Most of Austin's updates are on Facebook on his page at Facebook.com/AustinOldsRacing so please be sure to check those out too!
Wow! What a season it has been so far! Austin has been constantly improving his finishing positions, racing lines, speed, and track times, which is what we want for him. He has also been working on becoming more confident and comfortable with talking to sponsors, which has helped tremendously! We cannot thank Ellen, Aisha, and Stacey from Accent On Business enough for giving Austin the tools to help his focus, concentration, and his confidence! We are so incredibly proud to have them as a Platinum Sponsor of Austin Olds Racing!!!
Most of Austin's updates are on Facebook on his page at Facebook.com/AustinOldsRacing so please be sure to check those out too!
2016 was a whirlwind of a year for Austin Olds Racing! We opened the season with a Daytona Margay Sprint Nationals Championship and closed the season with a TopKart USA Grand Nationals Championship! There were lots and lots of races in between, with many stories to tell! Austin became the first ever Epico Kart Factory Driver. Austin absolutely loved driving the Epico Kart. Thank you so much for all of the help, encouragement, and support from Epico Kart owner, Scott Grenier. Our whole family thanks Scott for everything he did for Austin. We look forward to continuing our great friendship and supporting Scott, Don, LAD Specialties, and Epico Kart! Austin closed out his Kid Kart career by finishing the WKA Manufacturer's Cup Series in 2nd place, 2nd Place in Route 66 Sprint Series, and 3rd Place at Kid Kart Nationals! Sorry that updates have not been as quick as usual, but along with such a great season, Austin became a big brother! This is our biggest news of the year! With Baby Addison joining Team AOR, we are now ready to start our 2017 season! At the end of the 2016 season, at the Route 66 Sprint Series banquet, Austin was the winner of a brand new Merlin cadet kart! With this fortuitous situation, Team AOR is proud to run the Merlin Nation colors in 2017! We are excited about stepping up to the ranks of Yamaha and Mini Swift classes. Austin Olds Racing is planning on racing the full Route 66 Sprint Series in the Micro Swift class, Yamaha Sportsman in KRA races at New Castle and Whiteland Raceway Park, and hopefully some OVKA Mini Swift races in 2017! We plan on another full year of racing with great friends and family!
Following the big win at Daytona International Speedway, the Manufacturer's Cup Series moved on to GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, NC. This was the site of Austin's first major accident. We were apprehensive about going back, but Austin was determined to conquer his fear of the track. The weekend began with a 3rd place qualifying position on Day 1. A 2nd and 3rd in the heat races allowed Austin to begin the final on the front row. Unfortunately an untimely mechanical failure got in the way of a good finish. Austin only completed 4 laps, but was running up front in the lead pack before he was forced to pull off the track. Day 2 started strong again with another quality qualifying effort of 3rd place. Feeling confident and strong about the track, Austin swept both heat races! By winning both heats, Austin was on the pole position for the Day 2 final. Although we had won both heats, we were still looking to better our lap times for the final. Adjustments were made, but apparently they were the wrong ones! We didn't have the same speed as the final and ended up with a 6th place finish. Overall we didn't have the finishes showing how strong we were throughout the weekend. That being said, we left knowing an overall points championship for the series is still attainable as we head to New Castle Motorsports Park, one of our home tracks, for 2 of the last 3 events.
The month of April also saw the 2016 Route 66 Sprint Series kick off at New Castle Motorsports Park. Going back to a familiar track was just what the doctor ordered, as Austin started strong again. Austin qualified 2nd, but won the Prefinal! It was clear that the weekend was going to be a fantastic battle between Austin, Aryton Grim, and Indy Ragan. The Day 1 final ended up being a 3 kart break away with Indy taking the win, Austin 2nd, and Aryton 3rd. A fantastic race! Unfortunately for Team AOR, a disqualification in technical inspection for a questionable exhaust leak in the muffler turned a great race into a disastrous 0 point dq. Day 2 saw Austin and Indy break away from the pack again in the prefinal, with Austin taking the win. The final began with Austin on the pole position, and Indy on the outside. A great battle ensued with Austin and Indy swapping the lead a couple of times, pushing each other to a 10 second advantage over the pack. In the end, Austin took the win by less than .4s! This time, technical inspection went much better and the win stood. This was Austin's first win at a Route 66 event with his favorite track at Shawano, WI next on the schedule.
New sponsors and a fantastic charity fundraising event also highlighted the last couple of months. AOR is proud to announce 3 new sponsors. Laurel Automotive Group, Designs By CL, and Local Search Masters have all come on board for 2016! Please be sure to check them out in our sponsorship section and look for the logos on the AOR team trailer. The AOR Mafia Fan Club has also started a great fundraiser to raise support for Racing 2 Cure. In honor of our Crew Chief, Papaw Grant, we have started placing names of each $50 donor to Racing 2 Cure on our trailer. This is all being done to raise awareness of cancer patients, their families, and other affected by this terrible disease. Papaw Grant was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, a very aggressive type of primary brain cancer. We are doing this to help other families that may not get the same type of support we have gotten over the past few months. Please visit our Facebook page to learn more!
The opening round of the 2016 WKA Manufacturer's Cup series took place at Daytona International Speedway during the last week of December. With a year of experience on the national circuit, Austin came into the event as one of the favorites in the Kid Kart class. The week started out with a difficult and challenging practice day where speed was hard to find. Changes were made and by the end of the day, we felt the kart was ready to go for the first day of racing. Austin spent a lengthy amount of time with his coach, Chris Wheeler, on the track, studying lines and strategy.
Day 1 of racing started again with a tough warm-up session and 4th place qualifying session. Final adjustments were made, and the green flag flew for the first heat race. Starting quickly, Austin made his way to the front early. He held the lead for a few laps, then fell back to 4th behind extremely talented drivers, Indy Ragan, Jorge Ortiz, and Preveil Perkins. Austin lurked behind the top 3 until there were 2 laps remaining. He worked his way around Ragan and Perkins and passed Ortiz in the last turn on the final lap. Winning Heat 1 would show that Austin would be a contender for the overall win. Heat 2 went off without incident for Austin, where he finished 2nd, garnering him a 2nd place qualifying position for the final. In the final, Austin once again started quickly, but fell behind Ortiz and Ragan. Austin and teammate, Ava Dutton worked together to try to get to the leaders, but did not quite make it. Austin crossed the line 3rd, but was awarded 2nd after technical inspection.
The second and final day of racing started with another strong showing for Austin. Austin qualified 4th for the first heat. Austin, Indy, and Ava put on a great show in the opening heat with all 3 crossing the finish line within .5 second of each other! Heat 2 started with a short rain shower, which seems to happen to the Kid Kart class at least once during every Man Cup race!! In the first turn, Indy spun in front of Austin and Ava. The two Excel Racing teammates split Ragan on both sides and sprinted to the front. Working together they were able to pull away from the field with Ava winning the heat race. Indy worked himself back to finish third behind Austin. The Day 2 Final started with Austin, Indy, and Ava once again pulling away from the field. Indy led the trio and built a seemingly insurmountable lead. Mechanical issues grabbed hold of Indy causing him to drop out with 2 laps to go, handing the lead to Austin. Austin and Ava were nose-to-tail for the final 2 laps. Ava gave all she had, but Austin was able to hold her off for the win by .1 second!!
With the win and a 2nd place finish, Austin was the overall Event Champion! It was Austin's first national event win of his career! There were a lot of people that helped the team achieve this goal. Along with Chris Wheeler of Wheeler Motorsports, we would like to thank some others who also had a part in this win including Aaron Abed of Excel Racing, Jay Howard of Jay Howard Motorsports and Driver Development, Eric Snell, and our newest crew member (and future uncle) Andrew Heilman! Preparations are already being made for the next event at GoPro Motorplex near Charlotte, NC. We hope you continue to follow us as we move through the 2016 season!
It’s a wrap on the 2015 racing season! It was a wonderful season: full of challenges and triumphs, lessons learned, and TONS of fun. The Austin Olds Racing Team had its challenges and triumphs, and persevered through it all. Austin focused on building his skills, fine-tuning his lines, and enjoying every moment on the track. By the end of this season, he set track records at Whiteland Raceway Park and Concept Hauler’s Motor Speedway! He took home 11 first place trophies and finished on the podium 21 times!
Austin’s pit crew worked tirelessly to make sure his kart was prepped and ready to go for each race. They learned so much throughout the season about prep, mechanics, and fast problem solving. In addition to racing, Austin supported his community by donating his kart to be driven by Sebastian Wheldon during the Dan Wheldon Memorial Classic and held multiple fundraisers for Racing 2 Cure.
Most importantly though, Austin & his team had a blast! Whether it was a Minecraft sword fight between races, playing baseball, riding on scooters, or talking about racing strategies, we always found a way to relax and have fun between races ☺
We want to take a moment to thank our determined racer, hardworking pit crew, and all of our family (on and off the track), friends, sponsors and fans. Without your love and support, Austin Olds Racing wouldn’t be where it is today!
Whiteland Raceway Park: 40.136 on October 10, 2015
Concept Haulers Motor Speedway: 43.232 on September 26, 2015
Final Series Standings:
World Karting Association Manufacturers Cup: 7th Place
Route 66 Sprint Series: 8th Place
Whiteland Raceway Park(Tony Stewart Junior Racing League): 5th Place
New Castle Motorsports Park (Kart Racers of America): 2nd Place
Austin and his team have definitely been busy these last few months, hence the lack of updates to the website. Austin received his official nomination and offer for the Excel Racing Team in February and accepted immediately!!! He was so excited be a part of such an amazing team and everything that Excel Racing represents. We gained an amazing sponsor too! Thank you so much to David Electric Service for all your support!!!
For the start of his 2015 racing season, Austin got some great races in at his home tracks of Whiteland Raceway Park and New Castle Motorsports Park. April 4, 2015, he got second place at WRP. He won both heats but had to switch a motor before the final, forcing him to start in dead last. He worked his way up from 7thplace to second place in the final.
His first big Route 66 regional race of the year was at Mid-State Kart Club in Springfield, IL on April 11 and 12th, 2015. During this weekend series, Austin finished 8th in the final and prefinal on day 1 and he and his pit crew learned A LOT!!!! On day 2, he qualified and finished 4th in the prefinal and ended up with 8th in the final. We also had an AOR fan club member there that day!!! Thank you so much Bob Johns for hanging out with us!!! Mona and Shay Miller also joined us this weekend!!!!
Next up was the World Karting Association Race Series #2 in Mooresville, NC from April 17 – 19, 2015. Austin’s grandparents and “adoptive” grandpa Scott Nally took him to Mooresville to get all ready!!!! His driving coach, Chris Wheeler was there too!!! It was tough weather to drive it and difficult conditions. On April 17, 2015, Austin slowed down for a caution and the kid karter behind him didn’t see Austin slow down because of the blind turn and he ran over the top of Austin. This had Austin pretty shaken up but he was determined to go back out. On April 18, 2015, Austin was involved in another wreck that damaged his kart to the point of being unsalvageable. Austin continued to be determined to drive and conquer the GoPro Motorplex and finished 13th, in the rain no less!!!!
April 26, 2015 was a Kart Racers of America race at one of Austin’s home tracks. He raced hard at New Castle Motorsports Park and qualified second. His buddy, Vincent Carfiro took the pole in both qualifying and the final! The boys were excited to be on the podium together again!!!
The first part of May was devoted solely to club races at both Whiteland Raceway Park and New Castle Motorsport Park. Austin won first at WRP on May 2, 2015 and at NMP on May 3, May 16, and May 17, 2015 at NCMP. He had a blast racing with all of his local buddies and collecting some trophies and medals along the way.
The month of May closed out with the World Karting Series #3 at Briggs and Stratton Raceway Park in Dousman, WI. Once again, Austin was not going to let mechanical problems or weather impact how he drove and raced. He qualified 7th out of 14 karts. He indirectly got involved in a pileup during the prefinal and had to start 13th in the final. He worked hard and drove from 13th place to finish 5th in the final, bringing home another World Karting Association podium finish!!!!
Talk about unpredictable! From green to checkered flag, Austin and his pit crew were in for an intense week of racing. Day 1: AOR got settled in at the pits (special thanks to John Wiegand for making sure everything made it safely!) and started getting race-ready. Day 2: With 3 new engines and a sleek black kart, Austin was eager to get out on the track for practice. Unfortunately, his kart wasn’t and even with a dedicated pit crew, he was only able to complete 1 out of 6 practices sessions. By the end of day 3, the crew figured out a faulty carburetor and engines lacking track time were the reasons things weren’t running as they should. Thanks to Aaron Abed and Chris Wheeler for their advice and Eric Snell for his spare supplies, we were able to install a new carb and get Austin back on the track. Feeling more confident with each lap, Austin finished the day in 12th place. Day 4: RACE DAY! While every other day had perfect weather, race day threw us another curve ball with off-and-on mist. And although Austin had never run on a wet track, he skillfully navigated the track, finishing the pre-race in 6th and ending the Daytona racing week in 5th place, on the podium! We couldn’t be more proud of Austin’s determination and hard work and would like to thank everyone who has supported Austin Olds Racing!
The engines are refreshed! The kart is ready! The bags are packed! School is out! It's time to start our trek to Daytona International Speedway!!!! This will be Austin's first official race in the Manufacturer's Cup Series presented by the World Karting Association. Thank goodness this race is December 27 - 30, 2014, otherwise, Austin might have gone stir crazy without being on the track!!! Please send lots of prayers and positive thoughts to Austin and all the drivers competing in Daytona for safe travels, safe racing, and beautiful weather!!!!