Home Forums General Karting Discussion Kart Life TV Show Reply To: Kart Life TV Show

Tim Koyen

You guys need to relax.  This show has done nothing to hurt the sport of karting.  All its going to do is put it in front of more people, and that can’t hurt anything.

I was at the events that they filmed at, and while its certainly dramatized for TV, this is what racing is like at that level.  These aren’t club events where we show the newbies how to rebuild carbs and do an alignment.  You’d better have your sh*t together when you show up.  I’m sure the guys shown in the show are spending that kind of dough, because they are better at making money than they are at setting up a chassis.  I wish I had that ability, but I don’t, so I had to learn the hard way, but you can still compete with them.  I was at a SKUSA Pro Tour race a year ago, with my son racing Tag Sr.  We qualified decent and were gridded up 4th or something like that.  I looked down the grid before I started his kart and I was the only dad who was starting his kid in the top 10, everyone else had a mechanic.  Honestly, one of my proudest moments.  My driver went on to finish 2nd that day, and 4th the next.  No one has a smaller racing budget than me, and I’m sure we spent $4k that weekend.  I know that most of those guys probably spend double that.  And I’m sure if Bromante, or Malukas were there, they would’ve spent 3 times that.

Here’s the point of my rambling.  People need to know that club racing isn’t all there is.  Would short track car racing be as popular without NASCAR or Indycars?  Of course not.  Do a bunch of people start racing short tracks every year thinking they’re going to NASCAR someday?..absolutely!  We all know that NASCAR specializes in selling drama, but it also puts excitement and a dream in front of people.  Some people will feel like chasing that dream and they will help fill the fields on Saturday night at your local track.  Eventually they will realize that big time racing is all about money, but until their dreams are crushed, we’ll all get to enjoy more racing.

So, even if Kart Life over dramatizes what we all think of as karting, it still puts it in front of thousands of kids (and adults) who may have never known about the sport.  Some of those kids will whine enough to get their folks to take them to a kart race, and maybe one of us will be lucky enough to say hello, and help them on their journey toward their own racing dream.

One more point about the money aspect.  Lots has been made about the numbers thrown around at the start of the show.  They are realistic for people trying to buy the experience and knowledge, but they don’t have to be that big.  But it is necessary for those types of people to be in this sport.  Without the big spenders, there is less competition and less of a program for everyone.  You don’t need to be rich, but its beneficial to have rich people as part of your racing series, if you want to grow.  These rich people are the ones that get tapped to help cover cookouts or other special races.  When I was on the board of directors at my local club, they focused solely on keeping karting cheap, but they also marketed the sport as cheap, rather than on its other merits.  This really frustrated me.  If you market your sport to broke people, broke people is who you’ll have in your club.  Everytime your club/series needs $1000 for an improvement or special event, you’ll have to shake everyone down for $20.  If you’re lucky enough to have some people in your club that are a little more well off, many times they will be happy to help out financially, or help you get “the hookup” on cheaper services.

Closing point:  Rich racers spend a lot of money race, but can be very helpful and donate to the club/series, to everyone’s benefit.  Beat them on the track with your skills, but don’t chase anyone away.  Teach newbies that you can spend as much as you want, but you don’t have to, if you’re willing to put the work in.

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Don't bother PMing me, it doesn't work. Email is best: tim@kartlift.com.