Go-kart track fulfills need for speed at RFK Stadium

WASHINGTON — “I needed to go faster.”

That’s what Jens Scott said while sitting in the pits of the new Summit Point Karts, D.C.’s newest go-kart track, which just opened the first two of three planned tracks in Lot 8 of RFK Stadium.

Not to say this isn’t a kid-friendly space but the expectation is that you’ll be driving in ways that would get you ticketed or even arrested on the highway.

The target demo here isn’t little kids looking to goof around between video games.

“This is not that whole thing,” said Scott, the president of Summit Point Karts. “You come here to learn to drive, learn to drive fast and learn to compete with other people.”

While you’re driving around in Go-Karts, Summit Point exudes more of a professional racing vibe.

The first thing you do when you arrive is sign a waiver and you’ll need to listen to some brief instructions before you’ll be given a balaclava, basically a flame retardant hood, and a helmet.

After that, you can hit the track.

Don’t be fooled: If you’re going to RFK to try out the go-karts at Summit Point, you’re going to be treated like a burgeoning race car driver.

The expectations are you’re going to drive as hard and as fast as you can while honing the skills of a race car driver.

But Scott runs a tight ship and the mythology of bumping and physical racing made famous in various NASCAR related movies won’t be tolerated.

“If somebody bumps or spins out or any kind of behavior that’s not normally OK, in say Formula 1, we don’t allow that here either,” Scott said. “We pull them off the track and say ‘That’s not how it’s done.’”

If you’re a first-timer you’ll start on Track A, which is most similar to the kind of tracks your kids might ride on.

Marked by several 180-degree turns and a nice, long straightaway leading into almost a 270-degree turn, you’ll be pushed to drive as fast and aggressively as you can while staying within the lines and the rules. It’s like competing in the time trials leading up to a race.

“One of our target audiences is older guys or girls who want to drive fast and don’t know exactly how to exercise that,” Scott said. “So there’s the place for that.”

The high expectations that Summit Point has for how you drive is reflected in the Go-Karts you’ll be driving in.

“They are the best Go-Karts that you can get,” Scott said. “They’re French sodikart that are the top of the line when it comes to this sort of thing.”

It took me a few laps of feeling out the track and how the kart handles it before I really felt comfortable going at it, but even then I was told to shave off eight-tenths of a second from my lap time before I could move on to the next level.

Members of the National Guard block an intersection on Monday night.  (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Protesters holds their hands up as a military helicopter flies low pushing a strong vertical down wash of air (rotor wash) onto the crowd during a protest over the death of George Floyd on June 1, 2020. – President Donald Trump vowed Monday to order a military crackdown on once-in-a-generation violent protests gripping the United States, saying he was sending thousands of troops onto the streets of the capital and threatening to deploy soldiers to states unable to regain control. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP) (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

D.C. Police hold a line along M Street, blocking a group of protesters on Pennsylvania Avenue from entering Georgetown. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

Police blocked a group of protesters between 14th and 15th St. NW at Swann St.

Helicopters flew low late on Monday night in D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood after a small number of demonstrators moved into the area. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Demonstrators wait in a police vehicle after being taken into custody as they protested the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. The arrests occurred after a curfew went into effect in Washington.

With tears in her eyes, a demonstrator is taken into custody by police after a curfew took effect during a protest over the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

Demonstrators react as a helicopter circles low as people gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

A military Humvee blocks an intersection along K Street in downtown Washington as demonstrators protest the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump walks from the White House through Lafayette Park to visit St. John’s Church Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. Park of the church was set on fire during protests on Sunday night. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John’s Church across Lafayette Park from the White House Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. Park of the church was set on fire during protests on Sunday night. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Police begin to clear demonstrators gathered as they protest the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

A demonstrator is taken into custody by police after a curfew took effect during a protest over the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

A demonstrator is taken into custody by police after a curfew took effect during a protest over the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

Police prepare transport vehicles for people who they arrest during protests over the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

U.S. Park Police string security tape around Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.

Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near the White House on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Workmen board up the windows of a building ahead of demonstrations against the death of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Trucks transport D.C. National Guard troops along West Executive Drive in support of law enforcement officers that are keeping demonstrators away from the White House on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Trucks transport D.C. National Guard troops along West Executive Drive in support of law enforcement officers that are keeping demonstrators away from the White House on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Secret Service officers stand on the roof of the West Wing while keeping watch on protesters gathered outside the White House on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near the White House on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Members of the Secret Service walk past the White House as protests over the death of George Floyd continue on Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Police officers hold a perimeter near the White House as demonstrators gather to protest the killing of George Floyd on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near the White House on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near the White House on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Protesters take a knee and raise their fists in Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020.

A cyclist rides pass an armored vehicle heading towards Lafayette Square on 16th Street, as people protest the death of George Floyd, in Washington, D.C. on Monday, June 1, 2020.

A demonstrator walks by graffiti in Lafayette Park on H Street NW, on Monday, June 1, 2020, after weekend protests sparked by the death of George Floyd occurred near the White House.

People protest the death of George Floyd near the White House in D.C. on Monday, June 1, 2020.

People protest the death of George Floyd down the street from the White House in D.C. on Monday, June 1, 2020.

People protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while while being arrested and pinned to the ground by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, outside Lafayette Square near the White House in D.C. on Monday, June 1, 2020.

Vehicles for the D.C. National Guard are seen outside the D.C. Armory, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. Protests have erupted across the U.S. to protest the death of Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Shattered window and door glass is scattered on the floor inside Mervis Diamond Importers in Washington, Monday, June 1, 2020, after a night of protests over the death of George Floyd.

A damaged cash machine is seen in Washington on I Street NW, Monday, June 1, 2020, after a night protests over the death of George Floyd. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington, during a news conference to announce a new 7 p.m. curfew for the city for the next two nights. Across the U.S., people gathered to protest the death of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

An ATF officer walks out of Lafayette Park on H Street NW, on Monday, June 1, 2020, after weekend protests sparked by the death of George Floyd occurred near the White House.

A worker cleans graffiti off the AFL-CIO building on 16th Street NW in D.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020, after weekend protests.

(1/41)
Donald Trump
President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. Park of the church was set on fire during protests on Sunday night. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

With more focus on how I approached each turn, I still finished four-tenths of a second too slow but I had a better understanding of what it’s like to actually race on a track, which is the point.

In an area with so many people working high-stress jobs, who sit in slow-moving traffic, Lot 8 of RFK Stadium offers a unique outlet for people who can finally press the pedal to the medal.

So how did they get to RFK?

“I think it’s a bunch of luck was involved,” Scott said. “I showed up here one day and I met the guys from Events DC and they’ve been super easy to work with ever since … I came to them, I said here’s what I’d like to do and they were like ‘that’s great, let’s do it.’”

Scott’s hope is that as the land around RFK transforms itself in the coming years, Summit Point Karts will be part of that change.

“I’m amazed with the hospitality that we’ve been greeted with,” Scott said. “Everybody who stops by has been very friendly and welcoming to us being here. It’s a real breath of fresh air. It’s nice.”


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up