WORD Racing

September 15, 2012 Portland, Oregon


Saturday night was a new experience, as team Word Racing raced under the lights in McMinnville -- our first night race! The Portland Karting Association recently repaved sections of the McMinnville track and even added some new corners. The work was completed just in time for their annual night race under the lights.

There was a great turnout for the event. We were fortunate to find a good parking spot for our trailer, but it was probably the only spot left! We did not have any time to practice on the new track layout before qualifying, but still managed a very respectable qualifying effort of 9th for Randy, and 10th for Ethan (out of approximately 20 karts). Ethan was frustrated because he knew he could go faster, but he was only a few tenths of a second off the leaders pace.


Word Racing at McMinnville OSKCS Night Race

After the sun set, the big lights came on and it was time to race! In heat one, the officials decided to split our groups into two classes. Someone had donated a $1000 first place prize for the Sr. class Rotax, so they put Rotax in its own separate race, and our TaG Parilla powered karts in a separate race. In the first heat, Randy took 1st place, and Ethan easily took 2nd place, with the third place finisher several seconds behind Ethan. Ethan was really pleased to also see his lap times improve with times that would also have put him in the top 3 of the Rotax class.


The real excitement was still to come! The main event started after 10pm, and the cool night air felt great. After mechanical failures at the last two races, it was nice for Ethan to have zero mechanical issues. Randy started the main event from the pole, with Ethan also on the front row. Taking the first lap or two relatively cautiously to make sure tires were up to full temperature (maximum grip) almost caused Ethan to get passed for 2nd place early on, but once the tires were hot, Randy and Ethan both picked up the pace and set their best lap times of the evening (officially a new track record for TaG Sr. on the new track configuration). Again, Randy led Ethan, but with less than 2 laps to go things were about to change. The back straight at McMinnville is a high speed stretch with a downhill curve towards the end going into a very tight left hand turn (turn 8, see picture). This is one of the best places to pass, so Randy made sure to get maximum speed going onto that Ethan wins night racestraight and brake as late as possible to keep Ethan from passing. Ethan, however, was having none of that, and with just over one lap to go made a daring late braking pass up the inside of turn 8. In the post race interview, Ethan said "I didn't think I was going to make that corner, but somehow managed to". It was a fantastic pass, and Ethan held onto the lead during the final lap to take the victory!

Randy Word #71, and Ethan Word #77
WORD Racing
Portland's Father & Son Racing Team
Web Site: WordRacing.com
Phone: (503) 869-4970

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