I met Charlotte and her dad, at the first Mama Tried Show in Milwaukee. We're both in the little Vimeo movie that accompanied the show that year. I talked with them quite a bit during the weekend. She had her bright yellow XR750 outfitted with ice tires for the show. Charlotte was very nice, so was her dad. Charlotte was so petite and small, I wondered how she could handle a motorcycle at all, until I saw her race. This last (Labor Day Weekend) at Springfield, after a poor start - she charged through the field to just miss a transfer spot. There were some young girls in front of me who were goin' absolutely bonkers whenever Charlotte made a move, or scored a pass - they were going crazy, cheering with high fives, laughing and hugging. She was their inspiration, showing what a young girl could do with practice and determination. It made the racing (for myself) all the more exciting when 35L Kainz hit the track with her orange/red helmet. Now she's gone, and it's gonna hurt for many - for a long time, when you're taken away doing something you love to - at only 20 years young. She'll be missed - and I hope the other racers never forget what can happen in this sport. Look out for one another - do it for Charlotte Kainz, and for you, and your competitor's family and friends.
My condolences to all Charlotte's family, friends and fellow racers - and there's many of you.
More terrible news I didn't want to hear. Kyle was in a separate racing accident as Charlotte, (at the same track) and he fought for his life in the hospital, but passed away yesterday (Monday 09-26-2016). Any time a flat track racer from our community is taken - it's such a loss. You know all the names each year. The name McGrane has been a dirt-track family name for many years. Kyle was a fast, upcoming racer who was very talented. You know this is a dangerous sport when even up-and-coming professionals can fall victim to crashes and serious injuries. More heart-felt condolences to the entire McGrane family and friends and fellow competitors.
I've been a motorcycle (flat track) fan since 1975, and this is the part I hate the most. The fact that it's a fast paced and exciting sport is what makes it so good . . . but, I hope this new American Racing sanctioning body can have some serious meetings about safety in the sport - and improve conditions or possibly starting procedures to give more room for racers in early laps (when these situations tend to happen, if you look at the history) especially on these "rough" and challenging racing venues.
NOTE: I remember one year at the Springfield Mile when Chris Carr and Scott Parker became spokesmen for all the racers, after the track (due to very heavy rains) was sticky, and wet - causing practice crashes and injuries. Coolbeth had one of the worst crashes of his career that day. Racers were advised they would not be points-penalized if they elected not to ride. Maybe a senior member of the racing fraternity could be elected to govern track conditions, etc? This may hold race promoters "more responsible" for track conditions and the racing surface. In general, if the racers show up, and the track is not acceptable to 90% of the participants, action is taken: ie: travel money is dispersed, etc.
Anything towards safety goals would help . . . none of us want this to ever happen again, to any one of our racers. Deterring injuries (and worse, fatalities) in this sport should always be a top priority.
I feel this would not effect the quality of racing,
but, actually improve it.
- R. Noot