|(Austin, TX – March 23, 2019) 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. About Mattel:Mattel is a leading global children’s entertainment company that specializes in design and production of quality toys and consumer products. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic franchises, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends® and Mega®, as well as other popular brands that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 40 locations and sell products in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and technology companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in exploring the wonder of childhood and empowering kids to reach their full potential. Visit us online atwww.mattel.com. About IndyCarBased in Indianapolis, INDYCAR is the governing body of: the NTT IndyCar Series, the premier open-wheel racing series in North America; the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires development ladder, which includes Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship; and the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BF Goodrich Tires. INDYCAR events are available to a worldwide audience through a variety of multimedia platforms, highlighted by a broad-reaching partnership with NBC Sports Group. INDYCAR is continually at the forefront of motorsports innovation with drivers, teams and tracks benefiting from safety and technological improvements such as the SAFER Barrier, SWEMS wheel and chassis component tethers, chassis enhancements, advanced aerodynamic bodywork kits, high-definition in-car cameras and E85 ethanol fuel. About USAC.25With at least 45 USAC.25 clubs located all across the country, thousands of kids ages five and up, along with their families, participate in USAC-sanctioned quarter midget series events. Some notable graduates of quarter midget racing include Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Sarah Fisher, A.J. Foyt, Jimmy Vasser, Ryan Newman and Alex Bowman.
Since 1956, United States Auto Club (USAC) has proven itself as being the most diversified motorsports sanctioning body in the world. It is the official sanctioning body of many of today’s largest racing series including its own suite of circle track series in Sprint, Midget and .25 Midget racing (quarter midgets), Pirelli World Challenge, Red Bull Global Rallycross, American Rally Association, International Snowmobile Racing, Robby Gordon Stadium Trucks, TORC Off Road Championship, Ultra 4 Racing, Formula Race Promotions and Karting. USAC has over 17,000 competitors racing at more than 1,000 sanctioned events globally. About Honda Performance DevelopmentHonda Performance Development, Inc., (HPD) is Honda’s racing company in North America and is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Founded in 1993, HPD is the technical operations center for Honda’s high-performance racing programs. HPD specializes in the design and development of race engines, chassis and performance parts, and technical/race support. We also offer parts and race support to Honda and Acura grassroots motorsports racers, and are expanding our support of racing series and programs that make Honda racing products available to all racing styles, from karting and Quarter Midgets to the highest levels of pro racing.
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