Saturday Night 100 Degrees At The Track!

image of kart racers ready to go

Saturday Night 100 Degrees At The Track!

What better place to be when it’s 100 degrees than an asphalt racetrack? One of our grandsons races go-karts so yes, we gladly will spend the night at the track to see and support him.

Now in his 4th year of racing we’ve become pretty familiar with the Horn Rapids Kart Track in Tri-Cities, Washington and Tri-City Kart Club. When the season starts in the spring, races are held during the daytime hours. However, as the Eastern Washington summers heat up all racing moves to a night/evening schedule. Saturday’s race was one of those night races.  Daytime highs that day hovered between 99-100 degrees making a night race a smart idea.

Full Racing Gear In 100 Degree Heat? Not comfortable!!

Unfortunately holding the actual race at night doesn’t alleviate the discomfort of the drivers and their pit crews as they prepare, do warm up runs and time in. The Husband had me drop him at the track so he could be part of all the prep work that goes on prior to the actual racing. Managing to avoid the worst of the day’s heat, I spent my pre-race hours shopping (air conditioned mall thank you very much!!)

The first race that night for the grandson was at 5:15 and when I arrived at the track around 4:30 p.m., it was still in the high 90’s. I came armed with extra water bottles and additional ice. As you can imagine, those two items were in high demand.

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Pit Crew Dads Are Really Busy Guys!

Changes and/or repairs to the karts keep the dads and racing kids busy between races as they compare notes about what worked, what didn’t, what would help their times. Several racers also sell parts so if you can catch them when they aren’t on the track themselves, you can see if they have the part you are needing.

image of making repairs between races Saturday night and 100 degrees at the track www.happyhour786.com
Making repairs between races

A chain catching and a couple of broken teeth on the sprocket mean the pit crew (Dad with a little help from Grandpa) pushing to get repairs done prior to the next race.

image of repairs being made to kart Saturday night and 100 degrees at the track www.happyhour786.com
Racing the clock to get repairs made prior to the next race!

So Much More Than “Just Driving” Is Involved!

With repairs done, there is a discussion going on between the racer and his pit crew. Driving isn’t the only thing these kids learn by taking part in kart racing. Mechanics, family bonding, dedication, commitment to name a few.

image of discussion around kart Saturday night and 100 degrees at the track www.happyhour786.com
As the light fades from the day there’s a deep discussion around the kart.

And. . .with all the repairs made it’s time to gas it up and head to the staging area.

image of gassing up the kart Saturday night and 100 degrees at the track www.happyhour786.com
The racer gassing it up before heading to the staging area.
image of line up on the grid Saturday night and 100 degrees at the track www.happyhour786.com
Getting helmets and gloves adjusted.
image of crew talking to racer Saturday night and 100 degrees at the track www.happyhour786.com
Last minute instructions or pep talk?

What a fun evening! By the time we left the track Saturday night it had cooled to 80 degrees at 11:00 p.m. As our tired racer and his dad headed home, we headed to the hotel for the night. Sunday morning I awoke to this scene from the balcony of our hotel.

image of Columbia River Saturday night and 100 degrees at the track www.happyhour786.com
Calm and quiet Columbia River in the early morning hours.

Sunday we were headed back to Spokane WA and Northern Quest Casino for the Donny and Marie Osmond show. More about that in a future post.

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