SMITH: Thunder Hill Nationals

McKenzie Smith traveled to Thunder Hill Speedway for the Thunder Hill Nationals recently (McKenzie Smith Racing Photo)
McKenzie Smith traveled to Thunder Hill Speedway for the Thunder Hill Nationals recently (McKenzie Smith Racing Photo)
McKenzie Smith

MENOMONIE, Wis. – On my way to the Thunder Hill Nationals at Thunder Hill Speedway, I set a goal for what I wanted to accomplish.

My goal was to get a top-five in every race, because I knew there was going to be harder competition at this race.

When we first got there, we unloaded my kart and four-wheeler.  Then, we went up to the track and set the kart up for how the track conditions looked at the time.  In my first heat, I started sixth and finished third.  For my second heat, we made some adjustment to tighten my kart and I worked on a different driving line.

In my second heat, I started fourth and finished third.  My kart didn’t handle very well, so we took out all the changes we made. I started fourth in the A-Main and finished fourth. The A-Main went OK, I ran third the entire race other than the last corner.

Even though I met my goals the whole night, I wanted a podium finish.

After the races we visited with some friends we don’t see very often and then went back to the hotel to rest up for night two of the Thunder Hill Nationals.

The next morning, I woke up feeling pretty good, but knowing that everyone was going to race harder on night two. I knew I would have to be more aware of what could happen.

Before the races my Dad and I looked at the track and then I spent a little bit of time with my race friends. For my first heat, I had a loose kart. I started fifth and spun trying to miss another kart in front of me.  I restarted eighth and finished fourth.

We tightened my kart up and in my second heat I started fifth again and spun missing the same kart.  I restarted eighth and finished fifth, locking myself into the A-Main.

Some friends and I went up the watch the 125/250 B-main and based on that, we loosened my kart back up for the A-main.  I scheduled to start 10th in the A-main.  I knew I needed to be patient and smart to miss any spinning karts.

On the first lap of the A-Main there were three karts than spun out in front of me.  I had nowhere to go and slid up into them. From that wreck my right-front toe was knocked out about an inch and there was four degrees less right-front camber.

On lap two, I had to miss another spin in front of me.  From there I restarted 13th and missed a five-kart pile-up on lap six. The kart handled really bad with the right-front out of alignment.  The last nine laps I had to miss another spin and drove it up to third place.

Later that night I celebrated in victory lane with Caden Kvapil and watched the fireworks show.

Then we drove back home the next morning and went to Knoxville Raceway for the Corn Belt Nations two-day show. I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July!  I’ve uploaded the Thunder Hill Nationals video to my website, YouTube Channel, and Facebook page: McKenzie Smith Racing

Thank you to my partners for their support: Sky Zone Des Moines, MyRacePass, Gregg Young Chevrolet Norwalk, EBU, Ellis Greenhouse, Adam’s Performance, Jocko’s Sprint Part, Central Iowa Insurance Services, Mahaska Hog Wash, Midwest Balloon Services, Sign Creations, Van Meter Inc., Speed Sport, MPI – Max Papis Innovations, Walker Performance Filtration, Bell Racing, Compass Racing Development, Grandparents.