Andrew Castelucci

Archived Story

Second grader wins national kart title

Published 9:20pm Monday, August 27, 2012

EDWARDSBURG — If Andrew Castelucci has to write one of those essays for Eagle Lake Elementary School about how he spent his summer vacation, he’s got a topic.

In fact, the second-grader could bring to show-and-tell the national championship trophy he won in Pevely, Mo.

Andrew, son of Adam and Angie Castelucci, races at Michiana Raceway Park in North Liberty, Ind., and also regionally in several series.

During the 10th annual Kid Kart National Championship, the 7-year-old qualified on the pole in the two-stroke Comer 50 class as well as for the Briggs LO206 four-stroke class, in which he grabbed the national title and a trophy almost as tall as him.

“I started at the end of last year,” Andrew said. “I was real happy when I won.”

“It’s sprint course karting” sanctioned by the World Karting Association (WKA), according to Andrew’s dad. “There were kids from like 13 states — California, New York, Florida, Texas, Minnesota.”

I-55 Raceway in Pevely is owned by 27-year NASCAR driver Ken Schrader.

Karts race 15 five-eighths of a mile laps during the three-day event, with qualifying events leading up to the final.

“It was a 50-second lap — about 42 miles per hour,” Adam said.

“I like it because you get to go fast, pass and win,” Andrew said Monday, plus he makes new friends traveling and competing almost every weekend in the summer.

“We’ve always been in racing of some sort, like stock car racing,” Adam said. “He bugged me for a couple of years about getting into go karting, since he was little. Now he’s moved up to the next class into a Yamaha KT100,” which means adding a third vehicle to his red and blue cars.

Last weekend they raced in Minnesota for Team Excel. Racing season started in April in Pittsburgh. Andrew competed in the Great Lakes Sprint Series. The season concludes in late September near Indianapolis.

“I do a lot of other stuff” besides racing, said Andrew, who has a younger brother, Alex. “Soccer, baseball. I did wrestling. I’m probably going to do basketball this year. Yeah, I ride bikes.”

Sprint karting is road course racing on tracks built specifically for go-karts.

These tracks are less than one mile in length and feature anywhere from seven or eight to more than a dozen corners.

Many sprint tracks boast elevation changes, banked corners, high-speed turns, low-speed turns and long and short straightaways.

The shorter length of sprint tracks limit kart speeds.




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