At NWO we are always excited to welcome new families into our track and our club. We encourage anyone with even a small bit of interest to come out to our race track and see what it is all about. But beware what you will find is exciting and pretty addictive!
If you have any questions please feel free to email our rookie director, Justin Weese.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT QUARTER MIDGET RACING
HOW DO I GET STARTED? Quarter Midget used cars are available at an average price of $1000-$3000. New cars are available from $4000-$5000. We would be more than happy to guide you in purchasing a car within your budget. To become a member, you will need to obtain an application from a club officer or by contacting one of the members Listed below. Memberships to NWO club will cost you $85 per year and that will get you a key to the track making you able to practice at anytime the track is available among many other things. You must also join USAC which will cost $100 per year and that ables you to go to any USAC .25 race in the United States among other things.
WHAT IS QUARTER MIDGET RACING? In the late 1930’s in a small California town, an ingenious father wired an old lawn mower engine to a wooden box with four small wheels for his young son. From that inconspicuous start grew the sport of Quarter Midget Racing. Today there are over 50 Quarter midget tracks throughout the United States. The Kokomo Quarter Midget Club is the inaugural member of USAC’s newest division which was founded in the fall of 2008, .25 Midgets. USAC which was founded in 1956 by Tony Hulman is one of the nation’s premier Sanctioning bodies. USAC sanctioned the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the famed Indianapolis 500 for over 40 years. In addition to .25 Midgets USAC is the countries premier sanctioning body for Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown racing. The four goals which form the foundation of USAC’s .25 division include Simplicity, Cost, Safety and Fun. In 2009 USAC will sanction over 200 .25 Midget races across the country and will hold its National Championship event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Boys and girls can begin driving at the age 5 and can continue until the age 16. Drivers compete mostly with kids their own age, skill and ability. All kids will start out in a rookie class where they learn basic skills. Then graduate up to the other classes when ready. Within each class there are divisions of junior and senior or light and heavy to balance out the competition. All rules are extremely strict so that no competitor can have a distinct advantage over the other racers. Cars must meet certain requirements before they can race. These requirements cover wheelbase, tire size and weight etc.
WHAT IS A QUARTER MIDGET? Quarter midget cars are a scaled down version of an actual midget racecar, approximately a ¼ scale. The engines are a single cylinder and can be manufactured by Honda, Briggs &Stratton or Deco. In their stock configuration they produce approximately 5 horsepower. Power is transmitted to the rear axle by a direct drive roller chain and sprocket arrangement. Changing sprocket sizes on both the engine and axle allows for better matching of driver, engine, car and track surface. Braking is provided by a disc brake, also attached to the rear axle. The cars are starter by pushing them and having the driver turn the ignition on after it is moving.
The cars are built around a tubular frame, which is manufactured by several firms. They all have full suspension. There is a wide selection of tires and wheels to fit in various situations. The bodies are either fiberglass or aluminum, usually painted to the family’s preference. Surrounding the body and driver is a chrome moly roll cage and nerf bars. The driver is secured by seat belts and arm restraints and is required to wear a fireproof suit, helmet, neck brace, and gloves. The rules are enforced at all race events.
HOW FAST DO THESE CARS GO? This depends on the individual track and engine class. Quarter midget tracks, both dirt and asphalt are designed specifically for Quarter midgets racing. Most of the tracks are 1/20 of a mile around the inside and 32-36 feet wide. The average pattern that a driver takes is approximately 366 feet long. Quarter Midget tracks are designed specifically for .25 midgets and must conform to USAC specs. The average speed for a 6.00 sec. lap is 30 mph. The faster “AA”s can hit speeds up to 50 mph at the end of the straightaway.
HOW SAFE IS IT FOR THE KIDS? Safety is the first priority. Quarter midget racing is actually considered to be the safest sports in which a child can participate. Falling off a two bike can produce more serious injuries than the occasional pile ups and flips encountered on the track. A good indication of our safety record is evidenced by our insurance rates, which are around $25.00 per family. This cover the driver for one whole year of racing and is less than the average insurance rate for a child that plays little league baseball for three months. This is enviable safety record is the result of a comprehensive safety program the stresses both safety procedures and equipment. There has never been a fatality in Quarter Midget Racing-- that’s why a lot of people consider it safer than riding a bike. Each car must confirm to all National and Local club safety rules. Car roll cages, racing clothing, helmets, gloves, neck braces, safety belts, arm restraints, mechanical components, and fuel tank location are some of the things specified. Other safety oriented traditions include first-aid kit, track fire extinguishers, Corner workers are present during each race to assist in case of an accident, and probably most important, safe driving habits are instilled in the children from their very first time on the track in Rookie Training classes which are offered for each family to helped educate the driver and the handler. Quarter midget racing can be a training ground for the future race driver. Our organization does not go out of its way to discourage a youngster from going into a racing career, but the emphasis of the sport is on sportsmanship and family working together, rather than just simply winning. One of the most outstanding examples of the sportsmanship aspects of this sport can be seen in the fact the prizes for the winners at all local and national races are not monetary awards. Trophies are the only tangible recognition given by the club in honor of a racing victory. The true prize in this sport is the intangible one with the benefits by a family that spends its time together!
WHAT BENEFITS IS THERE FOR THE CHILDREN Here are just a few benefits for the kids: • It is a family sport, few other sports permit all members of the family to participate as much. The kids drive, the fathers are the pit crew and chief mechanics, and the mothers do all the scoring and timing of the cars and operate the concession stand.
• It teaches the meaning of sportsmanship. They learn to compete fairly, and to be a good winner and a gracious loser.
• It develops coordination, a sense of timing and the ability to plan ahead.
• It teaches self-reliance. Once the green flag drops they are on their own.
• They develop knowledge and an appreciation for mechanical devices.
• It teaches safe driving and develops driving skill. Very few people ever develop the skill that these children develop. We believe this level of skill will be invaluable as adult drivers where they will have the instinct developed to do the right thing in the unforeseen situations we all encounter.
• It develops a sense of responsibility. Alertness and concern for the safety of others is acquired.
• It gives the drivers a well earned right to a sense of pride of accomplishment. They stand just a little taller and are a little more confident after becoming a Quarter Midget Driver. This confidence and sense of belonging to a group could some day be a factor in helping these kids “SAY NO TO DRUGS”.