SPORTS HEADLINES

Saturday Sports Buffet: Earning a reputation – Rhome track makes list of top 10 facilities in nation

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, December 27, 2014

Share this page...

When Kelley and Mike Engstrom bought their property off Texas 114 in Rhome in 2004, it hardly resembled a racetrack.

“We built it from scratch,” Mrs. Engstrom explains. “It used to be a horse pasture.”

Making a Name

MAKING A NAME – The KAM Kartway in Rhome earned a top-10 ranking according to a recent poll by RacingIn.com. The track was built by Kelley and Mike Engstrom in 2004. Submitted photo

The horses have been traded for serious horse power as half a hundred drivers fill the track at KAM Kartway on Saturday’s between March and October. In only 10 years, the 1/8th of a mile track has built quite a reputation. In a recent poll, RacingIn.com’s named the Wise County track as one of the top 10 in America. KAM Kartway checked in at No. 8 among 400 tracks submitted in the website’s survey.

“We’re excited. The website stated that over 400 tracks were voted on and a track in little old Rhome, Texas made the list,” Mrs. Engstrom said.

The Engstroms had been kart racing for several years before building the track. They previously operated a kart shop in Fort Worth.

“We’ve been in go-kart racing for more than 20 years,” Mrs. Engstrom said. “I tell people that I came home with a baby, and my husband came home with a go-kart.”

Engstrom said they lucked into finding the property to develop the track.

When the track opened there were eight to 10 other tracks within 100 miles of their facility.

“Now, it’s us and one at Texoma,” she said. “We’re so lucky. We average 50 racers a weekend.”

The racers range from age 4 to 65, running in seven different classes.

“It’s so much fun. It’s great entertainment for the whole family to watch,” Mrs. Engstrom said.

The whole Engstrom family jumps in to put on a race. But along with helping their track grow, Mrs. Engstrom said they are dedicated to helping grow the sport.

“I want to spread the word about grassroots racing,” she said. “These kids have the dream to be the next Kyle Larson (2014 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year and former kart champion). There’s no reason these kids can’t do the same thing.”

The Engstrom’s 19-year-old daughter Kaley, who started racing when she was 6, continues to race. She has also started her own business K&K Race Services, coaching and mentoring other young drivers.

KAM Kartway will hold its King of the Hill series in January. The 2015 season will open in March.

Mrs. Engstrom said they are planning to continue to make improvements to the track with a new transponder system. There are also plans for permanent restrooms and a concession stand.

Little chance the horses will be returning to pasture any time soon.

SIDEDISHES

  • It’s hard to believe Christmas is already over, and it’s time for nearly everyone to start district basketball play when the holiday break ends next week. For a sportswriter, that’s good news. Trying to track down eight schools all heading in different directions at tournaments is tough
  • A common theme of the UIL state football championships were big comebacks. Bremond, Navasota, Gilmer, Aledo, Ennis and Cedar Hill all needed fourth-quarter comebacks to score state titles
  • After winning several tight games in the playoffs, Argyle’s luck finally ran out with Navasota taking advantage of a late turnover to force overtime and winning it in the second extra session. In college or NFL though, the game would have ended in regulation with instant review overturning the play that set up Navasota’s game-tying touchdown as the receiver wasn’t called for fumbling the ball through the end zone for a touchback
  • When District 11-A play continues for the Alvord Lady Bulldogs Jan. 2, it’ll be interesting to see how their up-pace style holds up against Muenster. So far, their up-and-down play bringing in a fresh five every 90 to 120 seconds has worn out opponents
  • The first game, I’ve got circled on the calendar after the break is Jan. 6 when the Paradise Lady Panthers head to Bowie. Both won their first two 9-3A games decisively. Paradise’s guards may be the best prepared in the league to handle Princeton’s pressure
  • Jan. 6 will also be the first meeting on the basketball court as district opponents for Northwest and Byron Nelson
  • What a cool treat for the Bridgeport Bulls and Sissies to play in home of Dirk and the Dallas Mavericks. Hopefully, one day the state championships move north for a date at American Airlines Center
  • I like the new College Football Playoffs and am looking forward to the New Year’s Day games. Unfortunately for the rest of the bowl schedule, there’s little of interest. I’m not even intrigued by Texas vs. Arkansas
  • For now on, I am going to push for the University of North Texas to make the Bahamas Bowl just for an excuse to go to the Bahamas
  • As a Tony Romo apologist, I felt vindicated a bit last weekend with the Dallas Cowboys earning a playoff spot with the win over the Colts. This season has proved the point that I’ve tried to make for the last several years. Romo has been asked to do more than just about any quarterback in the game because of a lack of talent around him. Now, with a good running back, strong offensive line and capable receivers, it’s not a surprise what he’s accomplished.

Leave a Reply. Note: As of March 24, 2011, all posted comments will include the users full name.

WCMessenger.com News and Blog Comment Guidelines

You must be logged in to post a comment.