Gunners Garage

Young racers rock at USAC

The USAC Honda .25 Midget “Generation Next” National Champions filed the stage.

The USAC Honda .25 Midget “Generation Next” National Champions filled the stage.


USAC’s 58th “Night of Champions” National Awards Dinner in December was great. Want to know why? Not for all the awards copped by the nation’s top oval track racers. Instead, the real highlight was the awards taken home by a stageful of young speed demons.

I have eight grandkids of all sizes from “just got tonsils out” to “ready to fly Air Force jets.” And I could just picture them up on that stage picking up trophies – in some cases trophies bigger than them – for being the next generation of motor sports heroes and the future of auto enthusiasm in general.

Over on the old-car end of things, where we hang out, everyone talks about the “graying” of the hobby. Everyone says that the kids of today are more interested in the Web than in a Willys.

Well guess what? All the kids on that stage probably have computers and tablets and Smart Phones. And if we’re lucky, one or two of them even know what a Willys is. But every last one of them has the passion for fast racing cars!

If we want to save this hobby we’ve got to make car collecting as exciting as racing. Just dragging kids to a car show with little lawn chairs to set next to our big lawn chairs is not going to do the trick.

I have some ideas about this. From time to time I’ll share them here. In the meantime, let’s hear yours.

Information about the USAC’s 59th “Night of Champions” National Awards Dinner in 2014 can be obtained from USAC headquarters at or by calling 317-247-5151 (Ext. 214).




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