July 7, 2008 in City

Go-kart for the speed-crazies, and the non

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photo

Penske Truck Leasing employee Dan Frederickson speeds past the pit at FastKart on Wednesday.
(Full-size photo)

If you go

FastKart Indoor Speedway: Just off Trent Avenue, on the north side of the river, at 1224 E. Front Ave.

Hours: Monday, 4-9 p.m.; Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Requirements: Racers must be at least 4-foot-10; those younger than 16 must have someone 18 or older to sign a waiver.

Call: (509) 568-1065.

If your household includes a speed-crazy teen who’s not old enough to drive a car yet, here’s an idea: Take the family go-kart racing.

At FastKart, anybody can let loose that inner Dale Earnhardt Jr., racing around the indoor track while friends and family cheer from the sidelines. For the less adventurous, the place has a wide selection of arcade and table games.

“For families to come here, I’d say a weekday is the best day. Saturday we sometimes have a two-hour wait,” said Joe Miller, who owns FastKart tracks in Spokane, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. “It is a ‘big boy, big girl activity,’ but we get all types of people. Sometimes the Jesuits come over from Gonzaga University, and then we have to figure out how to tie up the robes and all that.”

It’s simple to get started: Everyone watches a safety video explaining the rules of the track and the colored flags. Then they don the obligatory hairnet and a helmet, and take off.

“I’d recommend sensible clothes and closed shoes,” Miller said. “Then all you do is get in the thing and step on the gas.”

The track is laid out with twists and turns. Top speed is 30 mph, and bumping is not allowed. Built wide and low to the ground, it takes some muscle to push the go-karts fast through the turns.

“When you are out there, it makes you feel like a 10-year-old,” Miller said. “The next day you feel like you’re 100 – if you drive a lot, you’ll be sore.”

Driving runs from $20 for 10 minutes to $40 for a 60-lap race, although eight drivers must be ready to race.

For most people, one race is enough, Miller said.

“It’s hot and sweaty and fast, but it’s simple and fun,” said Tyson Henry, 27, who was at FastKart with a group of colleagues from Penske Automotive. “How hard it is on you really depends on how fast you want to go.”

Henry went on to win the first race against his co-workers.

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