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Nigro Brothers Racing

 

Nigro Brother Racing was active from 2000 to 2006. My experience racing Karts in the late 60's and early 70's with my Dad are some of my fondest childhood memories.

In 1999 my oldest son Tommy was becoming "burned out" with baseball and football at the "ripe old age" of 11. Interested in something we could do together, I began investigating the current Kart racing scene. I had been away from it for 30 years and didn't know if it was still around. I was please to find that it is a thriving, although obscure sport.

I purchased a used chassis and engine and Tommy and I began to practice at the Liberty (MO) kart track. I had raced on this track as a kid. The equipment and technology was far advanced from my time in Karting. Besides, I never really knew the mechanical side. All I did was drive! I found that we both had a lot to learn before actually entering our first race.

We practiced for an entire year before entering a race. During that year I purchased a Kart for my 7 year old son Mario. The class is called "Kid Kart" and is designed for drivers 5-8 years old. It is a scaled down version of a full sized kart with a 50cc 2 cycle engine capable (in unrestricted form) of speeds up to 45mph. Mario began practicing as well.

That first season Tommy recorded: 8 - First Place, 1 - Second Place, 1 - Third, 1 - Fourth Place to become the KCKA (Kansas City Karting Association) Club Champion in Junior 2 Yamaha. This was a big accomplishment. Mario competed in 11 races and did very well. At the time, Kid Kart results were not recorded. That changed the next season.

The following year, Tommy and Mario completely dominated their respective classes. This was fun at first but towards the end of the second season we began to wonder what was out there on the regional and national scene. 

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Team


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Drivers

Tommy Nigro

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Date of Birth: 08/24/89
Age Began Racing: 11
Classes Raced: Yamaha Junior SSX, HPV Jr, Formula Y Jr, TaG Sr.
Chassis: KRT, Margay
Engine Builders: Hi-Rev Engineering / Woltger Racing Engines
Sponsors: Village Gardens, Kart Racing Technologies International / Hi-Rev Engineering, Fairfield Motorsports, M&H Gas
Favorite Driver: Ayrton Senna 
Favorite Racing Memory: Winning the points championship at my home track 2 years in a row, my first Midwest Sprint Series win at Norway, my second place finish at the KART Nationals in Norman, OK, winning the first heat of the first race ever run on the new track in St. Louis (SLKA).
Racing Goals: To develop as a driver and learn more about chassis setup and engine tuning. Eventually earn a WKA National title.
Interests outside Racing: Paintball, Basketball, skateboarding and hanging with my friends


Mario Nigro 

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Date of Birth: 09/21/94
Age Began Racing: 6
Class Raced: Yamaha Jr. Sportsman, HPV Jr. Sportsman
Chassis: Margay Brava 1.2
Engine Builder: Hi-Rev Engineering / Woltger Racing Engines
Sponsors: Village Gardens, Fairfield Motorsports, M&H Gas
Favorite Driver: Mario Andretti
Favorite Racing Memory: Winning 7 of 8 heats in Denton, TX at the KART Nationals to become the 2002 KART Kid Kart National Champion.
Racing Goals: To continue racing karts, learn more about being a better driver, how my kart works and move up the ladder to new classes.
Interests outside Racing: Watching the Disney Channel over and over and over...


Noah Nigro

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Date of Birth: 08/18/97
Age Began Racing: 5
Classes Raced: Kid Kart, TaG 60
Chassis: TonyKart Micro, Birel
Engine Builder: Fairfield Motorsports
Sponsors: The Village Gardens, Fairfield Motorsports, M&H Gas
Favorite Driver: My brothers Mario and Tommy
Favorite Racing Memory: When I went off the track during practice in St Louis and went through a 10 inch deep water puddle. I got wet all the way down to my skivies, and it was cold ! I love to drive my TonyKart Micro and have my Grampy for my pit man.
Racing Goals: Try to stay out of 10 inch deep water puddles while driving my Kart.
Interests outside Racing: Soccer, building Legos, playing in my sandbox, Going to my Mimo's house to spend the night, rollerblading and last, but certainly not least, driving my Mom nuts!


Crew

Back row: Mimo, TJ, Tommy, Grampy, Dana. Front row: Aunt Teresa, Mario, Noah, Mimi
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Drivers
Tommy Nigro
Mario Nigro
Noah (The Bird) Nigro

Mechanics / Tuners
TJ Nigro
Tom (Grampy) Nigro
Tommy Nigro

Timing / Data Acquisition
Florence (Mimo) Sambo
Dana Nigro

Support
Teresa (Aunt Tesey) Hicks
Carmeline (Mimi) Nigro

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Team Equipment

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Team Record

2001


Tommy 
KCKA Club Races Liberty, MO: 8 - 1st Place, 1 second, 1 third, 1 fourth (in 11 races)
KCKA Club Champion Junior 2 Yamaha

Mario
Competed in 11 Kid Kart races at Liberty, MO 
(finishing positions not recorded)

2002


Tommy
KCKA Club Races Liberty, MO: 7 - 1st Place, 1 second (in 8 races)
KCKA Club Champion Junior 2 Yamaha
2002 K.A.R.T. Nationals, Denton, TX: 5th place
Iowa International Raceway Marshalltown, IA 1 - 1st Place (in one race)
K.A.R.T. MO-KAN Sprint Series 2 - 1st Place (in two races)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: 11th
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Springfield, IL: DNF
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series South Bend, IN: 8th
WKA Regional MWSS Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI: 6th
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Dousman, WI: DNF
SLKA # 3 5th (St Louis Karting Association)
SLKA # 5 DNF
SLKA # 9 1st Place
SLKA # 11 1st Place

Mario
Participant in 8 Kid Kart races at Liberty, MO
K.A.R.T. Nationals 2002 Kid Kart National Champion Denton, TX: 
(7 - 1st Place, 1 second (in 8 heats) at K.A.R.T. Nationals in Denton)
Iowa International Raceway Marshalltown, IA 1 - 1st Place (in 1 race)
K.A.R.T. MO-KAN Sprint Series 2 1st Place (in two races)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: 1st Place
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Springfield, IL: 1st Place
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series South Bend, IN: 1st Place
WKA Regional MWSS Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI: 1st Place
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Dousman, WI: 2nd place
SLKA # 3 1st Place (St Louis Karting Association)
SLKA # 5 1st Place
SLKA # 9 3rd Place
SLKA # 11 1st Place

Noah
SLKA 7th (Last SLKA race of 2002 in October, Noah's first race)

2003


Tommy 
KCKA Club Race Liberty, MO: 1 - 1st Place (in 1 race)
KCKA Club Races Carrollton, MO: 2 - 1st Place (in 2 races)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: Fast Time and 1st Place (HPV Jr)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Springfield, IL: 2nd (HPV Jr)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series South Bend, IN: 2nd (HPV Jr)
WKA I-55 Sprint Series: 1 DNF, 1 3rd (participated in 2 series events)
Track Challenge Springfield, IL: 3rd (Jr SSX) 2nd (HPV Jr)
SLKA # 1 1st Place (St Louis Karting Association)
SLKA # 7 4th
2003 K.A.R.T. Nationals Norman, OK: 2nd place

Mario
KCKA Club Race Liberty, MO: 1 1st Place (in 1 race)
KCKA Club Races Carrollton, MO: 2 - 1st Place (in 2 races)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: 4th
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Springfield, IL: 6th
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series South Bend, IN: DNF
WKA I-55 Sprint Series: 1 - 1st Place 1 - 4th participated in 2 series events)
SLKA # 1 4th (St Louis Karting Association)
SLKA # 7 1st Place 
2003 K.A.R.T. Nationals Norman, OK: 4th place

Noah
KCKA Club Race Liberty, MO: 1 - 1st Place (in 1 race)
KCKA Club Races Carrollton, MO: 2 - 1st Place (in 2 races)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: 1st Place
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Springfield, IL: 1st Place
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series South Bend, IN: 1st Place
WKA I-55 Sprint Series: 1 - 1st Place 1 - 2nd participated in 2 series events)
SLKA # 1 2nd Place (St Louis Karting Association)
SLKA # 7 1st Place
2003 K.A.R.T. Nationals Norman, OK: 2nd Place

2004


Tommy 
WKA Manufacturers Cup Daytona International Speedway:
13th in Supercan, Qualified 4th Formula Y Jr DNF in final, 7th in HPV Jr.
WKA Manufacturers Cup 103rd St Complex Jacksonville, FL: A disastrous event for us. 14th in Supercan, 10th Formula Y Jr DNF in final, DNF in HPV Jr.
K.A.R.T. Mid-America Sprint Series (MASS) Carrollton 1st Place
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: 2nd Yamaha Jr SSX (in rain) 
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: 5th HPV Jr 
KCKA Club Race Carrollton, MO: 1st Place (in 1 race)
SLKA # 3 2nd (St Louis Karting Association)
2004 K.A.R.T. Nationals, Denton, TX: 7th (Jr Super Sportsman)

Mario
K.A.R.T. Mid-America Sprint Series (MASS) Carrollton, MO 1st Place
K.A.R.T. Mid-America Sprint Series (MASS) Anthony, KS 4th
KCKA Club Race Carrollton, MO: 1st Place (in 1 race)
SLKA # 3 2nd (St Louis Karting Association)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: 7th Yamaha Jr Sportsman (in the rain)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: 4th HPV Jr Sportsman
SLKA # 5 13th (Qualified 2nd, won the pre-final and was running 1st in the final when he was taken out in a questionable pass attempt by 2nd place driver)
TAG Team Endurance Race Jr 60cc Parilla Gazelle at St Louis 1st Place
2004 K.A.R.T. Nationals, Denton, TX: 7th (Jr 1 2 Cycle Lite) DNF (Jr 1 2 Cycle Heavy) (Crashed out while battling for 2nd place in heavy, 18 kart feild)
K.A.R.T. Mid-America Sprint Series (MASS) (2nd Carrollton event) 5th Place
(1st and 2nd place were DQ,d in tech for CC's but they were still awarded 1st and 2nd)
Route 66 Series Springfield Event DNF
SLKA # 8 2nd (St Louis Karting Association)
SLKA # 10 2nd (St Louis Karting Association)
Kart Fest 2004 1st Place Rookie Enduro Sat., 1st Place Pit Stop race Yamaha Rookie 2nd place Rookie Enduro Sun.
SLKA # 11 2nd (St Louis Karting Association)

Noah
K.A.R.T. Nationals 2004 K.A.R.T Kid Kart National Champion Denton, TX: 
(6 - 1st Places and 3 - 2nd Place (in 9 heats)at K.A.R.T. Nationals in Denton)
K.A.R.T. Mid-America Sprint Series (MASS) Carrollton 1st Place
KCKA Club Race Carrollton, MO: 1st Place (in 1 race)
WKA Regional MidWest Sprint Series Norway, IL: 1st Place 
SLKA # 3 1st Place (St Louis Karting Association)
SLKA # 5 1st Place
Kid Kart Nationals St Louis, MO 1st Place 2004 Kid Kart National Champion in the restricted class.
K.A.R.T. Mid-America Sprint Series (MASS) (2nd Carrollton event) 1st Place
Route 66 Series Springfield Event 1st Place 
SLKA # 8 1st Place (St Louis Karting Association)
SLKA # 10 1st Place (St Louis Karting Association)
Kart Fest 2004 1st Place Kid Kart Enduro Sat., 1st Place Pit Stop race, 1st place Kid Kart Enduro Sun.
SLKA # 11 2nd (St Louis Karting Association)
1st Annual Kid Kart Endurance Race, North Texas Kartway, Denton, TX 2nd Place (Team Race)

2005


Tommy
WKA Manufacturers Cup Daytona International Speedway:
5th Place HPV Heavy (18 Kart field) 5th TaG Senior (44 Kart field)
SLKA #1 12th Place (Qualified on pole, 2nd in pre-final running 2nd in final and threw the chain (22 kart field)
SLKA #2 5th Place TaG Senior
K.A.R.T. Mid-America Sprint Series (MASS) (1st Carrollton event) 2nd Place (mechanical DNF)
SLKA 2 Hour TaG Endurance Race Mechanical DNF (with co-drivers Todd DeGrand and Mike Nesbitt, Team "TMT")

Mario
WKA Manufacturers Cup Daytona International Speedway:
8th Place Yamaha Jr Sportsman (Consi), 22nd in HPV Jr. Sportsman
SLKA #2 5th Place Yamaha Rookie, DNF 60cc TaG Rookie
K.A.R.T. Mid-America Sprint Series (MASS) (1st Carrollton event) 2nd Place
KCKA Club Race #3 1st Place
SLKA #4 5th Place Yamaha Rookie, 4th 60cc TaG Rookie (taken out by a lapped Kart while leading Final)
J1 Speed Series at St Louis 1st Place both days Yamaha Jr Sportsman, 2nd Place both days 60ccTaG
SLKA 2 Hour 60cc TaG Endurance Race 1st Place (with co-driver Dillon Womack, Team "See Ya!")
SLKA #8 2nd Place 60cc TaG Rookie, Scratched from Yamaha Rookie sick from extreme heat.

Noah
SLKA #1 1st Place Advanced Kid Kart
SLKA #2 1st Place Advanced Kid Kart K.A.R.T. Mid-America Sprint Series (MASS) (1st Carrollton event) 1st Place 
KCKA Club Race #3 2nd Place
SLKA #4 1st Place
J1 Speed Series at St Louis 1st Pace both days Kid Kart All-Stars
SLKA #8 1st Place
Kid Kart National 1st Place Unrestricted 2005 National Champion

Images


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Images


 

Tommy's First Drive

Noah's First Race

MWSS Elkhart Lake 2002

SLKa august 2002

I-55 SS Springfield 2003

Liberty June 2001

KCKA Banquet 2002

mwss dousman 2002

SLKA May 2003

Daytona Kart Week 2003

liberty march 2002

Daytona 2002

Track challenge springfield

Mid-Season awards liberty

K.A.R.T. Nationals 2003

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History

The image above shows a group of karters in the Rose Bowl parking lot (Pasadena CA) in 1957. This was possibly the first group of karters ever to assemble. 

Karting came into existence in the late 1950's as a hobby. Art Ingels, Duffy Livingstone and a few individuals doing some impromptu racing in a parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Roy Desbrow, a business partner of Duffy Livingstone, had constructed a kart that was called the "Drone". It was so named because it was powered by a 250cc engine originally used in a U.S. Army radio controlled drone airplane. Kart racing today is the entry level to a Motorsports career as well as a fun and challenging family oriented hobby/sport. Most of today's top drivers, in all forms of Motorsports, got their start in a Racing Kart. Very few of tomorrows racing stars will reach the top levels of the sport without having spent time in a Race Kart. Karting is the first rung on the Motorsports career ladder. 

Racing Karts, unlike their backyard fun-kart cousins, are purpose built, relatively complex, high performance racing machines. They are far from toys. Like any Motorsports, Karting is a team sport. From tow vehicles, trailers, tools, tires and spares to marketing, preparation, strategy, patience, knowledge, courage and driving skills all the components needed to run BMW Motorsports or Penske Racing are required of a successful Kart Racing effort. Just on a smaller scale. The skills learned by young drivers will serve them well in whatever path they may choose in life.

Probably the most important attribute of Karting is the family aspect of the sport. In the Junior classes and even the Senior classes (16 & up) the family is a integral component of any successful team. From the science of chassis tuning, engine management, tire changing, to data acquisition, record keeping, loading, unloading and keeping everyone fed and watered Karting definitely requires a team to function.

Tom Nigro (Grampy) at the American Royal Arena 1959

T.J. Nigro, at the American Royal Arena, Kansas City, MO winter 1960

In the early 60's my Father and Uncle would rent the American Royal Arena in the winter in order to hold indoor dirt oval kart racing. They did this for 3 winters.

The American Royal Arena is an indoor venue for Livestock shows, auctions, and Rodeo's. The Arena is located in the west bottoms of Kansas City, MO in what was once a thriving livestock exchange. The Arena still exists but has been completely rebuilt and modernized.

The Brothers would first have to remove the tan bark (like heavy sawdust or fine mulch) that was used on the floor of the arena. Then they would haul in 120+ loads of dirt, bringing dump trucks through narrow passages to construct the banked track on the arena floor. When the 3 month season was over the dirt would have to be removed and the tan bark re-installed, like they do for Monster Truck races today held in sports arenas. The races were held on Saturday nights.

They would advertise on TV for these events and actually draw 1500+ spectators! The weekly events would draw drivers from all over the Midwest and a few from as far away as California where Karting was born. Many Midwest Midget and Sprint Car drivers would race Go-Karts in these events to get their racing "fix" through the winter. They would get 150+ entries and have to turn drivers away because the pit area, which was in the livestock holding area adjacent to and BELOW the track, would not accommodate more. The drivers that were pitted on the level below the track would drive up spiraling ramps to get to the arena floor.

There were single engine classes as well as double and TRIPLE engine classes, all 2 stroke. It was basically "run what you brung", few rules, and I'm told the racing was wild! Fistfights and ejections were the norm. There were no classes for kids or by age for that matter. Just by how many engines you had bolted on! It was extremely loud.

The ultimate demise of the thing was (A) trying to heat the place and (B) advertising. 

Even by late 50's and early 60's standards it was expensive to heat the large building. With all the 2 cycle engines the building would quickly become filled with smoke. huge exhaust fans would be turned on to remove the smoke and the heat would go out with it.

No advertising (newspaper, TV), no spectators. Entry fees alone could not offset the cost of renting and heating the building, paying the Pit Steward, Announcer, Flagman and other assorted help. When they advertised it ate up all the profit. No profit, no eat dinner, thus the enterprise died.

Speaking of enterprise, my Dad and his Brother also had the bright idea of manufacturing Go-Karts which they tried for a while. That also flopped.

Six years later I was racing Go-Karts myself at 9 years old.