USAC EXTENDING CAREER LADDER TO INCLUDE QUARTER-MIDGETS
The United States Auto Club today announced the formation of its new Quarter-Midget Racing Series, under the direction of James Spink of Indianapolis, Ind. Quarter midget racing, encompassing youth beginning at age five, offers an entertaining venue for youngsters and families as well as offering fundamentals for race drivers aspiring to develop professional careers, and it will form the foundation for USAC's career "ladder" system.
USAC's Quarter Midget Series will be national in scope. Participant services will include memberships, rules and a dedicated presence on USAC's website, usacracing.com.
USAC's scope of sanctioning automotive contests has spanned the gamut of the motorsports industry and between 2001 and 2006 USAC actually served as a business office for the quarter midget racing. Grand National Champions were annually honored by USAC at its National Awards Dinner at the conclusion of each calendar year.
The concept of USAC's involvement will encompass sanctioning of clubs, regions and districts, with each club or region conducting its own series of races and championship. USAC will host four district championships and a national event in 2009.
Although the roots of quarter-midget racing are somewhat vague, the first notice of an organized meet for youngsters was a two day event called the "Children's Speed Classic" staged on May 26-27, 1934 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The cars were built by Floyd "Pop" Dreyer, who worked for the Duesenberg Brothers, Indianapolis race car builders. Oil drums were placed on a section of the main straightaway to mark out a small oval where the cars reached the fantastic speed of 20 m.p.h. Pop's three-year old son was one of the drivers.
Recent quarter-midget graduates have excelled in other forms of motorsports, including USAC's series. Among the more notable graduates are current USAC point leaders Jerry Coons Jr. and Tracy Hines, NASCAR and USAC Champion Jeff Gordon, NASCAR Champs Bobby & Terry Labonte and USAC Champs Ryan Newman, Jason Leffler and Bobby East.