Marlee Rose celebrated her 14th birthday Saturday by getting into a go-kart for the first time, ever. She participated in the Rotary 4th of July Celebration Go-kart Races at the Forest Park Go-kart track on Sunday. Marlee got involved in the sport through her uncle, Bill Rose, a sprint car racer, and a family friend, Michael May, who races lights and mediums.
The daughter of Kendra and Richard Rose, Marlee doesn't own a go-kart but when a loaner became available, she couldn't resist the challenge.
She entered the White Chassis Division of the Southern Indiana Racing Association in the red Phantom Nimesis go-kart racer. That division is for 8-12 year olds but Marlee was allowed to ride in this race because it was her first time on the track.
Marlee spun out and hit the straw a couple times during her practice runs but had no problems during the actual race. All racers in this division were given participation trophies.
The average speed of the go-karts was estimated to be 45-50 mph. For Marlee's division, time was measured in seconds per lap. During her practice runs, she went 28-30 seconds per (quarter mile) lap. During the race she improved her time to 26-28 seconds per lap.
Marlee loved her birthday present and wants to race again. Her mother said they'll let her do a couple more races with the borrowed May car. If she retains her interest, they may purchase a go-kart for her, which can cost $2,500 to $3,000.
"Now that I know how fast they were going, I'm a little concerned," Kendra Rose said. "It was a little nerve-wracking, but I liked it. It gives us things to do together as a family."