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Race Comments - 2007

October 28, 2007

Ahh, how sweet it is.....FIRST PLACE at the last race of the year. What a great way to go out of the 2007 season and ending of our Jr. 1-2 Cycle racing!! Eleven kart field, beautiful weather, our chassis set-up was smooth, engine power was strong, and driver’s confidence purrrrfect. Not one problem all day. Two 5-minute qualifies, 2 Heat races (1 invert) and 1 Main Race. Lots of time on the track.

Knowing we were locked up in the points for a 2nd place overall win at Prairie City, I decided to make the switch to race at Davis for this final race of 2007. Part of my decision to race at Davis was that our chassis and race engine were being sold on Sunday afternoon and the buyer was racing there.

This turned out to be one of the better race weekends as Austin and I and all his supporters that came to watch him, had a great time!! The Blue Max Kart Club is always very friendly to us.

Out onto the track in the morning for qualifying with new tires, Austin turned a 39.23 second lap, capturing the new track record at Davis for this class!! He is good at setting track records with his smooth and fast racing style!

Starting the Heat 1 ‘on-pole’ position was a good beginning to the day and Austin felt confident that a win for him was imminent.

He worked on passing, strategies, looking for weaknesses in the other drivers, and was very patient with waiting for a clean move to pass to the front, which is what happened in lap 9 of the Main. Austin following the leader, Cole Davis, pushing him down the straights, attempting passes, watching for the right time when an opportunity opened as they were all coming around the hair pin and up onto lap traffic. Cole and Austin split-up to pass, going around either side of the slower driver. This gave Austin the advantage and it was clear sailing as he moved to the front pulling away from the pack and onto Victory!!

This race weekend was one of the best overall races and the icing on the cake was going out with the Win! We found it ironic that going into this season, Austin’s first race in March was a Win at the Davis track. His last race of the year in October was also a Win at the Davis track.

The proud new owner of kart #94 should have some great racing next year and we will be keeping an eye on them as Austin moves to the next class of HPV2….the racing excitement continues in February/March 2008.

Austin begins testing in his new full-size chassis, 100cc engine, this week and is very excited. Updates to come….

September 29, 2007
Austin takes 2nd place in the IKF at Dixon, CA!!!

I promised Austin 3 IKF (International Karting Federation) races this year and yesterday was his 3rd at the Kinsmen Kart club in Dixon. Friday's practice was a bit disappointing as our lap times were not good. It was very windy and cloudy so we couldn't get anything above "slow". This track is fast and full of turns, has one short straight-away, and it is very hard to make clean passes.

Back on the track early Saturday morning for (2) 5 minute practices, (1) 2 lap qualify, a 14 lap heat race, and an 18 lap main event.

I could see right off the bat that Austin was driving better but the stop-watch still showed his times on the slower side.

Qualifying in 6th place out of 13 drivers and we were off in heat 1 headed for turn one!!! Sixth place meant Austin was on the outside going into turn 1 and these very competitive IKF drivers kept him out of the inside turn so I stood watching him be pushed back 3 positions putting him in the 9th position for turn 2. I thought this would be it for his race position but to our enjoyment, throughout this 14 lap race, Austin started making passes and driving with such confidence, hitting his marks, and driving around other drivers bumping each other around, until the final lap, coming around the last turn to the checkered flag in 3rd place!

This was a great position to begin the Main event as it put him on the inside behind the pole position driver, Luis Tyrell, who is very competent to bring Austin around turn 1 in 2nd place. This is exactly what happened as the green flag flew and they took off, heading into turn one Austin stayed jammed up to Luis' bumper, letting no one in front of him, he emerged in turn 2 still in the 2nd place position!!! So thrilled with this performance, the excitement continued throughout the entire 18 laps as Austin chased this 1st place driver, at some points, pushing him down the straight and making attempts to pass. These two lead drivers left the pack far behind and continued their battle up front until the last 7 or 8 laps, Austin's engine started heating up so he slowed a bit which created a gap between him and Luis but making sure the 3rd place driver, Austin Dement, never caught up to him, crossing the finish line in 2nd place and into the scale house to be tech'd, the team was very Happy!!!!!

Huge thank you to Daniel Bordogna for the chassis set up tips and engine tuning, also to the Norris family for their help, and the Cole family for their help all day! Special thank you to Lisa Caceres for supporting our driver during the race.

We race again next weekend at Prairie City, race #9 in the series for the Championship. Austin will be defending his 2nd place points position at that track...

August 20, 2007

Austin ran a good race yesterday and was all over the leader but couldn't get past him... (this time) on this tight track..... He got a 2nd place trophy and also earned the track record for fastest lap on the ESSES configuration!!! He will be presented with the award at our next Prairie City race on Sept. 16th. Congratulations Austin!

Austin qualified in 2nd position missing the pole by .06 seconds. That's 1/2 of 1/10th of a second!!

Our setup was good, our engine was even better, and our driver was feeling aggressive and wanted to battle with the driver on-pole, and that's what he did. If he wasn't all over the back of the lead driver, he was on the side of him trying to make a pass. These two drivers left the pack far behind and the battle continued at the front, lap after lap, with Austin never more than 1 car length behind.

Finishing in the 2nd place position, we were moved to the "Tech" area to get our engine scrutinized. One of our competitors made the claim that we were "cheating" because of the speed of these two leading drivers. I had full confidence in our engine builder and after a battery of tests were performed (our engine now apart in a box...), the hand shake was given to Daniel Bordogna and we were on our way.

I want to thank our new supporter "Snap Fitness" in Shingle Springs. They have come on board to help with expenses to keep us in the front row. Our team is grateful!!!!!!!

I was informed by the News 10 crew that the segment on "California Postcard" about Lisa Caceres' Race Karts Inc. and Austin's interview as a Jr. Driver trainer was pre-empted last Friday (a Monarchs game), and the story will now run either this Friday & Sunday at the 6 p.m. news or the Friday & Sunday after that. He will let me know and I will let you all know.

As always, we thank each of you for your continued support. We couldn't do it without you!!!

June 24, 2007

Friday we practiced at Prairie City to get ready for the big race on Sunday and then that evening Austin and I headed for Novato to spend the night at the Racer’s Retreat (Lisa’s mother’s bed & breakfast).

Early Saturday morning we headed over to NASCAR in Sonoma. WOW, biggest event I've ever been to. Austin's driving coach knows many people who run this event so we had an “in” at the helicopter pad where some of the drivers flew in and out for practice on this day. Funny, the helicopter pad was on the karting track! haha

Austin was able to stop Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Bobby Labonte right before they were getting aboard the helicopters to fly off and he got their autographs on his Austin Elliott Racing hat. He was so excited about that. This hat will be retired to Austin’s racing wall, for sure. Also, we got the opportunity to go for a cruise up in one of the helicopters!!! I was so nervous getting into that machine with the blades spinning around above my head as I climbed in, but I calmed down a bit after about 5 or 6 minutes of flying around!! The pilot took us over the whole event so we got a bird’s eye view. What a treat for us! At one point during the flight, as I was sitting there content, without headphones on, and listening to the noise of the helicopter, Austin took his headphones off and handed them to me. I thought it was great and slipped them onto my head and just at that point, the pilot says to “Austin”, ok Buddy, this ones for you. We’re goin’ make that turn and pull those G’s you were asking for. Yikes I thought!! And I took those headphones off my head so fast and handed them back to Austin. Just about that time the pilot made a sharp turn back toward the track and we were almost sideways looking at the ground through the side door. Eeek. I had my camera video running the whole time and it’s pretty funny to watch… now.

Saturday evening Lisa and her mother hosted a BBQ at the racer’s retreat for many of their friends from the event. Austin and I got the pleasure of attending this party. What a great group of people. It was very nice and we enjoyed ourselves.

We headed back home late Saturday night and then out early Sunday morning for the Prairie City crossover race (3 tracks attending this one so the classes were large)

Twenty-One (21) drivers in the Jr.1-2 cycle class!!! These drivers were from Davis, Dixon, and Prairie City tracks. Austin qualified 3rd. His first heat was exciting as we watched all those karts coming around turn 1 in an amazingly successful start to this race. If you’ve been to this track, you will know that turn 1 can be very dangerous if any contact is made between the karts.

Austin took 2nd place in this Heat which gave him a 2nd place start for the Main. When the green flag flew and the Main race started, unfortunately Austin was squeezed out back to the 6th position. There were some very good and fast drivers in this particular race and he was only able to accomplish passing 1 driver before the checkered flag dropped. This was a 12 lap race so the positions need to be gained quickly or time runs out, which is what happened.

We still made “Tech” and Austin received a 5th place trophy.

With each race comes experience and lessons. As we had hopes for something closer to 1st or 2nd place, we humbly took 5th place. One can never predict what will happen in a race, but that’s racing!! We look forward to jumping back into the kart next Saturday for the 3rd race in the Sonoma series at Infineon Raceway.

May 20, 2007


Austin Elliott takes the checkered flag in a great, competitive race. Secures the track record in Comer Jr. 1-2 cycle for fastest overall lap time on the Modified Perimeter track configuration (unofficial record at this time).

Eleven kart field, 12 lap Main, our set-up was dialed in, our engine was screamin', and our driver was focused to take the lead.

Starting the day qualifying in 2nd position meant going into turn 1 on the outside lane. This lane is difficult because of getting squeezed out of a good position for turn 2, which is exactly what happened to our driver.

Emerging from turn 1 in 4th position, it only took a couple of laps and Austin passes the driver in the 3rd place position and now sets his sights on making the pass on the 2nd place kart. After 3 attempts at passing this 2nd place driver have failed, the 4th attempt proved victorious.....so now it's all about catching the lead driver, Jonny Norris, which could be a challenge. But in about 1 lap, Austin catches up to the leader and makes the pass on him on the straight-away in the middle of lap traffic. Our driver is now in the front row !!

Three to 4 laps of Austin being chased by Jonny, the two leaders heading for the top of the hill at the back of the track on the final lap. Quickly, Jonny passes Austin and our excitement level drops as we know Jonny won't give it back easily and there isn't much track left before the finish line......, but just as fast as he lost the lead position, he got it back on the next turn and our emotions once again raised sky high as we watched our driver skillfully take the last 4 corners of the track and onto the straight-away with Jonny chasing him to the finish line and Austin takes it! We Win this one!! Our first P.C. First Place win, and how sweet it is. You can see the pure joy on Austin's face as he accepts this well-deserved First Place trophy.

California Kartworld, Bordogna Racing Kart Engines, and Race Karts, Inc. came through for our team again!!

We were Fast with Daniel Bordogna's engine tuning! Our track support and race-day driver critiquing from Bill McCallister, and driver-training from Lisa Caceres, top-notch! Thank you ALL. Powerful Driving Austin!!!!!!!!!!!! Our Team is Proud of You.

May 11 & 12, 2007

A HUGE Thank YOU to our Team this weekend in Sonoma!! Lisa Caceres and Bill & Paula McCallister were an outstanding support to Austin and me.

From the fabulous Friday night at the Racer's Retreat in Sonoma, where many NASCAR drivers, which included Dale Ernhardt Sr. and other famous people, have stayed the night several times (Thank you Lisa) to Lisa's driver-coaching with Austin to conquer Tic-Tac-Toe (a 3 cornered 'S' turn at Infineon), to the awesome track support from Bill to keep our kart is top shape for the race, working with me on set up and last second "on the grid" repairs, and Paula feeding us with her famous breakfast burritos and shredded meat sandwiches and pasta, we had a Wonderful time racing at Infineon Raceway this weekend.

This trip was not supposed to happen as it wasn't on our schedule (and you know our schedule is tied to our budget……still looking for more money sponsors, anyone?…. : ), but we are so happy we did get to attend this race thanks to my Hubby and our kiddos for giving Austin and me our birthday gifts and Mother's Day gift in the form of MONEY to go racing!!! Thank you Family.

Our practice day on Friday was pretty much destroyed when, right as we were heading out to the track, a Shifter Kart sprung a leak and left an oil slick clear around the track, SO, it took another hour for the track personnel to get it cleaned up which left a white powder all over the asphalt. We finally got onto the track for a short practice and then a 1½ hr. cleaning on the kart to remove the thick white powder caked all over it. Needless to say I wasn't happy about it but quickly forgot about it as we went to Lisa's house and played pool and ate pizza.

The morning of the race was actually our first practice on this configuration and we were not doing good, we were 4 seconds off the track record. With each practice run our times kept getting better until we were 1 second off the track record. OK, we're close and ready for this race!!!! Austin qualified 6th place out of 10 drivers (driver's very experienced at this track with 2 to 4 years of driving this course and Austin had one morning of two 10 minute practices, haha)

The Pre-Main began and right off the bat our driver jumps ahead of 2 karts… woohoo he's in 4th place now coming into turn 2. These drivers are fast and Austin is trying to catch up to the 3rd place driver but he is falling short with each Lap at the Tic-Tac-Toe turn… there is a kid on his tail who wants to pass Austin so bad and is riding him like crazy. Each lap Austin would pull ahead and then lose ground at that one turn. We're goin' 8 laps and about lap 6 this driver passes Austin on the straight… ugh but oh YES!! Austin says "NO YOU DON'T" and takes back his position on the next turn passing this kid on the outside. I'm seeing Aggression in our driver!!!! We're back in 4th… and this is where we stay until the finish of this pre-main.

Set up in 4th place for the 'Main' and the start is good and they're off… Austin jumps 2 spots up to the front to go into turn 1 right next to the leading driver, Luis Tyrell but Bobby Tift in 2nd place took his spot back from Austin and put us in 3rd place going into turn 2. This is good and our driver just needs to stay up with these first two drivers.

He's running in 3rd right behind the 1st and 2nd positions for about 4 laps and then begins to fall back but is still very far ahead of the 4th place driver. The race pretty much stayed in this order throughout the whole 15 laps (seemed like 20 laps as I was pacing back and forth in excitement of our position in this race) and that's how we finished, in the TOP 3!!!! Good for our team considering the inexperience of our driver going up against the very experienced. Our team is very proud of Austin's driving and his accomplishment yesterday at this race in Sonoma. We told him we would like at least a top 3 position and he delivered!!!

Way to go Austin!!!!!!!

April 2, 2007

What a Successful day!!! And an exciting race for US!!! 2nd place in the IKF race!! (International Karting Federation is a traveling race and is a higher level of competition and more rules than club racing) There were 16 karts in our class and our driver qualified BEST time over all of them to earn the "pole" position for the Heat race (the sweet spot on the lineup for the start of the race).

We weren't sure how things were going to be because prior to the race, we had a carburetor issue so during practice Austin's times were very bad. Things were not flowing and I was a bit stressed. Our team pulled together though and we started the Heat race with Austin leading the pack along with another driver named Austin also... This other kid is the 2006 track Champion from Reno. The two Austins are in the front leading the pack around to the start line...engine's reving, smoke puffing from the engines, tension mounting, spectator watching, karts bumping each other as they are slowly making their way around the track to come to the starting line (see the pic, Austin is in the front of the formation on the right side)...My heart is Pounding!!! with excitement, and I can't remove my eye from a locked bead on our driver.... I couldn't stand it!! Austin HAS to make a jump and stay in the lead into turn One. This is so critical and he is very new at "starts". So off they go!, but just to be slowed down again by the officials because of a bad start. Someone jumped the start....oops it's our driver... So they send em around again and then again. Our Austin, on my direction, is pushing the limit on the starts, each time causing a re-start. After the 3rd restart, the officials penalize our driver and bump him back 1 spot back which brings one of our biggest competitor to the front of the line and Austin is moved behind him....(Darn it!!) but it's ok because we are working on getting aggressive on the starts....(He did as I asked)

So then they're off and coming into turn one!! ........Well the race was very exciting and I'm going to skip the blow-by-blow but I will tell you that Austin was in 2nd place for many laps until he was able to make a pass on the 2006 P.C. Club Champion driver......then several laps in the LEAD until the final 2 laps when Austin was passed by another very good driver who took the win (well deserved I must say). We finished 2nd place which is a very good accomplishment for Austin and our team. That kid drove so well, I am very proud of him and was very proud to take 2nd place in this IKF race and bring the huge 2nd place trophy home. A big accomplishment :_)

April 1, 2007

We want to congratulate all the P.C. club members who ran the IKF race at the track last month, everyone did a great job of racing. The highlight of the whole weekend was the 15 kart field Jr. 1- 2 Cycle race. A big congratulations to Austin Elliott, who set the fast time in qualifying and started on pole position with Jonny Norris qualifying second fast. In the pre-main Jonny was leading and got taken out on the hill on the white flag lap, which meant he started last in the main. Austin led the main most of the race pulling a gap on the pack. Jonny was putting on a passing clinic and before mid-race was running in sixth position from fifteenth. We thought that was going to be about where he would finish. May it never again be said, "you can't pass at Prairie City", because in the second half of the race, Jonny kept moving up and on the second to last lap had closed the gap to Austin and made the pass for the win from fifteenth. It was truly the most exciting race we have ever watched and every pass was textbook clean. So if you're out for practice this Saturday, you might want to get a few pointers from Austin about qualifying, or from Jonny about how to make those clean passes.

by Gary Lovotti - used by permission

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