~ by Chris Demaras ~

Years ago, when I started racing CRKC with Daniel, there were things I loved about the series and things I hated. Being at the track with my young son and watching him compete for wins, that was top of the list. Daniel quickly became a podium threat every weekend, winning dozens of races and several championships in the process.

But the inconsistency and honestly poor condition of the karts brought the whole experience down. It was the biggest motivating factor in getting Daniel out of CRKC and into TRAK with his own kart.

Personally, I tried to ignore it and just enjoy racing. But this Friday’s CRKC race reminded me of the good and bad simultaneously.

I spent some of Friday evening with the Montano family. It’s wonderful to see a young kid like Miggy go from rookie to race winner. He tries so hard, filled with confidence, and is on the podium (unless someone wrecks him) every week. And I enjoy seeing friends and racing rivals like Kasper, Damiano, Andy and Paul. But they’re no substitute for my own family. TRAK racing is much more family oriented, where Daniel and I work together with our team to get results.

When I got out on track, I was immediately quick, but when it came time to qualify, I lost a second a lap. Anyone who’s raced CRKC will knows the built-in excuse “I got a bad kart” is easy to say. But when a racers fly by you on the straightaway, it’s not your cornering that’s to blame. The karts are just so unequal. And it’s totally beyond your control.

It doesn’t even feel like real racing.

Last week, when Daniel was racing in Sutton, it felt like real racing. We rolled in to the track on Tuesday, set up our tools and practiced all week. Daniel learned the track, I tried different gears and fine-tuned the kart. By Thursday night we decided on the set-up we’d run all weekend. Friday morning, we bolted on the race motor, then on Saturday we slapped on a new set of slicks. Each step, Daniel lowered his lap times, and in qualifying he wheeled the No. 412 to his fastest laps of the weekend. It was all within our control, so long as we were willing to put in the effort.

I guess you could say that as I’ve gained experience, I’ve become increasingly dissatisfied with how little is within my control in CRKC. It’s as if my driving had little to do with the final result. I don’t even check where I finished in my race.

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