RENO (Nov. 20) – Carson Raceway is the newest indoor karting track in the region. Jamy Keshmiri owns this track as well as the area’s Ben’s Fine Wines and Spirits stores.
His involvement came in an unusual way.
“What happen was that I bought the building, it’s funny the mortgage is the same as the rent for my old place,” he said. “So I thought, why not just buy the building, instead of just paying rent I can own it. So I put in the liquor store and I have all this square footage doing nothing, 36,000 square feet.
“I put it out to rent but nobody was doing anything. So I thought, ‘what would it cost me to put in a race track.’ Wouldn’t be more expensive than what I’d have to put in if somebody rented it.”
He thought it would be fun and there was nothing like it in Carson City. Keshmiri had also visited indoor track in Reno several times so he knew how that was doing.
“Thought it would be good for the kids, good for the business, good for the building so I’d see how it goes,” he said.
Once he decided there was the matter of finding the right equipment and other factors that had to be dealt with.
“There was a guy named Lou Arlington and he has a race track in Las Vegas and he had something on line saying, ‘anybody that has decided they want to do it give me a couple of grand and I will show you how to do it.’ So I went down to see if he was legit, saw his raceway and I said, ‘okay, let’s do this,'” Keshmiri said. “I gave him money, he told me where to go to, where to get the barriers, where to get the track and who to learn from.”
Arlington helped with a little bit of the design for the track and other things as well.
“So that’s how I learned about it, and in most everything I’m kind of a hands on, on the job kind of guy,” he said. “I think that’s how I kind of started it.”
The project took about nine months from start until the track opened this spring. Keshmiri explained the building was not exactly prepared for what he had planned to install.
Unlike the track in Reno that just moved into a large open building the one in Carson City had walls that had to be taken out. That also required some engineering to as not to weaken the structure and the roof, which wasn’t in such good shape had to be replaced.
“It would have been quicker if I had all that taken care of but I didn’t so I finally got all that squared away and it worked out,” he said.
Finally the doors opened but as Keshmiri explained the response has been mixed for the new facility.
“It’s been good but I don’t know yet if the town can support that,” he said. “But it’s been doing okay and is slowly getting better. You know it’s a new business and I just opened in June, five months ago. You need about a year before you can make the determination whether how things are going.”
He added that he’s opened business before and the first year was kind of slow. Then all of a sudden, “it blows up.”
While summer okay the early fall was slow but its picked up again. So at present he really doesn’t know how it’s going to do over the long haul.
“I’d like to go through Christmas, with parties and stuff like that to see how that’s going,” he said. “So far haven’t done a whole lot of that yet but as time goes by I think it’s going to be more accepted. But once they get around to do it I think people will think it’s a fun place.”
One advantage the track has is that people, who want to try indoor karting don’t have to drive all the way to Reno. And its closer for those that live in South Lake Tahoe, Minden, Gardnerville and Dayton.
Most of those areas are growing with families so he feels it’s a pretty good market. Especially since the track is really a family friendly business.
“It’s a family town and I think once they all start to get to that it will be a lot more accepted,” he said.
He added that with a new business like this it takes a bit of time to get the right management and staff in place. That and working on marketing, which he thinks could be improved a bit more.
“Once we have that down, I think it will be a lot more smooth,” he said.
Since the Ben’s in Carson City is right next-door, he’s training a new manager Matt Kunzel, who currently is co-managing both places but soon will move to the track on a full time basis.
Both tracks in Carson City and Reno are different in their layouts but similar in that they use electric karts. They both have helmets for the drivers and necessary safety equipment as well as barriers that line their courses.
Keshmiri wanted one with more turns and only one straight in the layout. He felt that having more than one straight could lead to some problems.
The track is for kids 12-years and older if they meet a certain height requirement. Other than that it’s good for all ages and gives a person a chance to experience some racing and how much fun it is.
There are also monthly memberships that have five free races and for the remainder of the month are half-price to members.
Asked about the future Keshmiri said, “I’m cautiously optimistic as I’ve already got the first September, October under my belt and it’s starting to go back up again. I’m always optimistic, I wouldn’t be a businessman if I wasn’t optimistic person.”
Carson Raceway is located at 3777 North Carson Street, just north of the College Parkway intersection and on the east side of the street. It’s also right beside Ben’s Fine Wine & Spirits.
Hours are 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday noon until 11 p.m. and on Sunday, noon until 10 p.m.
The track’s phone number is 775-350- 7888 and their website is, www.speedcarson.com.
OTHER RACING NEWS:
- This weekend the 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000 was run and two teams with locals on them were involved.
On the motorcycle side the team of Dennis Belingheri, Stephen Tichenor, Salvador Hernandez, Jason Truboy and Kevin Johnson raced to 20th overall and won the 30+ Pro class. Their results came after overcoming some significant challenges during the run.
In the 4-wheel world Hall Racing entered a Toyota and won the Stock Full Class. It was a special time for the team as they also celebrated racing legend Rod Hall’s 80th birthday as he’s been in every one of these events.
The drivers were Chad Hall, Frank Deangelo while the elder Hall was one of the co-drivers along with Chris Woo, Austin Hall (No relation.) and AlexanderBaker.
- Tomorrow after I’ll be on the Teresa’s Garage Radio show, usually around 2:15 p.m. but the show runs from 2 until 3 p.m. and covers a variety of things automotive. Be sure to listen.
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Our newest is Big Valley Honda and is the first dealer we have as a sponsor. They sell everything from motorcycles, UTV’s, ATV’s and about anything else things one could want.
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If you are into karting or want the most cost effective way to start racing then check out Nevada Kart Sport, our only full service kart shop in this region.
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