It’s all about fun

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    larry toby

    Well, the season has ended but the fun can continue. Unfortunately, the way the season ended for the Junior TaG class is most regrettable. I have heard a lot of comments and negative feelings from so many of you. Since there is nothing positive in that story I won?t add my two cents to the fray and will instead focus on what junior racing should be all about ? FUN!

    To hell with points, meaningless championships, bad calls, cheating, etc. Despite the last event, this class has a lot to celebrate. For the most part, I saw a lot of kids having a lot of fun. The class was often one of the two largest fields on the track and always had tight, fun, suspenseful racing. There ended up being four different event winners, several more podium finishers and more than a dozen other drivers who could have jumped onto the podium with just the slightest bit of change in luck. Throughout the season, I saw a lot of camaraderie, fun and joking around on and off the track, and the beginning of what will likely be some quality, lasting relationships.

    Rather than focus on the negative, let?s share some of the positive things that happened in terms of remarkable events, notable achievements and FUN that was shared! Points tell a limited story. Life experiences are so much more meaningful and richer. I encourage Junior TaG drivers and supporters to use this post to share their positive experiences and observations. Make up our own awards based on what you saw take place all season.

    I?ll start with my opinions for ?Driver of the Year? in the Junior TaG class.

    First Place ? Pat Rosse. Pat is without doubt, the most talented driver in this field. He is also one of the nicest, most well-spoken and well-mannered kids off the track. On the track he is absolutely the cleanest driver and most impressive to watch. To watch him go from last place at IMI #1 to first place in the main was nothing short of awesome. And he did it with over twenty competitors in the class. During the last final of the year (yeah, the one that didn?t count) he went from last place to first and would have lapped the entire field if it had gone 20 laps and he didn?t get a flat tire. He put on a clinic on how to drive in less than perfect conditions. However, it was not a day of good fortune for him much like the rest of the year he had a motor blow up during qualifying which put him in the rear for the feature. He has to earn the hardship award. He suffered mechanical failures and flat tires all year and still won more main events than anyone. And he did it on a Rotax! Because of the way the rules ended up this year, the Rotax was at a severe disadvantage in the Junior TaG class. Since Pat also ran a Rotax series this year I respect the fact that they made, I?m sure, an economical decision to run the same package in both TaG and Rotax knowing he would be at a disadvantage in the Junior TaG class. If he raced a stock Leopard in the Junior TaG this year there is not doubt in my mind that he would have had a run away win at every event.

    Second Place ? David Chapel. David, along with Pat, are the two most senior and talented drivers in this field of excellent junior drivers. Like Pat, David?s year was filled with misfortune. With equal equipment and fortune, David is the only guy who can race with Pat. On a good day when everything is going right he is awesome and can beat Pat. David perhaps has as much raw talent as Pat but has a tendency to overdrive the kart and put himself in difficult situations. David had one win in the bag this year before he had a motor blow up just a few short turns from the finish. Like Pat, David ran an underpowered Rotax and still was a threat to win at most races.

    Outside of the CSC Junior TaG racing, David and Pat both dominated Colorado Junior Rotax racing, qualified and raced at the Rotax Grand Regionals in California and the Nationals in Wisconsin. It was an honor to have them share their racing experiences with the relatively young and new Junior TaGs in the CSC even though it was not their main focus of racing this year. They represented Colorado well at the national level and David qualified sixth in the nation! Congratulations to both of you. I know my son, Jesse, has enjoyed watching and learning from both of you.

    Third Place ? For me this is a toss up. If it were up to me I would give everyone else in the field a third place ribbon. Afterall, this is spec kart racing for juniors. It should be about fun. Period. Here are some of the things that jump out to me. In Jesse Toby?s first year racing in the CSC he earned a couple of wins and several second places with a stock Leopard. With just one less mechanical failure he would have won it all. Young Jesse Runkle switched from a Rotax to a Leopard mid season and quickly got two wins. If he ran a Leopard all season he may well have won it all. David Zippie started the season with a Leopard and earned some third place podium finishes. For the last three races he had his Leopard blueprinted and highly prepped. It led to his first win in his rookie season. Nick Burton showed a lot of speed early with a Rotax. When he switched to a Leopard he was often the quickest guy on the track and had a couple of podium finishes. Along with Pat Rosse and David Chapel, he has to earn the hardship award. With a little less bad luck Nick would have had several more podiums and possible wins. He, too, could have won it all. Taylor Reed was inconsistent but showed winning speed throughout the season that led to a couple of podium finishes. If he had switched to a Leopard earlier in the year he would have, undoubtedly, had been a threat at every race and finished on the podium more often.

    The girls of the class, Nicole Bort and Sydney Edwards, showed lots of speed but were not able to run a full season. Sydney only got to run two races but finished on the podium at Greeley and may have posted the fastest time of the day if memory serves me right. If she had been healthy and raced all season she may well have won it all too. Logan Kirk and BJ Meyer were two others that were not able to race more than a couple of events but they were very fast when they were on the track. There were several young drivers who entered the field driving solid races and will be a threat for podium finishes next year. Dane Austin, Joey Allen, Alex Jensen, Tommy and Bobby Boileau, Dale Kistler Collins, Alex Stone and Zach Michel come to mind. There were other good drivers who showed up at selected events but didn?t sign up for points. If they can put a whole season together for next year they will get to mix it up with new friends and have a year of some FUN racing.

    Yeah, it may have ended on a sour note but, all-in-all, I hope everyone can look back and remember all the fun they had. I?m sure there are many other similar stories and fun that was had in all the other classes. I hope the memories keep everyone warm and happy throughout the cold off-season.

    I know as a driver supporter, I was ready for the season to end so I can go about having fun in other ways. I?m heading south for the winter ? way south. I?m taking one of my other children on a 10,000 mile, 18 country motorcycle adventure to the end of the world ? Ushuaia, Argentina. If it gets too cold here, you can read about our ?summer? riding experiences south of the equator at:

    Larry Toby


    Congratulation Larry Toby! You certainly have the right perspective about kart racing. I for one have taken kart racing to serious over the years and for that I am sorry. Sitting out of racing this year has certainly given me a new perspective concerning karting. What a great sport and hobby! I think more people (including myself) should have the attitude and perspective that Larry Toby has and then I think karting would certainly be a more fun sport/hobby than maybe it has been for some others. There certainly is nothing wrong with wanting to win each and everytime you go out and race, but at the end of the day it should be a fun sport. This is not NASCAR, INDY CAR, CHAMP CAR OR FORMULA 1. Were only racing for bragging rights and trophies, not a million dollars.

    Good Luck to all in the off season and may we all find the right perspective when it comes to Kart Racing.

    Tim & Seth
    S.A.C. Motorsports, LLC

    stacey cook


    We look forward to joining your group next year… With Sabre’ growing like she has over the last 6 months and weighing in at 25lbs over the Mini Max limit we have no choice but to move on… All the kids in that class over any other seem to have a special bond that is shown both on and off the track, I hope we can be a part of that next year.. I agree with you, lets leave the politics behind and really enjoy the time we have with our friends and family… :cheers: ….

    Mike Cunningham

    I love you man. 😥

    stacey cook

    Mike, don’t start that brokeback stuff with me again 😛

    Mike Edwards

    Mr Toby

    Great post……Tyler will be running with you guys next year and with that attitude we can’t wait.

    Have a great trip
    Mike Edwards :cheers:

    Joe Rosse

    Larry and Tim,

    Thanks for the reality check–you’re both absolutely right! Race after race, no matter the outcome, it was great to see the camaraderie among all the TAG Jr. racers. Tough competitors on the track, and friends in the pits–we can learn some lessons from them! Sometimes when Lady Luck wasn’t smiling upon us, I have to admit that Pat took it better than I. But what better way to be spending time with our sons and daughters than all these weekends together. I know you and Clara will have an experience that most of us can only imagine over the next few months–have a great adventure!!

    larry toby

    It?s nice to see all the positive posts. We better watch out though because this could become contagious and we?ll miss out on all the old meaningless bickering that often populates this forum.

    It?s neat to see the transitions already starting to happen. Some of this year?s junior tag drivers will be moving on to senior classes next year. At the same time other drivers will be moving into this junior class. Sabre will be a great new addition. I watched her drive her heart out last Sunday. The will was there but there is no overcoming of that much weight with the horsepower of the Mini Max. The new challenge will be finding enough places to bolt on all the lead she will need in the junior class. I saw Tyler practicing last week and he is already up to speed. He will be another great addition. Hopefully, Sydney will also return. I?m not sure whether she would be a junior or senior but it would be nice to see her on the track again.

    Some of the names and faces will change but I suspect that a similar dynamic will be in place next year. This is an age where kids quickly attach to other kids and need the camaraderie. They are growing and maturing quickly and need to have other kids/friends to talk with who are experiencing some of the same unknown things they are. What better way to do that than through an activity where there is a common interest. Karting provides a platform that is as good as any other activity ? as long as it is not taken too seriously.

    Greg Welch

    I agree with Larry in that your starting to be too nice. I think you are going to have even more fun next year than this year and we can’t have that. Someone needs to start the meaningless bickering again before everyone realizes that racing is only about fun.

    Jeff Welch

    @Greg Welch wrote:

    I agree with Larry in that your starting to be too nice. I think you are going to have even more fun next year than this year and we can’t have that. Someone needs to start the meaningless bickering again before everyone realizes that racing is only about fun.

    Your mother was a hampster and your father smelt of elderberries!!!

    Wait… you’re my brother…. so that means…. dammit.

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