The second annual INFONETICS Day at the Races enjoyed beautiful early fall weather and keen interoffice rivalry.
As in 2001, INFONETICS personnel and their families headed out to Circleville Raceway Park to join the Conlin family in their hobby of go-kart racing or “karting”. This year teams of employees were formed and challenged to predict the winners of the feature races based simply on heat race performances or plain old hunches – the sound of the driver’s name or the color scheme of their kart.
The Conlins, longtime racing enthusiasts, have been karting as a family for three years. Last year both Jim and his daughter Dana shared driving responsibilities but for 2002 Conlin SpeedSports, as they call their team, elected to focus their energies solely on Dana’s effort. The kart they race uses a Briggs & Stratton 5hp engine modified to produce about 9.5hp. Racing karts use real racing tires and racing fuel and reach speeds of about 50mph to 70mph.
The INFONETICS teams – the “Speed Merchants”, “Road Scholars” and “Karting Klairvoyants” – sized up the competition throughout the day while munching on submarine sandwiches, snacks and refreshments in the hospitality area reserved especially for the outing. At the official lunch break the INFONETICS gang were introduced to some of the less obvious features of the Conlin SpeedSports kart in a short presentation by Jim. He then turned the presentation over to Sean Dillon, one of the club’s better shifter kart drivers. Sean’s shifter kart represented the opposite end of the performance spectrum and he pointed out the features that make his kart so much faster than the Briggs.
To demonstrate the differences, both karts and drivers took to the track for a little grudge match. Unfortunately, the flagman (Jim) forgot to get out of Sean’s way at the drop of the green flag the result of which was Dana getting a half lap head start in the race. Nevertheless, Sean was able to catch up and pass her on the fourth and final lap.
In Dana’s other races she had it a bit rougher. In her second heat she was involved in a nasty-looking crash that beat up the kart and dropped her to last. In her other two races she struggled to find the right handling set up and couldn’t race with the leaders as she usually does.
INFONETICS’ Expert Racing Analysts were on top of their games though. The Karting Klairvoyants, made up of Dawn and her daughter Lacie and the Speed Merchants consisting of Fred, David and his son Dustin TIED in the day’s tally of correct racer picks.
After racing was finished Dustin took up the Team’s offer to do a few laps and did much better than last year when he had several spin outs. Dawn’s husband Paul was next out and turned in several very quick laps. Both guest drivers complained of the physical demands of driving hard with all the protective gear on. Dawn’s son Josh and daughter Lacie then took turns posing behind the wheel and under the helmet for pictures.
Lots of action crammed into just a few hours but everyone seemed to have a good time.