|October 04, 2010 News
|eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month - Gary Lawson - September 2010
| After an incredible day at the Rock with four victories, Lawson has an amazing 20 career wins to his credit|
(Photo: Joe Brittin)
In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.
While the Rock Island Grand Prix is known for the King of the Streets event for the shifter kart categories, the emperor of the event is 2-cycle and 4-cycle star Gary Lawson. The all-time win leader of the Quad Cities area street race every Labor Day weekend has accumulated a staggering 20 wins total, thanks to his four-win performance this September, making him the EKN Driver of the Month.
The event began with on Saturday with the qualifying sessions. Lawson entered the event on top of the career pole position standings with 17. Following the day’s action, Lawson took the top spot in Animal Medium, Animal Heavy, and Yamaha Can Heavy. A second in the Yamaha Can Medium category put him in fine position to score four victories.
First up was the Yamaha Can Heavy feature. Lawson was able to keep the lead though he first turn and pull out to a three-second lead by the halfway mark of the 15-lap event. At the checkered, Lawson took the win by over four-seconds to score his first win in the category at the event. Up next was Animal Heavy with similar results. After the opening lap, Lawson extended to a two-second lead on cold tires. Leading all 15 laps, the margin of victory was nine-seconds for win number two on the weekend. The win also marked Lawson’s seventh straight in the category, the most in any class.
The Yamaha Can Medium was Lawson’s first victory at the ‘Rock’ back in 2003 and this year’s was not easy. Starting second, Lawson was in the mix with a number of contenders and former winners. Able to work his way to the point by lap four, Lawson was able to extend his lead lap by lap. At the line, Lawson took his third RIGP checkered flag of the event by six-seconds. Similar to the Animal Heavy race, Lawson was nearly untouchable in the Animal Medium - Rumble at the Rock event. After losing the lead briefly in the first lap, Lawson put down stellar laps on cold tires to pull away from the field. In the end, his fourth victory was by a 20-second margin, with a fast lap over a second quicker than any other driver.
The four-win performance was Lawson’s first in his Rock Island GP career, extending his overall win total to 20 and poles to 20.
| Gary Lawson - EKN Driver of the Month - September 2010|
(Photo: G. Lawson)
September 2010 EKN Driver of the Month -
Date of Birth: 10/26/82
Hometown: Mentor, Ohio
Parents: Tony and Georgette Lawson
Siblings: Steve and Natalie
Height/Weight: 5’9” / 210lbs.
Education: Bachelors in Education
Job: 5th Grade Teacher
Engine/Engine Builder: Turner 4 Cycle / Comet Yamaha
Sponsors: Beasley Motorsports/Arrow, BTK Motorsports, SKF Bearings, SMC Clutches, G-Man Bodywork, Turner Racing Engines, Comet Racing Engines
Series You Compete In: Gold Cup Series
Years Karting: 17
How did you get started in karting? From what I understand, a few of my uncles bought me a kart after I test-drove one at a local track in Thompson, Ohio
What has been the high point in your racing career? Tough call - WKA Triple Crown last year was great, but the competition at Daytona a few years back when I won SuperCan Heavy was pretty awesome. Rock Island wins in SuperCan a few years ago were also tough to come by. I think I would go with Daytona though. The field was so deep, with many of the light drivers crossing over that year because the races were spread over three days.
What are your goals in racing? Just to keep on racing, winning, and having fun. I have had the opportunities to work with some really great drivers as a tuner the past few years and that has been a great new challenge to keep them at the front.
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Smooth, aggressive, and smooth.
Funniest moment at the race track? This story is great….I was at a street race about five years ago and my engine builder Cort Turner decided to race one of my extra karts. The track had a long, uphill, straightaway that was after a tight corner so you were in slow motion as you went down the straight. When another racer started to go by him, he reached over and grabbed the racers nerf bar and pulled himself back by. The kid crashed him the next lap! The best part is another racer had an on-car camera and caught it all on tape!
Favorite Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Favorite form of professional motorsports: World of Outlaws
Favorite karting driver: Rob Howden (I have only heard about the legends though)
Favorite professional driver: None
Favorite website: ekartingnews.com
Favorite movie: The Program
Favorite actor/actress: None
Favorite music/group: Dave Matthews Band
Favorite vacation/activity spot: Anywhere warm when it’s winter in Ohio.
Favorite food: Whatever my girlfriend makes.
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? Schoolwork, work out, and hang out with friends and family. Not that I am away from the track very often.
What are your goals outside of karting? Successful career and family life
What type of street car do you drive? 2001 Pontiac Grand Am
What type of street car would you like to drive? Nothing too fast because I have enough problems with speeding tickets as it is
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? People that ask questions that don’t really want to hear your answer
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? Less conflicts of interests to eliminate bias or the perception of bias and consistency in rules/rule enforcement
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? That a team/driver without endless resources can compete with the best that karting has to offer in most cases
September Driver of the Month - Honorable Mention:
- Kyle Wiegand: Rock Island Grand Prix - King of the Streets and KZ2 victories (2 poles)
- Phil DeLaO: Rock Island Grand Prix - Parilla Leopard and Rotax Senior victories
- Alec Udell: Rock Island Grand Prix - TaG Junior and Rotax Junior victories
- Michael Politis: WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series @ New Jersey - 2 wins (TaG and Parilla Leopard)
- Nick Neri: WKA Manufacturer’s Cup Series @ New Jersey - 2 wins, 1 runner-up, 2 poles (31st to 11th in 12 laps in fourth class)