Father-Son Duo Open Indoor Go-Karting Business in Novi
Northville residents Mark and Jordan Dick hope to "surprise and delight" customers at the new JD Racing in Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk.
Go-karting isn't just for kids anymore.
At the new JD Racing Indoor Karting in Novi, adults can get in the driver's seat to experience a fast-paced race on a challenging track.
Father and son Mark and Jordan Dick, of Northville, recently opened the business in Fountain Walk and have geared it toward adults and young adults.
"People walk in and they think it's either a fun park or an amusement park," Mark Dick said. "Then they look around and think, 'Wow, it's not what I expected,' but in a good way. Then it's our job to delight them with the experience."
Patrons need only be 54" to drive, but Mark said the track can be challenging for younger children.
At approximately 1,100 feet long, the track is designed to be technical, with many turns.
Patrons race around the track in elelectric go-karts, which are free of noise, smoke and smell.
The karts can accelerate quickly and get up to 40 mph.
"For the general public, this is the closest they will come to being on a race track," Mark said. "People say that they've experienced speed because they've driven 80 mph on a freeway, but this is different. Here you are one inch of the ground."
Mark said customers love the sensation of speed and they often hear a "woo hoo!" when they first experience the acceleration.
Individuals are welcome to drop in and drive during normal business hours, or groups and businesses can rent out the lounge or one of the three meeting rooms for a meeting, party or fundraiser. Party-goers can also rent out "Pit Lane" near the side of the track, which has high-top tables and full-sized race car parked nearby.
Since the business quietly opened two months ago, the Dicks have seen an influx of people coming in to try it out.
"We've just been so welcomed by the community," Mark said.
Mark said they are completing some finishing touches to the facility and will have a grand opening at the end of March or early April.
The idea to open an indoor karting business came from Jordan's history with racing.
Jordan began racing cars when he and his family were living in Italy in 2000. Then after they moved back to the United States a year later, he continued to drive and began to compete.
"Ever since I was little, I couldn't go fast enough," Jordan said. "When people say that's what they were put on the earth to do, that's how I feel about racing."
While Jordan and Mark were at a race on the east coast, they saw an indoor karting place.
"We thought, 'Wow, this is what we'd like to do sometime," Mark said.
The two put the idea in the back of their minds for later, and Jordan began progressing to the Indy level. But when the economy took a hit, he lost his sponsorship, like many other racers.
So the two decided it was now or never if they were serious about opening the business.
After doing research and visiting other indoor karting facilities across the country, the Dicks opened JD Racing at the end of December 2012.
The two said they aim to share their passion for racing with their customers.
"We want people to walk out the door and think it was awesome," Jordan said.
JD Racing hours are Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.