If you are looking for a sport that is exciting and can involve your whole family, then maybe karting is for you, says Doug Benson, chairman of this year’s Ohio Valley Karting Association (OVKA) Swap Meet taking place on Saturday.
Benson said this swap meet is one of the largest nonracing go-kart events in the Midwest. “We have vendors from South Carolina, New Jersey, Nebraska, North Carolina and Florida coming for this event. There are more than 200 table spaces and 100 vendors.”
Vendors will be selling used parts like engines and chassis, but the majority will offer after-market items like helmets, driving gloves, gear, parts or new or used karts.
There are also some special features of the event.
“We also have a professional automotive artist, Roger Warrick, who has painted NASCAR and Indy cars, coming,” said Benson. “He will do canvas paintings and caricatures. You should bring a photo of what you want him to draw. We also have a helmet painter coming who will customize helmets for drivers.”
Benson is expecting more than 2,000 people at Saturday’s event. “Most of the people who come are racers. But this is a great way to get introduced to the sport. We’ll have an information booth at the event for anyone interested in starting up with karting, or they can visit our website at www.ovka.com. We have classes coming up for ages 5 and up.”
The OVKA is the largest and oldest sprint kart racing club in the Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky area. Members like the speed and family involvement that karting brings.
“The greatest thing about it is it’s a family sport,” said Benson. “Kids race, and dad is often the crew chief. There’s a communication between kids and dads to make the kart faster, so it promotes interaction between kids and parents. Sometimes moms and dads drive, too.”
It’s not just a sport for boys either, said Benson. “There are a lot of girls that race, and a lot of the girls beat the boys. That’s how Danica Patrick got started.”
HOW TO GO
What: Ohio Valley Karting Association Swap Meet
Where: Clark County Fairgrounds, 4401 S. Charleston Pike
When: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
Cost: $10; free for people younger than 6
More info: Call (513) 885-8748 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to www.ovka.com