Back On Track
May 6, 2000
After not racing for more than two years I am now back in the sport. Starting over again is different from starting out. I know what I'm doing now and this time I believe I will be able to continue on to higher levels of the sport.
This time around I also have very competitive equipment and have made far fewer compromises. Essentially, I have all the tools I need to succeed. One weekend in April I took the kart to Monrovia, Maryland for a practice session.
There were some minor troubles as my kart was brand new and not yet broken in. After sorting it out I went and set some very quick times. It was simply amazing. The same confidence and natural feeling I used to have was back.
Two weeks later I went to Sandy Hook Raceway for the first time to begin the Maryland Divisional racing season. I had missed the first race at Chestertown due to lack of preparation time, so I was looking to make up for it.
My friend Matt came with me to help out. Sandy Hook is a really nice track, very fast and smooth with one steeply banked turn. In the first practice session I was way off the pace, about a second a lap. That's a very long time, especially when it only takes about 23 seconds per lap.
The problem was that I didn't know the track and my kart was not set up for it. I came back in and made some adjustments to the chassis and walked the track. In my mind I went through the cornering sequence, braking points and made a note of landmarks. In the following session I was faster than before, and by the time the first heat came around I was on the pace. That was satisfying.
I finished second in the first heat and won the final. It was very hot that day, about 90 degrees (F) and I'm sure that helped. The other drivers were quite worn out. I didn't make any big mistakes and victory was a nice result.