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DATE News (chronologically)
12/14/11
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Stewart tops INDYCAR stars in kart race by CHEATING  UPDATE #3 Another reader adds, Dear AR1.com, I too was extremely surprised that he won the race, especially over Allmendinger who is a regular on the WKA national karting circuit on his off weekends (similar to our friend Dan Wheldon) and a multi-national champion.

Weight is everything in karting. As little as 10 lbs can cost you up to a second a lap on some tracks, so minimum weight limits is highly regulated in karting. Personally, I would say there is absolutely no possible way Stewart would beat Allmendinger if he was 30 lbs heavier than Allmendinger….unless he was cheating with tire prep.

Tire prep is a HUGE deal in karting as well. As recently as last season, at the national championship races, the World Karting Association (WKA) implemented a rule that all tires used for qualifying and the races must be straight out of the wrapper, branded with special markings by the organization, and then pass the “sniffer,” which is a device they place on the tires when the karts are on the grid to “sniff” them to see if there are any foreign chemicals on them.

I’ve see guys who were normal front runners and race winners to go to 20th or lower on the grid after they made these new rule changes that really made it difficult to cheat with tire prep. Tire prep is a huge deal and it originated not in the road racing/sprint karts, but from the oval/dirt oval karters…where, like NASCAR, cheating and rule twisting is tolerated. D. Hughes, Atlanta, GA

12/13/11 A kart driver adds, Dear AR1.com, Tire prep makes perfect sense. Because on a short track like that, weight is everything and Tony Stewart weighs in at 185-190 he said so himself. Tagliani is probably 160 for example. Huge difference in a kart on a tight short track.

So for Smoke to win that thing just didn’t make sense, even if he did drive the wheels off the thing. Now if you told me Allmendinger (who is a featherweight) won it, or well...anyone else, I would have said "damn it" but good job. When Fat Man Stewart won it, my jaw dropped.

I am sure his justification was that he was at an unfair advantage.

I think all kart racing should be weight equalized, within reason. But nobody listens to me of course.

I have used tire prep on a kart at local tracks that have their own local rules. I used it when it was not specifically prohibited, but have used it. I don’t know if WKA actually bans it specifically. Probably so though. I was given the idea by a local midget racer in Florida who races on dirt and he mixes some vile stuff that works awesome (you don’t want to breathe it though and it melted right through some rubber gloves I had too)

So Tony Stewart, as a past and current sprint car driver, would have known all about tire prep, because that is part of that kind of racing; treating your tires to work on the kind of dirt or clay conditions for that track/race/session...etc. It's like any other kind of tuning to them.  Name Withheld by Request

12/13/11 Well, as it turns out we knew there was more to this story.  We have now heard from a number of drivers who were at this event that the NASCAR drivers cheated their way to victory.  As we are told, they were soundly beaten by the IndyCar drivers in qualifying.  So what did they do, Tony Stewart included?  They took their tires off the rims, soaked them in tire softener (called Tire Prep), and then were immediately 3 seconds per lap faster and Stewart won the race.  In fact he crashed and still won the race, that's how fast the tire prep made his kart.  The IndyCar drivers all refused to cheat and were soundly defeated.  Everyone agreed before the event that it would be run to WKA karting rules, which forbids using tire prep.  And now you know the rest of the story......

12/12/11 NASCAR champion Tony Stewart outdueled IZOD IndyCar Series driver Alex Tagliani and Indianapolis 500 veteran John Andretti to claim the All-Star race at the Indy Karting Classic on Dec. 11 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Stewart, who claimed the 1996-97 IZOD IndyCar Series championship before embarking on his NASCAR career, started fifth in the feature but it didn’t take long for him to bounce off a wall and by heat race winner Austin Dillon midway through the 30-lap event.

“We had a slow start to the day, but we got better as the day went on and the track got better for us,” Stewart said. “Austin (Dillon) had some trouble with his brother (Ty Dillon) and someone else and got choked down and we got a big run. The inside didn’t look so good and I thought the outside looked good, but then it didn’t look good at all. I thought I was going to go down the tunnel, out the parking lot and downtown. It was a little bit sketchy, but we had a fast kart at the end.” zzzz

Tagliani, who raced as a teammate to Stewart, said an assist from the NASCAR champion helped his kart come alive for the feature. The teammates, along with John Andretti, used a grinder and razor blades to prepare their tires for the slick surface of the arena.

“I don’t remember the last time I worked so hard on my kart from the beginning of the day,” Tagliani said. “It was nice to share the track with the NASCAR guys and all the guys from INDYCAR too. I really enjoyed the day and it was a fun event. It was fun to race with Tony (Stewart). I’ve never run on the same track with him and today we were teammates with Birel. It was a battle after every session about who would own the grinder. He didn’t want to give it up so he ended up grinding everyone’s tires.”

Tagliani led Team INDYCAR with his runner-up finish, while 2011 Firestone Indy Lights champion Josef Newgarden finished fourth. Jay Howard finished sixth, while Tomas Scheckter, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ed Carpenter retired from the race.

“It was a lot of fun trying to sort out what was quick,” Newgarden said. “I thought it was great to run with all the other guys and have the great support from the fans. Hopefully, we can do it again next year.” IndyCar.com

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