Novice Program

QMA has a complete novice program to help you learn the ropes. Find everything from what to expect during novice training to what to expect on a typical race day to car setup sheets! Everything you need to know in one place. Additionally, our PQMRA club assigns each novice child a “racing buddy” for the season. This is a senior racer who has been through the challenges of racing. Your child’s racing buddy is there to provide peer-to-peer support, answer questions and give advice and racing tips based on their own experiences.

Novice Training Classes

Novice Training begins on March 11th, 2017 and is scheduled March 11-12, 25-26 


The novice driver is expected to attend all training sessions before being allowed to race on the track. Training sessions are free of charge. The classes meet at the ice cream parlor at Alpenrose Dairy and last about two to four hours depending on the session. NOTE: The first session is geared toward adults.  When your child starts the training program, you will receive a binder to keep that includes a training outline, introduction, novice rules, club information, lesson information, code of conduct, bylaws and tech training (car setup) information to help you and your child learn the ropes.

Novice Training Schedule 


Novice training begins the weekend 3/11-12. 9 am on Saturday and 10 am on Sunday. Dress comfortably for the forecasted weather and bring your quarter midget racecar.  If you do not have your quarter midget yet, no worries we will use the club cars. Please rsvp to president@portlandqma.com or fb message.

While we prefer to do these sessions as classes with a group of students at the beginning of the season, we also can do these training sessions on a one-on-one basis at any point in the racing season. Your child CAN participate in quarter midget racing, even if you did not start at the beginning of the racing season! Contact us to set up one-on-one training.


The Race Day

For you and your child, the first year is a year of learning. There are no points earned for races in the novice year, but EVERY novice child receives a trophy or ribbon for the races in which they participate. In addition, at the beginning of the season, the novice driver is given a log book. This book is used by the tower personnel to record positive comments about the driver’s efforts for each race. This book makes a nice souvenir at the end of the season.

The first year is not just for the novice driver. The parents also have much to learn … and not just about the car setup! The first few races for novice parents can be confusing but remember … you can ask any other handler (person helping the driver and working with his or her car that day) for help. One of the first things you will be wondering is … what do I do when I get to the track?

Here is a very general overview of a typical race day:

Before you even get to the track you need stop and get some gas at the gas station near the track for the race day. When you arrive for a race the first thing you will want to do is get your car out and get it ready for the safety director to okay your car for the race. This person will be walking around with a clip board and usually wearing an orange shirt or vest. You must have your car safety checked before you will be allowed to register for the race day. The safety director will give you the signed safety sheet and you can take that sheet to the registration window to sign up. After sign-up comes the pit meeting at the bottom of the tower area. Then the race day will begin.

Saturday racing will start at 7:00 – 8:00am with Safety and sign-in.  Registration from 7:30-8:30am.  Pit meeting at 8:45am.  Novice practice starts at 9:00am with racing to follow no later then 9:30am.

Sunday racing will start at 7:30-8:30am with Safety and sign-in.  Registration 8:30-9:30am.  Pit meeting at 9:45am.  Novice practice starts at 10:00am with racing to follow no later than 10:30am.



If it is a “Heat Race” format there are usually two “heat” races and a “main” race for each class. If it is a “Qualify Race” format there are usually two qualifying runs your driver must make and then the “main” race for that class. Before each set of races or qualifying runs, the tower person will post the order of the classes and each driver’s car number for that particular race. You will have to get four sets of paper with that number on it from the registration area and tape them on your car with painter’s tape.

About one race before you are up to go out, you will want to take your car and driver up to the staging area (the area near the tower with the covered awning) and line up to push out. Your driver will need to put on his or her safety gear and you will need to get him or her in the car and buckled in ready to go. The race director will come around to each car and check the brakes on the car and make sure the driver is in the car correctly and ready to push out. He will then signal you can push out and you can push your driver onto the track.

But wait! That’ not the end! YOU may have work to do, too. If your driver is in the top four positions for that race, you will be a “corner worker.” This means you will go to the corner that matches your driver’s car number and put on an orange safety vest and stand behind the track wall. During the race you will watch your corner of the track for any accidents or safety hazards and go out on the track to help if there is need. After the race, all the handlers (that’s you) meet their drivers at the car scales so your driver and car can be weighed. Once they are weighed you will sign the weight sheet and remove your driver and car from the scale area.

Once out of the scale area, you will need to “seal” your car. This involves painting over certain areas of your car engine to make sure nothing has been opened or removed or added for the rest of the race day. Your tires will be branded and those are the tires you will run your car with for the rest of the race day.

During the race day, your other family members should volunteer for whatever help is needed. They may judge races, work in the tower keeping score, work in the snack shack, help with the registration area, help at the scales … there are endless things you and all of your family can be involved in during the race day. As a novice family there will be people around to help you with any of these areas you wish to learn. Everyone appreciates help with the tracks' shared responsibilities and your driver will know you care about what he or she is involved in doing. You can’t beat that kind of encouragement!

At the end of the race day, if your driver placed high enough in the main race, you will need to take your car to “impound.” Cars in impound may be inspected by the tech director at the end of the race to make sure the race was run fairly.


At the end of the race day, after all the cars have passed inspection, then it’s on to the awards presentation! All the kids will line up at the bottom of the tower and the presenter will call out the drivers’ names and finish place and they can go up and get their award. You can then congratulate yourself, your family and your driver on a day will spent together!