Wednesday, October 15, 2003

MSOKC Race No. 3 (Rescheduled) - Six for Nine (2003)

Originally sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2003 4:42 PM

The final MSOKC race of the season was last Sunday, October 12, 2003. The morning weather was crisp again, but Conor kept everything under control in his practice sessions. Conor's main rival, Ryan Fox, had earned enough points in the previous race to clinch the championship, so his dad had made the modifications necessary for him to run this race in the class in which he will have to run (by virtue of having won the championship) next year - Junior Sportsman II. Conor's other rival in the Rookie Box class, Kurt Rollins, provided plenty of competition for him in the heat races, however. From the fourth starting position, Conor made a good start in the first heat race and was up to second place behind Kurt, who had started on the pole, by the end of the first lap. Conor was able to provide plenty of pressure - the expression 'stuck together like glue' comes to mind - but could not find a way to pass. Starting from the pole position in the second heat race, Conor found himself decelerating to keep the grid together as the green flag flew. By the time he was back up to speed, he was in third place. He quickly dispensed with the second place kart and set out after Kurt again. This time he was able to pull up alongside several times, including twice on the last lap. They came through Turns 8 and 9 side-by-side. Conor had to take the long way around Turn 9, but that put him on the inside for Turn 10. Coming out of Turn 10 toward the finish line, Conor dove to the inside but came up about six inches short for what had to be the closest finish of the day. Two second place finishes in the heat races did earn him his favorite starting position for the feature, however - outside front row. He made the best of it, too, timing the start perfectly. He passed Kurt going into Turn 1 and steadily began to pull away, turning laps in the mid to low 0:58 range. At the end of Lap 8, he found himself taking the checkered flag first in his third consecutive feature race and his sixth in nine starts. I couldn't help but smile when I saw Kurt and Conor shake hands from their karts while sitting in the cut-off area waiting for slower traffic to clear after the race. In the off-season, we are going to have to decide whether we want Conor to compete in the same class again or have him move to the Junior Sportsman II class with Ryan. At this point, we're leaning toward moving him up, which I am sure will be fine with the remaining competitors in the Rookie Box class...

Thanks to everyone for their encouragement and kind words of support.