Home Forums General Karting Discussion Kart Life TV Show

This topic contains 139 replies, has 67 voices, and was last updated by  Joshua Guiher 2 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #40475

    Jim Maier
    Participant

    It is available for free download at TruTV.  Just watched it on my iPad.  What do you think of the show?  The editing was pretty bad, but that is to be expected when you have kart people scrutinizing editing done by non-kart people.  Overall it was fairly entertaining, but that is because I know a bunch of the people.  I can’t imagine it will hold the attention of the general public. Hopefully it does and we’ll get a season 2!

    #40481

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Here’s what I had posted on Facebook:

    “Just started watching episode one of Kart Life and 27 seconds in, they explain how karting “isn’t only about talent, it’s about money”, and then they proceed to tell how guys are “working with millions” and the numbers “$225k” and “$6k a weekend” are thrown around. Are you effing kidding me? Apparently we’ve been doing it wrong for 13 years. What an amazing way to promote the sport to newcomers.”

    Obviously the intent isn’t to promote the sport, but they are actually actively anti-promoting it. I was very disappointed by those opening statements and nearly turned it off then, but kept watching to see myself playing cornhole and drinking beer on tv.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
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    #40490

    Stewart Willis
    Participant

    I dont know that TruTv had an intention to promote the sport.  My thoughts on the show are as follows:

    The show captured the quintessence 0f cadet and junior karting.  Kart life uses several competitors and follows them throughout a race weekend.

    In the first episode we are introduced to several characters.  On one hand, we see the Tavellas, who are presented as a family that prides themselves in conducting themselves well on and off the track.  The father, Phil, is a bundle of emotions while his kid is on the track.  But, is able to reign it in when talking and counseling his kid.   Despite being the victim of several bad driving incidents that lead to his son being crashed out to the back of the field, he insists on his kid driving the right way, the clean way.  At one point in the show Phil tells Dylan “Keep driving clean.  That is why you are respected and others are not.”  (Paraphrased)    We have competed against this family and can say that this is a pretty accurate representation of them.

    Then, we meet the Bromantes, who are a presented as a much more boisterous and braggadocious bunch that are consumed with their personal wealth and the “win at every cost” mentality.   I am not sure if this is simply a douchey caracature of the real family or if this is an accurate portrayal.  But, it felt like Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was cast in this role.

    Then we are briefly introduced to the Malukas family, who are only briefly discussed.   While it is clear that he is an immigrant and a successful man that has achieved the “American Dream” financially, and enjoys his stuff, it doesn’t seem to define him (thus far.)  My initial impression is that I like this guy.  He seems to demand the best out of his son.  What struck me the most was a glimpse into the second episode that shows the Mr. Malukas reach his boiling point and blowing up at his tuner/mechanic because of the way he is talking to or about young david.  This was particularly poignant to  me.  Much like myself who is self admittedly too hard on my kid, it is difficult to see someone else be the same way with him.  I have had the same feelings where I can not handle someone talking to my kid in such a way.  Often, the mechanics and tuners are also emotionally invested and want what is best for the kid and sometimes treat them as their own.  They dont realize at times when they cross the line.

    Finally, we are introduced to Sasha, a 15 year old female driver that is a typical 15 year old girl placed in a racing environment.  Not only does she want to race and win,  she is shown to have the same real-world distractions that other boys and girls her age have.

    At this point I am fully entertained.  Anyone who is upset that this show focuses on money and the cost of the sport is simply ignoring the realities of what it really costs to race.  Perhaps to get the simpler, less money oriented side of karting  the film crew will introduce some 4 cycle  or dirt circle track racing.  But, it is my opinion that the show has given an accurate glimpse into our world, like it or not.

    #40495

    Jim Maier
    Participant

    Stewart, your summary is what I saw too.  I am looking forward to the next episode.  These reality shows must walk a fine line between keeping it accurate for the enthusiasts, but adding enough drama for the general viewer. I think it is accurate enough to keep our interest, but not sure if it has enough drama for the general viewer. Without general viewership the show won’t survive.

    #40497

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    With all due respect, if you think you need a $225k to $1mil budget to compete in top-level national sprint karting, you are out of your mind. People need to spend more time in their chassis tuning manual and less time in their checkbook. If your goal is to move up the “racing ladder” (or the money spending ladder as it is these days), then take your $1mil and go buy a seat in a feeder-level formula car or any variety of stock car.

    Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on karting per year, maybe spend some time learning how to tune the kart and and learning how to drive. It’s much cheaper, trust me.

    I understand the point of the show isn’t to promote karting, but it seems like it’s intent is to do the opposite and make karting look like a circus, much like all reality tv. I can’t possibly fathom how this show is remotely good for the sport. When 80% of the topics on this discussion board are from armchair experts proposing new ways to improve the sport, I’m surprised that this show isn’t getting more people worked up.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
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    #40499

    Charles Skowron
    Participant

    T.J. Koyen wrote:

    When 80% of the topics on this discussion board are from armchair experts proposing new ways to improve the sport, I’m surprised that this show isn’t getting more people worked up.

     

    Well of course a lot of us on the forum are armchair experts. If it costs $225,000/yr to race a go-kart how many can afford to race? 😛 😛

    #40501

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Well played!

    I feel like it would be a lot more interesting to the viewers and a lot more accurate if they profiled some of the “ordinary” budgeted drivers and alongside the big budget teams.

    My first post might have been a little overzealous. Sorry, it’s been 0 degrees here and I’m going through karting withdrawals.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
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    #40503

    Stewart Willis
    Participant

    TJ,

    You do not NEED a $225k/yr budget to race.  But, think through this math.  Some people ONLY race “National” level events or those that are perceived to be national level events. This is not an unreasonable number based on how many races they race. We have friends that will be racing both weekends of Florida Winter Tour, Pro Tour, USPKS, and some California PKC race…..  and they live in Texas.

    You mention that people need to learn how to tune on their own chassis.  I agree.  But, who would you learn this from?  I would argue that you hire a great tuner/engineer and learn from them.

    I was given two  arrive and drive quotes for USPKS races.  One of them was around $5,500 per race plus expenses, no mechanic, no engine.  The other quote was around $3,000.  This does not include our travel there nor the cost of renting engines nor the cost of mechanics.

     

    Here is what our schedule looks like for the upcoming year and some of the expenses that I have time to calculate:

    My planned race schedule is as follows: (remember, I live in AZ)

    Phoenix Kart Racing Association (Local Club race) PKRA

    -As many as we can squeeze in.

    SKUSA! California ProKart Challenge

    1.)Buttonwillow, CA  (9 Hour drive or $600 round trip flights for my son and I not including testing dates)$450 entry fee, tires fuel.  $600 for engineering and mechanic

    2.) Willow Springs CA (7 hour drive)

    3.) Riverside, CA (6 hour drive)

    4.)Buttonwillow, CA  (9 Hour drive or $600 round trip flights for my son and I Plus $300 transportation fee)

    5.)Sonoma, CA  (12 hour drive with trailer or $500 air fare plus $300 transportation fee)

     SKUSA! ProTour

    1.)Phoenix,   My home track, no transport fees ($700 Entry, Tires, Fuel) $1,000 mechanic and engineering

    2.)Newcastle, (at least $600 in round trip air fare if we do no testing and leave the wife and other kid at home) ($700 Entry, Tires, Fuel) $2,500 mechanic, engineering, hotels, rental car

    3.) Supernationals (5 hour drive , Hotel  me plus tuner $1,400, engineering and mechanic $3,000)

     

    USPKS

    1.)Go Pro Motorplex, North Carolina

    2.) Shawano, WI

    3.)Michiana  North Liberty, IN

    4.) New Castle, IN

    #40505

    Stewart Willis
    Participant

    Charles Skowron
    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>
    <div id=”d4p-bbp-quote-40499″>

    “Well of course a lot of us on the forum are armchair experts. If it costs $225,000/yr to race a go-kart how many can afford to race? :P :P

     

    The true answer is, “Not many of us.”  But, most dont run a full throttle National level schedule.  They pepper in a few big races here and there.  I can expect to spend in the $100k-$150k range if we hold to our planned schedule.  It is tough because we are in AZ where we only have one big race this year that isnt Rotax.    I have been told that bandoleros are less expensive as well as some full size cars. However, my kid has no ambitions to be a race car driver.  He likes hanging out with his buddies racing go karts…  So, what is a guy to do?

     

     

    </div>
    </div>

    #40507

    Kirt Burcroff
    Participant

    I found it entertaining and pretty accurate to what we experienced in our first year competing nationally. The dollar figures were astounding but not surprising when you see the size of the haulers pulling into the track and teams going through multiple sets of new tires on the practice day. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is real but it’s not unique to karting. I’m sure that, like me, many fathers hope to hit the lottery to better help their sons. For me it’s not necessarily about getting to the front, it’s about having the funds just to continue going. The family atmoshere, intensity, comraderie and mostly the time spent with my son on the road is priceless. I thought they did touch on those things on the show.

    I do hope they spent some time with some of the teams that aren’t spending $5,000 and up for a race weekend.

    What a relief it was to see a father encourage his son to keep driving cleanly even in the face of a competitor that may not be. Phil Tavella gets bonus points in my book for that.

    My experience with Henry Malukas was that he really is just a nice guy. He came over to chat with me in South Bend while I was trying to fold all of our gear back into the bed of my pick up and he was honestly just cool and curious about how we travel to races.

    Even though we sometimes live in that world I found it fascinating. I will be curious as to whether this ends up promoting or hurting the sport. I have a daughter that dances competitively and I don’t think “Dance Moms” did that activity any favors.

    #40510

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Fair enough Stewart, good assessment.

    I just would like to see some of those guys who AREN’T spending a ton of money. It would be great tv to watch the little guys go against the big guys, and it would paint a more realistic picture.

    I actually thought the families represented were portrayed well and weren’t exaggerated too much.

    Okay, I’m calm now. I’ll give episode 2 a shot.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
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    #40511

    Kirt Burcroff
    Participant

    Stewart – My son dreams of being a Nascar driver and would’ve rather started in Legends cars locally. I told him we couldn’t afford it and we were going to try Karting instead. If I knew then what I know now……..

    #40512

    Kirt Burcroff
    Participant

    It seemed that they tried to show a team with less funding last night with the Welage family but we’ll have to wait to see where they take that story line. We already know through the teasers we’ll get to see them get picked up by Top kart in some capacity.

    If nothing else it’s a little karting fix for those of us that don’t race January through March. 🙂

    #40513

    Patrick Roth
    Participant

    How the heck are you able to watch the show?  I’ve tried truTV.com but when I open the video it acts like it’s loading but after 5-10 minutes still loading.  I tried the iPad but don’t see where you can download it?  I even tried the truTV app but I don’t see the show being listed?  Help?

    Disclaimer: It is likely an issue with the interface between the keyboard and the floor so spoon feeding the obvious may be required… 😉

     

    #40514

    Stewart Willis
    Participant

    TJ,

    I’ve told this story a million times.  But, I will tell it again.

    It was christmas of 1987 or so..  I was 13 or 14.  All that I wanted for Christmas was a go kart, nothing else.  I wanted one for years.   After we opened all of the gifts underneath the tree my father said to me, “Sorry we could not get the go kart this year.  Maybe for your birthday.  Money is really tight right now.”  My eyes teared up.  But, I knew that my dad worked his butt off so that we always dressed well despite the crappy old beat up orange Toyota Corolla  that he drove.  He always made sure that we came first.  Well, about 10 minutes passed after we opened presents and I hear what appears to sound like a couple of motorcycles racing up and down our normally quiet street.  We run outside and it is my dad’s employees.  One is on a CR 125 motorcyle and the other is on a black proline go kart with a KT100 flying up and down the streets.   It was the best moment of my life up to that point.  We ended up racing at Jamul Kart track in California.  We showed up in my dad’s clunker truck to the track and had a great time.  I never won a race, thanks to my competition being Robbie Mott, who was amazing.  But, it was something that I loved to do.  It was simple, super inexpensive (relative to today), and was great family time.  Eventually I quit, ran out of time money etc…  But, 6 years ago I was on a flight in First Class (Free upgrade)  from Indianapolis to AZ and met PJ Jones.  We started chatting and he encouraged me to get my kids out to the kart track.   To my surprise, karting was no longer the sport that I left.  Everyone had trailers and kart stands and fancy plastic sidepods.. and the cost was through the roof.  My son eventually got a kid kart and we won a few races, picked up a duffy and some screaming eagles…  and have continued to race.   Does my son want to be a race car driver? Nope.   So, why do we spend so much money racing?  Honestly, its about pursuing excellence.  Pushing the limits of our physical capacity at whatever we do.   It is me doing everything that I can do to help him if he does his part.  He has his limits and I have definitely reached mine (financially).  But,  the countless hours  that we spend together and the amazing memories that we make together make it all worth it.

    #40515

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Sounds like you race for the exact same reasons we do Stewart.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
    www.facebook.com/oktanevisual
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    #40516

    Charles Skowron
    Participant

    So after reading some of the comments from various racers on T.J.’s Facebook post about the show, and all I can say what did they expect?

    A few comments indicated some were honestly hoping this would be a perfect vehicle to promote karting. Other comments suggested that some karters who are heavily involved in the sport believe there is a halo surrounding it, and thereby deserves preferential treatment. No it’s not; it’s just go-karts. And as everybody knows who participates, there are some people in it who act very stupidly at times. Perfect Reality TV fodder.

    In a world where shows like Dance Moms and Toddlers and Tiaras exsist, and get A LOT of attention, what is it about karting that makes people think it would be treated any differently by reality television?

    I didn’t watch the show yet, and it’s only one episode so far; but from Willis’ description of it, plus the fact they quoted the $225K right at the very beginning, suggests that the big theme the show is going for is a good-ol’ regular all-american family that everyone can relate to (the Tavalles), trying to compete in an environment full of rich, arrogant snobs (Bromantes). Throw in a few Psycho Parents, and the “Girl Power” angle (Sasha) that is standard for shows like this, and you have the typical formula for a reality show of this type.

    The reality may be different from what they portray, but why would the producers care? As long as it gets ratings. Hate to break it to the people who thought this would be an ideal venue to promote karting, but this is not Public Television. They are not there for a human interest story. They are there to make money, and the way they make money is ratings. Look at the current landscape of Reality TV, ratings means deceit, treachery, backstabbing, and most of all people looking like a bunch of buffoons in front of the camera.

    #40517

    Jim Maier
    Participant

    I think the thing about “a million dollars” and “$225,000” is part of the editing process.  The guy could have really been saying “We just live in a $225,000 house so we can afford karting”.  And the editors just showed him saying “$225,000”.   There is absolutely no way I would have even found this show if I wasn’t paying attention to the karting scene, so I doubt it will have any affect on the popularity of karting.   I didn’t even know we got TruTV!

    #40519

    Greg Wright
    Participant

    Admittedly I’ve only watched a trailer on this show but it reminded me a lot of a previous show aired on ??? Network called something like Gold Cup Karting. Truck loads of money being spent, parents berating their children and generally making karting look like a circus side show.

    The dollar figures being bandied about are crazy and not just on this show. Mr. Willis with his $100,000-$150,000 budget is an example. I know for a fact that their are a fair number of people spending 6 figure budgets racing karts, what I don’t know is why.

    That kind of money will go a long way in other forms of motorsport that would get more attention and probably be safer as well. No you can’t race Indy or NASCAR with that budget but you can do a hell of a lot of car racing for those numbers.

    I must be getting old, I just don’t get it.

    Greg Wright
    Rapid Racing Inc.

    "When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."

    #40520

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    How the heck are you able to watch the show?  I’ve tried truTV.com but when I open the video it acts like it’s loading but after 5-10 minutes still loading.  I tried the iPad but don’t see where you can download it?  I even tried the truTV app but I don’t see the show being listed?  Help?

    I’m having the same issue with ATT Uverse. It won’t load. Trying to get a DirecTV login.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

    #40521

    Jim Maier
    Participant

    I just downloaded the TruTV app on my ipad and the show was available to me to watch. I have heard lots of people since then having trouble. I would suspect it got pulled because it is not supposed to debut until 1/28.

     

    From my PC I can go to TruTV’s site too, find the show and click on it.  It asks me to log into my Directv account to continue.  I don’t know my password so I have not been able to go any further, but it does let me get that far which would imply I can watch it that way too.

    #40540

    Daniel Justice
    Participant

    Tried to watch it with my DirecTv account, no dice. You can catch the first episode on the 28th, I actually just saw a commercial for it.

    #40542

    Stewart Willis
    Participant

    Here is a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td_wmMAel8Q

    #40543

    Brandy Lamberth
    Participant

    Considering we are part of the “ordinary” drivers that dont spend the money like some of these families do, I think it would be nice to see these kids documented as well. My son and his grandfather are the team. He being the driver and his grandfather being the tuner/ mechanic. They pride themselves in the fact that they do NOT cheat, he drives clean and is respected for that. He aspires to be a NASCAR driver and it is apparent that things will not be handed to him like some..he will do it the old fashioned way and EARN IT. We know these families that are in the show and like them…but why cant the ordinary kids be chronicled as well??

    #40549

    James McMahon
    Participant

    Here’s a link if you have iTunes or an apple device:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/big-dreams/id951168476?i=955601260

    To summarize I think it’s fair to say, so far, it’s every thing you could expect from a “reality” tv series. We have no control over the production or presentation of the sport.

    So the question becomes, how can we leverage the exposure? Maybe a better question is, is it even worth putting time into given the tone it sets?

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