-By Tara Bacon, Homeschooling mom in Tennessee-
We are the Bacons from Kingsport, Tennessee. My name is Tara, I enjoy cooking for friends & family and making memories over a good meal! My husband Chad enjoys anything that involves a motor, wheels & high octane fuel. Our son Caleb enjoys fishing, racing, playing with cousins and spending time with his grandparents on and off the track. We are a Karting family.
Karting is a sport/hobby/career. It’s unique because the “Coach” “Mechanic” and “Sponsor” is Mom, Dad and/or family members that assist in preparation of the kart, equipment and accessories for the driver to be safe and successful. As experience grows, financial sponsors assist in mechanics and marketing of the driver/team and provide coaching, tuning and a teamlike atmosphere.
The different types of Karting are:
“Dirt/Speedway”- an Oval track with dirt or Asphalt surface with left hand turns only. “Sprint” – an Asphalt road course with right & left hand turns with banked monzas, hairpins and straighaways. “Enduro” – Large Asphalt road course with lay down karts with high speeds.
Racing is in the DNA/makeup of the Bacon family. My husband is a racer, his father, Dr. Alan Bacon is a racer. Together they hold many records and accomplishments. So, for Caleb, learning to race was a required skill just like learning to walk.
Karting began for us in 2010 when Caleb was 5 years old, with a “KID KART” under our Christmas tree. A Kid Kart is for ages 4 to 7 years old and speed maxes out to 35 mph. I had to adjust my Christmas potpourri and mulling spices to overpower the rubber & oil/gas smell as I began my Christmas morning breakfast. Within hours of the Christmas celebration the kart was burning fumes on local parking lots and dead end streets. By Spring, my husband planned for Caleb to try driving on a track specially designed for Go Karts.
Our first track experience was a Sprint track, Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC., designed specifically for go karts. This gave Caleb the chance to break in the motor and get a feel for what it takes to coordinate himself with the kart. Keep in mind, a 5 year old is learning to use a gas pedal, break pedal, visual and physical coordination to operate a motorized piece of equipment, alone. Parents watch from the sideline of a straightaway behind a chain link fence and tire barriers. My heart was trying to break out of my chest. My husband stands in delight with adrenaline running with excitement and a grin like he had just won the lottery. I gasp for air as I watch Caleb pass by each lap. After several laps, I start to grin and my excitement builds and I see he is doing it! He was coordinated to work a gas pedal and a brake pedal while he watched the road in front of him to turn left and turn right. I was amazed!
Fast forward to 2015. Caleb is 10 and advanced 2 classes since the kid kart days. He competes in several race series, domestic & international. And I still stand at the fence & tire barriers with my chest pounding at every pass.
Every homeschooling family has a different story! Tell us about yours for a future Family Focus feature. This is a wonderful way to encourage other homeschooling families!
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