ST. GEORGE, Utah - It’s not your typical NASCAR event, and while the cars may be smaller, the competition is just as intense.
Thirty teams competed Friday in the 14th annual SkyWest Airlines Mini Indy. The short track race is sponsored by Southern Utah based airline and aims to raise money for local charities.
“We have several competitions, we have which cars look the best, we have a pit stop competition,” said Skywest Airlines President Russell Childs. “Then the race itself. It’s the biggest event.”
The go-karts race in four different heats, and the fastest time gets the silver cup. Teams are made up of SkyWest business partners and local organizations. But drivers say it’s more than just a competition, it’s a lot of camaraderie and giving back to the community.
“A chance to get together with the other competitors the other vendors, the other suppliers,” said racer Fred Reina. “What everyone is after is that support that we provide.”
Childs said they raise close to $60,000 through the Mini Indy event, and all the funds go to United Way Dixie, which in turn supports close to 20 local organizations.
“Without the money received from the Mini Indy and the event that SkyWest does, we would be doing 50 percent less and the charities would not be receiving as much as they are able to,” said United Way Dixie administrator Rebekah Pectol.
The fact that it’s done through extreme go-kart is the bonus. Childs said it started as a one-time fundraiser but has turned into an anticipated tradition.
"It’s amazing, particularly in the airline industry, when you have our mechanics, what these guys can do with just a five horsepower motor,” he said.