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Return of the outlaws…karts that is
by Dan McGee
Nov 12, 2012 | 10508 views | 2 2 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee - Anthony Guerra Jr. has brought back and is growing the Outlaw Karts in our area. This year he started the Amsoil Northern Nevada Outlaw Kart series with the help of Rattlesnake Raceway and plans to continue it at that Fallon track.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Anthony Guerra Jr. has brought back and is growing the Outlaw Karts in our area. This year he started the Amsoil Northern Nevada Outlaw Kart series with the help of Rattlesnake Raceway and plans to continue it at that Fallon track.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - Sarah Anderson, a 9-year-old from Fallon, is a good example of the youngsters that have taken up racing and Outlaw Kart. In her rookie season, she was the Beginner champion in the Amsoil Outlaw Kart series at Rattlesnake Raceway.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Sarah Anderson, a 9-year-old from Fallon, is a good example of the youngsters that have taken up racing and Outlaw Kart. In her rookie season, she was the Beginner champion in the Amsoil Outlaw Kart series at Rattlesnake Raceway.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - Jacob Diaz, shown here taking a victory lap, is a young driver moving up the racing ladder. The current Box Stock champion will be piloting a 250cc Outlaw Kart when the 2013 begins in the spring.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Jacob Diaz, shown here taking a victory lap, is a young driver moving up the racing ladder. The current Box Stock champion will be piloting a 250cc Outlaw Kart when the 2013 begins in the spring.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - Young Trey Walters, taking a victory lap, is following in the tracks of his older brother Adam, who used to race Outlaw Karts until he began to campaign an IMCA Modified. This next year, Trey is slated to move from Box Stock to a 250cc machine when the new season begins.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Young Trey Walters, taking a victory lap, is following in the tracks of his older brother Adam, who used to race Outlaw Karts until he began to campaign an IMCA Modified. This next year, Trey is slated to move from Box Stock to a 250cc machine when the new season begins.
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SPARKS — Around 20 years ago, the Outlaw Kart scene was huge in this area. First they ran at Fuji Park in Carson City, then switched to Champion Speedway.

These winged go-karts are designed to run on dirt and after both tracks in Carson City disappeared, they continued to race at Winnemucca and American Valley Speedway in Quincy, Calif. About three years ago, the beginning classes ran at the Lovelock Speedway but that ended last year.

Now the Outlaw Karts are back in a big way due to the efforts of Anthony Guerra Jr. and assistance from the association that runs Rattlesnake Raceway in Fallon.

Guerra's love for these karts began long ago when he lived in the San Jose area.

"They used to run at Baylands Speedway in Freemont, somebody introduced me to them and I was hooked," he said. "Then the fairgrounds that operated San Jose Speedway was looking for someone to operate a kart track and that's how I got introduced to the deal there."

He added that running Outlaw Karts at San Jose was awesome but after two years it all ended.

"Unfortunately the county wanted to put in an amphitheater rather than a race track," he said.

Shortly after that, his family moved to Carson City, just about when the track at Fuji Park closed. That's when promoter Les Kynett brought the karts to Champion Speedway.

"I think we ran karts for two seasons before a new promoter came in and threw the karts out of there," Guerra said. "I've been out of it until I got the offer from Fallon."

Previously Rattlesnake had the Outlaw Karts but they hadn't raced there for several years. Then two karts were brought in for a couple of demonstration laps.

Watching them was Guerra and association president Chris Lumsden.

"Chris turned around and said, 'I'm looking for someone to run it,'" Guerra said.

Seems two other people that were going to run the karts had backed out.

Then the hard work began as Guerra formed his team to operate the races as well as develop a plan to bring the all together.

The introduction of the series was at last spring's Outdoor Sports show promoted by Al Lockett. Several karts, plus young drivers manned a booth along with Guerra, who met someone very special.

"I talked to an Amsoil dealer about sponsorship and came across a good deal to get help," he said. "Bill and Lisa Wilson secured the sponsorship and without them, it would have been a rough year."

Stepping on board was Eternal Image that helped provide trophies for the young drivers in the series.

Designing and building the track was another challenge, especially with only a few months time to complete it.

"The design was through me, Brian Anderson and Ron Turner," he said. "And it turned out pretty good. A&K Earthmoving in Fallon along with some other people helped in creating the track."

Now, sitting on the infield along the front straight is a 1/10th mile track for the karts.

"It's a driver's racetrack, has four degree banking and one has to use their head to race it," Guerra said.

The track was built large enough that every class of karts expected, from beginners to the 500cc machines could race on it. And its surface was rolled to be as smooth as possible.

Outlaw Karts don't have suspensions so a smooth track is very helpful.

Assisting him in running what is now the Amsoil Northern Nevada Outlaw Kart series are Gina Gonzalez, head score keeper, Steve Dalton, Mike Krshul and a group of volunteers.

Next challenge was finding karts to run the series but that actually was easier than expected.

"Word of mouth worked out really well. Parents heard that we were building a track and bought karts for their kids and some that raced in California, and planned to here, already had karts," he said.

Of course the biggest challenge to any new series is actually running it.

"In our first race we had a lot of mistakes and flaws but of course you're going to make them. Eventually we got our show worked out," he said.

At first the Outlaw Kart show ran long but once things were worked out the show began to run smoother and shorter.

"Eventually we got our show worked out and now we've been asked to please extend the show," he said. "We start at the beginning of the evening before the big track starts racing. And we're taking the break time to do our main events."

The karts, besides becoming more important, are where the next generation of drivers earns their racing spurs. And some of them are already moving up to the next step on the ladder.

Guerra feels the 250cc class is going to see more competition as several of the youngsters in the Box Stock division step into this faster, more powerful division.

Jacob Dias, the box stock champion is moving into a 250, while the 250 champion, Zach Cail, isn't sure if he'll defend his title or step into a 500cc kart," he said. "So far Lee Ketten Jr. is the only one that has begun to race cars and he started racing a Gen-X this past season."

Another driver following in his older brother's wheel tracks is North Valley resident Trey Walters, who is moving into the 250 class like his brother Adam did before jumping into an IMCA Modified.

With an eye toward next year, Guerra said, "We're looking to grow and we'll get more karts, especially with the little kids. And we'll have a new girl racing in the beginner division."

He's also going to change some of the rules and places as well as the kart track itself.

"Our focus is rebuilding a new track as it has to be moved due to sprint cars coming to Fallon. We're re-centering track and putting more baking into it and this will allow other events to be held on the infield."

Next year the King of the West Sprint car series is slated to visit Rattlesnake twice and the Outlaw Karts will be part of that show. Guerra hopes that will bring more interest to the series.

In the meantime he's spending the winter seeing more sponsorships for the series. He also hopes to pick up enough support to make another appearance at Lockett's spring show.

"It was successful at the show and we got a lot of response for our new series," he said.

And, once again Amsoil will continue to be the series main sponsor.

"I'm very optimistic about next year as this was a successful year," Guerra said.
Comments
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Gina Gonzalez
|
November 12, 2012
Thank you Dan for all of your support this year. We'll see you next season.

RoseAnderson46
|
November 13, 2012
Thank you to everyone for making this year possible and for all the assistance we received to keep Sarah on the track. You are all a tremendous blessing to us.
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