Roadracing in Arizona & New Mexico

George and Wills Big Adventure – Part 1

George and Wills Big Adventure
Or
Three Weeks on the Run.

At the conclusion of the March 2nd race, we had the opportunity to run at two more events. The first was with Southern California Karters and HSR West at Willow Springs International Raceway. The second was a track day at Arroyo Seco Motorplex near Deming New Mexico. This is the story of that journey and all the strange and wonderful things that happened at those events. I would have changed the names of the innocent, but none of them are innocent. Besides, you all know who these guys are anyway.

Part One

The Willow Springs Trip.

Got up early Friday morning, went to the bathroom and went back to bed. About three hours later I got up for real and started loading the trailer. Went to get the boy up. Finished loading the trailer. Went to get the boy up. Left the house at about ten. Got just outside of Phoenix and pulled over to trade drivers. I figure if he can go100 mph with a bunch of crazies around him, 80 mph with 8500 pounds of truck and trailer should be a piece of cake. I mean, what could go wrong?

Well, nothing went wrong and I got to take a nap. Stopped for gas and lunch in Quartzite. Not as busy as usual, maybe everybody already left. Crossed the border into California and he got his first brush with the law. He had to stop and tell them what was in the trailer. Whew! Then it was more nap time for Dad.

With the boring part of the trip out of the way, we got to the exciting bit – Windmills!

ontowillow2.jpg 

Then, another gas stop. We stopped at a lot of gas stations. A quick run over the mountain on Pearblossom Highway to Georges house and the party could begin.

After we checked into the hotel we met up with George at Don Cucos’ for dinner.

DON CUCO MEXICAN RESTARAUNT
1106 W AVENUE K
LANCASTER, CA 93534

Fajitas for me and the boy, and a Chimichanga for George that was as big as his head. Quick stop for ice cream and then back to the room. Man it gets cold when the sun goes down.

Drove out to the track on Saturday morning and paid the usual ten bucks at the gate (per person) to Willow Springs. Unloaded the kart and went down to registration. Got signed in and started visiting everybody. The day warmed up nicely. The wind wasn’t to bad in the morning. Kart ran ok but we could only get about a 100 mph out of it. As a side note, we had to put the 125 back on, the 250 wasn’t ready. Apparently some people’s version of two-day freight is not the same as mine.

While the first session is running, George has his kart go south on him. As in, no compression. He’s ready to go home but decides to pull the head off to look a the damage. There is a hole in the top of the (new) piston. Hmmm…  What kind of gas you running? 91 octane high test. Hmmm…  Do you have the old piston?  Yes. Well…. After draining the gas and putting the old piston back in, George and Tim get it fired back up just before the next session.

willowgeorgetim.jpg

Didn’t I mention Tim? No? Well, Tim works for George and he’s pretty handy to have around. This was his first time at the track and he did fine. He’s the guy with the hair and SECURITY t-shirt in the pictures.

George’s kart runs fine in the session. It gets a little hot so he pulls in and takes some tape off the radiator. In the same session Dave Fultz lets my son drive his 250 sprinter. Nice kart, nice guy, kart is fast too. There were other karts running also. The laydowns were fast. The Rotax sit-ups were fast. Race Liberante was fast in his Junior Rotax. If we’re lucky we’ll get him over to some of our races.

Took a break for lunch and checked the data downloads on the computer. Found out that George needs to down shift sooner. That head wind is a bitch. The food was good though.

willowwaiting.jpg

Everybody got ready to run the final session/race. Dave started his sprint 250 that William was going to drive to get a little heat in it. Felt some strange puffing around the exhaust pipe. A crack and there is no time to fix it. So after a small rush we gas the 125 up and got to line up.

Thirteen karts lined up with the gearbox karts in the front. The shifters rolled out first and about thirty seconds later the clutch karts went. After a pace lap, the green was dropped for a nice rolling start.

Dave Fultz jumped out to a good lead but after four laps he was passed by Herach Haroutunians for the lead. Then his axle broke. In the middle. Go figure.

George ran well – until his elbow bumped the primary wire off the coil. Dang! William went ok, just slow. We had the wrong gear for the head wind and after the start he was running by himself. Boring. He pulled in early. Everybody had a good time. The laydowns were flying. Maybe we can get more karts in October, if HSR West invites the SCK back. Maybe the wind won’t be blowing so hard too. Here is the finishing order.

[TABLE=44]

After the race they passed out awards and took pictures. It was getting cold so we packed up and headed for dinner. We went to a semi-famous place in Lancaster –Barone’s Pizza!

BARONE’S PIZZA
1229  W AVENUE
LANCASTER, CA

I’ve been going to Barone’s on California race weekends since I started racing there. Great Italian food, comfortable atmosphere, and you can go there all grubby and straight from the race track. We did. George and I had spaghetti and William and Tim had Pizza. Then a quick run to Baskin-Robbins for desert and back to the room.  Shower. TV. Bed. It was a long day. The next morning we got up late, checked out and headed home. A pretty uneventful drive except that the head wind we had coming over didn’t turn into a tail wind going back. What are you going to do? Wait, there was an interesting moment just after we passed the weigh station past the Arizona border. Parked by the side of the road was a truck and trailer with a guy sitting on it. No big deal except that the trailer had karts on it! We stopped and found out his transmission had blown a seal. He had somebody coming so we gave him a bottle of water and a SWK business card. Maybe we can get a Road Race convert!The boy drove the rest of the way no problem. Caught the slow and go around Dysart road, then home and bed.

Time to get ready for Arroyo Seco next week.

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