By Anna Skinner
Jack Miller, Westfield, and Scott Goodyear, Carmel, are both retired IndyCar drivers, so it was only a matter of time before their sons, Jack Jr. and Michael, got into racing themselves.
“Both boys started out in go-karts and did karting so long that Scott, Adam (Vinatieri) and I got together to put together a Formula 4 team,” Jack said. “It’s new to us this year. Formula 4 is a stepping stone for Formula 1 or IndyCars.”
To race Formula 4, an age of 15 years old is required, but 13-year-old Jack Jr. will receive a waiver once he turns 14, as he has been racing for so long.
“You have to have quite an extensive background (to get a waiver), and he started out at 3 and has won national championships,” Jack said. “A lot of people think go-karts are a yard kart you can buy at Tractor Supply, but on some tracks, these karts get up to 84 miles per hour.”
Michael, 20, Jack Jr. and Austin Kaszuba, a Formula 4 driver from Texas, make up the Goodyear Miller Vinatieri Motorsports team.
“They are on a team, but they each drive their own car, and they are racing for their own individual results,” Scott said. “They are sharing ideas and practice, and then I work with them all on driving as a coach, but when we go to compete they are competing for individual results.”
Scott said that due to breaking his back twice while racing IndyCars, he wasn’t thrilled about Michael racing until he saw the passion.
“Both of our boys right now eat, breathe and sleep it, so it’s easy to let them go do it,” he said. “When you’re driving inches away from each other at 70, 80 miles per hour, you’ve got to be into it.”
“The nice thing about this team is that Scott and I have both been there and have seen every mistake made, and we feel we have a really good program in place,” Jack added. “We based our team here in Westfield, and a lot of race teams are centered downtown … but it’s nice for me to take a 30-second walk to the garage.”
Work on the cars is done in Jack’s garage. However, basing the team in his Westfield home isn’t the only positive he noticed.
“There’re a lot of businesses that sell parts we use here,” he said. “Things are very convenient for us up here.”
Formula 4 cars race as fast as 140 mph, with Formula 1 at approximately 200 mph. IndyCars competing at the Indy 500 reach up to 240 mph.
Vinatieri, of the Indianapolis Colts, has known Jack and Jack Jr. for 10 years, and he decided to jump in and partner with Jack and Scott in forming Goodyear Miller Vinatieri Motorsports team.
“I’m really excited to follow little Jack’s career as he gets older,” Vinatieri said. “I had an opportunity to partner with Scott and Jack. I’m not an IndyCar driver, but I’ve been around sports and highly competitive things and thought I could put my two cents in every once in a while to help the young drivers out. The ultimate goal is the Indy 500 here in a handful of years for these boys.”
Retired IndyCar driver Scott Goodyear said there are steps a parent can take to involve a child in go-karting.
He said that New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, Ind. is top notch.
“That New Castle track is the best track and best facility in the whole country. It’s owned by Mark Dismore, an ex-IndyCar driver,” Scott said. “People from across the country come to race there.”
To purchase a go-kart or learn more, visit cometkartsales.com.
“Get a yard kart or a racing kart,” he said. “You don’t have to go to all the national events, it can be as serious as you want to make it.”