Robert Stout earns his first two career poles and one tainted win! Robert Stout and his ...
Robert Stout earns his first two career poles and one tainted win!
Robert Stout and his #457 Lucas Oil sponsored MKP Birel went to Bicknell Indiana to support the Lucas Oil Indy Karting Series this past weekend and ran two classes. TAG heavy and TAG light. It was a two day event with practice and qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday. Saturday turned out great as Robert earned his first career poles in both classes entered.
Robert said "It was kind of funny because we ran good at our light weight of 360lbs and we added 25 lbs. for heavy, made a small adjustment to the kart and went even quicker. It was frustrating though because none of the officials could tell us what the correct weight for heavy was supposed to be and we asked everyone from the president of the organization to the tech. director and they could not give us a definitive answer. As it turns out we set up for 380lbs, crossed the scales at 388 and later we found out the class rules were 370lbs so we really ran about 15 lbs heavy all weekend".
In the feature for TAG Heavy Stout learned a valuable lesson at the start. When they crossed the starting line the outside row had laid back far enough to get a 10 MPH run and the driver in the outside of the 2nd row was already in front of Stout. "It sucked and I was pissed off to be honest with you. I lead the field at a good pace and there was no reason why the outside pole driver wasn't beside me. I'm not blaming him because as a racer you do what you can and if they'll let you get away with a start like that then I'd try the same thing but I was relying on the flagman to do his job correctly and he didn't. When the guy in the second row is ahead of the guy sitting on the pole at the start the flagman should have waved us off, he should have seen them purposely laying back to get a run and stopped it but he didn't".
Stout found himself in 3rd and immediately got one spot back as he moved up to second unfortunately the ground strap for the engine broke shutting the engine off, costing him any chance at the win.
The next race was TAG light and things got even stranger here. Stout paced the field much slower this time with the last start fresh in his mind. "I did it perfect this time and caught the outside pole driver a bit off guard so I had about a half kart length on him at the line and this time the flagman waved us off! What a joke, I guess it's ok to start a race with the pole sitter one and a half karts behind but it's not ok to start a race with the pole sitter a half a kart length ahead. I know my mechanic Todd Bellew was having a serious discussion with the flagman so I'm sure I wasn't their favorite driver at the time" The next lap was good for the flagman as he started the race, Stout got a good start and was leading the field. It was a tight race with the first 4 karts all nose to tail. With two laps to go good friend from OMG Steve (Bevis) Schiewers who was driving someone else's kart caught Stout and made the pass for first. "Bevis is a great driver and anytime he's in the race he's going to be tough. He started dead last as I was told he never registered for the race. I guess that means anyone can race any class at anytime with what ever you want without signing up. Bevis had the Vega Blue tires on and I heard later from another OMG driver that was the best tire there but we've never run them. None of the major sanctioning bodies in the country allow the TAG class to run anything but Bridgestone's and that's what we had bought through Mike Otte of OMG. I'd heard the guys were picking up nine tenths with the Blues and we only picked up four with the Bridgestone's but still qualified #1. Mike was our crew chief last year and we still work very closely with him, I'm sure he would have told us the blues were the way to go if he knew that but Mike and Bevis are very tight and I can't help but think there might be a drive for the OMG guys to beat me now that I'm on a Birel and have "Super Tuner Todd" as they call him as my mechanic".
Schiewers went on to win the race and then supposedly did not go through tech and was disqualified handing the win back to Stout.
Stout said "It's just not the way I want to win especially my first win in the TAG class. He beat me straight up today and I know he was legal. I just don't understand what he was thinking, why would you go out unregistered and try to win the race? We all test cars during a race but we pull off a lap or two before the end. To everyone there they saw him win the race and I know he was legal so to hand me the win is not dignified. I guess technically I won but I know I finished second and I'm really not interested in a charity win. Bevis stole the glory of a win today with a car that shouldn't have even been in the race, I guess my first win in TAG will always be tainted".