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Author Topic: Rules: Let's Follow Them!  (Read 9463 times)
BQwkR
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Posts: 24


« on: May 28, 2009, 09:03:34 AM »

When my family joined our local .25 association, we were impressed with administration, the track and their promised adherence to the USAC rule book concerning rookies. The management of the local club appears to know the complexities of administering little league racing and the track is certainly a fine example of how these folks pulled together to build a first class racing facillity. They welcomed us into the rookie group (they called it giving us a taste), but how come they don't follow the USAC rule book governing procedures to bring rookies along. It's amazing that the track ever got built. Didn't they follow some sort or written plan? Hey people; review 3701.1 thru 9, 3702.1, 3702.3B, 3703.1 and 3705.4. Train my rookie the right way!
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grandma13
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Posts: 106


« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 10:23:57 AM »

Welcome to the Quarter Midget Racing group.  Ideally all the "rules" should be followed.  However, many of the clubs are adjusting to the new driving proceedures, race proceedures, equipment needs etc.  The individuals who are training the rookie classes usually are handlers with experience yet that experience was with another organization until late last year and this year.  Thus they are adjusting to the new proceedures and like everything else this takes some time.  Also it may depend on how many rookies there are and how many volunteers there are to work with the young drivers and their handlers.

I would suggest that you address your concerns to the individual who is in charge of the Rookie Program.

I experienced a handler in the pit the last race who ask me for help and told me he had no idea of what to do.  I immediately looked for someone to help and ask them to assist which they did as best as they could given the timing as the cars were ready to go onto the track.

So please do not be afraid to ask for help no one wants you to be stranded.

Best of Luck to you and your driver.
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BQwkR
Rookie
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Posts: 24


« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 10:45:09 AM »

Hey Granny. Thanks for the quick reply and advice. My gripe is that, as a novice's grandpa, my first concern is for the safety of my grandson and other member's grandkids. If the club would just follow USAC's rules, I could be sure that when my grandson is certified to race by the trainers and the rookie comittee that they followed their scheduled plans and procedures. I would think short of this, USAC is not enforceing rules that develope safe and responsible race car driveing. How could USAC get an insurance carrier to underwrite such an organization who neglect to follow thier own rules?Maybe my club needs some help. I hope it's not a good old boy's club and a self admiration social group.
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grandma13
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Posts: 106


« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 11:31:10 AM »

I certainly do understand you safety concerns as a grandparent.  I also being a grandmother of a racer and numerous years of ER experience as a RN with the trauma team understand your fear.

I have witnessed many a flip, wall hit, car jump over the rails, or ride the rail, multiple pile up and no major injury have I ever witnessed including some really hard hits my granddaughter took.


 You have no idea of what some of these clubs went through and the members went through to get USAC involved and some of these members are still getting punished for going USAC.  I know of no "good old boy" society within any of these clubs in the midwest they are all out to improve the racing for the kids.  Yes, there are favorite situations such as the chassis they run, the set up they use, and just good old friendship that has developed over the years of their racing quarter midgets.  I can honestly say that none of the USAC members are not concerned over the safety of their children and others.  I have been around these individuals for several years.  I have been in many children sports activities and I sincerely believe this is the best group of people.  But getting volunteers is really tough.

Again I urge you to address your concerns with either the Rookie Program director or one of the club officers.  Then once you feel confortable help out.  I hope you can witness an actual race and just watch when a car becomes disabled.  The other handlers will step in and help out- car will be tipped with the driver in it being held up by other handlers while one or more fix the problem then zip that car back on the track.  Then just watch as cars are gotten ready and some handler needs something off he goes to another handler and borrows whatever he needs and it is willing loaned with no hesitation.

No situation is ever 100% perfect and suggestions to improve it should be well taken.  So speak up!

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sfreitas20
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2009, 12:29:19 PM »

I am just a rookie dad similar to you, but here is my take on it (Sorry this is going to be long):

3701-1: Hopefully your club is teaching the basics to the driver.  The big question I see asked a lot is regarding when to move a driver up.  I can tell you from experience there are weekends my son would be fine to drive in Junior Honda (The USAC District race in Tampa was one of those days), but then there are races where the six year old boy in him comes out in force and it proves to us he isn't ready to move up.  Each driver is different and some can move up faster than others, as a handler you should know when you driver is ready.

3701-2 and 3: I don't know that we even have Regional Directors in USAC.  I am guessing this section is probably a copy and paste that didn't get edited down, or there is a long term plan to have Regional Directors.  Remember USAC has been at this Quarter Midget deal for less than a year...

3701-4 and 5: Hopefully there isn't anyone younger than 5 in your races.  I have seen kids much younger than 4.5 getting lessons at racing schools, which I don't think is a big deal.  It is up to the parent when a kid should start lessons and up to the school how young they want to teach them.  As long as they don't get on the track on a raceday or open practice session until they are 5.

3701-6: We are in USAC and QMA and have never seen a Rookie/Novice logbook or card in either.  I also think this is probably one that may have been copied and pasted into the USAC rulebook, or maybe it is part of the longer term plan.  One huge misconception I have seen with this one is that some think a driver can't be a rookie more than three months after they turn 6.  That is not the case at all and the rule spells it out pretty clearly.  The Rookie/Novice director/committee have to approve them staying in Rookie/Novice every three months after their 6th birthday.  A driver can be a Junior Rookie until their 9th birthday, then they have to move to Sr. Rookie if they are not ready to move out of Rookie class.

3701-7: We have recieved all of these items from both USAC and QMA.

3701-8: We haven't been forced to move yet, but as far as I know the Rookie/Novice Directors agree with our plan for moving our driver up.

3701-9: Again, we haven't seen a logbook or Rookie/Novice card from either sactioning body.

3702-1, 3702-3B: If these things aren't done, then don't let your kid on the track.  Your childs safety is ultimately your responsibility, so do not let the instructor push your kid off in a car if you don't feel they have done enough to make it safe for your child.  I am not saying this is your responsibility as a handler, it is a much higher responsibility than that, it is your parental responsibility!

3703-1, 3705-4: Same as my other comments with Logbook, Regional Directors and Rookie/Novice cards...

Again, I am just another rookie dad and wasn't part of creating the rulebook/rules, so the comments above are just my opinions which are formed from my observations and experiences.  One thing I will add though is that we took it as our responsibility to make sure our driver gets trained correctly.  We asked a lot of questions during his initial lessons and our Rookie trainer is awesome!  Still now when we rent the track we still work on the basics like lining up, restarts, flags...etc on top of working on lines, marks and things like that.  
Another thing we are glad we did when we first got our car, was prepared my son for accidents.  We took the engine out and simulated accidents in the driveway, including flipping the car in every direction possible.  It was important for us to show AJ that even though accidents can be scary, his car would protect him too.
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Scott Freitas
Patriot Motorsports Inc.
BQwkR
Rookie
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Posts: 24


« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 01:00:32 PM »

Hey Scott,

Thanks for your response to this BB gripe. Your opinions are very valuable. So; it seems our group is probably in line with all the others. Our Trainer is also the Flagman at races. He's great. Our training director is very experienced but hard to get a hold of. My grandson has been to several novice/rookie training sessions and has benefitted every time. He's practiced with the other novices on the track and seems to get it. I have personally practiced him nearly 600 laps (fast and slow), taught him how to use his brake, how to form up, switch lanes and have worn out a set of rights. I've asked "what's next?" to our administrator and this person doesn't seem to know. It's not the administrators duty to know, just their responsibility.

This is what I mean; without a planned training schedule, how's anyone know when he's ready. It just becomes ones opinion. With over a dozen rookies to train, I hope someone other than I keeps track of his progress. Even a first grader gets a report card.

Thanks again.

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tarpondawg
Rookie
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Posts: 40


« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 01:15:20 PM »

Totally agree, the responsibility lies with the parent. If your unsure as to what you need to do to make your car safe, or you have Q's send me an e-mail. Freitas, your car is safe. I've seen it up close. Some simple things you can do:
Cover all bars and metal inside the car with padding.
Belts tight!
Keep your kid sitting upright enough that his head is not beyond the jersey bar.
HANS device! Not to protect from a basilar skull fracture, which would be unlikely, but to prevent repetative neck injuries.
Freitas, you may have seen the barrel role Austin had last yr in Lt 160. That was the reason for the HANS!
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Swartz
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 01:41:12 PM »

You have that exactly backwards. They are required to move out of the novice / rookie class after 3 months and can not stay in the novice / rookie class unless approved. The rookie / novice classes are not competition classes and are only designed for basic instruction.


3701-6: We are in USAC and QMA and have never seen a Rookie/Novice logbook or card in either.  I also think this is probably one that may have been copied and pasted into the USAC rulebook, or maybe it is part of the longer term plan.  One huge misconception I have seen with this one is that some think a driver can't be a rookie more than three months after they turn 6.  That is not the case at all and the rule spells it out pretty clearly.  The Rookie/Novice director/committee have to approve them staying in Rookie/Novice every three months after their 6th birthday.  A driver can be a Junior Rookie until their 9th birthday, then they have to move to Sr. Rookie if they are not ready to move out of Rookie class.

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sfreitas20
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2009, 02:35:55 PM »

BQwkR - I would hope your adimistrators would give you some guidance.  We discussed our plan at length with our son's trainer prior to his first race and made sure they were in agreement that AJ was ready.  However, I turned out AJ wasn't ready for his first race.  In the open practice the day before raceday, AJ had a lapse in focus and came blistering into the hot chute at full speed.  We got warned that if he did that again he would not be allowed to race the following day.  He was great the rest of the day, but after the first heat race he did it again.  He was devastated when he got DQ'd at his first race.  He learned a very good lesson that you can't afford even a momentary lapse in focus while driving a racecar.

TDawg - Thanks for the compliments on our car.  We have said from day one, we will spend money on safety before we spend it on speed.  There have been some pretty wicked accidents.  That is why we are researching a head and neck system right now before we move AJ up out of Rookie.  If I have to decide between a head and neck system and a fresh engine for Junior Honda, we will keep running the engine we have.

Swartz - I appreciate the input, but I don't have it backwards.  There is nothing in either (USAC or QMA) that says drivers are REQUIRED to move up after three months.  The only reference to 3 months is where it says: "drivers 6 years or older will receive Rookie/Novice cards for a period of 3 months.  Extensions of the Rookie Card shall only be granted when written request from the handler has been accepted and signed by at least three members of the Rookie Committee, and approved by the Regional Director. Any Rookie extension letters that are approved should be forwarded to the National Office. Extensions shall be for no more than three months at a time, if needed." - We don't have Regional Directors but I have reviewed this with my track and they have assured me that I understand the rules correctly.  With the proper approvals, there is no requirement to move up at a set time.
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Scott Freitas
Patriot Motorsports Inc.
Swartz
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2009, 03:16:17 PM »

Yes, you do.

Sec. 1 PURPOSE
1 The fundamental purpose of the Novice Class is to train new drivers so that they understand the basic racing rules and so that they are able to handle themselves and their cars in a safe manner on the track. It is not intended that the Novice Class be utilized to perfect racing abilities or techniques. Extended competitive racing in the Novice Class once the fundamentals areattained is not to be allowed.

Sec. 6 GRADUATION OF NOVICE DRIVERS
1 The Novice Class is the “learning” class and, as soon as possible the Novice driver shall be moved to the Stock/Honda classes in order to avoid “professional” Novice drivers.

from here:

http://www.quartermidgets.org/documents/Novice_Program/Novice_Rules_and_Procedures.pdf
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Swartz
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2009, 03:21:19 PM »

And from USAC:

2009 .25 Midget Rookie Program
3701 Rookie Procedures
1. The Rookie Class is to train new drivers to understand basic racing rules and to
be able to handle themselves and cars in a safe manner. The Rookie class is not
for perfecting racing skills, abilities or techniques. Extended competitive racing in
the Rookie Class once the fundamentals are learned is not to be allowed.
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sfreitas20
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2009, 03:32:01 PM »

Where in there does it say they have to move up after three months?  It doesn't! 

Like I said twice already (right from the USAC rulebook) it says: "drivers 6 years or older will receive Rookie/Novice cards for a period of 3 months.  Extensions of the Rookie Card shall only be granted when written request from the handler has been accepted and signed by at least three members of the Rookie Committee, and approved by the Regional Director. Any Rookie extension letters that are approved should be forwarded to the National Office. Extensions shall be for no more than three months at a time, if needed."

Nothing in there says a drivers is required to move up after three months.  Once again, I have reviewed this with my USAC Track Officials to be sure I understand it correctly and I do.  We currently have an 8 year old in Junior Rookie at our track and he is within the rules.

Have a great day!
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Scott Freitas
Patriot Motorsports Inc.
Swartz
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2009, 03:43:32 PM »

What you don't understand is that you are asking PERMISSION to leave the kid in novice and that if the novice comittee or trainer feels that they are ready to move on they can DENY it. It is not your choice. It has to be signed off by three members and then only if needed, in their opinion.
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sfreitas20
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 03:58:21 PM »

First, I do get it.  Re-read what I said above, everything I said above says "with approvals" a driver can stay in the Rookie class.  Dictionary.com defines approval as: "formal permission or sanction."  I get it, but it doesn't change the fact that what I said above is right.  There is no hard and fast requirement that a drivers moves up until they turn 9 then they have to move to Senior.

What you don't get is that it absolutely is a parents choice.  If my local track decided my boy was ready and I didn't agree, I would simply go race elsewhere until I feel he is ready.  I could care less what a committee or promoter or sanctioning body says, my child's safety is my responsibilty and if I feel he isn't going to be safe in a competitive class, he isn't moving up.
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Scott Freitas
Patriot Motorsports Inc.
Swartz
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2009, 04:14:07 PM »

I would say that if it's your intention to stay in novice long enough to move from jr. novice to sr. novice you should have a backup plan. Perhaps a ball glove.  Grin  Personaly I don't think it's a good idea but you are right. it's youre kid. If there is anything I can do to help, or change your mind, let me know. What track are you guys from anyway?
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