Racers wishing to compete at the I-5 Quarter Midget Club track must go through a Novice training cvourse. Here club president Kyle White gives his new potiential driver tips about the red flag. New drivers must learn the course, rules and all safety aspects before taking a full throttle spin around the Quarter Midget dirt oval track.
Matthew White, 11, is ready for his first run on the track during his novice training at the I-5 Quarter Midget Club track. New to racing, White has to go through training that includes all rules and regulations, safety equipment, flags and signals prior to driving out on the track.
ELMA — After a full weekend of Quarter Midget racing that included new track records by Oliver Rolewicz in the Junior Novice Class and Colby Wickstrom in the Senior Animal Class, the club is getting ready for its new season of drivers by providing novice training.
After Rolewicz broke the previous lap record running a 8.183 second lap in the junior novice class, Wickstrom set out in the new senior animal class and set the standard at 7.165 seconds. The animal class is recognized at the National Quarter Midget level, but Wickstrom is the first to break out in that class at the Elma club.
With three races to complete their season, one a regular schedule, two are rain-day make-ups, the I-5 Quarter Midget club is already looking into the next season of racing.
New interested drivers must first complete the club’s novice training.
The training includes, but is not limited to, drivers first learning the rules and regulations around Quarter Midget racing. After the students have studied and have been quizzed, the club takes them out for a walk around the track to learn the “line” that they need to drive for safety and best performance on the club’s dirt oval track. A stop at the flag tower provides a quick but thorough lesson on all flags used in racing, their purpose and proper reaction of the driver when a flag is presented.
Another aspect of the training is signals that their crew or track organizers use during racing. There are special signals to tell the drivers to speed up or even go all out, to use one part of the track and even a signal for the driver to use when they are ready to exit the track.
All of this must be learned, including the proper wearing and use of safety equipment before the driver even gets out on the track for the first time.
Even after all the training, the new driver is not allowed to just get out there and floor it around the track. The first step is to get a feel of the course, the car and how they themselves feel inside the tight fit of a Quarter Midget racing car. As the training progresses, so does the speed with a flagger testing the new drivers providing situational cautions and all out stops to see if the driver is learning the proper procedures.
Many eyes are on the lone driver as they run the track one at a time, evaluating them and providing on the spot tips and corrections to ensure the driver understands and will comply with club rules before being considered to run a race.
The environment at the I-5 Quarter Midget track is well suited for a new driver, as the entire family is involved in the learning process and are expected to help out in the training and eventual racing days.
Pit crews and/or assists are also expected to attend the training, which are usually the parents of the young drivers, and are given special instructions as to “pushing out” and expectations during racing days.
After the weekend of racing the current point leaders are as follows:
Junior Honda, Carson Borden, 90. Senior Honda, Mason Dineen, 408. Light 160, Colby Wickstrom, 411. Briggs World Class, Corbin Wickstrom, 414. Senior Animal, Colby Wickstrom, 90.