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    • #78723
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Rob:  Sent you an e-mail about one of your karts.  Also, anything more on the Glen or Pocono?

       

       

      Geo

    • #45963
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      In the past 42 years I’ve raced karts on dirt, in streets, on ice, indoors, on ovals, road courses, 4 stroke, 2 stroke, enduro, sprint and Superkart. Here’s my take on what form is most “dangerous”. By far, I’ve seen the most frequent accidents and broken bones on dirt ovals followed closely by sprint short road courses and street races. Accidents are much more rare in enduro racing (what folks now call “road racing”). However, although accidents on long road courses are much rarer than other forms of karting, the consequences are much more severe when they do occur. In my time, I’ve known 5 people who were killed in kart racing accidents. All were killed racing the big tracks. I know countless guys who were broken up and some permanently crippled from crashes and flips on the small sprint tracks. That said, I do believe standard braking systems are fine with all 4 cycles and the slower 2 cycle classes. And I think there’s little doubt about the fact that the veasier you make it for people to run the equipment they have without buying new stuff, the more liekly they will join us. The most important thing we can do for safety is to make the knuckleheads take a timeout when they act up and remind everyone its all just for a trophy. I am far more afraid of an idiot with 4 wheel brakes than a level headed guy with standard brakes. Everyone must remember, nobody outside our small gorup will ever know or care who won. As long as we keep our heads road racing can be reasonably safe.

    • #44802
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Kart Life is NOT the first national tv show focused on Karting. Speedvision had a regular series from the Indy Speeddrome. And don’t forget the “go kart terror” CHiPs episode.

    • #44651
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      So requirement was waived for Tag, Tag Heavy, Stock Leopard, Pro Gas Animal and Animal Limited Modified but not Clone??? Hardly makes sense.

    • #44638
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Very sad. Just thinking about Rosie brings back memories of “the good ole days” and everything that was right about enduro karting in its hey days of the ’80s. And that B-“Stock” (so they claimed) Emmick that he and Scott Jacumin campaigned was still one of the fastest things I’ve seen. Always a barrel of laughs and a man who gave everything he could to the sport.

      RIP

    • #43845
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Figures that the trial of the century would be scheduled for next Thursday. Just my luck. It aint easy to sue the Federal government and its taken me 2 plus years to finally get my case docketed. We had a pre-trial conference last week. I should have known the judge would pick a race date for the trial itself. Maybe by miracle I can still go but I suspect my head will be spinning into the weekend.

      Good luck to all and be safe. Larry: Do not mess up my chassis!

      George

    • #43283
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Get a pingle airshifter for a Harley off of ebay (got my last one for $200 complete). Works great and way cheaper than Sharpshifter (I have both). The Pingel woorks with a very small battery powered compressor that will last for a typical road race. One problem with the axle compressors is they make no air when kart is stopped oin pits and sometimes not much at slow pit road speeds. I’ve ocme to prefer the battery compressor.

      Pingel also makes an all electric shifter w/ ignition interupt which may be a better option.

    • #43275
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Few folks still around remember when WKC left WKA (sort of) in the early ’80s. For awhile WKC bypassed WKA for its club races and got its insurance directly from K&K. Road Racing survived. In fact that was in the midst of its mid-80s hey days. Most dirt trracks I know are now exclusively AKRA. Mostly because WKA insurance costs drove them away. And AKRA has taken the lead on rules for clones. I don’t care what the name of the org is. All I know is we need long-term stability in rules and classes as well as all things road racing. Otherwise the only thing left may be the nonsense mega rich dad fart smelling contests featured on “Kart Life” which nobody I know cares to be a part of……..

    • #42340
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      As was said about  the one mother…. Cry because your kid bombed the SAT and you can’t afford to send him to a Tier 1 college. Yes, that could adversely affect his future.  But cry because  your kid didn’t finish up front in a go kart race in series that no one outside that series ever heard of and you can’t afford a better ride for him?   Wow.

    • #41509
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Its unwatchable.  Worse than housewives.   Makes our sport look like its nothing but no talent spoiled kids and their rich guido fathers and  even more annoying mothers (maybe in some series’ that’s what is has become).  Any sanctioning body that helped make this or endorse it in any way has done great damage to our sport.  And its not just me.  I see its getting a big thumbs down on most karting social pages.  A huge black eye to the sport right when we could afford it the least.  Make’s the “CHiPs go-kart terror” episode look like a factual documentary.

    • #37820
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      “””””  This site really needs a “like”  button,. Spot on Gary.    And Gene, I have to agree with you as well. Thank you for all you’ve done.

      I’ve been a member since 1980.  And for much of that time I just raced and paid little attention to how the sausage was made or who made it.  It was only when the sport I loved so much seemed to be fading that I paid more interest.   Seems like overnight in road racing we went from 600+ entries being the norm at all events to considering more than 200 a huge success.  And its not just road racing.  Here’s a comment I got from a dirt racing friend:

      “As much as I dislike the notion, karting is hurting very badly. In dirt, tire prep has been the main thorn in the side of the average racer.My favorite dirt class, which is dominated by the UAS, the best engine costs more than a late model crate engine….and that is just the base engine. That is just stupid. As long as we allow rule structures that don’t follow common sense, we will continue to watch karting die a death of abandonment.”

      IMHO:  He’s right.  It is stupid.  We can’t expect to attract too many new people for the long haul  with the insane costs and constant rules changes.  The question is do we care enough to save it all?  Or can it even be saved?  We may be member owned but we can only see the financial statements by appointment and we have to travel to Charlotte during business hours to do that  Strange, they used to be posted in the magazine annually.  Presidents for Life are a bad idea.  Especially when it can’t be explained how they got to be President for Life.  So are board members with major business ties and other conflicts of interest.  If you have to have rules made that force people to buy your product or keep them from using competing products, there must be something inherently wrong with it.    If you have to constantly make your product obsolete there is something wrong with it.

      Hopefully we can all agree the mid 1980’s was the heyday for enduro racing.  Burris was the flagship sponsor.  But we weren’t required to use Burris tires, wear Burris suits or even display his stickers.  But I think he still did well in business through a solid product and the goodwill he established.  And several parts trucks  were at every event selling Burris products as well as his competitors’ goods.  We also saw George Kugler regularly walking the pits and talking to everyone.  Seems it took a sudden wrong turn  somehow.

      No conflicts of interest.  No Presidents for Life.  Term limits on Board members. 3-5 year rules and class freezes.  And for endure racing, return to the NASCAR rovals and other venues that the average Joe recognizes.  All would be a step in the right direction. But most importantly, we all need to check our egos, selfish interests, and BS at the door  and realize without each and everyone of us, the ship has sunk.

       

       

    • #37542
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Agree Bob. I’m sure there are others like me who have raced all forms of karts from street racing 2 and 4 strokes to dirt to asphalt oval and road course as well as laydown enduros and Superkarts.  But year to year, have to focus on one or two forms of racing at the most.  Just not enough money or time.  Each form of karting is its own beast.    Even the shops tend to specialize in one or at most two forms of karting.  You need well known active participants  (racers not businessmen) to help steer each unique division.

      I just know time is short and the constant bickering, special interests, backroom drug deals and almost daily rules and class changes has got to stop.  Its not all bad and there has to be hope.  Just need a clean sheet and a commitment from everyone to establish trust and move forward to provide stability to long-term rules, classes, and venues.

       

    • #37498
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      No name calling.  Just my two cents (and others’) from talking to folks past 2 days….

       

      WKA needs a clean sheet of paper. Its been run by folks with close industry and business ties for many years and we see how that’s gone. Moving forward it should be run by racers for racers. All board members and staff must be free of any conflicts of interest which means absolutely no financial ties to karting businesses or industry whatsoever. No personal sponsorships, nothing. Active racers wanted.  Folks interested in steering more business their way should be kept out.  Once trust is established and rules are stabilized, the year to year obsoleting of everyone’s equipment will stop and costs will stabilize. This will keep current karters and help bring new ones in. And more karters will equal more business for the industry.

    • #37487
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      The fact that the collective reaction to the resignations has been a huge yawn is very telling.  IF there’s anything left to salvage, any chance of restoring the “WKA 6”?

    • #33453
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      To be clear, life isn’t all sunshine and flowers.  These are very hard times for kart road racing.  Don’t just say “I’ll try to make it next time. ”   I’ve done it, you’ve done it, everybody has done it.  Quite simply there may not be a next time.

       

      See you at Roebling.  Race safe, race fast,  and race often..

    • #33452
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      People:  I haven’t been a board member for several years, I can’t speak for the board and I do not know the exact status of club finances.  However, it should be obvious to us all that with the dismal turnouts at the last couple of events, we can’t afford to race at Roebling (or many other road racing venues) for much longer.   Do not assume that what we’ve had available to us for most, and for some all, of our lives will remain available.  The weather in Savannah this time of the year cannot  be beat.  No excuses.  Drag your karts out bring a newbie and come to Roebling.  Its a safe track with lots of runoff room, very fast and not the most challenging ever made but certainly challenging enough.  And you couldn’t ask for a nicer more helpful group of folks who will  do what it takes to make sure your high expectations are far surpassed.   Wouldn’t it be awesome to see the crowds from the Glen Moore/Johnny Jacumin days?   This may be one of our last chances to help preserve road racing in the South.  Use it or lose it as we accountants say. Bring it!

    • #33450
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      People:  I haven’t been a board member for several years, I can’t speak for the board and I do not know the exact status of club finances.  However, it should be obvious to us all that with the dismal turnouts at the last couple of events, we can’t afford to race at Roebling (or many other road racing venues) for much longer.   Do not assume that what we’ve had available to us for most, and for some all, of our lives will remain available.  The weather in Savannah this time of the year cannot  be beat.  No excuses.  Drag your karts out bring a newbie and come to Roebling.  Its a safe track with lots of runoff room, very fast and not the most challenging ever made but certainly challenging enough.  And you couldn’t ask for a nicer more helpful group of folks who will  do what it takes to make sure your high expectations are far surpassed.   Wouldn’t it be awesome to see the crowds from the Glen Moore/Johnny Jacumin days?   This may be one of our last chances to help preserve road racing in the South.  Use it or lose it as we accountants say. Bring it!

    • #32570
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Agree.   I feel like I lost a heavyweight prize fight today but had a blast.  NCCAR requires 100% concentration.  Give it any less and off turn 1/2 you go.  That track will wear man and machine out.  Very well run event.  Brandon is the best there is.  And I even had a nice chat w/ Van:)    Kudos to WKA and all who obviously put so much effort into putting this top notch event on.   The only things I heard complaints about were the gravel pits and  outhouses.  Once they pave the pits, NCCAR will rank among the best kart venues out there.  Anybody who missed this one should be regretting it.

       

      George

    • #14140
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      I’ll follow.  Rick Fowzer from Manteca, CA.  The guy is a former karter, micro sprint, and  World of Outlaws driver.  Took me for several grand and never delivered Rotax stuff.  Then he declared bankruptcy with his towing business (don’t you know he probably never released a car from his lot before the owner paid in full) making it tougher for me and everyone else he ripped off to reach him.  To this day gives me the song and dance how he’s broke.  BUT, I just saw where he’s now sponsoring a kid from Ohio he hopes to be the next WoO star.  That aint cheap.  Got enough money to sponsor the kid, got enough money to make good on our deal.

    • #13785
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      His last fbook post is something about Harris Teeter trying to poison him with bad chicken.  Maybe somebody off’d him?  I know he had a citizenship hearing delayed due to govt. shutdown.  Somebody could pull him for an inpromptu interview going into the courthouse……

    • #12307
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Have I organized a race before?  Not a road race but a street race.  I organized and directed 2 street races in Steadman, NC. The most work was presenting plans to and persuading the town council. Part-time police chief was the worst.   Fortunately, the streets were free.  We ran 3 classes: juniors,4 stroke and 2 stroke.  Rules were on 5 sheets of paper I wrote with my old man.  Insurance was through AMA.  Everybody had to join AMA to get the insurance but at least it was cheap and we got a cool magazine for a year along with other AMA benefits (more recently a few years back I know one of Rob Lawson’s f125 events at BeaverRun used AMA insurance which seemed to work well). We had a crash (no serious injuries) and the town council got scared so it ended after 2 events.  Had about 150 entries total which wasn’t bad and paid the bills which were small (volunteer EMT worked for free).

      I’ve served on several boards over the years.  Usually they start with tons of ideas but the passion quickly dies before any of those ideas are implemented.   Politics?  Yeah, no fun.  The thing I hate is if you are an organizer, you pretty much can’t race yourself.  Also need to keep distance from friends for fear of favoritism accusations. d

      I admire anyone and everyone who organizes an type of race.  It is thankless.  Once upon a time, folks who did it well could make a pretty good profit.  Those days are long gone.  Can it be done better?  Sure.  Success is easily measured by turnout plain and simple.

    • #11953
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Doesn’t hurt to try I guess but running as an opener for a mainstream series is not likely.  Years ago, Jacumin ran us before the Busch races at Rockingham and Ron Skeen was very successful organizing the B-stocks at a number of CART races.  I loved those events.  It was so cool running in front of packed grandstands at the Rock.  But this is a different day.  Now each of those series have their own struggling step ladder series.  Indy Lights, NASCAR Trucks, ARCA, ASA, etc.  All would take precedent over us.  A better bet I think is to join with other grassroots orgs like the lawnmower guys or barstool racers or drifters .

    • #14611
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      The good news (if there is any) is that road race karting is not the only form of motorsport that is in a world of hurt and struggling for survival.  The money in professional IMSA, IRL and NAPCAR is drying up almost as fast as the fan base and tv ratings.  Hillenberg had a lot of team rental cancellations at Rockingham.  Other venues can’t be much different.  If not already here, the day they have to start dealing at least a little should be soon upon us.  Otherwise they sit completely empty and shutter even sooner.

    • #13770
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      Not dealers per se, but I’ve been ripped off in transactions with fellow racers and karters more in the past 2 years than the prior 40 combined.  Still the vast majority out there are good folks.   I’d like to THINK they intended to pay me or send me my stuff at some point.  I’m sure the bad economy plays a big part.  My take is it might not be worth it for me to take your butt into court but  karma will get ya somehow someway.  We all know karting and racing in general is a drug as bad as any.  And once, hooked, you need a fix no matter what.  Ability to pay for the fix is not always a consideration.

    • #12174
      George Sunderland
      Participant

      I don’t sell meters, valves, or anything else but I have had PHD level econ and finance…….

      If you want to permanently kill a declining market, the surest way to do it is to increase the barriers to entry. Road racing is currently a declining market.   Increasing fees may generate a temporary cash influx but it will guarantee a speedy and permanent shutdown.  Just look at how well jacking entry fees has worked for IKF.    Its a horrible idea and as I stated earlier, greedy pit pass costs have already turned away countless potential newbies.  The key is to get new blood and keep the folks you already do have.  One  killer we can do little about is travel costs which are especially high for road racing.  I’ve suggested before that clubs investigate nearby kart storage to reduce travel costs.  Also, orgs such as WKA should facilitate commuter info boards to facilitate truck pooling.  Even send e-mails giving all members contact info for all fellow karters within a 100 mile radius.  Should also explore reaching out to folks who have been missing for two years or more and ask what would it take to bring them back. Another angle that may help is sliding scale entry fees meaning if we have a certain number of entries, fee is X. If we get more than X entries, folks will be given a refund based on final total.  This creates an incentive for everyone to participate in proactive marketing since the more folks they can talk into coming, the lower their fees will be.  It also greatly reduces potential mistrust from folks wondering if somebody made too much money off them.  Afterall, WKA  and some clubs are nonprofit aren’t they?  Racing in the rain would also help take away an excuse for people who have to travel far.  The secret we’re all searching for it how do you take away as many excuses as possible for not coming out?

      I don’t have the sure fire fix but I know jacking fees is the sure fire killer……..

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