Chico, California (01/09/2021)... Twenty-year-old Outlaw Kart stand out Casey Schmitz is taking his talents to the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals for the first time in his career in January.
The Chico, California native is the 2018 Cycleland track champion for the Open class. After taking 2019 off, Casey came back in 2020 to finish second in the Open class points this year driving the #3C for Clyde Lamar. After having a quality summer, Casey was able to hop in a Midget for the first time at Arizona Speedway, competing against the USAC National Midgets for the Western World Championship.
His debut in the MSW Motorsports #00 went well as Schmitz improved and became more comfortable every time he hit the track. Casey said that the Midget was like riding on a pillow compared to an Outlaw Kart, "It's not as rigid and out of control. There is more speed and power. But once you get over the speed, it's easier to drive. I could tell if I needed to pick up here or there and see where I was lacking. It wasn't about standing on the throttle, it was about controlling the car."
Casey believes that the Tulsa Expo Center will fit his driving style better than the 3/8ths mile of Arizona Speedway. "I am used to tight quarters racing and we won't be going as fast. I felt comfortable there at the end of the Western World Championships in Arizona, as we kept getting better and better. But I think I'll be able to attack a little more in Tulsa."
At the Chili Bowl, Casey will be driving a tribute car, in memory of David Tarter. Tarter played a huge role in getting Casey into an Outlaw Kart six years ago. "David was a father figure to me. He always wanted me to race Outlaw Karts, but my family was against it because they're so dangerous as I was running motocross at the time. When I was about five years old, David lived right across the street. I never had a father growing up, and he was a really big influence in my life. He would take me to the races on the weekend, and I would spend my nights there. I would sneak out of my room at bedtime to go work on the cars in the garage. He was always there for me."
The orange and blue #35 that Casey will be driving was a design of David's, making the car he will be racing at the Chili Bowl identical to his first car. "It means the world to me. It was a big surprise for me, and I was thoroughly shocked when they showed me that. It really is a big deal to me to be able to race that car. I'm going to do what I can do to support him and everything he did for me and my life."
Having David in his mind and racing a track that fits his style, Casey is feeling optimistic entering the 35th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. "I am feeling really good and would like to have some success. I am going to go in there and do the best that I can. I am going to attack when I need to attack. I want to be the shark in the fish tank and not the goldfish in the fish tank."
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