|IndyCar driver Graham Rahal served as the USAC.25 Grand Marshal this weekend at the Circuit of The Americas and posed with Honda Red Rookie Quarter Midget racers to announce the 2019 Hot Wheels-USAC Quarter Midget mentoring initiative.|
Continuing its support of young racers pursuing their racing dreams, Hot Wheels™ is partnering with IndyCar, USAC.25 and Honda Performance Development to bring mentorship and support to North American Quarter Midget racers.
Quarter Midgets have been around since before World War II and feature drivers from ages four through 16. Resembling small-scale version of full-size Midget race cars, these Quarter Midgets racers can compete on paved or dirt ovals to help drivers hone racecraft as they progress though their race classes. Many of today's most recognizable names in IndyCar racing got their start in Quarter Midgets and are eager to give back to the sport they fondly remember.
"For more than 50 years, Hot Wheels has been igniting the challenger spirit in automotive fans of all ages," said Ricardo Briceno, Hot Wheels Director of Global Brand Marketing at Mattel. "We're proud to take that to next level with IndyCar and Honda through this training and mentoring program, giving kids the tools and encouragement needed to become the next generation of great American racers."
The family-friendly USAC.25 Quarter Midget events offer plenty of social interaction and mutual support during an event weekend. With more than 45 regional clubs and multiple national events, more than 2,000 racers competing in USAC Quarter Midget events every year.
"We are excited to support the USAC Quarter Midget program, with key industry partners like Honda," said SJ Luedtke, VP of INDYCAR Marketing. "The partnership is a key component of our grassroots efforts and we are excited to inspire and help develop the future stars of our sport."
Through Hot Wheels-sponsored clinics and activations at racing events throughout the 2019 season, top-level IndyCar drivers and team members will share their experiences in racing with the young competitors and families to explain the "off-track" skills that are as vital to a racing career as on-track results. Q&As and seminars with top athletes will cover a variety of topics ranging from how to conduct media interviews and securing sponsorship opportunities to methods to connect with fans by building a strong social media presence.
"We are thrilled to have an iconic brand such as Hot Wheels participating in the USAC.25 Series," said Danielle Frye, Series Director for USAC.25. "We've been fortunate to have Honda Performance Development as an engine partner for more than 10 years and it's been amazing to see the response from the IndyCar paddock when our national events are companions to their race weekends. This program will be an added bonus for our racers."
In addition, Hot Wheels will provide a stipend for top finishers in select Honda-powered racing regional and national events to assist with travel expenses related to the final USAC National Quarter Midget event in Las Vegas this November, where the winner of the most advanced class will take home a Honda GX200-powered kart to compete into the future.
"We're pleased to be a part of this partnership to bring greater value to our Quarter Midget racing customers," said John Whiteman, Manager of Honda Performance Development's Commercial Motorsports programs. "Honda is the only company that can bring this together, with racing programs from Quarter Midgets through IndyCar."
Details on the points structure and qualifying series will be announced shortly and will be retroactive to the beginning of the season. Hot Wheels and all the partners look forward to an exciting year of USAC Quarter Midget racing and supporting their racing dreams though the 2019 season.