IN -- History was made recently when Hoosier completed its first-ever
quarter midget tire test in mid October with astounding results. For
years, Hoosier has been fielding calls from racers asking when the
largest race tire manufacturer in the world was going to enter the
highly popular quarter midget market. Well, we are pleased to say, the
time has now come. Over 600 test laps were run on a crisp Autumn day
at the 20th-of-a-mile quarter midget track on the grounds of Columbus
Speedway in Ohio. While the Hoosier engineers who were on hand to
witness the history making event had simply hoped to just "be in
the ballpark" on their first attempt testing the freshly produced
Hoosier tires outfitted on six inch diameter rims. But they did better
than that clocking times that were consistently faster than those of
the various brands currently available to the quarter midget drivers.
The tire test had two test cars and two test drivers.
The driver of the "Heavy" class car was Tyler Nuckles--the
13-year-old son of former racer Jeff Nuckles. Jeff is the son of
Columbus Speedway owner Jim Nuckles. Like many Speedway's across the
country, Columbus Speedway is run by many members of the Nuckles
family. Jeff Nuckles commented that he thought Columbus was the oldest
Hoosier tire-rule track in the country originating back in the early
70's when his father signed up as a Hoosier-only track.
The second driver was 11-year-old Cole Duncan--son of former
sprint car driver Rodney Duncan who drove the "Light" car.
Quarter midget racing has among its many classes the the
"Heavy" cars and the "Light" cars. The
"Heavy" car (and driver) must weigh at least a minimum of
320 lbs and the "Light" cars (and driver) must weigh at
least 260 lbs.
Hoosier's Irish Saunders commented after the day of
testing, "If these kids represent the future of racing, then I'd
say our sport was in great hands." Saunders added, "Both of
these kids were phenomenal. They gave very detailed feedback about
what the car was doing entering the corners, through the corners, and
exiting the corners as good as any test driver I have tested with over
the years. It is their feedback that will improve the future development
of this line of tires."
Saunders continued, "At one point, Tyler made a
40-lap run in which his times did not fluctuate by more than 3/100th's
of a second. I don't know many racers that can be that consistent. And
Cole, his feedback was just as detailed and informative as any 30-year
Special thanks goes out to the Nuckles family--Tyler,
Jeff and wife Cindy and Jeff's right hand man Larry. Also, special thanks goes out to Cole Duncan and his father
Rodney and his grandpa for their help in completing the required
testing. Hoosier would also like to extend its thanks to Eric
Bunn of USAC for attending the historic testing session.
While work will continue in the coming weeks and
months on developing the six-inch product to the point it can go into
mass production, it was clear the test was a homerun as far as those
in attendance were concerned. Hoosier anticipates availability of
its first quarter midget tires to be in the Summer of 2004.