Free, family-friendly fun: Watching races at London Speedway

0
523
Messenger photo by Theresa Hennis
Quarter midget race cars compete on Aug. 17 at the London Quarter Midget Speedway at the Madison County fairgrounds. The concrete speedway is the second fastest quarter midget track in the nation. The cars are scaled-down versions of full-sized race cars. Racers’ safety suits, helmets and shoes are made of flame retardant materials just like NASCAR drivers wear.

(Posted April 20, 2021)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

On April 17, families gathered to cheer on their children in the Quarter Midget Racing event at the London Quarter Midget Speedway at 205 Elm Street. The sport is for kids ages 5 to 16.

Dave Young, from South Bloomfield, Ohio, is one of the founders of the track, which is the second fastest in the nation. Young was there to support the youngsters. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years,” he said. “My kids and grandkids raced. It’s a good family sport. I don’t think most people know how safe this sport is for the kids. It has one of the best safety records in sports.”

The Central Ohio Quarter Midget Racing Association, part of the United States Auto Club Association (USAC) runs the London Speedway Track, and it sponsors Arrive and Drive events where tuned-down cars are brought in for kids to try their hand at racing to see if the sport is a fit for them.

Often, the quarter midget racecars are mistaken for go-karts. Lee Wigal, father of Zach Wigal who was entered in the Saturday race said, “These cars are scaled-down race cars. They’re complicated little machines which are very different from go-karts.”

Several Nascar legends like Ed Carpenter, Kyle Bush, Jeff Gordon, and many more got their start in quarter midget racing.

Messenger photo by Theresa Hennis
Zach Wigal, 13, stands with his quarter midget race car at the London Speedway at the Madison County Fairgrounds. He helps his dad, Lee Wigal, work on the car. The Wigal family spends all of their vacation time on the road traveling to quarter midget races. Zach hopes to one day become a NASCAR driver or mechanic.

Zach Wigal, 13, hopes to one day be a Nascar driver. “If I can’t drive for Nascar, I want to work on the cars,” he said. “I like racing. You get to meet kids all around the country. Traveling is the most fun part.”

And traveling for the families includes going to some of the major speedways in the country. “We were running inside Daytona, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Darlington on the infields,” Zach Wigal said.

Girls as well as boys enjoy the sport, and Kali Bush, 10, traded cheerleading for racing. Bush said, “It’s really fun racing and spending time with family and friends. I won my very first race at this track.”

The London Speedway Track is called one of the best-kept secrets of London, with not many people realizing it exists. If you’re looking for a fun budget and family-friendly past time, watching the quarter midget races is free.

To check out future race dates or to get more information about quarter midget racing visit the association’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/COQMR or call (614) 439-8666.

Messenger photo by Theresa Hennis
Kali Bush, 10, poses with her quarter midget race car at the London Speedway at the Madison County Fairgrounds. She is proud that she won her very first race at the London track. Kali’s interest in racing outweighed her involvement in cheerleading, and she’s glad to be part of a nationwide racing family.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.