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

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, December 27, 2014

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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 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,’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.


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