In many ways, Casey Moyer is just like other fifth-graders. The Garin Elementary student enjoys hanging out with friends, playing with his pets, and he’s learning to play the saxophone. However, unlike his peers, he also races go-karts at speeds upwards of 60 mph, and will travel to Italy to race against some of the best in the world next month.
Casey’s go-karting journey began at age 5, when he arrived home from school to find that his father, Chris, had bought him a go-kart off eBay.
“I was just coming home from an after-school program,” he said. “Then I see a go-kart in my driveway. I had no clue, but apparently Dad bought me a go-kart.”
It didn’t have a motor in it yet, and Casey didn’t know how to drive it, so his dad tied a rope to the front and pulled the kart behind him, while Casey practiced steering.
“I would sit in the cart and steer,” Casey recalled. “My dad had set up cones, and he would just pull me, and I would steer.”
“That was about one month before [Chris] had a hip replacement,” said Casey’s mother, Elizabeth Mastroianni. “If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.”
The first time Casey turned on the engine, the noise scared him.
“I cried because it was so loud and vibrating,” he said.
Fast forward to five years later, and Casey has won several races in Sonoma, competed in places like Reno and Las Vegas, and punched his ticket to the ROK Superfinal, which will be held Oct. 7-12 in Lonato del Garda, Italy.
Moyer’s best race was in May, when he won the third round of the ROK Sonoma series. He beat his nearest competitor by four seconds in what he says is his favorite moment on the track.
For Casey and his family, go-kart racing is a team effort. He says his mother, Elizabeth Mastroianni, makes sure he’s fed and ready to race. His father is his mechanic. His twin sister, Jenna, is his biggest fan.
Greg Bell, owner of Leading Edge Sports, helps supply and maintain the engines and assists Chris Moyer on the mechanical side. He selected Moyer to participate in the ROK Superfinal in Italy and has helped Casey fine-tune his technique and improve through advanced technology.
Casey’s current goal is to improve his drafting and defending after the pass. With the help of a Mychron sensor, Bell can see when Casey is accelerating or braking, and help him improve in these areas to maximize his speed.
This year, Moyer competes in the Mini ROK class, which includes drivers between the ages of 8 and 12 years old.
His top speed, as measured by the Mychron device, was 60.9 mph at Sonoma.
Casey wants to continue racing and eventually race in the Formula One series. His favorite driver is Kevin Magnussen, a Danish driver for the Haas F1 team.
“Their cars are really fast,” he said. “It gets intense and really technical, and it looks like a really fun job.”
Moyer’s next race will be ROK Sonoma Round 7, which will be held Sept. 14-15. After competing in the ROK Superfinal in Italy Oct. 7-12, he’ll race at ROK the Rio in Las Vegas from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2.
For more information about the ROK racing series, visit www.rokcupusa.com.