Mason Prouty, 12, holds up the checkered flag while driving his number 24 go-kart. The kart, along with a trailer and associated equipment totaling $10,000 was stolen a little over a week ago. — COURTESY OF MRP RACING VIA FACEBOOK

Family raising money to replace 12-year-old racer's stolen go-kart


Submitted a year ago
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By CAMERON PAQUETTE, cameronp@eagletimes.com

CLAREMONT — One week after her son’s go-kart and associated equipment was stolen from the Walmart parking lot in Claremont, Tracy Prouty has mixed emotions.

On one hand, there’s the frustration that all of the money and hard work that she, her son Mason and his father Hank have put in has been set back by a crime, but on the other hand there’s the overwhelming gratitude toward fellow racing families who are lending Mason Prouty equipment to help him finish out the season at Claremont Speedway.

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“Hank and I were all in tears last week having everyone pull together like this,” Tracy Prouty said in an online message Monday.

Tracy Prouty estimates that the trailer, go-kart and equipment was valued at more than $10,000 when it was stolen in the area of the Claremont Walmart sometime on the weekend of Aug. 12. The go-kart trailer was one of two in Claremont to go missing that weekend. Police are still investigating both incidents, and encourage anyone with information leading to the location of the trailer to call (603) 542-9538.

The family has since set up an online fundraiser on gofundme.com to “keep Mason racing.” As of Monday afternoon, $1,330 of the $10,000 fundraising goal had been raised.

“Our family has given everything to get him set up to pursue that dream over the last two years and simply cannot afford to replace all that was stolen by next season,” the fundraiser overview states.

Mason Prouty started racing go-karts two years ago, shortly after the death of his grandmother. Each week, he wears the necklace of St. Christopher “and knows she is cheering him on from heaven,” Tracy Prouty said.

The proud mother said Mason Prouty has never finished lower than fourth, and obtained his first win in only his third race, which he dedicated to his grandmother. The 12-year-old races full-time at Claremont Speedway and has been doing special events at Route 106 Race Park in Concord. He also had one scheduled in Pomfret, Connecticut, but is now limited to his racing at Claremont Speedway until he can get a kart of his own again.

Until then, fellow racing families up and down the pitlane have donated equipment to keep him running.

“It has been the families and drivers stepping up to make sure he can finish,” Tracy Prouty said. “They all had the same thing to say: that Mason is a great kid and they love to watch him do what he loves each week.”

Predictably, Mason Prouty is a huge race fan. As a fan of the number 24 car in NASCAR — taking the number for his go-kart — Mason Prouty was a huge fan of Jeff Gordon.

Knowing that Gordon, a four-time champion in NASCAR’s most elite bracket, got his start racing go-kart’s, Mason Prouty knew what he had to do to follow in his hero’s footsteps and make his way toward a race seat in NASCAR.

“His dad and I have put all of our spare money into Mason’s dream and will continue to try and keep him working toward that,” Tracy Prouty said.

To help defray the cost of such an expensive sport, the young racer and his parents started by writing letters and traveling to local businesses to ask for sponsorship. He even has a Facebook page — MRP Racing — that is dedicated to his work behind the wheel.

Mason Prouty currently sits second in the Jr. Bandit A category in the 2017 Claremont Karting Series with two races to go in the season. Mason’s father, Hank Prouty, said his son has done very well in his two years of racing so far, and also credits the help of family friend Chris Curtis with coaching Mason and helping with kart set-ups.

Like Tracy, Hank Prouty said he is “in awe” of the support from the racing community, and hopes to be able to replace all of the stolen equipment by next season.

“Mason loves to race and is devastated that someone has potentially taken that away from him,” Tracy Prouty said.


https://www.gofundme.com/help-mason-prouty-to-race-again


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