Family legacy prospers through competitive go-karting


Zach Scariano

PREPARING TO RACE: Junior Emerson Kindig sits in his go-kart, hands on the steering wheel, ready to take off around the track. Kindig has been training in competitive go-karting at K1 Speed Indoor Racing, being coached by his dad, Michael Kindig, who has experience in the industry as well.

Zach Scariano, Dispatch Reporter

Tires squeal as he races around the track; taking the inside line, junior Emerson Kindig makes a move on his opponent, passing the finish line. Kindig hopes to make a career out of racing as he drives into the future.

Kindig spends his free time racing at K1 Speed indoor racing track in Austin, as well as the Indy Kart Raceway in New York. Every time he visits his family in New York he takes advantage of the chance to race at another track.

 “We watch many videos and even record my races,” Kindig said. “We sometimes go through them and see how we can improve and how I could get more time back.”

Kindig started go-kart racing when he was nine years old. As he aged, it grew from being just a fun hobby to a full passion.

“I’m part of the Junior League here at K1. Every first Tuesday of every month we meet and we do a full 12-lap race as well as qualifying and practice,” Kindig said.

 According to Kindig, one of the reasons he keeps coming back is the physical and emotional charge he receives on the track.

“My favorite thing about karting is probably the thrill of just pushing on the throttle and feeling the G’s against you,” Kindig said. “That fast zero to 60 of the electric motor, just taking the turns nicely and smoothly. Other people are right behind me, trying to fend them off and flooring it down the straightaways is exciting.”

Father and coach Michael Kindig not only supports him but has previous experience in the world of kart racing.

“I raced in an online NASCAR simulation league back in 2000,” Michael said. “I keep returning to go-karts and simulators because I love racing, which is inexpensive and challenging.” 

Michael attends his son’s practices as often as he can to provide insight. He takes advantage of this opportunity to help grow his skills.

“I feel I can coach him a little, he has a great feel for it and has the talent,” Michael said. “I can tell him what I see from the sidelines that he can’t see. It’s a blast. I also love watching my son race from the sidelines because I can see how he is handling the car.”

According to K1 Speed, in recent years, karts have transitioned from gasoline to electric motors in order to reduce emissions especially for indoor tracks. The electric karts also have better performance, producing better track times.

 “I prefer the electric ones because there’s more thrill in the acceleration,” Emerson said. “The fast zero to 60 of the electric motor sets them apart.”

 According to Emerson, he wants to turn this hobby to a lifetime commitment. As he advances through the racing ranks, his love for racing has taken on a life of its own.

“I love it. I think it’s so fun to just go to the tracks every day and just race a couple laps,” Emerson said. 

I think it’s so fun to come here everyday and do a couple laps. My favorite thing is just the thrill of pushing on the throttle.”

— Emerson Kindig, Junior

Emerson’s friend, junior Hudson Edgell, has watched him grow over the past three years and has been with him as he improved his skills and knowledge.

 “Since having a car Emerson has been way more into racing. He was the first to drive out of all of our friends and looking for his first car was when he got into the community. He signed up for a program at a track and found it fun,” Edgell said. “Emerson is passionate about cars and racing. He is able to keep calm while driving even when put under pressure. He has become more mature and focused on his goals.”

Emerson uses karting to improve his daily life. He has found that the things he learns while racing apply to more than just the track.

“I’ve had three cars and I love all of them,” Emerson said “I had a Honda Civic that was super small and I loved that car the same way I love karting. It had the same fun, zippy feel to it.”

As the power and efficiency in the karts grow, so does his passion and commitment. Emerson reflects on the way in which he has learned from karting.

“It’s a very simple rule, I’ve learned not to drive the way I kart,” Emerson said.