Tri-City Kart Club
Karting in the Tri-Cities began as an adult sport. Races were initially held in business parking lots. As the Tri-Cities area grew, so did local karting. The Tri-City Kart Club was incorporated in 1959 as a non profit organization.
Shortly thereafter, the members of Tri-City Kart Club constructed a track on land leased from Acme Concrete Company near the Yakima River. With the availability of a track and reliable weather conditions, TCKC became a favorite track for local and regional participants.
In August 1981, TCKC no longer had access to the track due to the construction of Interstate 182. Acme Concrete had to resume possession of the land where the track was located.
In order for members of TCKC to race in the 1982 season, the Club obtained access to a track in Yakima Washington. This solution was difficult on the members due to travel time (about 1.5 hours from Richland), expense and limited practice.
It was at this point the Officers and Board of Directors of TCKC decided to present a plan to the City of Richland to attempt to secure a track of their own. The new Track Development Committee; the members of which were R.A. Rogers, Chairman; P.W. Gottschalk; and D.R. Clayhold; began developing means of obtaining funds for the construction of a new kart track. It was their goal to have a completed track available for racing before April 1, 1983.
The proposed location was adjacent to the O.R.V. Park at the Horn Rapids Triangle in Richland, WA. The original track layout was much different than what you see present day. The following picture is the initial design layout of the proposed track. The second picture is the track as it is today.
Over the years, many changes took place at the track. In1984, a two story Tower building was added. It included an office area upstairs for registration and running the scoring during racing. A concession area, bathrooms and storage area were located on the bottom floor.
Following, in 1986, Mr. Rogers added a 340 square foot pole building near the end of the grid. It was originally used as a garage for the go karts. Today, it is still referred to as the Rogers building and is used mostly as a storage shed for mowers, track blower and assorted accessories needed for repairs.
In 1989, a metal roof cover was erected next to the tower building. It was divided into spaces which were rented for each race season allowing some competitors to be protected from the weather. Today, it is used as a protective cover over picnic tables and bleachers.
In 1992, a 576 square foot pole building was put into place next to the Rogers building and referred to as the Tech Shed. It was a building where kart inspection would take place after racing was completed. It offered a protected and clean location for "tearing down" karts to make sure they were legal for racing. Today, it is still used for "teching" karts and also provides storage for golf karts and supplies.
In 2003, a metal roof cover was added over the starting grid. It allowed the competitors to wait for their race in the shade instead of the searing heat of the sun on those long summer months in the Tri-Cities. In addition, a stick frame building with garage doors on both ends was added over the scales. It provided much needed protection for the scale equipment.
The last major building project was completed in 2007. A 480 square foot stick frame building was added in the pit area. It contains men's and women's bathrooms each complete with their own shower.
Recently completed upgrades to the track and pit area include a totally repaved racing surface and entirely filled in pit area. The dirt, sagebrush and asphalt sidewalks are gone in the pits and have been replaced with new asphalt that has been striped and numbered to provide pit spaces for the competitors. The spots are leased to members on a year to year basis to allow them their own space to ready their karts for racing and practice.
In and around all the construction, TCKC has also been privileged to hold several National events; 1986 IKF 2-Cycle Sprint, 1993 4-Cycle Sprint, 2001 IKF Shifters, and the 2003 2-Cycle Sprint. The track now sports two configurations: 5/8 mile Long Track and a 1/2 mile Short Track. During the club race season, both configurations are used in the 8 race championship points battles as well as having at least two night races during the hottest months of July and August.
The current Board of Directors is very proud of all the accomplishments of everyone, from past to present, who have had a hand in the growth of the sport and club. We welcome anyone with history on the track to contact us with this information to be included on our web page. With the facility as it stands now, we are excited for what the future will hold for kart racing in our region.