The American Three Quarter Midget Racing Association (ATQMRA) Inc. was founded in 1956, giving structure and organization to a group of racing hobbyists who had been racing their “T.Q. Midgets” informally since 1950. The ATQMRA has continued sanctioning outdoor summer races and indoor winter races since its founding, growing to be the best and most name recognizable T.Q. Midget organization in the country.
The name T.Q. originated from the fact that the cars were roughly three quarter the size of a USAC Midget.
The cars of today are modern evolutions of the original 1950s concept: Small, light, single seat, open cockpit, pure racing machines utilizing motorcycle or small automotive engines. In the early days the American Crosley was the engine of choice, but today it is the Suzuki GSXR 750.
Famous racing names are synonymous with the ATQMRA from Mario Andretti who launched his career with the ATQMRA, to Wally Dallenbach, who was Director of Competition for IndyCar, to contemporary “Saturday Night” racing stars such as Lou Cicconi, Joey Payne, and Nokie Fornoro, all of whom have gone on to other racing venues but venture back from time to time to test their skills against the current ATQMRA drivers.
In years past, TQs were part of the “Night before the 500” racing events in Indianapolis. It was not unusual to see the Indy 500 drivers competing in the “undercard events”. Former Indy car star, Tom Bigelow, having secured a ride in a T.Q. said at race end “If you can drive one of these, you can drive anything!” Few racing organizations outside of USAC and NASCAR can boast a history stretching back over 50 years and strict regulation of motor and chassis specs insures that these cars remain affordable and uniquely challenging to drive.
We must venerate the storied history of the ATQMRA and always remember and respect who we are, what we are, and where we came from.