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Stewart Willis


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.