It’s been a while since I’ve had a blog-style post but this week, I’m back with a Statement to the CKN Nation.
I’ve had a few days and a long flight to digest my first visit to the Cup Karts Grand Nationals and review my thoughts and right away, all I can say is, what an event!
The entire Cup Karts North America crew put on a spectacular race and operated it like very few races I’ve been to before. It was seamless, efficient, well-managed and a memory maker. It was seriously so refreshing.
There were more than 500 entries covering only eight divisions, making it the largest race of the year by a mile when you look at the average number of entries per classes.
Any time there are more than 100 drivers in a category, chaos is expected, and while there were some red flags, the racing was highly respected wheel-to-wheel action all weekend long. In some races, the lead pack featured 20+ karts and drivers were bouncing up and down the running order like a yo-yo.
Following three very busy days, Sunday was run to perfection. Quick morning warm up and LCQs to set the final grids, which were capped and an astonishing 60 drivers in Junior, Senior Lite, Senior Medium and Senior Heavy. Then an opening ceremony and every class took to the track before their Grand Final to have their moment, be interviewed for the live broadcast by Kart Chaser, which was awesome, build up the momentum and then pull the cords for the main event. And following each race, a real podium ceremony with raw emotion. No waiting around hours later and into the darkness, a proper chance to celebrate the top five finishers in each race.
Let’s talk about prizes too. Cup Karts North America has built a brand just on the prizes they give away each event, but to see how much stuff, useful stuff too, that was raffled off to the drivers throughout the weekend was amazing. Then at the podium, winning drivers took home a tool box, among other amazing prizes for the top five. On top of that, each of the four regional Cup Karts divisions had a championship ceremony spread over Thursday and Friday nights. Those champions were spoiled with a massive championship poster, a custom cooler with their name and championship on it and more, plus, hats, gloves, helmet and gear bags were awarded to those finishing out the top five. Needless to say, drivers needed their trailers to get this stuff home.
The trek to New Castle from the Toronto area was very manageable too. 6-8 hours depending on the part of the city you are in isn’t too bad. For our Quebec racers, it was a little further, but well worth the drive. New Castle Motorsports Park is one of North Americas best facilities, has one of the best restaurants you will find at a race track on site, clean restrooms, and plenty of viewing area, even if the track is so big you can’t really see the whole thing.
It was also pretty cool for Cup Karts to situate most of the Canadian drivers in what they called Canada Corner.
So I want to give a big shout out to Greg Jasperson of Cup Karts North America. He put on a helluva show and I’m already hoping I can put it on my schedule for 2024 and for those racers who were on the fence about it, or need a little push, add it to your schedule as well.
To Gerald Caseley, who has taken what Greg does and brought it to Canada, keep up the good work, I’m excited to see what you have planned for next season and hopeful we can pull a few more Americans across the border to come race.
Finally, to Marc Stehle, Jamie MacArthur and Jordan DiLeo, kudo’s for putting Canada on the podium at the biggest Briggs race of the year! There were 60 Canadian drivers at the race this year, let’s make that number even higher next year and bring more wins back north of the border.
Now, time for some proper pizza and pasta in Italy. Ciao.