The Empirical Debunking of the Most Frequently Said Rumors/Gossip/Putdowns/Slams Against The Galletta’s Greenhouse Karting Club & Backyard Speedway:
The Galletta’s Karting Club was founded to be an affordable form of motor racing in the early 1990s. It was originally just meant for brother/founders Matt and Chris Stevens to have fun, and back then, the local (Oswego County area) karting tracks that exist now did not exist. We created our own. Over the years, we’d aquire more, buy more, build more, and simply by word of mouth from friends and family, it grew, and by 2005, we were averaging 16 karts in exciting and highly competitive 40-50 lap races a week with 100-130 lap “Klassic” races. By 2007, we were having twenty or so 35-60 lap races a week, featuring some of the best karters in Oswego area.
In 2006, one of the drivers that raced with us along with two others who knew about us and our track decided to assist in building a dirt track track in back of the Oswego Speedway. We raced both our own backyard speedway (and later re-named Oswego Kartway) for three full years. Due to disagreements with the operator, and even though we planned to race only a part-time schedule, we were forced out of the Oswego Kartway. We enjoyed racing our type karts there and enjoyed watching some of the classes, which sported beautiful equipment and short, fast races. We enjoyed the track during our stay there, but after we were forced out by the operator who we used to think of as a friend until the truth came out about what kind of a friend he was, we noticed something. We started noticing less people join our group. We started seeing on social media and message boards slams against us, and whispers of mockery would eventually filter down to us. We never understood why, as we never once considered ourselves a pay track in competition against any pay track, nor did we look down on the other karting classes that we shared the track with, but some people at the pay track and in other kart divisions saw us as the enemy and/or looked down upon us, simply because we had a falling out with the operator, and that we go “the wrong way” with “yard karts”. Well, we’re certain that we haven’t heard them all, but we’ve heard quite a few. Here we tackle some of the slams that we’ve seen and heard.
Stupid Comment: “Oh, yeah, those guys are just yard karts! Not real race karts.”
Answer: If anybody thinks these karts are just yard karts, they are sadly and foolishly mistaken, and their ignorance should be noted against anything else they say about us. They are Galletta’s-style 1-wheel-drive (“1-wheel-peel”) racing karts. They are somewhat hybrid between a flat-kart and a yard kart. They are neither. They have more ground clearance than a flat kart, but are set up for racing FAST on any surface, not just pay race tracks. Most are custom built to race on backyard speedways, and can also race on organized pay tracks. To say we are yard karts proves ignorance, and ignorance is bliss.
Stupid Comment: “Why would I race those when I could buy a clone kart, flatty kart, or champ kart?”
Answer: You have the freedom of choice to race in any of those divisions. In fact, you can race two or three of them if you’d so choose. But if you are looking for affordable racing (our karts cost around $1,000 built from scratch with brand-new everything, and roughly $250-300 used while a different class will set you back $1,000 for starter level and to be competitive you will have to pay a few grand to get top of the line equiptment and pay motor specialists to set you up), equalized competition (meaning all karts are confirmed feature winners and maintained by a professional to be equally competitive every single weekend), race against the most experienced and talented karters in Oswego and possibly Central New York (Chris and Matt Stevens started racing in the early 1990s and have amassed more victories than any local karter known to us and have done so on both the original two Oswego area dirt karting tracks – Galletta’s Greenhouse Speedway [1990-now] and Oswego Kartway [2006-2008] before our class was kicked out in favor of the more expensive clone class) if you can find one, please let us know, but you can’t), and be instantly competitive with one of the best small engine motor mechanics in Oswego setting you up with a competitive motor for botom dollar (Matt Stevens usually sets you up being competitive because we need competition and we are people with a theistic moral compass that do not believe in cheating, and we abhor it and don’t need to cheat… we can compete with slower karts, we just do not race, we want to compete!). When it comes down to it, you can race any. And you can race the others AND with us. People who have the choice and choose not to race with us basically are afraid to race against the emprically proven most experienced karters in Oswego County, New York.
Stupid Comment: “Pphhttt… my flat kart could smoke those karts any day!”
Answer: Where? And how? Flat karts are designed to be raced on a specially prepared, smooth racing surface – often small, sometimes asphalt, sometimes clay. But they are pretty much useless anywhere else, and bottom out pretty much anywhere that isn’t completely flat. Good for a race track, of course. Not so good on a backyard track. No racing kart ever built could beat a Galletta’s kart on the Galletta’s track. Period. These karts were designed to be raced on this track, but that does not mean that we aren’t fast. Our speeds average between 35-50 MPH on our track (long straights with banked hairpin turns). When the Galletta’s Karting Club raced at the local pay karting track – Oswego Kartway – our karts were timed roughly one second slower than the high-priced methanol-fueled classes, yet were not even geared to race on the small track (we have jokingly called it “Kiddie Kartway” because it is less than half of the size of our track and in our opinion, it is built perfectly for kids to learn how to race, but adults look silly on it), they were geared to race on our Galletta’s track.
In addition, we do not care if our methanol or clone motor can be geared to go quicker on a smaller track, we are geared to be fast marathon races that can go 200 laps on one tank of gas. That would be over 400 laps on the small local track for example… yes, you read that right… 400, because our track is over twice as big. Most of those karts on the small track burn out tires and gas on 35-50 laps. We can go 400 of those laps without missing a beat. We consider ourselves iron-man marathon karters, and sacifice a small measure of speed for a large measure of endurance and flexibility. We race on bumpy tracks and race all day or all night. Ever hear of the story of the tortoisee and the hare? Well, if you didn’t, you probably lived under a rock, but Google it if that is the case. Not that we are as slow as tortoises, but we can take more punishment and go longer distances than prefabricated methanol karts with racing tires. Just factual. Don’t hate.
Stupid Comment: “I would never race with those guys. They turn the wrong way. This isn’t England, we turn left in this country!”
Answer: Wow. This one is good. This is one of the first bashes we heard about us. Well, read, online. Okay… I know this is confusing for hate-filled senile people and rednecks with pickled brains from too much alcoholic beverages, but I’ll try to make this simple. Generally, when driving a vehicle (racing or otherwise), you can go straight, turn right, turn left, and stop. Going backwards generally does not work in racing, so let’s bypass that before it confuses more people. Now… Ever see a drag race? No turns, just straight. Ever see a road course? Yep, congrats, you see that they turn both ways. Yep, so NASCAR, IRL, and most short tracks around the country race counter-clockwise. That means, they turn left. Congrats, you are learning. To believe that turning left around an oval race track is the only way to race is a very simple-minded and some would say “redneck” way to look at racing. I say redneck because it tends to be hardcore oval track race fans that tink this way, and most people outside of that group don’t care which way you turn when you race and wouldn’t know the difference. A race is a race! Anywhere! Any way! Now, who made a law that said the only real racing is turning left? People, if you think outside of a box, maybe we’d have smarter people in the world and more problems solved. We race clockwise. We turn right. Real racers can race anything in any direction. Maybe the people who are sticklersfor turning left-only aren’t really good drivers? Hmm… could be. Don’t know, they seem to never show. SO now the question is… why DO we turn left? Glad you asked….
Stupid Comment: “Duh, why do those guys go the wrong way/turn left?”
Answer: To make a long story short, please read. Brothers Chris and Matt Stevens, huge fans of Oswego Speedway Supermodified racing since the late-1970s and early-1980s when they went weekly as children, had never heard of any track in their area tha raced karts of any kind, but wanted to race something. They had raced pedal karts in the 1980s, and had winter time sledding races in the 1980s-early 1990s. When they were teenagers in the early 1990s, they wanted to race something, and go-karts seemed like a great idea. If any go-kart tracks existed, they did not know of them, and there were none in Oswego. In 1990, the Galletta’s Go-Kart racing league began as young Matt Stevens by himself with a Manco 2-seater yard kart, joined a year or two later with his brother Chris Stevens with a former Thunder Island amusement park kart, and then a year or two later with their dad Wes Stevens with another Manco 2-seater Yard Kart. Even so, the brothers and their dad (with occasional friends and relatives) raced the traditional counter-clockwise (left-turn) way around the backyard that used to also double as the neighborhood football field where Chris and Matt would host after school and summer-time football games with high school buddies from 1988-1992. But something happened… the lighter guys always won. It was later determined that the lightest guy won every time, because of a slight incline (in what is now the front stretch) that helped the lighter guy out of the hole, not to mention the difficulty with cornering with the drive wheel on the inside. We tried the other way, and not only noticed the ease of cornering, but also that the heaver drivers were competitive. Thus, the rest was history – it stayed, we staggered the karts which further solidified their right-turn statusand the reason we are not 2-wheel drive/left-turn karts.
Stupid Comment: “Those guys aren’t real racers.”
Answer: This one is a direct slap in our face and anybody who would say that, we challenge to a race at any time. Firstly, founders Matt and Chris Stevens have been in more karting races than any other local karter out there. Name them, and compare the stats. All of ours are here, and verified via hundreds of hours of video and hundreds of webpages documenting every season from the early 1990s-up and every race from 2005-up. Considering the fact that most local karters started in the mid 2000s – with most of the local area tracks opening between 2006-2008, and the brothers have been racing since the early 1990s before a good deal of them were even born or knew about local kart racing, it’s basically not even close. Secondly, they have also won more races than any other karter out there. In fact, we have won more races than anybody else has even entered on our track, and almost certainly in every karting class on every karting track in the area that we know of. Thirdly, we have had many visiting competitors who once raced with us goon to also have success in other forms of racing. A look from the very top to the very bottom of our All-Time Points & Wins List shows many a name that went on to get many do well in and score wins in local organized pay track kart racing and also at the local big tracks – Oswego Speedway, not to mention a few people here and there that have also raced at Fulton Speedway. Fourthly, our karts and track are mostly mocked by a few local karters who have no idea what we’re about, and therefore, drivers who HAVE raced with us, DID learn how to race with us, and DO OWE US for getting THEM into karting do not give us the credit for doing so. Its sad, but it’s true. And lastly… if anybody had the gall to say that we are not real racers to our faces, we’d challenge them to a race right there and then. Our track is open eey weekend all Summer and most of the Fall, and we have more than a dozen karts to hop into. We’ll even drive one slower than yours. And still win. But, they don’t. In fact, our website is filled with little nudges meant to prick the pride of oranized karting in order to goad anybody who actually thinks that way to race with us. They either can’t read or don’t have the balls. Probably both.
Stupid Comment: “OK, so you guys are longtime racers, we get it. Why don’t you race at (Insert Any Local Pay Karting Track)? Afraid? Too poor?”
Answer: We did. And while we were there, we won many races and swept the podium two Classics at the one downtown track, which we raced at almost every weekend between 2006-2008. All this while the track operator forced us to race against bigger motors (our shaved-head gas flatheads were pitted against gas Animal motors – and we held our own and beat them a lot more than we should’ve considering the difference in raw horsepower). And, when we asked to please separate the classes by motor, our class was removed and replaced by Clones, who were said to be the affordable class to replace our affordable class, but there is no comparison… our class is by far cheaper. We were invited to race at two other pay karting tracks, but we decided running our own track and not being forced to haul 5-14 karts 20-60 miles a weekend to race for a few minutes on expensive pay tracks makes far more sense. And far cheaper. Not to mention that some drivers travel to all of the tracks and some of them did not like our cheaper class showing them up – we put on fantastic races that were equal or better than any of the more expensive classes could muster. Trust us, we could drop out 15-18 self-maintained karts and buy the best flatkarts/champs/clones money could buy. And we have absolutely NO DOUBT that we would sweep and win every year in any class we tried. Be thankful we aren’t in them, and you can have your fun. We could care less about that… because we have many jobs and hobbies between us, we want to race on our own tersm and our own time, not the strict schedule that most pay tracks adhere to. We like to be flexible and schedule mid-weekers in a rain-out or not enough people show for a race. We like to race every weekend withoutr cencelling due to events that “the big track” shedules. We like to spend a few hundred dollars once and probably less than one hundred a year to maintain and race these karts a full season. And we enjoy not having to haul our equiptment all over the state. Trust us, we aren’t poor and we aren’t afraid. We like racing the way we’ve raced since 1990. If you have a problem with that, either show up and try it out, or leave us alone and STFU. If you don’t, come give or club a try.
Stupid Comment: “Those guys rig it and give themselves the fastest, best handling karts all the time. I don’t have proof, but I just know it!”
Answer: This one perhaps irks us more than anything else. We run a club, and head mechanic Matt Stevens maintains each and every single kart to the utmost of his ability. Every single kart at the track has won feature races with multiple drivers at the helm of them, and Matt and his brother Chris themselves have won features in almost EVERY SINGLE KART at the track. Some of the karts are even lighter and given more horsepower to allow for heavier competitors to compete, in addition to Matt and Chris being weighed down. Our website literally has hundreds of examples to prove that the brothers do not rig it to win. They are experienced and often keep their karts out of wrecks and keep them from breaking. The people who say this either are untrusting souls, or do not know just how honest Chris and Matt are. And how much they love competition, that they will organize 8-15 kart go-kart races in their back yard AND give their competitors more powerful motors AND weight themselves down to compete! In other words, people who say that are either jealous of Chris and Matt’s ability, or need an excuse to think they are better.
Stupid Comment: “The local pay tracks get 70-100 karts a week. You guys are lucky to get 10 on a good day! No comparison at all!”
Answer: This is one of the stupider comments we hear. Firstly, we are not in competition with ay tracks and we are an adult race club, no minors (often the backbone of every karting club or track) can race without extraordinary circumstances. Now secondly, every pay track we have ever seen separates karts into classes. Methanol, gas, Flathead, OHV, clone, light, medium, heavy, super heavy, Senior, Junior… I mean, the classes are countless. So, of course, if you have so many divisions in motor, age and weight, there will be a lot of karts. Most of these classes can be anywhere between 1-10 karts. So, in most cases, there are several classes, and each class is 3-10 karts. If you are intellectually honest, you will come to terms with the fact that our karts are also a class of karting (and if you say “low class” or “cheap class”, then please come to our races, join us and find out how low-classed our racing is!), and our class averages 8-15 karts a week. Most weeks it is in the middle, 9-11. This means our class is the same size as any class that races on the local pay tracks. Plus, we race more laps and on a track roughly twice as big as the immediately local tracks. In addition, our track is for adults-only. We turn away kids all the time because we are too tough for kids to race with. The karts take immense manpower to man, and our large track leads to greater speeds and harder crashes. The small pay-track downtown is a perfect track for kids to race on. But we are an adults-only club.
Stupid Comment: “All I hear about is that they kick people out all of the time!”
Answer: This is absolutely wrong. We have held hundreds of races over nearly twenty years, and have had several hundred different competitors join in our races. In all of this time, we have never barred anybody from the track. There has been a few occasions of people who bent our rules a bit and were asked to obey our motor rules, and they chose to leave, and that is not a ban, that is just a handful of people who simply just did not want to play by the rules and left on their own, despite multiple requests for them to come back and race with the same motors that we legally allow. We have also had one person who kept getting in verbal arguments and alsmost physical confrontations with several different people, and she was asked to stay away from the track – although we remain friends with her and harbor no hard feelings, the fights ended when she stopped being at trackside during the races. There has been a few cases of drivers breaking the newbie-causing-multiple-cautions-and-being-a-hazard rule, but they are NEVER barred from track side, just disqualified themselves from that particular race and are invited back, if not just with a little practice to make sure they stay in line and don’t cause wrecks. There has also been a case of one driver in 2012 berating us because he was asked to get off of the track after being in nearly countless cautions in his heat and feature and holding up the race, who after the race accused us of favoritism and rigging the karts, and he probably became the closest person to actually being barred, as we told him to get our and escorted him to his vehicle. We’ve had a few people over the years who disliked our late starting time or something that went on during the race (wreck or pereived insult? We never know for sure), but they stop coming on their own, they are never barred. Ever. They barred themselves.
Stupid Comment: “They trash-talk against people all the time! I’ve seen them bash Kartway on more than one occasion!”
Answer: I have explained many times before that we are almost always attacked by people and racers from other tracks and other race divisions and we defend ourselves. We are nice people and never mock or attack anybody. However, if attacked, we can defend ourselves, Right? Actually, we should be able to, but it seems as if when we defend ourselves against slams, we are seen as the aggressors. Not true. This entire page is answering the most oft-heard slams and digs against us. Yeah, after hearing so many, we are hurt and we get mad. Wouldn’t you? Think from our perspective before you form an opinion.
Stupid Comment: “Those guys raced at the Oswego Kartway but they got kicked out because they couldn’t get along. Why would I want to race with them? They must be a bunch of cheatin’ pricks!”
Answer: We are not cheaters and we abhor cheating. We are fairly reserved, nice, a bit introverted, yet kind and mannered people. So why did our club get barred from Oswego Kartway. It’s a veeerrry ong story, and it is found here, on this webpage.
Stupid Comment: “That track is unsafe! Trees everywhere! Karts are unsafe! People get hurt all the time!”
Answer: Almost completely untrue. We began racing in the early 1990s. Since that time, there has been minor bumps, scratches, abrasions and brusies, which is whi full face helmets, gloves, shoes, pants, and long sleeves are mandatory, and extras such as neck braces, flap jackets and elbow/knee pads are all highly suggested. However, in all of that time, we’ve oly has two hospitilzations. One was when two people were racing after a caution came ut, and an un-gloved competitor got their hand run over and suffered a partial tear of their ligament in a finger. If they wore a glove, and people were not racing during caustion, this would not have ever happened. The second was the more severe one. A newbie racer in his 1st rae at the track cut off a veteran driver, who flipped and his kart landed on top of him. He broke a few ribs and shoulder blade. He recovered, but lost a month of work, and retired from racing. Since then, we have warned newbie drivers to stay ina line and do not cut people off, or they will be asked to sit out the remainder of the race. Safety is our #1 concern here, and we are racing open-wheeled on a backyard track. In doing this, we believe we race cleaner than almost anybody on a pay track with closed wheels. We have to… to not just race clean, but to race safe. We have racing tires placed stratigically around any obsacles outside of the racing surgface, and most of the outer prtion of the track has nothing to hit… you’ll just fly off and come to a stop. We have also lowered the karts down so that flips are kept to an extreme minimum (before 2007, they were commonplace, pretty much monthly or more, while after 2008 when we lowered the karts, flips are rare, maybe one or two a year tops). Thank God, we have not had any serious injuries since 2007, and those of us who believe in the Creator, pray that all drivers will be safe. Clean driving, respectful of yourown safety in addition to the safety of your fellow competitros go a long way. Acidents happen, but our racing has had less injuries than almost all other sports. Again, thank God and the safe driving of our drivers for that.
Stupid Comment: “Yeah, great starter class, but I wanna’ move up into the big leagues.”
Answer: More expensive leagues, yes. Moving up? With expense. But better drivers? No. Closer competition? No. Expect to pay more for less in other divisions. And find your own help… you won’t have the best karter in whatever division you choose (someone like Matt fr example) helping you compete by giving you a kart equal or faster than his own. Nor find anybody with more on-track race experience than the foudning brothers Matt and Chris. Period. Trust us. It won’t happen.
Thank you for reading. am sure that this page may make some people mad. Don’t be. This is our defense against commonly heard slams against us. Don’t get mad at us, we’re just defending ourselves to the warrentless slams against our club and speedway trough the years. I’m sure that there is more, but these are at least the ones we’ve heard. If you look at our race club with an open and objective mind, you would find that our class is a great way to race competitively for a fraction of the cost of pay track racing, and with real drivers who can race with anybody that races on any pay track, period. That’s jus the facts, son. If you disagree, come on out. We’re always looking for fresh meat, esxeplly the cocky arrogant drivers. They’re always the most fun to watch as we beat them. And we always do. 😉