Thirteen is supposed to be an unlucky number.
But Nate and Marti Anderson would disagree.
This is the 13th year Nate and wife Marti have owned Thundering Valley (Go-Kart) Raceway in St. Albans, and it has been a memorable season to date.
“It has been a good year for us, but I’m not sure why,” said Nate Anderson. “They’ve been coming out of the woodwork. We’ve been getting a lot of ex-stock car drivers. Cost is a big factor. They can get the same thrill without spending all that money (to run a stock car).
“Several of them have gotten out of racing because their kids are getting into karts. They seem to be enjoying that immensely.”
Anderson said their kart counts are up approximately 25 percent over a year ago and it has been especially noticeable the past couple of weeks.
“The rainy spring held us up quite a bit,” said Anderson.
He said the stock car drivers are “spreading the word” about their track and that word-of-mouth publicity has been helpful.
“A lot of them know each other and they help each other out. They realize how much fun it is with their kids there,” said Anderson.
The Andersons have changed the race formats for their five classes and that seems to be working out well, he said.
“Instead of running just one heat and then having a feature, we’ve been running two heats before the feature and inverting the field,” explained Anderson. “This gives them more track time. And the winners of the heats earn points.”
The inversion takes place between the first and second heat. The winner of the first heat starts last in the second heat and so on.
The heat races are between 10 and 15 laps over the one-fifth-mile asphalt track and the features are 20-40 laps, he said.
Used go-karts cost approximately $2,500, according to Anderson, and they are “ready to go.”
They have five classes and racing begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The classes are Kid Kart (5- to 7-year-olds), Box Stock (7- to 10-year-olds who are first-year racers and can only stay in the class one year), Junior Sportsman (7- to 10-year-olds who are in their second year), Senior Sportsman (ages 10-12) and Senior Champ Animal (13-older).
Anderson said attendance at the races has also been good.
In addition, the Andersons also have a rental business.
“It costs $100 per person and you have to have at least eight people. They must be 18 and have a valid driver’s license,” said Anderson.
The $100 covers the cost of the sprint kart along with the helmet and jacket.
“There will be parties for corporations and cookouts (in addition to the racing),” said Anderson. “We’ve had five already this year.”