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Karting

#RaceLife Spotlight: John Scavuzzo

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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.

#RaceLife Spotlight: Gray Leadbetter

Meet: Gray Leadbetter

MORGANTON, NC - If you have met Gray, you can attest to her dedication, athleticism, and passion for racing.  She has raced motocross, karts, and will be on a plane to Sweden to train in a Global Rally Cross Supercar Lite this month. We caught up with her just after she raced the 2nd round of the Winter Cup in Jacksonville, Florida to get the scoop on her #RaceLife

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?: 

"I live in Morganton, NC."

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RACING?

"I have raced dirt bikes since I was 4 and go karts since I was 9 or 10."

HOW DID YOU GET INTO RACING?

"When I was 2 I got an electric 4 wheeler and kept rolling it onto myself so my dad decided to get me a dirt bike, so I raced dirt bikes. Then when I was 7, I broke my shoulder and couldn't race for a year. A year or so later I got back on a bike and started racing. When I was about 10 I started racing go karts and fell in love."

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF RACING?

"The excitement and also going fast."

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE?

"When I turn 14 I really want to race global rally cross (GRC) and other types of races on 4 wheels."

DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-RACE RITUALS?

"Right before I go on track I like to sit in my kart and think about the race while 

no one talks to me."

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE RACER?

"My favorite racer is Patrick Sandel because he races GRC."

WHICH TRACK IS YOUR FAVORITE?

"Probably Wisconsin or GoPro Motorplex."

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WKA RACES?

"I like that everyone is very nice and helpful."

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO BESIDES RACE?

"I like to go on hikes and also like to swim."

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

"I want to race GRC (Global Rally Cross), open wheel or NASCAR. I also like to bake and I started my own YouTube baking channel, Its called 'Sifting Gears.'"

IS THERE ANY OTHER INTERESTING THINGS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?

"I have 2 older sisters, 2 cats, and 1 dog."

Check out Gray's website for more details and contact info: http://grayleadbetter.com/