The Vintage Kart Olympics and Show
Event Photos: Set 1 Set 2 Written by : Bill & Mary Jo McCornack
When you come to America’s Heartland – The Midwest – Gus Traeder, owner of TNT Kartways in Quincy, Illinois, is the King of Karting.
This year’s event proved that Gus still has what it takes to put on a great show. His event – Vintage Kart Olympics and Show – attracted 74 entries. Among them was the Ladybug herself, Faye Pierson, and a contingent of California folks – Jim Reed, Tom Medley and Mona Sturgeon.
Jim was the chief flagman at this year’s event. The rest of the staff, though not all from Cali, included: Pete Preschen and his wife Carolyn, Becky Mock and Maroline Long (Registration and Scoring), Larry Mudd (Tech) and Jerod Mitchell and John Graves (Track Flagman).
Lake Speed began the event with the invocation.
Gus honors a champion karter every year. Mayor Spring of Quincy came out to present The Key to the City to this year’s honoree Mark Dismore on Thursday night.
Although I’m sure it was just a coincidence, there was a Blues Festival in the Park on Friday night. Many people enjoyed it after a day at the track.
There were 30 entries in the Kart Show on Friday evening. They were judged by Pearl Gamble, Jack Murray and Bob Lapke. And the winners were:
- Best Appearing Kart and Engine – Dave Romaine ’70 Margay New Breed
- Best Original Equipment – Dual – Jimmy Mann Pro X Margay ‘77
- Best Original Equipment – Rear Engine – Dick Teal Fox ’61 Mak Kart
- Best Original Equipment – Sidewinder – Paul Booth Left Hand Bug Stinger ‘70
- Best of Show – Sprint – Sonny Gerber ’59 Carretta
- Best Display – one or more karts – Matt Devlin three karts
- People’s Choice – Sonny Gerber ’59 Carretta
The action during the heats was so good that most of the attendees found themselves watching at the fence during eight or ten classes. The Dual Sidewinder Foreign class was especially riveting. There were nine karts in the class, but four karts created the show. They were driven by Troy Brown, Lake Speed, Terry Traeder and Craig Bennett. Two heat finishes were within a wheel of the finish line.
After those thrilling heats, the Traeder Family treated everyone to a pizza party complete with door prizes. The awards presentation ended the event. Friends said their good-byes and started their journeys home, all the time wondering what great things Gus has up his sleeve for TNT’s Fiftieth Anniversary next year.