2007 Kendall Kids Quarter Midget Racing Summary
We will start with Austin. He was 12 this season and running his first competitive year out of the Novice division. Most of the kids he is racing with have been racing 6-7 years or more, so he had a battle to try to compete with the seat time they had. I planned to have him start in Hvy. Honda and halfway through the year get him into his Hvy. 160 car as well. But he started out struggling more then I thought he would. He was getting lapped 3-4 times a race. I was not sure if it was the car or him, but he needed work on his line and starts. We practiced and worked very hard. He matured a lot over the summer and even grew like 4 inches in height! He was really not ready to jump into the 160CC car during the points season, so I delayed that move. But by the end of the points season in September he was running much, much better! He was leading some laps, running with the pack, and staying on the lead lap. This in my eyes is HUGE improvement. To go from getting lapped multiple times to running with the pack is great improvement. For the Fall Mini Series at Toledo I prepared his black NC Extreme with the 120 motor and he ran that in Hvy Honda. I put the 160CC motor in his orange car he raced all year as he was used to it and it was setup well. We struggled with the black car for a while, but ended up getting it tuned in pretty well. He adapted to the 160CC class very well and did just fine running the right line and running a little faster then the 120 Hvy Honda class. By the end of the fall mini series he had managed to pass a few cars, lead a few laps in the black Hvy Honda car, and finish 2nd and 3rd (out of 5 cars) in a couple races. So he again was improving. He ran mid to back of the pack in the 160 car, but that was OK, it is all very new to him and he is learning. I was happy with his progression through the season and he is picking it up, slowly but surely. For 2008 I plan to replace the black NC Extreme with a brand new NC Grizzly chassis. The Extreme is too small for him, so he needs a larger car anyway. The Grizzly is the latest model from NC and should be a good fast car. We are getting his motors rebuilt and will be sure we have good engines. These engines are all used and I truly had no idea if they were making good power or not. So going into 2008 he will run his 2001 NC (orange) car in Hvy 160 and the new Grizzly in Hvy Honda with fresh motors in both cars. I hope that with his improvement and having better equipment under him, he will be able to win some races in 2008.
Now for Kayla, she ran Jr. Novice this year and turned 8 during the season. She started out the season bouncing off the wall, not really having the hang of the whole hand-eye coordination, bouncing through the infield, etc. Needless to say, she had a steep learning curve, but hey, she was only 7 years old and never driven anything with a steering wheel, only a quad with handlebars. But she listened well and clung to every word I told her and tried so very hard to do things exactly right. I had the throttle at about 25% at the start of the year. But once she go the car figured out, the line figured out and was comfortable, I gave her more throttle quickly. Soon she was running with full throttle and not lifting. Her line got worse as she got faster as she had to adjust her timing on the track. By the end of the year she was running a good line on the track and wide open. In the last race weekend of the year she started 3rd in the heat race and was leading in 1 lap, going on to win that heat. In the feature I told her to be more agressive when she caught lapped cars and pass them right away. She had been following lapped cars for a couple laps before passing. She again listed very well! She started 3rd in the feature and again was leading in less then 1 lap. She had a good lead when she caught a lapped car and she immediately dove into the corner to pass him. But she needed just a tiny bit of patience this time. She hit him and they both spun out. She was charged with a penalty and put to the back. She moved back to 2nd in a couple laps, but never could catch the leader (who is a girl that she likes to play with at the track.) She finished 2nd, but she learned something very big! She lapped one car several times in the race and after the incident she had, she showed some good patience in timing her pass on corner exit and never had a problem again. It was great to see her learn and grow! Kayla is doing very well, but only really raced 5 shows at Toledo and I am not comfortable moving her out of Novice yet. So in 2008 she will start out in the Jr. Novice class. In August she turns 9 and will have to move to Sr. Novice. I plan to give her the black Extreme that Austin raced and make that her car for 2008 as it is much newer then her current 2001 NC. I will likely sell her current car. Her motor is also getting rebuilt and tested. So she will have a newer car with fresh motor in 2008 as well.
I look forward to another great, exciting, learning, FUN year in 2008! I am looking forward to it already! We will run very much like we did in 2007. A nice mix of racing and other fun summertime activities!
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