GREENFIELD — While Indiana has long been known as a hotbed for up-and-coming basketball talent, the Hoosier State’s reputation for producing race car drivers is equally exemplary.
For every Oscar Robertson, there’s a Jeff Gordon. For every Yogi Ferrell, a Ryan Newman.
With the help of Mark Dismore, any one of hundreds of youths could turn out to be the next…well, Mark Dismore.
Dismore, a Greenfield native, is most well-known for having raced in several Indianapolis 500s, including qualifying fourth in 2001, then leading the race before finishing 16th, and an Indy Racing League points finish of third in 1999.
The future stars of tomorrow, however, are just as appreciative of Dismore’s business acumen.
Comet Kart Sales in Greenfield, which Dismore’s dad, Emerson “Diz” Dismore, opened in 1959 — when Mark was three-years-old — and which Mark now operates with his wife and kids, is the go-to supplier for competitive and recreational go-kart racers here and abroad, shipping frames, engines and assorted racing gear to South Korea, Italy and a host of other countries.
A few exits east of Greenfield on I-70, the New Castle Motorsports Park will soon open for its 10th season of operation. Dismore finished construction on the full-service karting facility in 2004, and together with Comet Kart Sales, the Dismores are truly karting’s royal family.
Folks such as Mark Moran couldn’t be happier with the local connection.
“If NCMP was not there, we probably would have never started racing in the first place,” said Moran, whose son, Maxwell Middle School sixth-grader Garrett, was the Junior Driver of the Year at NCMP last season. “NCMP is a big part of local racers development, because we have time to go practice in the evening.”
“Parents and drivers on the national level love NCMP, because it is one of the nicest facilities that we race at. The crowds are always large. It is one of the premier kart facilities in the nation.”
If Garrett Moran makes the big-time someday, he’ll join a list of drivers, who, in just the New Castle track’s 10 years of operation, have come up through the ranks.
Josef Newgarden, who made his IndyCar Series debut last year for Sarah Fisher Racing, got his start at NCMP, which features a one-mile road course, paved pit roads, a garage area — all for karts that reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.