The options to run cheaper chassis are out there for sure, as been mentioned in this thread. However, for whatever reason, no one is running them up front on a national-level.
Cheaper karts have always been around. People continue to buy the expensive ones. The expensive ones consistently run up front. The cheap ones come and go without putting a real dent in the market. I’m not saying it can’t or shouldn’t be different, but so far that’s how it’s been.
And it isn’t a matter of the Europeans “screwing us” or whatever. The iKart, a successful American chassis, is a $4500 kart as well. So they’ve provided a kart that’s built in America, competes with top-level European brands on a national level, and is comparable in price. And yet, they still aren’t a very popular kart despite being around for a few years. It takes a lot of time, money, and developing to keep up with these European companies that have been doing this for decades.
It isn’t just two guys in a shed bending and welding tubes together. This is 2015, robots and trained, highly-skilled engineers are building this stuff. That isn’t cheap. Like my dad noted earlier, go watch the OTK Factory Tour video on YouTube and you’ll stop asking why kart cost so much.
I’m not sure where you’re seeing a new sprint car frame for under $2850… According to Spike’s website, I’m seeing $4k-$7k for a frame kit, and $15k for a rolling chassis…