Our first racing season is just about half-way over and I realize how behind I am in posting about how things have been going. Time flys. After posting this Quarter Midget Race Recap, I will go back and post about the previous races.
Race #4 at Tri-Valley Quarter Midget Association was a warm day. This race was a rescheduled race from May that was rained out. The race was more postponed due to the likelihood of rain. These Quarter Midget folks don’t like the idea of moisture on the track. When we raced karts on speedway tracks we would just throw on some rain tires. You had to be prepared for anything in karting. In Quarter Midget Racing, they plan an additional date for every race in case it needs to be postponed. This is smart as far as scheduling goes but is kind of frustrating when you had plans to be at the track that weekend and find yourself ready to race with nowhere to go.
My brother and Dad were busy this weekend, so it was just Liam and me at the track. It’s a bit of a challenge at the track being there by yourself, but it is doable. There are plenty of people around to help get the car on and off of the pit cart. When it comes to lending a helping hand, Quarter Midget families are some of the best. My wife and two other children joined us around noon so they could watch Liam’s heat and main event race.
Practice went pretty well. Liam turned some solid lap times considering there were other cars on the track with him. He was averaging 9.05 second lap times which is only 5 tenths off the track record. This was still a few tenths off of his fastest recorded lap times so we went back to the pits to make a gearing change before he went out to qualify for the heat race.
I wanted to try to get a few hundred more RPM out of the motor to see if pulling harder out of the corner helped. The gearing change did not favor better lap times. Liam ended up setting his fastest lap in qualifying as a 9.14, not what I was expecting. His driving was there, my gear change was not.
For the heat race, we went in the opposite direction with gearing to see if the motor wanted lower RPM range. Liam started outside pole. I also wanted to heat the motor up a bit as it is very hard to get restricted motors to run warm enough to perform well. There were a couple of crashes that brought out the caution flag so that didn’t help keep the motor warm either. In the Jr. Novice class there are good days and rough days. The first heat had a lot of bumping. Liam is still getting used to the idea of getting bumped around out there on the track. Liam is a smooth driver but is still working on his confidence around close proximity with other cars.
In between races, he helped me flag. Part of Quarter Midget Racing is doing your part to help the day go smooth. Since I have some flagging experience from my days in kart racing, I flag a couple of heat races and main event races. Liam was there to help me during some of the smaller classes.
In the main, Liam started in the 5th position. We knew that it would take some work to get around some of the other cars. Two cars in his class are pretty fast but are newer drivers just as Liam is. A few laps into the main there was a crash and the car that caused it was put in the back. That car was pretty fast and was able to climb back up in the pack. With about 8 laps to go that car dove into Liam’s line in between corner one and two forcing both of them up into the wall.
Though he hit the wall pretty good, he was unharmed and got back in the race. If the car had hit the wall any harder to the right-hand side, we probably would have been out of the race due to a bent front axle. I still have to check to make sure that it didn’t bend at all.
With the Hill Racing Team family cheering him on the race restarted and Liam was able to maintain the third position. There were a few cars that were a lap down that he hesitated to try and pass as he was still a little shaken up from his crash.
Earlier this year when Liam raced the Novice Practice Race, he finished first, but this was his first official podium placement. He was proud to finish third and hold his trophy on the podium. Standing next to him was Asher who finished first. Huge shout out to that little guy for his first Quarter Midget Race win!
We have a break before Race #5 which will be in early August. July is the month all of the national races take place so most clubs take the month off so the members who race the nationals don’t miss club races. Maybe we will make the trek to the Nationals next year.
Until then, we have some work to do. I need to check the front end alignment of Liam’s car to make sure nothing was bent in the crash. I also want to do more testing with the motor. I don’t feel we have found the sweet spot with that motor yet. Liam has also been on my case to get a wrap put on his car. I am working on a new company that I want to debut with a new design for his car. Hopefully I will have some time to get that done during this break between races. I will make sure to post some updates. You can see more on our Instagram, make sure to check that out.