In an effort to continue to grow the motorsports community and offer unique opportunities to kids and families, USAC and NASCAR have teamed up to form the NASCAR Youth Series, which will debut as the quarter midget series brand starting in 2023. This new series will be recognized as a NASCAR Regional Series.
Since 2018, NASCAR has welcomed the former USAC.25 Series at numerous venues including Daytona International Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix Raceway, Darlington Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hundreds of young racers and their families have experienced once-in-a-lifetime thrills with meet-and-greets with their racing heroes, recognized during pre-race festivities and even having drivers stop by and watch them race.
“When we started the USAC.25 Series in 2009, our goal was to provide a safe, fun, yet competitive youth racing series that provided families with a way to create lasting memories,” said Kevin Miller, USAC President. “Through the years, the series has grown tremendously. We are proud of our alumni that began their racing careers in the USAC.25 Series and have continued to succeed professionally in the NASCAR ranks. Since we began incorporating NASCAR races on our schedule, families across the country have been able to experience amazing opportunities. We realize that partnering with NASCAR to create the NASCAR Youth Series will provide even more unique experiences and opportunities for our families.”
The NASCAR Youth Series’ nine-race national championship schedule will be comprised of seven pavement and two dirt races at temporarily constructed racetracks at the following venues:
Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif. Feb. 26
Richmond Raceway, Richmond, Va. April 2
*World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, Ill. June 4
**Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Ind. July 4
*Pocono Raceway, Pocono, Pa. July 23
Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY Aug. 20
Darlington Raceway, Darlington, S.C. Sept. 3
Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Ala. Oct. 1
Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte, N.C. Oct.8
* denotes dirt race ** denotes stand-alone event
“We are extremely excited about this new venture with USAC,” said Chip Wile, SVP, Chief Track Properties Office for NASCAR. “We feel the NASCAR Youth Series will provide aspiring drivers and their families a platform to both showcase their talents along with providing the entire family memories that will last a life time at our facilities. The drivers will not only fiercely compete on the track but will get an opportunity to be a part of NASCAR’s event weekend in a memorable way. Some of today’s NASCAR Cup Series stars cut their teeth in the NASCAR Youth Series and are now battling for the Bill France Cup. The future is bright.”
Quarter midget racing has been around since before World War II. It is a family-oriented motorsport platform that involves children ages 5-16 racing in specially-prepared cars. The cars, rules and safety procedures are designed specifically for kids. Quarter midget racing is divided into 15 classes/divisions. Kids typically race on oval tracks approximately 1/20th of a mile long. The surface of these tracks are dirt, concrete or asphalt.
A quarter midget is a scaled down version of an actual midget racer, approximately 1/4 scale. The cars are built around a tubular frame and are fully suspended with springs or torsion bars and shocks. The bodies are fiberglass. The engines are single cylinder and are manufactured by Honda and Briggs & Stratton.
With more than 55 clubs located all across the country, thousands of kids ages five and up, along with their families, participate in USAC-sanctioned quarter midget series events. Some notable NASCAR graduates of quarter midget racing include NASCAR Hall of Famer and four-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon, 2018 premier NASCAR series champion Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Harrison Burton, Justin Allgaier, Carson Hocevar and Todd Gilliland.