I hope everyone had a great weekend racing with Route 66 at Road America. First and foremost, thank you for choosing us. We understand there are many options when it comes to karting, and choosing between events sometimes happens, so we appreciate when you choose Route 66!
I wanted to address a few things now that we are halfway through our four-event season. One of the biggest complaints I get and deal with is rough driving. We all know karting in general has gotten more aggressive over the years due to a number of factors. Push back bumpers have in part helped the blatant shoving on the starts, but doesn’t eliminate it. Push backs have also done nothing in terms of podding somebody mid corner. If there’s one thing myself and our team is watching for on track, is these infractions. Can every single incident be caught, no. That’s why the pushbacks exist, to help ease the number of pushes, shunts, contacts missed. That allows us to focus more on these side-to-side impacts. I’m asking everyone, drivers, crew, and parents to encourage clean driving, respectful passing, and not rely on the bodywork of these karts to protect you from a bonehead move. Teach your kids, if they want to step up the ladder of motorsports, they can’t destroy their team owners’ cars week-in and week-out and expect to keep a ride. There’s a fine line between aggressive, and just plain stupid.  
That leads me to the push back bumpers. If you incur a penalty prior to the green flag, from hitting the kart in front of you. Nine times out of 10, you were too close.  Period. The rule book specifically states to leave a 2-3 foot gap as “cushion”. I don’t think I saw one start all weekend where that was the case. Everyone wants to push and try to gain an advantage. Well, that puts you in danger of pushing your bumper in. We can fix this issue of pile-ups and chain-reaction bumping by simply leaving a gap. That’s why the rule is written that way.
Following that. If you receive the checkered flag, in practice or a race, and continue racing around on your cool down lap, and hit someone or something, chances are, it could have been avoided altogether by slowing down. There are no points awarded to the first driver to the scales. Timing and scoring ends when you cross the line. Period. We need everyone, parents, coaches, to make sure that is instilled in your driver. If you hit someone in the scale line, or on your way to it, and push in your bumper, you will receive a penalty.
Now, for both of those instances, there are rules in place to reverse a bumper penalty if something unexpected happens. Brake checking is strictly forbidden, and if you get caught intentionally brake checking on a cooldown lap or in scale line, you can bet you will be disqualified for the day.
Something else to add, as a positive note, which does also reflect on track action, is we didn’t have any red flags this weekend. That’s an awesome stat to have in any series. Continued respectful driving severely reduces the chances of any unneeded delay in the schedule from a red.
Our officiating staff is always looking to grow with qualified individuals. The tracks we race, usually do provide workers for kart pick up, and track crew, but having additional eyes that know what to look and watch for is always a huge help. Contact myself or Chris Kardashian if you would like to apply.
Again, thank you for choosing Route 66. Having a stepping stone series that fills the void between club level racing and the big national series, is what we are striving to be and we are always looking to improve! Come hone your skills and have a fun time doing it! See you at Whiteland!
– Patrick Olsen