Northwest Karting News: “Trackwalks”
The first in a series of conversations with Northwest kart racers.
If you race karts regionally on the west coast you’ve probably heard of a racer who goes by the unique name of “ Sting Ray Robb.” This young driver first came to our attention last season, after several solid performances on the region six circuit.
After a closer look we found that Sting Ray Robb is a very busy young man. In addition to region six, he runs select races in region 11, as well as Andy Seesemann’s “Challenge of the Americas” series and CKI.
The “Red Apple Racing” team that guides and supports Sting Ray is a model of discipline and focus, and as we found out, has placed this young racer's career on a very fast track.
NWK news caught up with this “on the go” young gun recently, and had a blast with the resulting interview.
NWK: Sting Ray, how old are you, and how long have you been racing?
SRR: I am eight years old, and have been racing Junior 1 for about sixteen months. Before that I raced kid karts.
NWK: What is your biggest goal for 2010, and what would it mean to achieve this?
SRR: My biggest goal for 2010 was to win the Grand Nationals in Junior 1 four stroke. I wanted to win at the 2 cycle nationals as well, but my dad was in the hospital so we had to cancel the trip. Winning the “Duffy” was the greatest moment of my life.
This was my first Grand Nationals, and my first “Duffy”.
NWK: Can you list some of the different series you are running in this season... Do you feel you perform better when you're running in multiple series within the same year?
SRR: I am still trying to stay ahead in the points for the Region 6 IKF in 3 categories. I hope I can win in all 3 categories. I also run some races in the Region 11 (norcal) series. Driving the norcal series has taught me a lot about 2-cycle and how rough and competitive my fellow drivers are in that series. We usually race about 20 kids in every race. A top 5 finish there is quite an accomplishment and it has taught me a lot about how to drive different tracks.
I race for Kartel Motorsports there and they have been teaching successful teams for many years. Erik Bartolero from Kartel, Dave Manthei, and Davey Manthei helped me a lot at the last minute before the race for the Duffy that I won. In fact Davey drove my kart and helped set it up right before the race that I beat him in for 1st. Without that help I would not have been close to winning! I am happy that he won the Screamin' Eagle and Duffy the next day.
NWK: Growing up in the Northwest, is there a racing figure who you look up to for racing inspiration?
SRR: Living in the Northwest, there are many racing figures I look up to. Most of them are my competitors and friends. Tyler Brown is my best friend and he won a Duffy in 2008. We still practice together and race against each other. He got a Screaming Eagle this week, but another driver ran him off the track in the first turn and Tyler didn't get a chance to finish the race.
Artie Carpenter is like my big brother. He sold me my first Junior 1 Kart. He also won his first Duffy and Screaming Eagle this week. Britney Zamora stuck up for me when the officials said I caused a wreck in the last race of the nationals. I thought that showed a lot of character. We have battled each other since the beginning and we respect each other because we are friends. She is always very fast. They all inspire me to do my best and WE never give up.
NWK: What is your fondest memory in racing so far? What are some of your notable past accomplishments?
SRR: My fondest memory so far has to be the Duffy. I will never forget how cool that was.
NWK: What are some of your goals in racing/ plans for the future?
SRR: My future will be to run in Formula 1 some day. I know the odds, but you have to have dreams if they are ever to come true.
NWK: Any acknowledgments? People, race teams, or sponsors you would like to thank?
SRR: I am sure there are dozens of people. Erik Bartolero (Kartel Motorsports) told me when I thanked him for the help that there is no "I" in team. I know he is right. Outside of my family, dad, mom, Papa (grandpa), and grandma, I have to thank Jesse Brown for sacrificing so much to get all of us kids ready for the race. He loaned Artie a kart, (that Artie won in) and still raced Tiffany (his daughter) to a 3rd place finish on Saturday.
Of course RedAppleRacing.com and all the people that ran my Dad's and Mom's store (Red Apple Marketplace) when we were out racing. Steve Goodridge built me a killer engine. Terry Nash put it back together for me so I could race it again on Saturday. Del Bunce for the Redappleracing.com web site. Kartel Motorsports, WildKart, Douglas Wheels, Bridgestone Tires, Odenthal racing, Tillet, and especially Roger Semro at Kart-o-Rama for being at nearly every race, many of which I would not have finished without his parts. I have many others but dad says we need to go.
NWK: Ok Sting Ray, take care.
That’s a wrap for now. Northwestkartingnews.com would like to thank Sting Ray Robb for talking with us and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors both on and off the track. Be sure to check back to see who we “Walk the Track with" next time!
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