There’s no single, straight-line, direct road to success in racing. Some racers start on motorcycles and turn into Indy Car champions. Some start in Legend cars, others in quarter-midgets or Sprint cars. However, many of the biggest names in NASCAR all have go-kart experience to thank for their successful racing foundations. Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon, to name a few, all earned their chops in go-karts before they reached double-digit age.
The young K&N champion under construction finished his 2012 rookie kart season with four second place and two third place podium finishes
Kasey Gillis, the 7-year-old Fitzgerald Elementary School student from Rialto, California has that in common with some very best in the business. There are also several other early characteristics Kasey shares with these and other champions, like an immediate and very obvious flair for racing, mixed supremely with an unbridled joy for the sport, and the unconditional support from his family and friends.
Kasey’s first ever outdoor kart race was in February of 2012 where he finished 2nd in his class. His first indoor kart event came only nine months later at K1 Speed in Ontario, California. Kasey now owns the track record, three league wins in a row and the Jr. League Championship there.
Kasey Gillis runs the No.18 because of his NASCAR idol Kyle Busch
“Kasey runs the No.18 because his favorite driver is Kyle Busch in the No.18 M&M’s NASCAR and Kasey drives like Kyle does,” comments Larry, Kasey’s justifiably proud dad. “He is willing to drive the kart in deep and push his kart to the edge.”
Kyle Busch started out in go-karts right about the same age as Kasey. In his formative years Busch could be found driving around the cul-de-sac of his family’s Las Vegas neighborhood in a makeshift go-kart.
“He loves going fast and wants to win at everything he does,” Larry continues. “Kasey had a great rookie season, and he had two memorable highlights. The first was Kart Kamp, which involved three days of learning, both in the classroom and on the track. And it was very evident he was paying close attention to his instructor, Dave DiMond, the owner of Apex Raceway in Lake Perris, California. The third day was race day where Kasey finished in 2nd place, he was so excited.”
“Then the other highlight was his first pole in the second to the last race of the season. It was a hard fight for two laps, until another kart took him out, he spun into the infield and came back on the track in 5th place. He continued to fight hard for the rest of the race and finished with another 2nd place. Kasey finished the 2012 season with four 2nd place finishes, and two 3rd place finishes.”
Kasey is looking forward to the 2013 season kick-off at Apex Raceway in Lake Perris on the 17th of February 2013. He will be competing with his with a new race motor. The KCJ Motorsports team is planning to run all nine races on the schedule, in addition they will also attend as many other events in the Sothern California as possible.
“The whole family helps out,” adds dad, “Even his older brother get his hands dirty in the pits. Many other family members and friends come out and to support and cheer him on.”
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