Casey 500 opens for the season
April 27, 2009
CASEY GARRISON - Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and the Casey Community Activity Center held a Grand Opening of USAG-Casey's Casey 500 Go Kart Track April 18.
The track features more than 15 full-bodied karts and several two-seat karts for those wishing to ride with a passenger. The track winds around in an area directly behind Casey Main "Oriental Gardens" dining facility and covers more than a quarter mile in length.
"Persons must be at least 58 inches tall and at least 17 years of age to drive the karts at the Casey 500," said Sally Hall, USAG-Casey Community Activity Center manager. "The Casey CAC provided free food today and those riding the karts had to pay only $5 for a 10-minute heat (length of time racing on the track)."
The karts all have the same engines, which are an overhead valve Honda five horsepower air-cooled four-stroke type. They were designed as hearty theme park units with fiberglass bodies and spring-relived bumpers. The tires are pneumatic kart racing slick types and keep the karts in good traction on the track.
"These karts are all of the same design except for the two-seat karts," said John Hanger, Casey 500 recreation specialist. "They will probably go 35 mph full throttle. The two-seat karts may have a little more power because they are designed for two people."
"Soldiers are always looking for something to do on weekends," Hall said. "I know on Friday night they stay out. So after a long Friday night, they can wake up at noon and here we are. We open the track at noon and stay open until dusk. It is one of the unique activities we offer in Area I for Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members to enjoy during the spring and summer season."
"The Go Kart track is open to units who want to bring Soldiers to spend their recreation time here," Hall said. "They may want to consider having unit challenges and compete for the commander's cup using the Casey 500. The Casey CAC sponsors unit tours and we can also sponsor Go Kart competitions with their own barbecue and music. They can have the Go Kart track for any event they wish."
Many of the Soldiers came to the opening after seeing the banners in the Post Exchange area.
"I could not bring my car to Korea," said Cornelius Byrd. "So I have to come to the Casey 500 to race. It is the next best thing."
"We have seen the advertisements and knew it was going to open soon," said John Blankenship. "We had a great time, and we will definitely come back. This is a good ride and a lot of fun plus it is only 50 cents a minute."
"So many Soldiers say there is nothing to do around here," Byrd said. "This is a lot of fun and better than blowing all your money in the Ville."
For some, like the Army couple, Staff Sgt. Richard and Marilyn Pierce, it was a first-time experience.
"This is the first time I have ever ridden in a go kart," said Richard Pierce. "I am going to go back and do another 10 minutes now."
"I had a lot of fun racing Richard," said Marilyn Pierce. "I am barely tall enough to drive a Go Kart so I have to scoot down in the seat a little, but it was a lot of fun."
"Racing on the Casey 500 is a big adrenalin rush," Richard said. "It is not like driving in Korea, but it is more intense and a lot more fun."