Vogel racing and Laukautis racing joined forces to take on the one of the most prestigious karting event in the United States. Considering the speed and consistency the two senior drivers have demonstrated all year, with Mathew dominating the Yamaha class in the route 66 series and Christian finishing solidly in the top five all year in his first year as a senior driver, everyone thinks they have a good chance to place well. The team opted to run on the Tony Kart chassis with the IAME Parilla power plant.
Day one was open practice and the team spent it fighting problems all day. Despite all the problems Mathew was able to get acquainted with the kart and the TAG engine opposed to his birel and Yamaha engine. Only being a second off was good enough for the team and would be a perfect pace for the race. Mathew ended the day saying, “I really enjoy running the tag at this track, even though I still have to get used to the Tony Kart I feel pretty good about tomorrow and Sunday.” Christian also commented saying, “I feel good about Matts and my own pace,” he continued saying, “we are turning our attention to tomorrows qualifying and then we will focus on the race itself.”
The team took full advantage of the morning and afternoon warm up sessions. They kept Matt in the kart as much as possible so he would be able to get more comfortable with the setup. Christian was able to put down some fast laps that kept the team up in the top ten for the timed session. With practice ending the teams were given an hour to make changes, regroup and get ready for qualify. Christian would be the one who would be qualifying the number 34 Tony Kart and because the team was fast in practice they were able to go out in the second to last group. As the groups went out the times got faster and faster until they got to the fast groups. Christian was only able put the tony kart in the 5th place at the end of their session and then all they could do was sit and wait. They watched the timing and scoring and could do nothing as they slowly dropped down the time sheet. Finally the pain subsided and the team settled in the 12th spot. The team was satisfied with the starting position knowing that it was a long race and it didn’t really matter where you started it.
Race day started out with an hour of warm up. The team only sent both drivers out for a few laps and prepared the kart for the race. The whole team was feeling good about the race and after they scaled the kart the dads sat down and the drivers got a bit to eat before the race. Christian was chosen to start the race and Mathew you would be the one to finish. Once the race was underway everything was looking good, Christian was able to settle in the 9th position in a fast pack of karts when disaster struck. The kart in front of Christian checked up and when Christian did the same to avoid hitting him, Christian was punted and spun around. The team lost a lap because of the incident but because of his pace Christian didn’t lose much more time. After 50 laps Christian’s stint was over and it was Mathews turn to run. He was running at right around a second slower than Christian pace but was very consistent. He completed his 50 laps without any problems and came in to let Christian do his last stint in the kart. As soon as he left the pits disaster struck again. The Engine started to cut out. Christian came back in the pits and after about 5 minutes of trouble shooting the team found the problem and fixed it. They lost about 5 more laps during this processes. Christian was sent back out to try to back up some ground. They were only able to hold their position during his stint but during the middle of the stint the front tires were shot. Fighting threw his stint Christian came in to make the final driver change. Mathew completed his stint without any problems and only lost 2 laps.
The team finished out the day in the 23rd spot and considering what happened in the race the team wasn’t disappointed about the run. Christian end the weekend by saying, “You honestly have to have a picture perfect weekend to place good in this race, and we just ran into to many problems but considering the problems we didn’t finish half bad.” Vogel racing is already looking forward to next year’s Robopong 200 and next time they will be more prepared to win it.
Vogel Racing would like to thank their Team & Associates. Those include; Vogel Heating and Cooling, Tony Kart Florida, Comet Kart Sales, Huber Performance and WaltersWebDesign.com.
Information on the team and/or sponsorship opportunities can be researched at www.VogelRacing.com