Norwin sophomore Gracan excels at go-kart track
A North Huntingdon teen had a breakthrough season as a go-kart racer at the Blairsville Speedway in Indiana County.
Jake Gracan, 15, topped the point standings in two categories and finished third in two others.
Gracan, a sophomore at Norwin, was surprised by his success.
“I really changed the way I the way I drove the kart from last year to this year, with some help of a tire preparation program,” he said.
Gracan scored 319 points in Junior Champ, almost 100 more than the runner-up (221). One of 12 competitors, he won 10 of 14 events.
He finished atop Senior Champ (25 points), in which there were two other racers, and third in Lights (121) and Clone (115).
Blairsville Speedway spokesman Pete Miller said everything came together for Gracan, making him a force.
Matt Gracan served in his son's pit crew.
“(Jake) understood the amount of work it takes (and) what it takes to be a little quicker,” Matt Gracan said, adding his son was smoother around the corners.
Jake Gracan expects tougher competition next year.
“I'm definitely going to have to learn over the offseason how to be more aggressive behind the wheel,” he said.
Gracan hopes to move one day to a “real race car.”
“I think I have the talent,” he said.
He credits his dad for his success.
“My father is probably 90 percent of the reason I did so well this season,” he said. “He bends over backwards for me (by) spending a lot of money on parts and tires and motors and all kinds of stuff.”
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.