WHAT IS NASCAR YOUTH SERIES?
NASCAR Youth Series is the sanctioning body for the quarter midget racing division of the United States Auto Club (USAC). Quarter midget racing has been around since before World War II. It is a family-oriented motorsport that involves children ages 5-16 racing in specially-prepared cars. The cars, rules and safety procedures are designed specifically for kids. Quarter midget racing is divided into 15 classes/divisions. Kids typically race on oval tracks approximately 1/20th of a mile long. The surface of these tracks are dirt, concrete or asphalt.
WHAT ARE QUARTER MIDGETS?
A quarter midget is a scaled down version of an actual midget racer, approximately 1/4 scale. The cars are built around a tubular frame and are fully suspended with springs or torsion bars and shocks. The bodies are fiberglass, usually painted to the drivers preference. Surrounding the driver is a chrome-moly roll cage and nerf bars. The engines are single cylinder and are manufactured by Honda and Briggs & Stratton. In stock configuration, they can produce between 2.5 and 6 horsepower. Modifications in the upper classes allow these engines to reach several times the stock horsepower. These air-cooled 4-cycle engines are reliable and can produce as much as 10,000 rpm’s in their highly modified forms.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
NASCAR Youth Series sanctions 50 clubs across the country. It’s wise to visit a local club before purchasing any equipment. Most all of our clubs offers promotional or “arrive & drive” days throughout the year. This is an opportunity to drive a quarter midget on the track with track officials providing assistance without having to purchase one. Engaging in conversations with other parents at the club/track as well as track officials that run the club can provide valuable insight.
IS IT SAFE?
Safety features include full roll cages, multi-point seat harnesses, full face helmets, flame retardant uniforms and other protective gear. NASCAR Youth Series constantly reviews and evaluates safety policies to ensure that quarter midget racing remains a safe, competitive sport. Safety is first and foremost for the NASCAR Youth Series.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CLASSES?
Regardless of age, all kids are required to participate in the Rookie training program. The Rookie program is a non-competitive class designed to make the driver comfortable with various race procedures such as lining up with other cars, passing, entering and exiting the track safely and being on the track with other cars. After a driver graduates from Rookie training, there are 15 different classes for race teams to choose from. Classes are based upon age, weight and the different motor combinations that are available, with many drivers participating in multiple classes.
QUARTER MIDGET ALUMNI:
Jeff Gordon (NASCAR), Joey Logano (NASCAR), Bobby Labonte (NASCAR), Ryan Newman (NASCAR), Alex Bowman (NASCAR), Justin Allgaier (NASCAR), Harrison Burton (NASCAR), Ryan Blaney (NASCAR), Ed Carpenter (INDYCAR), Sarah Fisher (INDYCAR)