With the NASCAR Sprint Cup season wrapped a few weekends back, AJ Allmendinger has returned to his original racing love – karting. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver took part in the Red Bull Kart Fight at the Performance Racing Industry show in Orlando, and will once again be up against a field of big names from across the sport this Sunday in the Indy Karting Classic.
The Indy Karting Classic features a compact, full day of karting inside Conseco Fieldhouse arena in downtown Indianapolis. Held in conjunction with the International Motorsports Industry Show, the Karting Classic is highlighted by the Pro Division category which will see Allmendinger compete against five other NASCAR drivers as well as six IZOD IndyCar Series drivers. The 12 pro racers will go head to head as they compete against one another on the temporary indoor 10th-mile kart track. A combination of an oval and road course, the ultra-quick track features several sweeping left-hand turns.
“I'm looking forward to racing again this weekend and seeing what this track is like,” said Allmendinger. “Karting helps to keep you sharp in the off-season so I've been trying to do as much as I can. We were in Orlando last weekend and now to Indy, and then it will be back down to Daytona for the WKA races in a few weeks. It's good to get into the rhythm of racing on a kart again. It's hard to just jump back on to a kart and expect to be competitive right away against guys who are on these things week in and week out. So the more I can do, the better!”
The pro racers will each use the same IAME Parilla Leopard X30 engine, but will utilize different brands of chassis with Allmendinger running a Arrows chassis provided by Walldinger Racing partner KartSport of Mooresville, N.C.
In addition to the Pro Division, five karter divisions will also run the event including Kid Kart, Yamaha Sportsman Heavy, Yamaha Junior Heavy, Yamaha SuperCan Heavy and TaG Senior.
The Indy Karting Classic will see a full day of practice, qualifying, heat races, and main races on Sunday, Dec. 11. In addition to the racing, the halls of Conseco Fieldhouse will be filled with karting industry displays and representatives from karting tracks, karting manufacturers and other suppliers.