1989 Coyote Free Roller 'Schneiderized'
In May, 1996, we purchased a 1989 Coyote Free Roller from Guy Schneider of JC Racing Engines in Glendale, Wisconsin to get into the sport of karting.
It was the kart in which Guy won the 1995 WKA Grand Nationals in Spec 100 Lite, and also set four Fast Times during the '95 season at Badger Kart Club. Kart #29 was quickest in Yamaha Lite, Yamaha Heavy, Briggs Lite and Briggs Heavy.
But the thing about Guy was he didn't want to race against his customers. He'd go out, set a track record, and wheel his kart down to tech and leave it there for the day until technical inspection was read post-racing for the day.
During the seven years Guy ran the Coyote, he also let friends and customers drive it to try to break records in their classes as well. Todd Thelen and Bob Bullard drove the kart on various weekends, but we're still researching who else may have had a go in it.
And what would make this kart so quick and sought after? It was just a bone stock American-made Coyote you could buy off the shelf right?
Not exactly. This Coyote was 'Schneiderized,' a service that was offered by the JC Racing shop. In truth, Schneiderizing meant the chassis was blueprinted by Guy and Gary Schneider so that it was perfectly straight, the corners were all at equal heights, and that the rear axle was in place with laser precision.
The standard Coyote spindles upon 'Schneiderizing' looked remarkably different- bent at a certain degree to give the steering the same effect as an ackermann steering setup.
So it was, in 1996, we bought Guy's ultra-quick Coyote, furnished off with a fresh, new JC Racing Yamaha KT-100, Digitron gauge, Van-K wheels, Bridgestone YBN tires, L&T clutch, an RLV airbox and an RLV A-2 exhaust system. Things should have been a walk in the park. However, when there is an 11-year-old rookie behind the wheel, you can expect things to be a little less than spectacular.
Our first outing was June 9th at Badger Kart Club. We arrived late and missed practice, so our first lap in the renumbered #00 machine was qualifying, where we set a time of 52.7 seconds- pole was 44.8. Quick enough to start 7th of the 9 karts present.
The #00 finished 6th that day- which it did many times that first season, ultimately claiming 7th in Rookie II point standings and 5th in the Junior Summer Series- a series within a series to reward kids who couldn't race when school was in session.
1997 saw the kart gain a fairing and Ferrari red side pods as well as re-anodized light gold wheels as it entered a new class, as Rookie II with the .600 restricter and 100cc Restricted Jr. with the .850 restricter merged to become simply Jr. Pipe, utilizing the .600 restricter, as the .850 was nearly as quick as an unrestricted Yamaha.
Despite the merged classes, the entries at BKC did not come, as the class struggled to get ten entries at any point in the '97 season. The #00 machine finished 3rd in season points and 4th in the Jr. Summer Series, and also managed a few fast runs, nearly taking home a race win on two occasions. Regardless, it had managed to get down to 44.8 seconds on its fastest weekend, equaling the quick overall time from the season prior.
At the end of the 1997 season, we trekked down to Sugar River Raceway to run in the Jr. Pipe class at the Don Fairman Memorial Race, which always drew a nice turnout. We had installed a homemade on-board camera that broadcast back to a TV/VCR in the pits for Jacques' 7th Grade science fair project. Quickly realizing we were on the wrong tires, the Porter family borrowed us a set of Dunlop SL4 tires to run. The #00 led nearly all of the feature until the final lap when the carburetor 'trigger' broke and the engine loaded up. Kyle Porter snuck by to take the win. So it was that the #00 headed into its third season with us still looking for its first win.
For 1998 we did a frame-up restoration and installed a Tillett padded seat, but not much else was altered, as we tried to stay at weight as Jacques grew a bit and was right at the weight limit for Jr. Pipe at BKC.
Around this time, we also purchased Steven Scott's PCR Eagle chassis, equipped with a 30mm axle, and planned to use it at the upcoming WKA Manufacture's Cup Grand Nationals, and at the Wells Cargo Championship Enduro Series event at Road America. The days running the Coyote were numbered.
The 1998 season saw the Jr. Pipe class shrink even further from six at the first race down to two karts for much of the tail end of the season. Regardless, the #00 kart showed up every weekend, and won both the overall Jr. Pipe points as well as the Jr. Summer Series points title over Bill Wirth.
We also raced the Coyote in the Midwest Sprint Series event at BKC. The 100cc Restricted Jr. class was a local option for the series, but no entries showed up other than us, so we bolted on a RLV 'SSX' can and joined the contingent, which included Tommy Mayr, Nick Bussell, Craig Baltzer, David Cox, Jamie Bach, Wes Tyler, Nick Ives, Colin Earl, Richard McGill and Mark Vielgut. After one heat where the Coyote quickly cycled to the back against the Euro karts that were made for Dunlop SL4 tires, the skies opened and the track was deemed wet. As we had zero rain tires, that was it for us!
In October of 1998 after the last BKC event of the year, we took the Coyote to Norway's Trane Motor Speedway to break in motors alongside our new Haase Blizzard chassis we planned to run regionally and nationally in 1999. It was the final day the Coyote touched the racing surface. Since then it has been preserved as it was that season to serve as a time capsule of what karting was like in that era.