Welcome to the Michigan Midget Racing Association. Located at the Oakland County Sportmen's Club in Clarkston, Michigan.
Racing for kids ages 5 to 16.
Admission is ALWAYS FREE!
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit
|Jr Honda||Charlie Auld|
|Sr Honda||Joe Morrissey|
|Lt 160||Conner Zbozien|
|Jr Animal||Charlie Auld|
|Sr Animal||Conner Zbozien|
|Lt WF||Conner Zbozien|
|Our Best Of 2014! |
|Frequently Asked Questions?|
What is a Quarter Midget?
Quarter Midgets are race cars for kids that are 1/4 the size of a full size Midget Race Car. They feature a full roll cage, and they are setup for left turn only oval track racing. Quarter Midget racing has been around since before World War II. Many of the most recognizable names in racing got their start in quarter midgets including; A.J. Foyt, Terry and Bobby Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Sarah Fisher, Jimmy Vasser, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones (both alumni of MMRA!)
How old do kids have to be to race Quarter Midgets?
Kids can start practicing as early as 4-1/2 years old, and racing at 5, and can race all the way to 16. The Junior race classes are for 5-8 year olds, and Senior race classes are for 9-16 year olds.
How safe is Quarter Midget Racing?
Safety is paramount in Quarter Midget racing. Mandatory safety equipment consists of five point safety belts, SFI rated neck collar and/or neck restraint, SFI rated driving suit or jacket and pants, SFI rated gloves, SFI rated helmet and SFI rated wrist restraints. Raceceivers, which are one-way radio communication devices, are also mandatory for all drivers. This allows the Race Director to communicate to the drivers to alert them of caution flags and other on track dangers. Every Raceceiver is checked for proper function each and every time the car takes the track. Additionally, all cars and driver race gear are subjected to an annual safety inspection at the beginning of each race season to make sure the car and driver race gear meets all USAC safety requirements. Additional information on safety equipment and requirements can be found on the USAC site:
Where is your Quarter Midget Race Track?
Our track is on the grounds of the Oakland County Sportsmen's Club (OCSC):
4770 Waterford Rd, Clarkston, MI 48346 (www.ocsclub.org)
MMRA is considered a sub-club of the OCSC, and has been for over 50 years.
How big is the Quarter Midget Track at the Oakland County Sportsman Club?
Our track is approximately 1/20 of a mile, asphalt oval track, with inset concrete in the turns.
How fast do Quarter Midgets go?
This is a tricky question to answer since it depends on the car class, track conditions and driver skill level.
Rookies start out in the 20 MPH range, averaging 8 second lap times around our track.
Junior classes run in the 25-30 MPH range, averaging 6.5 - 7 second lap times.
Senior classes run in the 35 - 45+ MPH range, and average 5.7 - 6.5 second lap times.
When you take into consideration the size of the track, and fact that there can be up to ten cars on the track at a time during a race, this gives a much better perspective on the relative speed of the cars, and the skills drivers must hone to work their way through a field of cars on a tight track to be successful.
Check out the video on our home page which gives some in-car perspectives on what it's like to drive a Quarter Midget.
Does MMRA rent cars?
No, unfortunately we don't rent cars for use. With the great variance in driver age (5-16), height and weight, it's simply not feasible for the club to store and maintain cars for drivers of every age and size. Each driver must have their own car.
What if my child really wants to race Quarter Midgets, but I'm not sure I can meet the financial costs associated with Quarter Midget racing?
New for the 2015 season, we have a Rookie Scholarship Program that you can apply for. We have a limited number of cars available for this program, so if you're interested visit our homepage to download and complete your scholarship application today.
How much does a car cost?
Used cars can be purchased in the $1500 to $2500 range, and up. Buying a brand new car can be considerably more expensive, with chassis kits (with no engine) starting at around $3500 and up. Those new to the sport are encouraged to start with a used car to keep their entry costs to the sport down.
Where can I find used cars and what should I look for in a used car?
Club members are happy to offer guidance on purchasing new and used equipment to get into the sport. Good places to look for used cars include the classified section of our website (MMRA Classifieds Link), the USAC Racing .25 Classifieds page (USAC Classifieds Link), and the QMA Classifieds Page (QMA Classifieds Link).
Size - Most chassis builders produce a small, medium and large chassis. Generally speaking, small chassis are 33" from the bottom of the chassis to the top, and 76" long. Medium chassis are typically 35" tall and 78" long. Large chassis are typically 37" tall and 80' long. USAC rules require that there be at least one inch of clearance between the top of the driver's helmet, and the bottom side of the top of the roll cage. It's very important that you make sure your driver has plenty of clearance in this respect before you buy a car. It's also important not to go to the other extreme. Avoid buying a car that your driver "will eventually grow into". The more appropriately sized your car is to your driver, the easier it will be for your driver to handle on the track, and the easier it will be for you as the handler to dial in the car setup for your driver.
Condition - This aspect is no different than buying a passenger vehicle. Is the car completely filthy, covered in grease, dust and oil, or does it appear to be well maintained? How do the bottom of the chassis tubes look, are they spots where it is scraped through the tube? Are the axles, spindles and radius rods straight or bent up. Are the body panels in decent shape, or are there cracks, creases and dents in every panel?
Extras - What "extras" come with it? Extras to look and ask for:
Spare Radius Rods, Axles, Spindles, Nerf Bars/Bumpers, Gears, Wheels and Tires, Body Panels
Pit Cart (to transport car around the track area)
Mychron 3 or 4 - used to obtain lap times and engine RPM
Motor - look for a Honda 120 (preferably a UT2) or Briggs Animal, either of which can be used in the Rookie Classes. The Honda 120 is the most commonly used motor used in the rookie classes.
Quarter Midget specific tools like setup/alignment bars, tire bead breaker for dismounting tires, tire safety ring for mounting tires, tire scrapper (head gun with scrapping tip).
What are some of the common chassis run at MMRA?
Stanley (Robbie Stanley Racing) (http://robbiestanleyracing.com/)
NC Chassis (Nervo) (http://www.ncchassisco.com/)
Eagle (SSS Racing) (http://sssracinginc.com/)
Do I need to have racing experience?
No, you don't need any prior racing experience to get started. This is ground level for racing. So if you and your child/children are looking for the perfect place to start, this is it. We have club members that have generations of experience in racing, and club members that had absolutely zero experience before joining our club.
Do I need to be a mechanic?
No, you don't need to know how to rebuild an engine to get started in quarter midgets (although it doesn't hurt to know either :-). Being mechanically inclined definitely helps, and a willingness to learn can take you far. If you can use 7/16" and 1/2" wrenches, sockets and an impact driver, you won't have any trouble picking up the skills necessary to setup and maintain your driver's car. When new families join our club, we like to pair them up with a veteran club family to mentor them and help them learn the ins and outs of quarter midget racing, so that you can become an effective "handler" for your driver.
Is there a governing body for rules and regulations?
There are two governing bodies for quarter midget racing in the US. They are USAC and QMA. MMRA is a USAC member, as are most other quarter midget clubs in our region. Rules and technical information and safety gear requirements can be found on the USAC website:
Is there a class to teach drivers and handlers how to race?
Typically our rookie training is comprised of four hour sessions every weekend in April. Additional training is available throughout the season for new members joining after April. This is off-track training that familiarizes drivers and handlers with the rules of quarter midget racing, so that they can make the transition from off-track instruction, to on-track practice, and eventually racing. These are just some of the skills that drivers will learn during training:
o The meaning of each racing flag and hand signals, and what to do on the track when the flagger presents each flag or hand signal.
o How to line up on the track at the start of a race, and how to line up on race re-starts.
o The line to run on the race track.
o How to execute a clean pass during a race
o How to exit the race track
Will any old engine do?
With engine types and specifications closely controlled by USAC, most opt to purchase a race prepped engine from a professional engine builder. Some of the engine builders used by our club members include:
Baker Racing Engines (http://bakerracingengines.com/)
A-Main Motors (http://www.amainmotors.com/)
Lederer Motors (http://lederermotors.com/)
How much do engines cost?
It depends on the engine/class. In general, a good used Honda 120 engine will sell in the $300 - $400 range. Brand new Honda 120 engines run in the $800-900 range.
Where do I get spare parts, wheels, tires, etc.?
One of the best places to start is with your chassis manufacturer. Quite often you'll find they can get you any parts you need rather quickly.
Additionally, there are a number of vendors that sell quarter midget accessories such as wheels, tires, gears, shocks, springs, safety gear, etc. Some vendors commonly used by our club members include:
Prodorutti Supply (http://prodorutti-supply.com/)
Zero Error Racing (http://www.zero-error.com/)
West Racing Products (http://www.westracingproducts.com/)
Lane Automotive (http://www.laneautomotive.com/)
Summit Racing (http://www.summitracing.com/)
Quarter Midgets USA (http://quartermidgetsusa.com/)
What does a car "setup" entail?
Those new to racing may be surprised to learn how technical quarter midget race car setup can be. With suspension on all four corners of the car, quarter midgets are highly adjustable, and mimic many aspects of full size circle track race cars. In general, "car setup" includes, but is not limited to, adjustments such as Tire Pressure, Ride Height, Spring Rates, Shock Valving, Gear Ratios, Ballast Weight Placement, Wheel Spacing, and Rear Tire Stagger. It's outside the scope of these FAQs to go into detail on the many topics included in car setup. However, an excellent book to familiarize yourself with quarter midget setup is "Quarter Midget Chassis Technology" by Steve Smith:
Quarter Midget Chassis Technology is a chassis-neutral reference guide. If offers a great way to learn some of the core concepts of Quarter Midget setup.
Your chassis builder may have documentation on their website related to car setup. Never be timid about reaching out to your chassis builder with questions; after all, they want to see you (and their products :-) be successful on the race track.
Club members are also a great source of information and are more than willing to offer assistance to rookie families.
What are the Different Race Classes?
What is a "DECO" engine?
DECO, or Detroit Continental engines were the original Quarter Midget engines. They originated as auxiliary engines during WWII. New DECO engines haven't been produced since the 1970s. The relative scarcity of these motors and parts resulted in the introduction of the Honda and Briggs engines to the sport.
What is the difference between the DECO Mod and AA classes?
Both classes use an ignition box instead of running on points as the engines originally did. However Mod uses 89 octane gasoline, while the AA class uses Methanol fuel.
What is the club race schedule? Is there a points series?
Our club schedule does vary by year, and is posted on our website. Typically we start club races in April, and finish in October. There are nine club races in our season with your best seven races counting towards your championship points. Points are awarded for fast qualifier, heat race place finishes, and feature race place finishes. Points are not awarded in the Rookie classes. We do have fun races throughout the year, and there are no points awarded for these races.
Do I have to run every race?
You can race as much as you want or as little as you want.
When is the track open for practice?
Once you become a member and you and your driver have gone through Rookie training, you will get a key to the track and you can practice at any time on non-race days.
What is the USAC Midwest Thunder Series?
The Midwest Thunder Series consists of weekend races at nine different Quarter Midget Race tracks in our region (including our track) located in Michigan, Ohio, & Indiana. Each of the nine tracks hosts one Midwest Thunder Race Weekend per year. Points for the Midwest Thunder Racing Series are based on your best eight races out of nine races. The top three finishers in each class receive trophies at each event, and the top five in each class in race series points receive trophies at the year-end banquet. You can earn an award (e.g. sweatshirt, coat) by racing at least six races throughout the season. All Rookies receive participation awards at each race.
For more information, check out the Midwest Thunder website: http://www.midwestthunder.org/
What is the "Checkers for Children" charity race?
The club designates one club race per year as a charity race that benefits the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation (http://www.chmfoundation.org/). We auction off donated goods and services at the track, and all auction and concession stand proceeds and race sign-in fees for that day are donated to the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation.
What tools do I need to have to setup and maintain a quarter midget?
There's a good chance you already have the basic tools necessary to get started. This is a general list:
o Open/Box Wrenches, Ratchet and Sockets - 1/2" and 7/16" wrenches and sockets are the most commonly used tools, and are used for a very large percentage of fasteners on quarter midgets.
o Impact Driver with Socket Adapter Bit - This makes the work done by wrenches and sockets just that much faster, when there is space clearance on the car to use them.
o Drill and Drill Bits
o Channel Locks
o Diagonal Snips
o Allen Wrenches
o Heat Gun with Tip for scrapping tires
o Air Compressor
o Hammer - Dual sided dead blow with rubber on one side and metal on the other side makes for a great all-purpose hammer.
o Tire Pressure Gauge
o Fuel Container
o Painters Tape (for taping numbers to cars for heat and features races)
o Tape Measure
o "Stagger" Tape Measure - Thin Flexible Tape Measure for measuring Tire Circumference.
How is a typical Race Day run?
Sign-ins run from 9:00 - 9:45 AM
Practice Starts at 10:00 AM
Heat Races Start at 12:00 PM
Feature Races Start around 3:00 PM
The top three finishing cars in Feature Races for each class go to impound, for Technical Inspection
Technical Inspection takes place immediately after the completion of all Feature Races.
Trophy presentation for the top three finishing cars in the "Special Feature" Race takes place immediately after Technical Inspection. Each weekend a different class is designated for a "Special Feature" race, so that every car class is represented throughout the season with an opportunity to race for Trophies.
Is Volunteerism Required of MMRA Club Members?
Our club is 100% run by unpaid volunteers. It takes a tremendous effort on behalf of our club members to run our club from year to year. Club member duties include assisting with the many tasks necessary to create a successful club and great racing experience for our racers. Some examples are:
Race Day operations (Sign-ins, Scoring Races, Flagging Races, Race Directing, Running Concessions)
Behind the Scenes (Coordinating Trophies, Marketing, Sponsorships, Planning and Running Club Promotional Events)
OCSC Fish Fry - MMRA club members are responsible for running our parent club's (OCSC) Friday night Fish Fry five times per year.
What is the Cost to Join the MMRA (as of 2015)?
MMRA Club Cost - $85.00 per family, per year
USAC Cost - $100.00 per family, per year
OCSC Cost - *$84.00 per family, per year, (if achieved the required volunteer hours for the previous year)
*Actual costs vary - depending on accrued volunteer hours - from $225 (no hours) to $84 (50+ hours).
All MMRA members are required to join USAC and the OCSC.
Race Day sign-in fees are $25.00 per car, per race day.
How do I Join MMRA?
What are Post Race Technical Inspections?
At the end of every feature race, the top three finishing cars in each car class must go to impound for tech inspection. The purpose of technical inspections are to ensure fairness amongst competitors through the enforcement of USAC rules and requirements. At the completion of all feature races on a race day, the club Tech Director will determine which car class(es) will be inspected, and what item(s) will be inspected in each class. Technical inspection specifics are covered in great detail within the documentation on the USAC site:
To give some simple examples of what may be inspected:
Fuel - Testing for any foreign additives
Tires - Testing for any foreign chemicals
Engines - Anything from verifying the presence of restrictor plate and the plate hole diameter, to verifying specific engine components are non-modified stock parts that meet required USAC tolerances.
Wheel Spacing - Verifying wheel bases are neither too short nor too long, or ensuring wheels stick out past the side nerf bars on cars.
Weight - Verifying that car and driver weight requirements for each class are met.
Safety Gear - Verifying all car and driver safety gear is present and functional
What are some of the common maintenance tasks associated with Quarter Midgets?
o Changing Engine Oil (frequency depends on engine type and car class)
o Clean and Lubricate wheel bearings and chains
o Clean and Lubricate Radius Rod Ends
o Clean and grease, oil, dirt and debris off the car
o Verify Axle Alignment
Can I sponsor the club?
Absolutely! We are a 501(c)3 Charitable Organization, so any donation to our club is tax deductible, and we can provide a letter documenting your donation to the club.
We have a Track Advertisement Sign program, which allows you to purchase a four foot by two foot sign to be displayed on the fence alongside the track for the entire race season. You can also purchase advertisements to be printed in our yearbook that each club driver receives at the end of the season banquet. Sponsoring trophy purchases for Special Feature Races and the Midwest Thunder Race hosted by our club is another way to sponsor our club. Food or drink donations to our Concession Stand are appreciated as well. Any direct monetary donations to be designated for specific track and club improvements are also welcome.