Barnes embarks on iconic series
Scott “Skitchy” Barnes is hellbent on growing his reputation overseas by making a name for himself at the most iconic races in American karting history.
Barnes is racing in the Triple Crown of Karting, which consists of the Quincy Grand Prix in Illinois, the Thor Industries Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix in Indiana and the Rock Island Grand Prix in Illinois.
The 33-year-old made a promising start to the newly formed three-stop series, finishing fourth in the Shifter class in Quincy last weekend.
The overall champion will be decided by combined points earned at all three races, with Barnes also competing in the 206 class.
“My biggest goal in the last ten years of racing internationally has always been to make a name for myself,” said Barnes, who stepped down as the Bermuda Karting Club president last month.
“Obviously this is for fun, it’s a hobby for me, but my goal is to have people know who I am when I compete in these races.
“I’ve definitely made a name for myself when I race in the US. That’s my biggest accomplishment racing overseas — people knowing who I am, as I come from a small island.”
Barnes experienced mixed fortunes at the Quincy Grand Prix — the first race of the series.
He spun out in both his 206 races because of multikart collisions on a “sketchy” track that required “big balls to push it the limits”, according to Barnes.
“Two races, wrong place at the wrong time,” Barnes said of his 206 outings. “There was nothing I could do about it — I had some bad luck there.
“The track was actually in a park and the margin for error was zero; if you made one mistake you were going into a barrier or a concrete wall.
“Street racing is always dangerous and this track stepped it up a little bit.
“I was actually in a brand new kart, so the last thing you want to do is mess it up!”
Barnes said the Grand Prix, which was returning to Quincy after a 16-year absence, was the biggest race of his career. Once known as Quincy in the Park, the two-day event attracted more than 300 drivers and 6,000 spectators.
“Back in the day it used to be the event,” Barnes said. “It was the biggest street race. It was pretty cool and it had the most spectators I’d ever seen.”
He added: “I hadn’t sat in a kart since the end of April whereas these guys are in kart almost every weekend. It’s always hard to compete against drivers who have had a lot more seat time.”
Barnes returns to action in the Battle of the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from July 4 to 6. The race is not part of the Triple Crown series.
Barnes said he has gained plenty of confidence from his fourth-place finish in Quincy and is focused on building on that showing.
“I ended up finishing behind three guys with ICC motors,” he said. “I’m on my stock Honda motor whereas they had a little bit more horsepower than me. It sucks competing against them!
“Me and the third-place guy had a good battle during the first three or four laps. We passed each other a couple of times until he finally pulled a little gap on me.
“I just paced myself and brought it home safely. I was pretty content with the fourth place.”
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