Many race fans have turned to go-carts as an inexpensive way to enjoy the thrill and action of racing. For less than $2,000, a person canput together a competitive cart.
It was this relatively low expense that attracted 27-year-old Mark Day of Winfield to go-cart racing.But with the economy the way it is, Day may not continue racing nextyear.
He started racing on three-wheel all-terrain vehicles when he was16.
"I always had them," said Day. "I raced them around the houseand then at Trail-Way (Speedway in Hanover, Pa.) in motocross competition for five years before I got hurt. I quit after I got hurt. I twisted my knee and elbow real bad."
Day was 21 when he quit ATV racing. Shortly thereafter, three-wheel ATVs were banned and eventually replaced with the four-wheelers.
Day's love for racing didn't disappear. It just dropped on his priority list when he married.
Last summer, he went to the Hunterstown, Pa., go-cart track to watch his nephews Mike and Steve Jones race. It wasn't long before Day had his own cart.
He purchased a used cart that had been in just two races for $900. Another $450 brought him a motor, and he was back in racing.
Day raced in the box stock heavy class at Monrovia Kart Track next to 75-80 Dragway in Frederick County, a division where driver and cart has to weigh more than 350 pounds.
"I got in it because it was a cheap sport," said Day.
But by the time the season was over, it wasn't as inexpensive as he would have liked.
Day blew his motoron the first race, then won his second race on a motor he borrowed from Don Tegeler, his friend and co-worker at C. T. Coons Excavating.
From that time on, it was all downhill.
Motor problems plagued Day the rest of the year. Once he flipped his cart going into a hairpin turn too fast, but escaped injury.
By the time the season endedin November, Day had invested another $1,500 in two motors.
"You have to have a good motor," said Mark. "I had two, but they went up on me twice."
Day was tired of his racing luck by the time the season ended. When Day's boss, Chuck Coons offered to buy the cart (Coon's daughter Lori will be using it), Day was ready to sell.
Day is not sure what he will do this summer. The slow economy influenced his decision to sell his cart, but he would not count out buying another cart one once the season started.
"The economy is bad," said Mark."I haven't made near the money this year that I have in the past."
Unless the economy turns around, Day and his wife Shaun will do some fishing on their 24-foot boat, which sat idle last summer while he raced.
Day is not counting out cart racing completely. He still has the money he received for his cart, just in case he finds a good buy.
If not, he'll take to the bay and wait until he is 35. He hopesthe economy will be better when he's in the 35-and-older class.