See quarter-midget cars race at fair


(Posted July 7, 2017)

Everybody knows about the horse track at the Madison County Fairgrounds. It’s home to harness racing, truck pulls, and tractor pulls during fair week. But what about the other track, the smaller one that sits just outside the horse track fence and still within the fairgrounds’ borders?

That cement oval is home to the Central Ohio Quarter Midget Racing Association (COQMRA). And on July 13, fairgoers have a special chance to see what quarter midget racing is all about.

That evening, experienced drivers will run 20 laps around the 1/20-mile speedway. For an hour before the race and an hour after the race, spectators can take a close look at the vehicles, sit in them, and ask questions. Drivers also will sign autographs. The event is slated from 6 to 9 p.m.

This year marks the association’s fifth full season in London. Races take place on weekends from late April through September, some under the lights at night. In June, for the second time in the London track’s history, the association hosted the sport’s Eastern Grand National Race; nearly 300 drivers competed.

Quarter midget racing is open to boys and girls ages 5 to 16. Drivers’ ages and car engines determine classes. Participants earn points for their performance at races.

The London speedway is the fastest quarter midget track in the East and the second fastest in the country, attracting racers from Ohio, Indiana and Michigan every weekend throughout the regular season.

Spectator admission to all races is free, and the atmosphere is family friendly.

“Our mission is to be a model program for youth racing, based on the pillars of education, sportsmanship, dedication, hard work, fair play and a winning approach to life’s endeavors,” said Shawna Bentz, whose husband, Chad, serves as the association’s vice president.

The association also holds Arrive & Drive days at which visitors not only get to sit in a quarter midget car, they also get to drive one. This year’s Arrive & Drive dates are July 29 and Aug. 26, both from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for 10 laps. Drivers must wear tennisshoes. The association provides the cars and safety equipment.

To learn more about the sport, send email to or contact Chad Bentz, vice president, at (614) 886-3804 or For a full race schedule, go to

Association members will man a booth throughout fair week. Feel free to stop by and ask questions.

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