NASCAR has just taken a big step to support the next generation of drivers. The sanctioning body has joined forces with USAC Racing to create the NASCAR Youth Series.
NASCAR and USAC announced the news on October 2 ahead of the pivotal playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway. They revealed that there will be nine championship races for the Quarter Midget series, which will launch during the 2023 season. These events will take place on purpose-built tracks in conjunction with NASCAR Cup Series races.
“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 in a press release. “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 Schedule Features Races Across the Country
|Auto Club Speedway||Sunday, February 26|
|Richmond Raceway||Sunday, April 2|
|World Wide Technology Raceway (Dirt Race)||Sunday, June 4|
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Stand-Alone)||Tuesday, July 4|
|Pocono Raceway (Dirt Race)||Sunday, July 23|
|Watkins Glen International||Sunday, August 20|
|Darlington Raceway||Sunday, September 3|
|Talladega Superspeedway||Sunday, October 1|
|Charlotte Motor Speedway||Sunday, October 8|
Multiple NASCAR Drivers Have Quarter Midget Experience
There are multiple drivers that first experienced competition while driving a Quarter Midget before ultimately moving up the racing ranks. This list includes Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon, 2018 Cup Series champion Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Preece, Harrison Burton, Justin Allgaier, Carson Hocevar, and Todd Gilliland.
Logano, in particular, has revisited his Quarter Midget roots after moving up to the Cup Series. He brought back his “Smokin’ Joe” paint scheme for Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway, and he helped pay for the repaving of the Silver City Quarter Midget Club track in Meriden, Conn.
Quarter Midget Racing, which has existed since before World War II, has grown in popularity across the country, to the point that there are 55 clubs for children ages 5 and up. Now many of these young competitors will be able to say that they can compete in a NASCAR Regional Series.
“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 lifetime 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.”