SMITH: Heartland Heat Dirt Kart Speedweek

McKenzie Smith.

MENOMONIE, Wis. – Heartland Heat Dirt Kart Speedweek started out at Thunder Hill Speedway in Menomonie, Wis., for a two-day show.

We finished ninth in the first heat and second in the second heat, which put us seventh in the B-main. We changed the setup and I drove up to finish second and transfer into the A-Main.

In the A-main, I started 12th and raced to a fifth-place finish.

The next day I got my kart cleaned up and ready for night two at Thunder Hill. I didn’t have the best luck on the second night. My chain came off in the second B-main and we had to run the B-main.

We missed the setup a little bit and I did not make it into the feature.

The second track of Speedweek was Mississippi Thunder in Fountain City, Wis., and it was my first time at that track. Qualifying didn’t go as well as I wanted it to. I qualified seventh out of 18 karts. We made a lot of changes to the setup for the heat race.

I had a faster kart for the heat, but got airborne going over some bumps on the track and the kart stepped out from under me and I finished ninth.

We made more changes to the setup for the feature. In the feature, I passed four karts in two laps before my chain came off, ending my night.

Night two at Mississippi Thunder went a lot better. After chasing the setup all night to get more speed out of it, I got it handling good by feature time. After a rain delay, we were able to run our heat races.

I made the six-kart dash with my two heat race finishes of fourth and fifth, and then I started sixth in the dash and finished fifth.

The feature was 30 laps. We ran 15 laps then stopped for a fuel break, then ran 15 more. I finished fifth in the A-main.

The last track of Speedweek was my home track — English Creek Speedway. I was excited to be racing at my home again.

We started out well on the first night, running fifth quickest in hot laps out of 31 karts. I finished second in the first heat and as a result, started eighth in the second heat.

I had a good run on the high side passing for fourth and the kart I was passing slid up the track and hit my left-rear tire, knocking my chain off, ending my heat race. That put me in the B-main.

The second night at English Creek Speedway featured all the mains. I started third in the B-main and won it, transferring me to the main event.

I started 11th for the big race at home. On the first corner of the first lap, the kart that started in front of me spun and I got some damage from it. It bent my right nerf bar, right front spindle and king pin.

Thankfully, I was able to continue. I had to be patient throughout the race and was able to drive through the field and to finish fourth.

With only six races in the Open class before the Dirt Kart Speedweek, I was happy that I could run up with some of the fastest karts in the country.

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Thank you to all my partners that make it possible, including Gregg Young Chevrolet Norwalk, TruBank, Sky Zone Des Moines, SKE Chassis, Adams Performance, Velocita-USA, MyRacePass, EBU, Ellis Greenhouse, Jocko’s Sprint Parts, Central Iowa Insurance Services, Mahaska Hog Wash, Midwest Balloon Services, Sign Creations, Van Meter Inc., SPEED SPORT, Max Papis Innovations, Walker Performance Filtration, Bell Racing, Compass Racing Development, Clem’s Helmets, Speedbear Fasteners, and my grandparents.