Check out the Memorial Go-Karts running in “prime time” tonight, with features starting at 5:15, Balloons to Heaven at 6:25, and raffles/silent auction items!
Why did you get into racing?
I grew up around racing! My mom [Tonya (Krueger) Werner] used to race team cruisers (#13) and I’ve been watching NASCAR my whole life.
Who is your favorite NASCAR (or other pro) driver?
Jimmy Johnson. When I was little, my uncle and I had a bet. He was always a fan of Jeff Gordon, and I took Jimmie Johnson because he was #48 just like Brad Keith. In eight years of betting, I won every year!
The Memorial Go-Kart program was built on the idea of partnering adult mentors with young people interested in racing. Who is your mentor?
Justin Poenitsch. I started in karts at the age of 13 with a different team, but that mentor was not able to continue the second year. Justin welcomed me to his team and I’ve been there ever since! Our team number [#87] is his number when he races [at Slinger Justin has raced Enduros, Bees, limited late models, thunderstocks, and Figure 8’s], and it is basically a mini-version of his car. He has helped so much and taught our team a lot! He keeps the team running!
Another aspect of the Memorial Go-Kart program is that mentors have multiple drivers in different age divisions. Who else is on your team?
Our kart is owned by Tommy Kraus. The other drivers are Emily Kraus and Camden Brittnacher. We are sponsored by GrinderVille Grinders, Pizza, Calzones, and More [in Menomonee Falls], which is Justin’s business.
What are your future plans?
I’m 17 and a senior at Kettle Moraine Lutheran. I hope to go to UW-Whitewater for accounting next year. For racing, I’m looking at Legends or Slinger Bees (cost will be the determining factor). I’m a huge fan of the Tackes (Brandon and Marty), they know a lot about the Bees and I’m sure they would help me out if I decide to go with that division.
What do you like about Slinger Super Speedway?
The drivers are passionate about what they are doing!
Is there anyone you want to thank?
I want to thank Kathy Fies for her work in getting the Memorial Go-Kart program started, and all the people who volunteer their time with it! Also, thank you to my mom, dad, and family for supporting me!
What is your favorite food?
The pizzas are GrinderVille are pretty great! I’m a cheese and dunk-it-in-ranch kind of girl. I also love my mom’s stuffed green pepper soup!
Which Slinger driver do you have the most respect for?
It’s really hard to choose; there are so many! I’d have to pick Shane Becker (former #20 Figure 8) because he helped my mom when she raced. Plus he always put on a great show when he raced the 8’s! Rick Bruskiewicz (#17 Figure 8) too, he’s always been super nice and welcoming to me. He answers any questions I have. The Tackes’ [Brandon #24 Super Beez and Marty #24 Slinger Bees] also, they are very informed about how the Bees work. I’ve seen how much they work on their cars, and what they all go through to race. They’ve also asked me to race the Bernie Koenig Memorial Go Kart Race at Walmart, and I’ve had a really good time doing that.
Part of tonight’s events will be the Balloons to Heaven ceremony (at 6:25) intended to honor Parker Klumb (whose short life inspired this program) and other local children who are gone too soon. What does this ceremony mean to you?
When I’m racing I try to race for Shane and Jamie Becker’s son, Jordan, who is no longer with us and also my cousin, Cade Werner, who was killed in an accident in March of 2017. The Balloons to Heaven is such a moving ceremony! They read a list of names of children lost and everyone from the stands comes onto the track. I will be releasing balloons in Jordan and Cade’s memory. There were a couple tears last year, and there probably will be again this year, but I know this helps those families who have lost loved ones.
For more information about the Memorial Go-Kart program, go to http://memorialgo-kart.org/