Opening night of racing season always brings nervous excitement. Opening night at the local track comes with every bit as much emotion as professional teams face preparing for Daytona. We set out to the track every weekend and the ultimate goal is to have fun – well, fun is the goal I continuously promote.
One way to achieve the goal of fun is to race with family. The perfect family racing vehicle is the 600 Micro Sprint. Micro Sprints utilize 600CC engines that are in full supply at motorcycle wrecking yards – it seems those crotch rocket riders you feel buzzing by you on the Hollywood freeway lay those things down creating a replenishing supply of Micro Sprint power plants. Low cost and an endless supply of low cost engines are one reason why the Micro Sprint divisions are experiencing big time growth. I know I was amazed to hear about the Micro Sprint growth across the entire county by attending a seminar at the PRI Trade Show.
Micro rules vary from stock engine requirements on up to divisions that allow heavy engine modifications. It is amazing how much power you can get out of 600CC’s when you start removing un-needed gears and polishing ports for optimal air flow. Regardless of the engine rules, Micro Sprint racing is fun and affordable. The affordability factor creates the perfect stepping stone series for kids moving up from Karts and Quarter midgets. Junior Sprints are added to the mix and are even more affordable allowing kids to move into more speed in a controlled fashion.
At a race track, as soon as you say the word “kid” then a parent must be close by. Perfect, now we can combine affordable racing with family fun. Since you can purchase a gently used race-ready Micro Sprint for around $5,000.00 you can outfit the entire family for less than one full bodied late model racer.
When it comes to power-to-weight ratio, you will find that Micro Sprints set you back in the seat like a jet fighter launching off of an aircraft carrier. Since Micro’s are basically a scaled down Sprint Car, the lightweight chassis is propelled nicely by 600CC crotch rocket engines. In fact, they are so fun to drive that many full-size Sprint Car drivers have made the switch to their smaller cousins helping teams to keep racing. Often, they can buy 2 Micro Sprint’s and race with their family. As an added bonus, tires last for several races so the weekly expenses are limited to hot dogs and 1 after race beverage of choice.
Just this past week, Joe Constance put the family affair into action. The JOES contingent, at our local dirt track in Deming Washington, ran the gamut from little Haley Constance running her Junior Sprint at the grand old age of barely 6. Her Briggs and Stratton Junior Sprint had been handed down from brother Spencer, age 14. Prior to little Haley jumping in the seat, Spencer had his turn in the same ride. Spencer had the Junior Sprint handed down to him and now the car is still in the family with 6 year old Haley pitching it sideways into turn one. Junior Sprints just keep on going and going.
For this year, Joe vacated the seat of his spiced up Micro Sprint so son Spencer could get a season of Micro Sprint racing.
Setting fast time on opening night, at the ultra family friendly Deming Speedway, was Joe’s teammate Derek Torkelson. Derek is the head machinist at JOES Racing Products and started in the Micro Sprint division just last year. After an off-season engine tune-up by Micro engine guru Gordon Seros, Derek led the field in qualifying and did so on a miniscule budget. Rounding out the extended JOES Micro Sprint family was Dustin Obrien. Dustin machines parts for Micro’s in the JOES machine shop and was mighty excited to get the opening night win in his Micro ride. It takes a school bus to haul all the employees that lend a helping hand to their workmates every weekend.
Often, open wheel dirt track action leads to banged up rides. The simplicity of Micro Sprint racing lends itself to easy, low-cost repairs. Even cars that are rolled over in practice or a move-up heat can be repaired right at the track before the main event.
If your goal is to race for the pure fun of racing then maybe it will be even more fun if you bring the entire family along. A family that races together on weekends wins together during the week. Racing little Micro’s together is an affordable way to make your family affair Brady Bunch big.