Return Trip to the Podium
Thursday was like old times for Scott Speed and his father, Mike.
Back in the day, they owned the karting ranks to give Speed his start in open-wheel racing, and they were clicking once again as dad made all the right adjustments and son finished third in the PRI All-Stars Karting Classic in Orlando, Fla.
Speed was fastest in final practice, posted the quickest time in qualifying and easily moved into the feature with a second-place finish in the preliminary race. From there, it was on against the likes of AJ Allmendinger (NASCAR), Joey Hand (sports cars), Jay Howard (IRL), Jamie McMurray (NASCAR), Vitor Meira (IRL), Buddy Rice (IRL), Michael Valiante (sports cars) and Dan Wheldon (IRL).
Red Bull motorcycle stunt rider Aaron Colton led the field to the start of the 40-lap feature, and Speed’s No. 41 Tony Kart machine was part of a four-kart breakaway that included Howard, Hand and Allmendinger. As Howard held a three-second lead on the final lap, second-place Allmendinger dove past a slower Valiante and lost his line in the corner, opening the door for Hand (second) and Speed (third). Allmendinger recovered to finish fourth, with Oswaldo Negri Jr. fifth.
Speed’s already looking forward to next year.
“I was really surprised at my pace at the beginning of the night,” Speed said. “With our schedule of events this year, I have not been able to kart as much as I have in the past. However, my dad and I tested well on Tuesday and felt we were going to be somewhat competitive. There were so many excellent drivers here. We were stoked to start at the front all night, and the feature was a real fun battle. I have to thank my dad, Tony Kart, Stars of Karting and PRI for putting this together.”