I know is that I have a kid with speed in his blood, I am just glad I found a way for him use it!

Here is a video of him out on the track! I will have more videos for everyone tomorrow! Enjoy this!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's Getting Closer

We are one step closer to getting the kid on the track and racing! We are really excited! Who would have thought that it would take so much time to find everything that is needed for gear. All I can say is to always check with your local karters. The age range for kids that are racing is only a couple of years before they have to move up and all kids are growing all the time.

Our local track as an awesome forum to be able to talk to other people that are racing at the same track. It is wonderful! I have been able to find a lot of information just by asking questions! Everyone has been very helpful.

I used the forum to find the kiddo's kart and now I have found his racing suit. It is used with no tears or anything, but it is less than $50. If anyone else has tried looking into a new suit it is always more than $100 to get one. So this is a huge relief in the racing budget! LOL

Now I have also spent countless hours, so has my husband, looking for gear. You would think this would be as easy as going to summit racing, which it can be, but when you are racing on a budget, that is not the best option. We have found so many different sites that have helped with the cost of getting gear. It seems to be the biggest cost that we are going to have is getting his helmet that is approved for the track. We have one picked out, but we want to make sure that we get a new one that fits his head and we have all knowledge of wrecks that could potentially happen. We are more than happy to pay this cost. We were also able to find a rib protector for $30. Saving money every where.

On another note of getting started, I have started to design a t-shirt that I am going to sell to help fund Barrett Kart Racing. My initial shirt design did not come out the way that I wanted, it is just hard to see what I was trying to accomplish with the shirts. So it is back to the drawing board... Once I get it right, I will post a copy of it so everyone can see! I will be more than happy to take orders as well!

Thanks for taking a look at the blog again. Leave a comment if you enjoy what you are reading!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It is Balancing when Turning?

Alright people. We are on to another day of working on the kart. Of course we were out there when it super hot and an hour after we were done it started raining and cooled off so much. But it is okay with us because we got some stuff done.

Hubby came home and he immediately changed into work clothes and I told the kiddo to go get shoes on and head outside to help his Daddy. Once we were all out there we were tackling the steering issue that we seemed to be having. When we would put the kid in the kart and have him turn the wheel one way and the two of the tires would come off the ground and then turned the other way, everything was fine.

We took the steering components apart and started to troubleshoot. On a kart, the steering is pretty simple. You turn the steering wheel and the bar it is connected to is connected to two bars that are connected to the wheels. No big deal to take apart, but it was a huge pain in the butt making sure that everything was connected together at the same lengths because it definitely was not like that when we got the kart. After about an hour of measuring and remeasuring we were able to make everything as even as possible and straight as possible. The tow out that we had was gone. WOOHOO!

When we put the kart back down on the ground and had the kid get in to test it out, the wheels were still doing the same thing. We were dumbfounded. When we bought the kart, we were told that there were two different sets of wheels on it. The front two were the same and the back two were the same. Husband then decided to see if they were the same size tires in the front. The tires were marked the same so it did not seem like this would be necessary, but oh it so was.

The tires had been used by the previous owner and we were so happy to actually get a set to use for him to practice with. After measuring the tires we found out that they had completely different wear on them. I am not really sure how this happens, but in this case one was bigger than the other even though they were the same size tire. Well that explains why the tires are lifting when the wheel is turned one way. Just because husband decided to check the measurements of the tires, I decided to check the air pressure in the tires. That was completely different between all the tires too! The front ones were off by about ten pounds of air!

So if you ever decided to buy a kart and you get some used tires, DO NOT TURN THEM DOWN! Just make sure when you are working them that there is equal air and equal wear on the tires. LOL.

We let our son get in the kart tonight and with it running and let him get on the gas a little. We had a giant helmet for him to wear so he wouldn't go deaf by the motor noise. Here is a video of him and the kart. We had it up on some wood so it would not go anywhere, in case you were wondering.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Let's go racing boys!!!!!

So we are the crazy parents that have decided to allow our five year old son race. No biggie right? Sometimes I think that my husband and I have lost our minds. But despite us being crazy, we have jumped into the world of go kart racing. This is going to be interesting.

We talked to our son a lot of the past couple of weeks making sure he was ready for such a big commitment. Meanwhile we were searching for the kart that we would buy for him. There were lots of YouTube videos that were watched to show him what he was getting involved in and many hours of conversations between the family and different friends who we trust their opinions. The general consensus was GO FOR IT! So we did.

So on Friday we finally bough him his first kart. The guy we got is from was really nice! He was very helpful with informing us the different things we would have to do to keep the kart running like a champ, i.e. cleaning the hell out of the carburetor and making sure not to tighten the bolts too tight because they would just break. I could not have asked for a better person to make a purchase with. So $1400 dollars later, we have a kart that is mostly put together.

We had not told our son that we were getting the kart and he was with the grandparents so we drove over there and pulled it out of the back of the truck and had the grand unveiling. He was so happy. He jumped right in and asked if he could take it for a spin, which the answer was immediately NO! Nothing was adjusted to him so we needed to make sure it was safer for him to ride before we made that step.

So after we bummed him out about not being able to ride, we determined that Sunday was going to be the day that we fixed it to fit him. Boy was that a great and terrible choice at the same time. It was hot on Sunday that we took ALL day to get it done just trying to make sure no one was over heating. Our son was a huge help, jumping in and out of the kart so many times for us to make sure we were putting everything in the exact spot it needed to be put it.

A neighbor then took our kiddo to go to the pool and that gave us time to fine tune all the work that we had put into it that day. We were some proud parents when we were done. We made brackets to put the seat in the right position, mounted and modified his foot box so that the steering would not get stuck on it, adjusted the pedals and the stops on them a million times to make sure that we were not going to cause him to speed off the track when he wanted to stop, and we took a look at a steering issue that we have. It was a good day.

When the kid got back from the pool it was time to let him sit done and make sure everything was just the way it needed to be. We set the kart up on a couple of pieces of wood and for the first time he got to be in it while it was on and hear and feel what it was going to be like. It was priceless seeing his face when he revved the motor for the first time. He jumped not thinking it was going to be so loud, but that did not stop him. He continued to give it gas and he got more and more used to the noise.

I know that this all may sound crazy as a parent, who would put their child in a kart that he is going to race, but I say live and let live. We want him to have opportunities that we did not have as children and we want him to not have the regrets of not caring about racing as a younger person therefore practically ruining his chances of doing anything with racing as he gets older like his father. We hope that this experience can help him grow to do what he wants to do later in life, even if it is not racing.