A Day at the Races

Michael Gregory’s passion for racing started when he was just three-years old on a quad. Now 14, the Orange all-star races amongst the top contenders in the region as “Orange’s own kart racer.”

“I always liked to ride quads,” says Michael. “Once my family started taking me to the indoor track, I realized racing was something I really wanted to do.”

Progressing to the next level, Michael moved on to join a league where he qualified for three championships within two seasons and won all three. In addition to becoming a finalist in his first cash prize race just this past Father’s Day weekend, Michael’s most recent accomplishment was receiving first place at a race in Oakland Valley, New York last weekend.

In a 200-pound race kart with no power steering or seat belts, Michael pours around a track for position against up to 20 other karts averaging speeds of 80 to 105 miles per hour.

“It takes all of the force to turn the kart on your own,” says Michael. “There is a lot of bumping and banging but as long as I stay focused I can time myself to not line up with the other karts open wheels [this causing an accident].”

During the long season lasting from April to November Michael and his family travel to different race tracks every weekend with a kart trailer – this sporting his name and number.

“It is a long season but I enjoy it so much I cannot see myself doing anything different,” says Michael. “I cannot explain it but it’s a different world when I’m out there.”

Now as a 14-year-old sophomore at Amity High School, Michael understands that with driving the kart comes great responsibility.

During an average weekend the race tracks fill with families from all over the country. With extravagant coaches and mechanics flown in from all over the world, the Gregory’s stay focused on and off the track. Incorporating excitement, thrill, speed and family it is truly a fun-filled weekend.

“It’s like a party,” states Michael’s mom. “We all really enjoy the entire family and friends aspect at the tracks.”

Michael’s family is a big part of his success. While his dad tunes the kart Michael and he contemplate the best specifics for the machine- even including changes in weather, engine factors, driver weight, and more. 1000th of a second of time can make all the difference in placement.

With his sister Nicole, a recent graduate of Turkey Hill by his side, the Gregory’s and friends work to make his dream come true.

Now doing well Michael says kart racing has taught him so many things both on and off the track: he even met his best friend there.

Outside of being a kart racer, Michael likes recreational activities like fishing, boating, and riding his quad.

As he continues to enjoy his passion The Orange Times looks forward to following Michael as he outraces the competition.