When I'm in a writing mode, as I am now, intense experiences like racing inspire my imagination, though not always as directly as you might think. In a race (or race-like environment, in this case), senses are heightened, and the driver is more intimately connected with the world around him - other drivers, the track, the race officials, the operation of the kart itself, the fit of the helmet, or even visibility through the helmet visor.
Part of the fun I have with the writing process is creating the layers of texture that make a story truly immersive. Human beings don't live a vacuum, after all. How we proceed through out day, or interact with one another may be reflective of our personal experience, our relationship with the other person, the environment in which we are interacting, and many other factors. Discovering what those factors are, and how they might influence characters in a story is a great adventure - and can sometimes change the entire direction of a plot line.
By adding intimate detail, I'm placing characters in a real world, and seeing how they react. For this writer, that's where a tale comes alive.