story by Chris Roy
Eight year old Ayden Clark, from Hallowell, ME is racing in the Boxstock Division at Richmond Karting Speedway (RKS).

Racing this weekend at RKS, Friday night under the lights, the drivers and pit crews are going to be busy. Though when it comes to racing in the afternoon or under the lights Ayden prefers “Under the lights for sure, my kart seems to handle at night.”

At RKS the teams can race either a Champ kart or a Rocker kart, Ayden is racing a Champ kart which has a fixed frame. Though there is a lot of work that goes into getting the Karts ready for each race Ayden lets his crew chief handle that, “My dad does everything on it, I do better driving it then working on it.”

Ayden is current running in the top 3 in points and knows how to get around Richmond Karting Speedway. As he explains the key to turning a fast lap at RKS, “High on the entry just getting my left side tires on the yellow line in the center of the corner, and let it float off, just being really smooth.”

These days even kart racing has gone hi-tech as most karts have a onboard computer mounted to the frame. “We use a Mychron 3, it keeps track of my lap times, engine temperature and rpm’s of my motor.” The karts are also fitted with a transponder, that give the karts location on the race track.

Safety is always important when racing in either karts or a pro stock. I asked Ayden what type of safety equipment he uses when he gears up for a race? His reply, “Head rest, neck brace, arm restraints, helmet, 5 point racing seat belt harness, gloves, elbow pad.”

Prior to each heat and race you will always see the pit crews are heating up and cleaning the tires scraping off all the rubber and grit the picked up from the track surface. Ayden explains why, “to keep the tires clean, makes the kart handle better.”

Though Kart Racing isn’t the only thing that has kept Ayden busy this summer, “ football camp, old fort western camp, went to louden for cup race, beach, went to my best friends camp, went to a bunch of my Uncle Johnny’s Pro All Stars Series races, rode my bike, went to hermits island, ate lobster.”

Summer is almost over and the drivers from the kart series will be heading back to school soon but, Ayden is all ready for classes to begin, “my mother got all my school supplies and new clothes.”

Just like in all racing sponsor play a big role and, Ayden is sponsored by Clarks East Side and Clarks West Side Scrap Metal.