Sarah Bradley, 9 year old Micro Swift driver from Providence Village, TX has decided to take her kart racing career to the next step in 2019. With aspirations of becoming a professional race car driver, the only logical place to move to is the Racing Capitol of the World, Indianapolis, IN. Having only been a handful of times for racing herself, she knew it would be a change but was ready to take on the challenge in order to better herself in the long run. Putting intense focus on improving her race craft she has aligned herself with one of the top tier karting teams in North America, Top Kart USA. As they are headquartered out of Indianapolis, IN just minutes away from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway and close to 2 karting tracks within 40 minutes of her new home, she is excited to get 2019 season underway.
Sarah’s first race of the 2019 season took place at the prestigious Daytona International Speedway inside turn 3 of the sprint karting track. Sarah had never had the opportunity to drive this race track before so the entire experience was new for her. With the help of Team Top Kart USA she was able to quickly learn the ins-and-outs of the track layout along with some tricks from their experienced drivers on which curbs to use or avoid and proper driving lines for both offensive and defensive driving when in a racing scenario.
The racing weekend started off really well for the young micro swift driver picking up rather quickly on a new track that many of the other competitors that have had at least 1 year of experience before. Practice day was all about getting acclimated with her new chassis, engine, and layout of the track. Minor modifications had to further be made in order to fit the driver comfortably in the kart (Thanks mom and dad for my height 🙂 ). As the track grip level started to lay down, Top Kart USA had adjusted the chassis accordingly so she could properly drive it. Throughout the course of the weekend the team also had driver coaches on hand to discuss video analysis and data overlay to further help with where Sarah could gain further time on the circuit.
Sarah provided consistent results throughout the course of the weekend. On Saturday’s event for qualifying she posted a P21 result of 28 karts that hit the track. As her class took to the track for pre final there was some on track incidents that set her back a bit and by the end of the race she drove back up to gain 1 spot overall putting her in 20th to start the final event. Now having fire in her eyes she drove to a solid finish of P15 of 28 karts at her first national event. “I am happy to be racing with my really good friends in Daytona and for me to exceed my goals for the first race against this field I look forward to tomorrow!”
Even more confident heading into Sunday’s racing schedule the weather played a trick on everyone with it being a wet and foggy morning. This affected setup and driving a fair bit compared to the track conditions they had come off of yesterday evening for the final. Regardless, Sarah ended up a P24 qualifying position to start the Pre-Final race. Sarah was then able to gain herself 3 more spots in the pre final to put her just outside the top 20 for the main event. As they took to the track to start the final race there was some carnage taking place during the first turn on the first lap which a better portion of the field got tied up into. Karts scattered all over the place, Sarah was held up until she could get around as track cleared. Working hard to catch back up to the pack in front of her and gain some more positions she ran up on a pack of 3 or 4 karts. They got into another crash directly in front of her kart leaving Sarah with nowhere to go besides straight into them. That doesn’t stop the 9-year old from pushing on. After getting through that mess she was able to catch another pack of 4 or 5 karts and track them down an entire straight away. By race end she had made her way back up to her original starting spot finishing the weekend out in 21st position.
The road to success is not easy and takes a huge amount of effort on everyone’s part. Sarah and her family plan to spearhead the 2019 season with track time and tough competition events to continue becoming a better driver and hone race craft. As the first race of 2019 season is in the books Sarah looks to travel back down south to sunny Miami, FL for Round 1 of the FWT Rok Cup USA event during the week of January 16-20.
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