DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Scott Goodyear has turned plenty of laps around Daytona International Speedway in both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the IROC Series.
Now, the open-wheel racer turned broadcaster finds himself back at the “World Center of Racing” helping his son’s racing efforts during Daytona KartWeek.
Goodyear, a native of Toronto who now resides in Indianapolis, is assisting his 14-year-old son Michael in the George Kugler/Bridgestone Manufacturer’s Cup Series on the sprint track located in Turns 3 and 4
After trying stick and ball sports, Michael Goodyear visited a go-kart track and caught the racing bug. He’s been racing for the past three years and is competing this weekend at Daytona in the Yamaha Jr. Lite class.
“He’s done a great job,” Scott Goodyear said. “He learns tracks within 10 laps. He’s been doing it for three years and I think he’s doing a great job because he can compete against other people that have been doing it since they have been seven even though he started when he was 11.”
While his son is making gains on the race track, Scott Goodyear is finding himself a little behind in the garage when it comes to karts. He says it’s been about 30 years since he played with go-karts and the technology has changed dramatically.
“We’re not as fast as we would like to be right now,” said Goodyear, who has seven Rolex 24 At Daytona starts with a best finish of second in 1992. “It’s not a function of him but it’s a function of me knowing what the go-kart needs.”
Scott Goodyear started his racing career in the same fashion as his son in karts. He won national and North American karting championships between 1969 and 1976.
He raced in the CART Indy Car Series and the IndyCar Series and competed in 12 consecutive Indianapolis 500s with two runner-up finishes. In 1992, he was involved in the closest-ever Indianapolis 500 finish when he chased Al Unser Jr. to the checkered flag and finished second by just .043 seconds.
Scott Goodyear said it’s possible that Michael might want to pursue a career in racing but wants to make sure he continues to have fun on the race track.
“The way I look at it is that we take it a weekend at a time, a month at a time and a year at a time,” Goodyear said. “We sit down at the end of every year and see if he likes it and enjoys it and then we continue on. The biggest thing for me, because of the fight that I had to have to get to do this for a living for so many years, is that you have to enjoy it. I don’t want him to miss being a kid at the same time.”
During Daytona KartWeek, Goodyear has been so focused on his son’s kart that he hasn’t taken a whole lot of time to look around the storied racing facility.
“I’m so focused on what I’m doing here with him,” Goodyear said. “I know there’s (Richard Petty Driving Experience) cars going around and stuff like that. I’m not worried about what (Michael) is doing behind the wheel. I’m more worried about what I’m doing with the wheels and the go-kart.”
Daytona KartWeek concludes on Thursday for both the George Kugler/Bridgestone Manufacturer’s Cup Series on the sprint track located in Turns 3 and 4 and the Dirt World Championships on the quarter-mile dirt track outside Turns 1 and 2.
Tickets for Daytona KartWeek can be purchased at Ticket Booth E located above the Turn 1 tunnel.