OVERLAND PARK, KS - This week we are featuring someone who has 51 years of kart racing under his belt and a whole multi-generational team of family members who race as well. John Scavuzzo is 69 years old and has 9 Scavuzzo's on his race team. His 4 sons; Santo 45, Richard, 43, Johnny, 41, Steve, 38, his son-in-law Brandon, 38, his 2 grandsons; Joe, 18, Gianni, 14, and the newest addition to the team is Mia, 12. His 3rd grandson Jonathan, 20 is on a temporary leave from karting, as he is serving in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa Japan. For John, karting is not just a passion----it is a bond that keeps his family close. Read on to learn more about John and the amazing Scavuzzo family.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?:
"We all live in Overland Park Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Located in the midwest it makes it very easy to race in 4 different divisions coast to coast. This year we have 12 races scheduled with our first at Laguna Seca (west coast). Our 6th race at Mid Ohio, (north), then number 8 is V.I.R. (east coast) then finishing up home in Topeka Kansas at Heartland Park. Each year we try to add 1 new track that the Scavuzzo team have never raced. Over the years we've added 24 different road courses which makes for a very challenging and exciting season."
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RACING?
" I started racing with a local club in 1967 and my 4 sons in 1985."
HOW DID YOU GET INTO RACING?
"The boys got us back into racing after we took a vacation in Destin Florida. We had a place on the beach so we were in the water every day but one. That particular day it was cloudy and a little chilly. So we elected to go across the street to the amusement park and spend the day on a small go-kart track. It started to sprinkle just enough to make it slick. The rest I am sure you can relate. They had so much fun on that wet track that they asked if they could get into enduro racing. That's all I needed to hear. When we got back to K.C. that Saturday I called an old racing buddy, Darrell Crowell and asked him if he had any of his old racing gear left over from when we use to race each other. He said he would check. That next Sunday morning I looked out my window and saw a pickup truck parked in my driveway with a guy sleeping in the front seat. It was Darrell. He said, "Take all this crap and send me a check for what you think it's worth. So we started off with 1 kart, 2 motors, one of them being a B-bomb, starter, clutch, pipes and a lot of extras. The rest is history. ."
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF RACING?
"My favorite part of racing is the competition with each other on the team. All 6 of the older boy's, (4 sons, 1 son-in-law and 1 grandson) all compete in the same class, control spec 1 & 2. As far as the 6 are concerned, they are the only ones out there. We keep our own points standing with just our team. Bragging rights last all winter. "
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE?
"The competitive racing in some form helps us in the competitive forms of business. The Scavuzzo family has 3 companies that compete in the food industry. We have to be at the top of our game when your involved in a commodity that is consumed every day. The saying " 2nd place is the first loser " holds true in our business."
DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-RACE RITUALS?
"My only pre-race ritual is I and me alone will start everyone on the team in each race, that's 6 in each class."
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE RACER?
"Michael Schumacher is my favorite."
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY?
"Racing has brought our whole family very close together."
To watch some of the Scavuzzo family's cool race videos, click the buttons below.