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. 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 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]

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[edit]

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.[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 $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), Talon Chassis, Bullrider Racecars, Tad Fiser Race Cars, Rice Cars, GT American Race Cars, Ashley Chassis, Profab, Cobra Race Cars, Storm Chassis, 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 & 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[4][5][edit]

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

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[edit]

  • Half Class - Any single cylinder, air cooled, carbureted engine up to 253 cc, drivers aged 11 to 18.

Movie[edit]

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]

National Championships[edit]

References[edit]

  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". Retrieved April 11, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Drive". Retrieved January 12, 2010. 

External links[edit]