By John L. Braese
April marks the start of the 2012 racing season for many across the state. For eight-year old Madison Anderson of Meridian, Idaho, the first race of the season at the Snake River Karters track marked the beginning in a new classification.
“I'm having fun,” said Anderson, “but this is the first race in this class.”
“ My old kart was just too small so now I have this one”, Anderson stated as she pointed to her new red kart. “My dad and grandpa have worked hard on getting this ready for today.”
As it turned out, Anderson need not worried as she finished fifth in the Junior class behind race winner Sting Ray Robb and second place Trey Manker. Thibaut Ertle placed third.
The Karters first race, April 15, was a success according to all involved.
“As far as the first race of the year, I'm very happy with the turn out,” Jeff Shawver, president of SRK said. “We had a lot of new faces and didn't have that many folks drop out from last year. The one thing that I am most impressed with at the beginning of every season is the level of improvement and talent that shows up at the track.”
The Junior II winner was Michael Gutenberger, followed by Myles Pederson in second and Stafford Smith taking third. Smith, of Eagle, Idaho, uses other sports to build up his endurance in preparation for kart racing.
“I run cross country and wrestle to get ready for the racing season,” 13-year old Smith reported. “I have a lot of help from my dad in getting the kart ready, but I do the other sports to keep me ready.”
In the Rotax class, Carl Beavers edged out Tyler Risen for the win.
When the World Formula classification took the track, Tim Lawrence easily ran away from the rest of the field for the win. Roger Cathey and Brad Gutenberger battled away for second with Cathey edging it out.
SRK president Shawver opened his season with a first place finish in the Senior division. Ray Cochand placed second followed by Cory Young.
Besides his win, Shawver was excited about the 2012 season and the future of the club.
“I think the most important thing that we as a club want to promote is the family fun and friendships that come with our kind of racing experience”, Shawver stated. “Kart racing is one of the few sports that parents can be directly involved with their children and its such a rewarding experience on an individual basis as well. Its great to see those both young and old challenge themselves and see the results when the rubber hits the road.”
The club returns to the track for the next race May 20 and is preparing for the annual “Larry Kurpiewski Memorial” race on June 24. For more information on the club, directions to the track, or to contact members, visit snakeriverkarters.com.