NASCAR's Stewart Wins Indy Karting ClassicTweet
Newly crowned NASCAR champion Tony Stewart has won the inaurugural Indy Karting Classic. Stewart beat home John Andretti and Alex Tagliani on the 10-second kidney-shaped track, the top three all aboard Birel.
Behind the scenes, however, the event was not without its controversy as teams modified their tyres to find grip on the shiny and very slippery surface.
Info and photos provided to KartSportNews by an independent Australian travelling in the USA who took the race in during their travels
The innaugural running of the Indy Karting Classic was marred by some questionable tactics by some of the teams as the racing got serious.
Held on a slippery surface in the space not much larger then the basketball court played on by the NBA's Indiana Pacers, the event started on a positive with the celebrity NASCAR vs IndyCar race drawing huge interest from the general Indianapolis public. The drivers involved enjoy the racing, despite the short track and slippery surface.
On the level playing field in the beginning, it was fun racing to watch. Unfortunately the event turned into a spectacle when the officials took a 'rules are more guidelines approach' and ignored weights and tyre changes throughout the rest of the event. This resulted in some very dissatisfied racers who were searching for a fair race.
The event soured to the point that even some of the celebrity drivers opted not to race in the feature, as they couldn't justify the risk of sustaining injury or damaging equipment for such a spectacle.
Ironically, in the end Stewart won the feature joking in the after race interview that eventually the team simply took a blade to the tyres to try and find the necessary grip to excel.
After all was said and done the event generated a huge buzz for karting and the concept is a positive one. The execution, however, needs a little work. This wasn't really a great endorsement for sprint kart racing and at times seemed more like watching the local rental karts. Lets hope with a little practice in subsequent years the event builds into its potential.