Quarter Midget racing

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Sarah Fisher's Quarter Midget car in 2007

Quarter Midget racing is a form of automobile racing. The cars are approximately one quarter (1/4) the size of a full size midget car. The adult size midget being raced during the start of quarter midget racing, used an oval track of one fifth of a mile in length. The child's quarter midget track is one quarter that length, or 1/20th mile (264 feet).

An adult size midget in the 1940s and 1980s could reach 120 miles per hour, while the single cylinder 7 cubic inch quarter midget engine could make available a speed of 30 miles per hour In a rookie class (Called novices), or one quarter the speed of the adult car. Most of the competitive classes run speeds near 45 miles per hour. Current upper class quarter midgets can exceed 45 miles per hour, but remain safe due to the limited size of the track.[1][2] Quarter Midget racecars have four-wheel suspension, unlike go-karts.

The drivers are typically restricted to ages 5 to 16.[1][2] Tracks are typically banked ovals one-twentieth of a mile long, and have a surface of dirt, concrete, or asphalt.[1]

Statistics

1956 Quarter Midget

Quarter Midgets have been around in one form or another since before World War II, There are two sanctioning bodies for Quarter Midgets, Quarter Midgets of America (QMA) and United States Auto Club (USAC). There were over 4,000 quarter midget drivers in the United States in 2007.[3] Many of today's most recognizable names in racing got their start in quarter midgets, including A. J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Sarah Fisher, Jimmy Vasser, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Terry Labonte, and Bobby Labonte to name a few.

The oldest continually run dirt quarter midget track east of the Mississippi is the Hulman Mini Speedway, operated since 1958 by the Terre Haute Quarter Midget Association (THQMA) located in Terre Haute, Indiana. On the west coast, Capitol Quarter Midget Association has operated a dirt track for quarter midgets since 1954. Jeff Gordon raced at Capitol Quarter Midget Association

Quarter midget cars can be reasonably affordable or can cost nearly as much as some full-sized racing cars. Engines can cost from $400 to $8,000. Car chassis can cost from $1,500 (used) up to $6,000 (new). Tires start at $50 each. There are many brands of cars as well as custom cars made by individuals. Some of the common brands are Stanley Racing, N/C chassis (Nervo/Coggin), Talon Chassis, Bullrider Racecars, Tad Fiser Race Cars, Rice Cars, Ashley Chassis, Cobra Race Cars, Storm Chassis, GT American, And Afco race cars. Cars are covered by body panels which are made of fiberglass, aluminum, or occasionally carbon fiber.

Engine costs have driven a number of changes over the years. As the cost of the Deco engine platform continued to rise, Honda engines were adopted. The move from Deco to Honda was first highlighted by an exhibition race at the 1988 Western Grands in Pueblo, Colorado. Attempts to put the Deco/Continental engines back into production failed. Later problems with Honda engine revisions and parts tolerances led to the adoption of Briggs & Stratton engines as a cost effective engine platform. This adoption has come in the form of both the World Formula and Briggs Animal engines. USAC started using Animal engines in 2010. QMA planned to introduce the Animal engine platform beginning in 2012 and begin phasing out the Honda platform altogether in 2013 but has not moved away from the Honda engine platform. USAC includes the Animal and Honda platforms. USAC has recently discarded all of the Deco platform and introduced the Light and Heavy modified World Formula for 2017.

Engines and classes[4][5]

  • Red & Blue Rookie (USAC), Jr. Novice & Sr. Novice (QMA) - Honda 120 (stock, restricted)
  • Jr. Animal & Sr. Animal - Briggs & Stratton Animal engine (stock, restricted)
  • Hvy. Animal - Briggs & Stratton Animal engine (stock)
  • Jr. Honda - Honda 120 (stock, restricted)
  • Sr. Honda - Honda 120 (stock)
  • Hvy. Honda - Honda 120 (stock with Honda GX 160 carburetor)
  • Jr. Super Stock & Sr. Super Stock (QMA) - Deco (stock, restricted)
  • Mod (QMA) - Deco (modified)
  • Lt. 160 - Honda 160 (stock)
  • Hvy. 160 - Honda 160 (stock with Honda GX 200 carburetor)
  • B (QMA) - Deco (modified)
  • Modified World Formula (USAC) - Briggs and Stratton World Formula (modified, methanol)
  • AA/Modified World Formula (QMA) - Deco (modified, methanol), or Briggs and Stratton World Formula (modified, methanol)
  • Lt. & Hvy. World Formula - Briggs and Stratton World Formula (stock)

Junior classes are for drivers 5-8 years old, while senior classes are for drivers 9-16. Light classes are for drivers up to 100 lbs in normal street clothes. For heavy classes, drivers must be a minimum of 100 lbs.

Half Midgets (QMA)

  • Half Class - Any single cylinder, 4-cycle, air-cooled, naturally aspirated, under 253 cc engine, drivers aged 11 to 18.

Movie

The first feature film on quarter midget racing was produced in 2009. Called Drive, it captures kids as young as five years old hitting speeds of 50 mph to battle for the Grand National race. Moms and dads turn wrenches and yell over revving motors as their sons and daughters push to win. Quarter midget racing relies on the family to work as a team. The heat, the stress and the drive to win put their bond to the test.[6]

QMA Grands Champions

2017 Western Grands- Jr. Animal: Caleb Johnson Sr. Animal: Cam Fiser Hvy Animal: Tyler Conley Jr. Honda: Jayson Elf Sr. Honda: Matthew Roberts Hvy. Honda: Daytona Spicola Jr. Stock: Destry Miller Mod: Chase Spicola Lt. 160: Cam Fiser Hvy 160: Zack Medynski B: Victoria Wolf AA: Tyler Conley Light World Formula: Cam Fiser Heavy World Formula: Tyler Conley Jr. Half: Andrew Link

2017 Eastern Grands- Jr. Honda: Caleb Johnson Sr. Honda: Bradley Erickson Hvy. Honda: Alex French Jr. Animal: Collin Mitchell Sr. Animal: Colby Sokol Hvy. Animal: Kaylee Esgar Mod: Chase Spicola Lt. 160: Chase Spicola Hvy 160: Alex French AA: Bryce Lucius Light World Formula: Chase Spicoloa Heavy World Formula: Kaylee Esgar Jr. Half: Taylor Nibert Jr. Novice: Keegan Gasseling Sr. Novice: Laken Hall

2016 Western Grands- Jr. Animal: Justis Sokol Sr. Animal: Cam Fiser Hvy Animal: Tyler Conley Jr. Honda: Caleb Johnson Sr. Honda: Matthew Roberts Hvy. Honda: Krystal Faulkingham Jr. Stock: Elvis Rankin Mod: Bret Degand Lt. 160: Matthew Roberts Hvy 160: Kaylee Esgar B: Victoria Wolf AA: Tyler Conley Light World Formula: Cam Fiser Heavy World Formula: Tyler Conley Jr. Novice: Mackenzie Rust Sr. Novice: Anelen McMains

2016 Eastern Grands- Sr. Animal: Famous Rhodes II Jr. Honda: Thomas Schwarz Sr. Honda: Ryan Boyd Jr. Animal: Jackson White Hvy. Honda: Holt Halder Lt. 160: Ryan Boyd Hvy 160: Holt Halder Light World Formula: Samantha Osborn Heavy World Formula: Holt Halder Jr. Half: Joshua Kunstbeck Jr. Novice: Nicholas Leonard Sr. Novice: Faith Reep

USAC National Championships

Jr. Honda: Elvis Rankin Sr. Honda: Dylan Zampa Hvy. Honda: Canon Cochran Lt. 160: Emerson Axsom Hvy 160: Levi Rifle Jr. Animal: Gavin Boschele Sr. Animal: Nick Loden Unrestricted Animal: Scotty Milan Light Mod: Chase Burda Light World Formula: Connor Gross Heavy World Formula: Canon Cochran Light AA: Connor Gross Modified World Formula: Emerson Axsom

References

  1. ^ a b c Introduction to Quarter Midget Racing, Retrieved January 3, 2007
  2. ^ a b [1] Todd Golden, "Sunday special: Terre Haute Quarter Midget Association is a Terre Haute fixture", September 17, 2006, Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind. Retrieved January 4, 2007
  3. ^ [2] Jessica Raynor, "Quarter-midget racers rev up", December 29, 2006, Florida Today, Retrieved January 4, 2007
  4. ^ "USAC App I Technical Specs" (PDF). March 17, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  5. ^ "Quarter Midgets of America - The Sport". Archived from the original on March 30, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  6. ^ "Drive". Retrieved January 12, 2010.

External links

  • The Caruso Racing Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Baylands Quarter Midget Racing Club, San Jose, California
  • Tucson Quarter Midget Association TQMA
  • Quarter/Half Midget Driver- Dalton Grindle #23
  • Quarter Midgets of America website
  • Western Australian Quarter Midget Association
  • a webpage documenting many facets of early QM racing
  • Racing Website with some history of QMA - Mitchell Family Racing, Featuring Angelique Mitchell
  • North Carolina Quarter Midget Association
  • North Georgia Quarter Midget Association
  • Central Indiana Quarter Midget Association (Mini-Indy)
  • Kokomo Indiana Quarter Midget Club
  • USAC Point 25 Quarter Midgets
  • Silver City Quarter Midget Club, CT
  • Terre Haute Quarter Midget Association
  • Jenson Walker / USAC .25 Midget Driver from Michigan
  • I-5 Quarter Midget Club Elma, WA
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