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Driving the fast track in Wyomissing, PA
Facility NewsFirst there was The Works restaurant and game room. Then came Building 24 Kitchen & Bar. Next to open was Ballocity, and most recently, Slick Willy's Karts & Eats.

Slick Willy's is owner Chip White's latest addition to his collection of entertainment venues in the former Textile Machine Works, 1109 Bern Road, Wyomissing.

The long-anticipated business opened Nov. 21, with anxious customers willing to wait up to two hours for their chance to get an adrenaline rush.

The go-karts resemble open wheel race cars and can reach speeds up to 55 mph.

White said the idea for the race track came to him a couple of years ago.

"My wife and I were at a trade show in Florida looking at video games when we met a go-kart manufacturer," White said. "I thought that this would be a good complement to The Works."

At first, White was looking to create a family-friendly race track, with large and cumbersome go-karts.

"But as I started to look at this, I realized there was more potential for high speed racing karts where there was more of a competitive racing niche," White said.

The go-karts are manufactured in Italy and run on electricity.

Operators of the race track can regulate the speed of any kart by means of radio control.

Each race is 14 laps, with a software system keeping track of speeds and the revolutions per minute. One lap is just under a quarter mile.

Racers are required to wear helmets and a head sock. Children under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent.

There are no age limitations, but to operate an adult kart, a driver must be a height of 58 inches. Drivers between 48 inches and 57 inches in height operate a junior kart.

Eight karts race at a time, which can create a rather long wait time.

For that reason, White decided to add a cafe next to the track, featuring dessert items.

"This is a big thing in Europe and it's just really coming to the United States," White said.

And on the second floor, White added a second track.

It is known as a drift track, which allows the karts to drift around the turns. The drift aspect makes the second track a bit more challenging.

White's daughter, Kelsey, who is director of operations, said she thought her father was kidding when he first told her about putting in a go-kart track.

"But then I went to New Jersey and drove a kart and thought that it was pretty cool," Kelsey said.

Kelsey said driving a kart can be addictive.

"It's an adrenaline rush," she said. "Once you drive one, you feel a need to do it again and again."

Tyler Sweigart, director of administration, said people have been very excited about the opening of the track.

White acquired the building for Slick Willy's from Sneaker Villa, which had used it as a warehouse.

White said the total cost for the project, including acquisition, came to $5.3 million.

White is hoping the addition of Slick Willy's Karts & Eats will be a draw for all of the businesses at The Works.

For more info on Slick Willy's visit https://www.facebook.com/SlickWillysKartsEats
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