By Wallace Clark
A new business in the Town of Medley got the green flag last week when K1 Speed; Electric Indoor Kart Racing had its grand opening with some members of the council trying out the track.
Council members Griselia Digiacomo, Susana Guasch and Edgar Ayala bumped and skidded their way around the track only to be beaten by Guasch’s son, Fernando Rodriguez, 17.
“Mom was in the way too much,” said Rodriguez.
“It’s all about having fun,” said Digiacomo. “I love it.”
Racing tends to bring out the fun and K1 Speed certainly has the space. It’s located in an 89,000 square-foot building in Medley that used to be the home of a cabinet manufacturing business at 8600 NW South River Drive. And a big grand opening celebration complete with Medley town officials to help cut the ribbon was held last week.
The cavernous air-conditioned building has two curving road race-style tracks, 69 electric carts, two large party rooms, snack bar, game room with pool table, racing décor and three actual race cars on display: Indy style, NASCAR and Formula 1. There are also comfortable booths for watchers in the reception area along with large screen TVs.
K1 Speed has 19 other locations in California, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, Washington State and one in Ft. Lauderdale. Besides management, the Medley business employs 17 track guys, nine young women and three mechanics.
A driver must be at least 48-inches tall and those up 58-inches tall must drive a smaller kart that will go 30 – 35 mph. Taller drivers use slightly bigger karts that will go 40 – 45 mph. All drivers must wear a provided head sock and full-face helmet.
There are two three-quarter mile tracks, one for shorter drivers and one for taller drivers. The cost is $19.99 for a 14 lap race or drive around. There’s also a one-time $6 fee for a license that’s valid for a year.
Eleven karts can be on the track at one time and a flagman keeps track of the laps. When the first driver reaches 14 laps in a race, it’s over no matter if other drivers drove fewer laps.
General Manager Mathew Alexander and Manager Guido Rodriguez oversee the Medley operation that’s open Mon. – Thurs. noon – 10 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
“The Town of Medley was so helpful and welcoming,” said Alexander. “After we found the property, we opened four months later. It’s something the town needed because we’re going to attract crowds.”