I don’t know as many racers nationally as some others do so my list may be constrained to the Midwest, but I think you’ll notice my list is about local talent and emphasizes those who love to race.
1. Tony Neilson
Tony has accomplished a great deal at rock island but the facility at 61 kartway puts him at the top of my race. The greatest way to show support for kart racing is to give the racers a track and Tony has done that for us. He races his Margay chassis now and again and shows people that there is a cost-effective way into racing as well
2. Connor Lund
A great kart racer and tuner. Knows what he’s looking for in a kart, and is freaky fast. He knows his chassis inside and out and has found victory at the RIGP a few times. Connor is one fast driver to chase! He works with his dad to get the kart on and off the track and he really reminds me of the modern day hard working racer.
3. Thor McDonald
Here is where my list probably gets whacky for those of you not familiar with the local track I race at (61 Kartway) Thor makes 3rd for a couple of great reason’s. he loves to race, but more importantly he’s a big help to those getting involved in karting for the first time. He helped me out a great deal my first year and years after. I have seen him pass great knowledge on to other newcomers as well. Finally it a family affair with his daughter Hannah and son Odin racing. He preps the karts every week and does a fantastic job keeping track of three karts over the course of a club race.
4. Logan Smith
Logan is quite the kart racer and I have a lot of respect with what he’s done at CHMS. He also won the Midwest Briggs weekly racing series I believe. Logan’s\most impressive performance to me was when he took a wrecked go kart at last ears rock island grand prix and turned it into a solid top 10 finish. He also has quite the win streak locally and I believe he’ll give Connor Lund a run for his money next year in the cup.
5. Jordan Bernloehr
Jordan races trans am cars, but I love the fact that he still loves to compete in karting and the only reason he isn’t higher on my list is probably because I don’t know him as well as some of the other comptitors listed above. Jordan keeps his ties with karting strong is a great example of a Karter who has moved on to bigger racing, but still stayed strong to his roots.
6. Carter Pease.
Carter may be the next Tony Neilson from what I can see. He’s close to grabbing his first Rock sometime soon. He also is very talented behind the wheel. He is also very excited about promoting the sport of karting and is always willing to give an interview. Carter finds his way to the club races to even though he also competing regionally. Supporting home tracks is always most important.
7. Al Cram
The 73-year-old races because he loves it and is always willing to help new comers and veterans alike. Most of all though I love racing against a guy’s that’s in it just for the thrill of racing. I think it’s important to keep in mind that having fun is what it’s all about and Al does that.
8. Rick Phillips
One of the first great drivers I raced against at the Sprint Kart Speedway. Rick doesn’t race anymore but from what I remember he was fast and very knowledgeable. Always tinkering and willing to help. He reminded me of a good o boy. He was always happy to be at the track. I haven’t seen rick for years, I used to see him every year at rock island, I Believe he is a true innovator and great racer when it comes to karting.
9. Randy Raridon.
Randy is fast and loves to race. He gives advice freely to those who need it and is very knowledgeable. I think Randy loves karting as much as most of us do and wants to see the sport grow I hope we can accomplish that. It has been fun watching him race the masters class where he competes for wins and podiums. But once again his greatest quality is his love for the sport
10. Tyler Schurr.
An Engine Builder???? Well he hasn’t always built engines. He used to race, and he raced at rock island the last 2 years in memory of Travis DeVriendt. Travis was a good friend of Ty’s. I put ty on the list of drivers not just because when racing against him I thought he was fast, but because as a local engine builder he’s knowledgeable and willing to help racers. He Plays a major role in the planning of the Rock Island Grand Prix. He gives racers an opportunity the race. Whether in karting he was providing engine packages or in late model race owing a team. Ty is Great person in the sport and I believe the people behind the scenes need some recognition to.
Well that’s my list. like said local, but I think these people are important to karting and are great drivers for reasons beyond just driving