~ by Chris #16 Demaras ~

Looking back at the race weekend now, I realize I was totally distracted during the CRKC race on Friday. I competed and enjoyed it. But Daniel’s big race on Saturday weighed heavily on me. That event would be on a different level.

I spent 12 hours at the track on Friday; skipped work to meet up with Anthony from New Speed Motorsports. He had his son Rocco with him, getting in some practice for TRAK Race 13. But my son Daniel was in school, and wouldn’t get to the track until 3:00 pm. I spent the morning servicing the clutches, changing the oil in the race motors, and setting the gear ratio. Daniel’s grandfather (my father, Bill) picked him up from school and sped up the DVP to Goodwood. We’d have very limited time to shake-down the kart before the A&D race at 5:00 pm.

After 10 laps, the kart was ready. We knew how high to set the air pressures to maximize grip, and the new Vega slicks were mounted to the race rims (with hybrid ceramic bearings courtesy of Trevor Reeve). Everything was set for Saturday’s final TRAK race of 2020, where Daniel had a shot at the Briggs Master’s Championship. The No. 412 kart was rolled back into the garage until morning.

Goodwood is a club. Yes, we race there, but the social aspect of the club is very important. Watching teens like Ethan and Ivan battle on track while still being friends off track, or seeing kids like Miggy develop into real racers. I even get to see old friends like Matte Ferrari as he wrenches on his kart while the A&D race is happening. The Di Leo family run a great club.

The forward short-track layout meant there would be no real surprises; we’d run the configuration several times this season. But my qualifying was not impressive.

Matte Ferrari may be all smiles, but he’s a cut-throat competitor. When my qualifying run was over, he put down his wrenches and slapped some sense into me. Told me to get my game face on. Get mean. Get ready for battle.

Starting P4 I knew a podium was within reach, but Andy Teixeira had put his kart on pole…a full second quicker than me! Unless he binned it, there was no catching Andy for the win. But when the racer in 3rd ran wide at Turn 4, I drove up the inside of the Turn 5 hairpin to take the position. It was a little rough, and I received a warning for my overly aggressive driving, but I finished the race P3. With Teixeira on the top step, I joined him on the the podium.

As I drove home, I was thinking about Daniel’s race on Saturday. I normally pay close attention to how #TheMigster performed, or if Ivan beat Ethan, or how Arnel did. All I could think about was TRAK Race 13. The hard-luck round. The season finale that would determine my son’s championship run.

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