Quarter Midget racing
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 childs quarter midget track is one quarter that length, or 1/20th mile. An adult size midget in the 1940s and 1950s 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, or one quarter the speed of the adult car. Current upper class quarter midgets can exceed 30 miles per hour, but remain safe due to the limited size of the track.
Quarter Midgets have been around in one form or another since before World War II, There are two sanctioning bodies for Quarter Midgets, United States Auto Club (USAC) and Quarter Midgets of America (QMA). There were over 4,000 quarter midget drivers in the United States in 2007. 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 Assaociation has operated a dirt track for quarter midgets since 1954.
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 $9,000. 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), Bullrider Racecars, Tad Fiser Race Cars, Rice Cars, GT American Race Cars, Ashley Chassis, Profab, Cobra Race Cars, And RSS 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 and 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. The QMA planned to introduce the Animal engine platform beginning in 2012 and to begin phasing out the Honda platform altogether in 2013 although this has yet to happen.
Engines and classes
- Jr. Novice & Sr. Novice - Honda 120(stock),Deco Super Stocker (stock, restricted), Animal(stock,restricted)
- Jr. Honda & Sr. Honda - Honda 120 (stock)
- Jr. Animal & Sr. Animal - Briggs & Stratton Animal engine
- Hvy. Honda - Honda 120 (stock)
- Lt. & Hvy. 160 - Honda 160 (stock)
- Jr. & Sr. Super Stock - Deco stock engine
- Mod - Deco Modified engine
- B Modified - Deco B Modified engine
- AA Modified - Alcohol Deco AA Modified engine
- Lt. & Hvy. World Formula - Briggs and Stratton World Formula engine
- Half Midget - Any single cylinder motor, 253 cc maximum displacement, air cooled only
- Jr. Classes - 5–9 years old
- Sr. Classes - 9-16
- Light Classes - Drivers normally under 100 lb but can still race if over 100 lb
- Heavy Classes - Drivers over 100 lb
- Half Class - Any single cylinder, air cooled, carbureted engine up to 253 cc, drivers aged 11 to 18.
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.
- Introduction to Quarter Midget Racing, Retrieved January 3, 2007
-  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
-  Jessica Raynor, "Quarter-midget racers rev up", December 29, 2006, Florida Today, Retrieved January 4, 2007
- "Drive". Retrieved January 12, 2010.
- 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
- 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