600 mini-sprints in the midwest

CarlsonMotorsports

Premium User
Does anyone have a list of tracks and car counts for 600s in the midwest? (within say 4 or 5 hours of central Indiana)

And I thought karting was lacking information! ;)

Thanks,
Brian Carlson
 

Ted Hamilton

helmet painter and racer
Micros seem to be a dying breed for some reason, at least compared to what info I found in the 90's and early 2000's.... I'm trying to get my 600 together for its' maiden voyage. Do you have a micro?
 

KKania17

Member
600s are the cats meow in central and eastern pa, i think Kutztown got 55/60 wingless on a wednesday night a few times
 

CarlsonMotorsports

Premium User
There's about as much confusion in the mini-sprint ranks as there is in karts right now it seems.

I always thought that the 250s were "micros" and the 600s were "mini" sprints. Locally they are called TQs (Three Quarter Midgets) and other names specific to local tracks. 1000cc uprights are called Lightning Sprints here in the midwest. 1200s appear now gone. Track rules vary considerably on upright, sidewinder, tire sizes, spec compounds, injection type (slide carbs vs fuel injected per year of bike motor, aftermarket ie Engler injection, etc.) It's about as confusing as karts can be to a newbie that comes on here.
I see what appears to be some decent used cars (turn-key) for around $5000 that would likely be great starter or restricted cars. I am not looking to sink $10gs into a micro/mini/TQ/whatever they are called when I've got a couple real nice 410 sprint cars sitting here in the shop that (if I had that kind of money) I could drop into. Just looking for an intermediate step between a restrictor plate 5HP champ kart and 850+HP for my boys. I also see that one of our local sprint car tracks is considering offering the 305 RaceSaver sprints for next season -- again, for $10gs the boys could be in a full size sprinter rather than mini/micro/whatever. Just weighing options and doing some research and information gathering.
Outrider, the MaximumDirt site was very helpful. Forums gave me some phone numbers for our local tracks. I see that some tracks that are listed really don't offer small cars except once a year, but that's ok. I know there are other tracks that run 600s that aren't listed either. Trying to compile all this information has been very time consuming and the tech side of the engines is confusing as all get out. Simply buying a used car (turn-key) isn't as simple as it sounds -- track rules (especially on the engines: injection/carbs, restrictors, ignition, fuel mapping, etc.) can make what seems to be a good deal into pretty much worthless.

Thanks to my karting friends on here for your help. :)
 

Outrider

Member
All the info was lost in the great server crash, but there were threads on there that sorted out the micro/minisprint jungle well. The short version, keeping in mind there is always some track or region that does things differently, or runs a mix not intuitively obvious to those not in the micro or minisprint game is as follows:

The three quarter midget has been around for decades; current rules specify a 750cc motorcycle engine, and the ATQMRA may even mandate a specific series of Suzuki engines; I haven't followed their rules closely enough to be sure on that. In some areas 750cc TQs are raced against against 600 micros to increase field size or make for big fields in large $$$ races. They use an offset chassis with the engine mounted to the driver's left with the cylinders running fore and aft and an adapter to a shaft drive to the cutest little quick change rear you ever saw (with the pumpkin offset dramatically to the left). Any other displacement or chassis configuration, someone is playing fast and loose with the rulebook and it's not a TQ by current standards, but tracks can call a class whatever they want.

Micro sprints: An offset chassis with the engine to the driver's left and the driver's legs passing beside the engine (with a firewall to the left of the driver's legs to protect the driver). Also called a sidewinder chassis. There are several flavors; 250 micros run stock bore and stroke 250 cc motocross engines, the 270cc specimens are bored and stroked 250s. There are often also sportsman/jr classes at tracks that run 125cc motocross engines or 250cc fourstrokes. Then there are the 600s, a larger offset/sidewinder chassis that uses a 600cc motorcycle engine but uses the same layout as it's smaller engined brothers except that there are 4 cylinders running from inboard to outboard. And both the 600s and the smaller micros are are chain drive to a one piece tubular rear axle. Then, to complicate things a bit more in the micro ranks, there is another class, usually called sidewinder sprints, that takes a 600 micro chassis built since 2005 or so and crams a 1000cc motorcycle engine into it. They generally have a rule package that mandates a really stock engine, but with the extra 400cc, that's a bunch more hp than a 600 and a lot more torque. And once in awhile you will still see and old 2 stroke micro (250/270 to 400cc) with the engine on the right instead of the left; they're no longer competitive, but in their day they provided exciting racing.

Mini sprints have an upright chassis like a normal sprint car, with a firewall in front of the driver and the engine mounted crossways in the chassis in front of the firewall. The basic setup used an approximately 1200cc engine years ago, but expense seems to have killed them in most regions where they used to race. In the places where they have survived, they seem to show up as a 1000cc class (often called lightening sprints these days), or a 750cc class, or a 600cc class. The upright configuration uses a chain drive similar to that of an offset chassis micro, but the chain is a bit longer because the engine is in front of the driver, and they generally use 13" wheels/tires instead of the 10 inchers used on micros. We have seen 750 mini sprints run with 600 micros for the same reasons as with the TQs.

Like all forms of racing, micros (and minis and TQs, for that matter) have gotten more expensive over the years, and as with karting, you have to take a look at exactly what your local tracks are actually running, regardless of that they are calling the classes, as you have found out. Based on our experiences here in central PA, if some version of the RaceSaver 305 full sized sprints is offered in your area, it is worth a second look; the rule package makes them awfully cost effective. On the $$ side, there is a lot of overlap in what it costs to run a competetive 600 micro effort for a season and what it costs to run a 305 to the RaceSaver Rule package. That goes double if you already have rollers in your shop - 305s, 358s, 360s and 410s all run the same chassis, so one can progress as little or as much as desire and $$ allow, and you can definitely be competitive with an engine built in one's own garage and put through the proper RaceSaver tech inspections - try that with a 410 or a 360 or even a 358. The only teams I know that are competitive with home garage built 358s don't run on anything bigger than 3/8 of a mile - they can't afford the wear and tear of the larger tracks. The RaceSaver 305s are a very attractive package, especially if there is enough 360/410 competition in your area to generate "hand-me-down" used tires, especially RRs, that the higher roller 410 teams only run for one race, then give away or sell for $20-$40. Spin it up and hit it with a disc grinder or slapper disk and it's good for 4-5 races to half a season on a 305. Take a real close look at the 305s; they are a great training ground and a relatively inexpensive form of sprint car racing.
 

CarlsonMotorsports

Premium User
Thanks. The terminology has changed a bit over the last 20 years or so and evidently the car/engine configurations. I'm certainly more comfortable/familiar with the 410 sprint cars - and have a garage and trailer full of them, so I am also considering just running the boys another year or so in karts until I can put them in a big car. It also gives a year to see if the 305 deal catches on locally. If I spend $5gs on 600, it depends where we run it (track size and competition) if it'll even be competitive. If I spend that same dough on the RaceSaver engine, I can use all the stuff I've mothballed around here for the last 7 or 8 years and have front running stuff. Still weighing options, but thank you for all your help.
 

Don Westlie

New member
Something to keep an eye on is the 604 or 602 crate wingless classes that seem to be springing up. Good way to get in and have a "low buck" motor vs a set on kill 410.
 

josheezpapa

New member
in my opinion, that would have been a WAY better deal than the racesaver thing. The racesaver deal is only as good as the guy you have sealing them, IMO
 

Outrider

Member
in my opinion, that would have been a WAY better deal than the racesaver thing. The racesaver deal is only as good as the guy you have sealing them, IMO
It'a a bit early to tell, but based on the experience with those engines in crate engine late model classess, that statement is well applied to 604 and 602 crate classes too. And at the present time, neither of those packages, as good as the idea is, is as cheap as the RaceSaver engine package, where you can still be competitive with a junkyard engine and a bit of hard work.
 

Don K

Member
is as cheap as the RaceSaver engine package
Like anything top-of-the-line RaceSaver engines are still $11k or better. I have been checking this package out a lot lately. In west Texas and southern New Mexico the ASCS 305 Wing Series is catching on where the RaceSaver is not.

I bought a used Baily micro like Ted's for $3k three years ago and have an additional $6k in it to get competitive. Micros are not cheap either. Micro 600's pretty much come in two flavors, A-class (stock motors) or outlaw class (built). Top of the line Outlaw motors are $6-$9k and throw a $4k fuel-injection system on top of that. Put that in new top-of-line chassis and accessories and they are approaching $30k. You can get a nice X-Mod or Southern Sport Modified for a lot less. One thing about 600 Micros though; they are fast. A hell of a lot faster than cars except 360/410 Sprints and the fastest Late Models.

DK
 

Outrider

Member
Around here we (600 micros) have not been invited back at several tracks in the 1/4 -3/8 mile range when they figured out we were faster than their premier late model class. :eek: Personally, good competitive racing in any class was/is great fun fun to watch, and I could care less if one class is faster on the track than another - if both are competitive, who cares? But apparently, upper management at some tracks gets worried when a bunch of motorcycle engined buzz bombs laps faster than their premier weekly class; I wonder if the few people in the stands that actually put a stopwatch on the leaders really care...

I can't account for why competitive Racesaver 305 engines are much more expensive where you are than around here, or why competitors need pro built engines to be competitive (or at least feel they do).
 

Ted Hamilton

helmet painter and racer
Don -- you recover from the seat-pucker when the lights went out on that one race? Hope our track never has that issue... and yes, they put all the other classes to shame (speed wise) at our local track.
 

Don K

Member
I can't account for why competitive Racesaver 305 engines are much more expensive where you are than around here, or why competitors need pro built engines to be competitive (or at least feel they do).
Because Mommy & Daddy will spend any amount of money so little Johnny (the natural) can be the track champion. Out here we have a couple of family's spend ridiculous amounts of money on their naturals'.

Pro-built motors even in the X-Mod & Southern Sport Modified ranks are getting up there in price and many will pay.

Don -- you recover from the seat-pucker when the lights went out on that one race? Hope our track never has that issue... and yes, they put all the other classes to shame (speed wise) at our local track.
Actually, only one car in the pack got ran into from the rear and suffered no damage. It was hairy though. This happened on a 3/8 mile track so I was entering turn three when it occurred probably at 90mph. Only thing I thought about was not hitting the large white tires marking the infield. Definitely a pucker moment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NlwdFr0L3E

DK
 

CarlsonMotorsports

Premium User
Because Mommy & Daddy will spend any amount of money so little Johnny (the natural) can be the track champion. Out here we have a couple of family's spend ridiculous amounts of money on their naturals'.

Pro-built motors even in the X-Mod & Southern Sport Modified ranks are getting up there in price and many will pay.
This is true with any level of racing you choose to get involved with, from go-karts to WoO sprint cars. At one point I realized that my frustration with the "haves" was better served not being jealous or covetous, but to beat the high dollar teams with their own hand-me-downs. Had I the choice to buy brand new tricked out everything, I would have done it in a heartbeat, but looking back, I learned to be a better steward and satisfied with what I had to work with. :)
 

Don K

Member
That's my moto; Buy it used, buy it cheap and have fun!

Brian, if I had to do it again I would have skipped the Micro 600 and gone straight to a USRA X-Mod or USCS 305 Sprint. Micro racing isn't more affordable than either of these other two. I also believe a team can build a competitive v8 for these classes locally where the motorcycle engines are out of my league. If you have rollers, 305 may be the way to go.

DK
 

CarlsonMotorsports

Premium User
Wow, 2 year old post here, George. :)


We decided to go the RaceSaver 305 sprint route.
Car is sitting in the trailer just begging to come out and play.
Old dad needs a few more hours in the day to finish tidying everything up. The car is pretty much ready to go...just need to do some work to the tow rig (bracing up the septic tanks is the biggest hurdle currently.) Got to get it PM'd & DOT'd and put current plates back on it too. Putting 6 new tires on the trailer (been sitting for 8 years now,) need to replace the plywood on the rear ramp door, and I think we'll be ready to go down the road again.
Still hoping to get out a few times before the end of this season just to get the kid's feet wet.
We'll see.

Nothing against the minis and micros, just looked like a lot of dough for an intermediate step to get where we want to be eventually anyhow...it sure helped that I already had the cars and spares. ;)
 
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