JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — If you want to watch some fun go-kart races with the family and cheer on some local standouts, you can check out the Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Jacksonville starting at 7 a.m. Friday.
That’s when the qualifying races begin for the American E-Karting Championship Finals, and you can watch for free!
This is a national race until Sunday, which will bring together more than 50 of the country’s best drivers, from ages 13 to 48.
This year, three drivers from the River City will be racing, including 19-year-old Alese Piety, one of the only two girls to ever compete in the finals. Action News Jax spoke to all three racers early Thursday morning.
“I really think it’s a good opportunity for other girls to come in and try a race,” Piety said as she emphasized her mission to encourage more female drivers to join. “[They can] try to get a spot and I’m really trying to do that for other girls out there.”
“Here we are, we’re all back, so it’s gonna be fun,” said 26-year-old racer Spencer Gracyalny, who also grew up in Jacksonville. “What’s great is we all come from different kinds of places and get to collaborate.”
“I’m ready to see what the competition is around the country,” 16-year-old racer Cody Owen shared, adding that he started competing when he was 13 years old. “Anyone can do this. You just gotta put the hard work in and you can be one of the best.”
“What makes this series special is that everyone who participates has an equal shot at winning. It’s not about sponsors or having the best engine program. Everyone drives the same karts on the same tracks, and anyone who is old enough and tall enough to drive a kart can show up,” said Donald Wagner, commissioner of the American E-Kart Championship, in a press release. “This year, an entirely unknown driver could lay claim to being America’s Fastest E-Kart Racer.”
AEKC has a total purse of more than $40,000 each year, including cash prizes at the local and national levels. The three racers earned a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize this year in Jacksonville. The second-place AEKC winner will receive $2,500, and the third-place AEKC winner will receive $1,000. Various cash prizes will also be awarded to the 4th-10th place finishers.
You can also stream the competition live HERE.
©2022 Cox Media Group