indoor karting tracks
Indoor Karting Over View
Facility NewsFrom Pro-Solo to SCCA Club, to NASA, and even the Lemons series, you will find men and women of all shapes and sizes joined at the hip in the quest for the common goal of speed, and moreover, fun. Many times a competitorís potential is measured more by the size of his wallet than talent of his driving skills. However, at the mercy of an often brutally negative stereotype, a relatively unknown racing master suits up, and weighs in with an IKRL steward to the standard minimum weight of 200 lbs.

He is over 50 years old, and specializes in dominating racers more than half his age in some of the most physically demanding endurance races there are. His name is Kevin Bligan, and you have probably never heard of him unless you are a karter. He is a major player in an exclusive tier of indoor kart racers making quiet strides towards a brand of professionalism requiring more discipline and skill than many others already enjoyed on television sets all over the world.

Kevin belongs to an American team of racers who have made a powerful impact overseas against some of the most skilled drivers in the world. In 2009, Endurance Karting won against more than 70 international teams in a 24 hour race at the Teeside karting center in Great Britain.

Endurance Karting consists of drivers: Dan Burke, Johan Schwartz, Kevin Bligan, Kevin Bateman, and Carl Bligan. Karting is something of an extreme passion in the Bligan family, with the father and son duo of Kevin and Carl making numerous major events thoughout the world every year, along with several Grassroots sportscar venues also.

The east coast has somewhat of a reputation throughout the indoor and arrive and drive karting world. Most prominant is the obscenely physical, and often times gruesome 24 hours of Charlotte race held every year at the Victory Lane Indoor Karting facility located in Charlotte North Carolina.
As drivers travel and compete through various major locations throughout the United States, the venues earn their reputations. From California, to New York, Texas to Washington state, the 24 hours of Charlotte is known nationwide as the most extreme and punishing race on the calendar year. Not only that, but the race is often visited by international teams looking forward to the ultimate test of stamina, desire, and ability.

Victory Lane's (VLK) owner Fred Ogrim started the event in 2007, and though it hardly makes a mark in the profit bank at the year's end audit, it has bolstered the publics' impression of indoor kart racing as a whole.

Indoor kart racing is no longer a European novelty enjoyed by the occasional passerby, and promptly forgotten as an entertainment expense in the family budget. Indoor kart racing is reaching a professional level, and the IKRL (the nation's leading race organizing body) is leading the way. That being said, more track owners like Fred Ogrim, and new facility owner Aaron Banfield are doing their part by hosting IKRL qualifier races to send American champion race drivers to the Indoor World Championship through a fully paid sponsorship.

Two such races were held at Victory Lane, and Full Throttle, crowning drivers: Tom O'Gorman, and Fred Ogrim top American contenders in a World circuit.

That's right, even track owners are getting into the action. Fred Ogrim, who occasionally rubs shoulders with the likes of Jeff Gordan, AJ Allmendinger, and many other famous race car drivers (most of whom started their careers in karts and still race them), put himself to the task of competing against numerous stand out racing talents in an equalized race and won his own event.

Now you sportscar junkies might be asking?

"What is an equalized race in an indoor karting facility?"

First, the track owner will often spend days and even weeks logging and testing karts through various methods to make sure each one is as competitive with the next as humanly possible.

Pretty serious right?

Then after the fleet as been approved by an IKRL race director, the drivers must all equalize their weight to 185lbs or 200lbs based on the event. This process requires a sizeable investment by the track owner for technically no real gain on investment, except for being able to hold these large professional sized events.

Holding an event usually means dealing with a number of racers carrying dreams and aspirations along with a laundry list of passionate expectations that a NASCAR official would have difficulty living up to. The end result is a form of racing that barrs no one from racing due to the health of his finances.

The races are often physical and clean, and no margin for error. The level of perfection is almost robotic, and front runners abuse themselves masochistically for the sake of perhaps a few thousandths of a second. And the speed is equally impressive, with behind the scenes talks of 'professionalizing' the sport even further.

Companies such as Decuzzi tires based out of Ohio, are leading the movement, by offering equipment that provides a profit gain for the track owner, as well as a performance gain for the passionate grassroots enthusiast. Efforts such as this have been exacerbating the public image of indoor kart racing, as well as bridging a gap to get started driving for private racing teams.

Finish Line Race Gear sponsored driver Truman Godfrey came upon being represented by a NASCAR agent after impressing while he visited the local track by chance. Truman has since been slated to race with several teams, and has flirted with NASCAR contracts and million dollar sponsors.

The talent pool is huge, and if an IKRL national champion like Truman Godfrey or Jon Kimbrell out of California should hit the big scene, there is no telling what could happen to the professional potential of Indoor Racing in the
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