Minicup Racing History - 1985 to Present

Minicup racing has exploded in popularity in the last few years. As new people are attracted to the sport, many have no idea of how minicup racing started or who helped bring the sport to where it is. decided to research the history of minicup racing and produce this report which will introduce the people who built the sport. Also, this report will detail some of the mistakes which have limited the growth of minicup racing in the hope that these mistakes will not be repeated. We would like to thank several individuals who agreed to be personally interviewed for this report, including: Kris Thorp of Mountain Machine Services, Tom Roche of Lakeland, FL, Joe Loven of Kingsport, TN, Larry Peake of Asheville, NC and Blake Collins of MMRA. They were a tremendous help and this report wouldn’t exist without their assistance.

The ancestors of the minicup racecars we know today were built back in 1985 in Conover, North Carolina. Local go-kart racers there were looking for ways to increase safety in their races. Two of them, Morris Setzer and Terry Childers were among the first to see the advantage of having a rollcage to protect them in crashes so they began to add cages to their go-karts. Before long, the forerunner of the minicup was born. These early cars were essentially go-kart frames that had been cut up and rebuilt longer, wider and with a roll cage. Every car was homemade by its driver so each one was different. In fact, it is rumored that the first minicup body was actually fashioned out of an old tin roof taken off a barn. The addition of bodywork made the creations start to look more like cars and less like the go-karts they used to be. As the number of cars grew, a series developed called the Carolina Mini Series. For the first few years, minicups competed at local dirt tracks but before long they were making laps at the famed Hickory Motor Speedway. A rulebook was created and the new "series" started venturing out to nearby racetracks.

Here’s a photo of an early rigid chassis minicup car. If those front tires look like airplane tires, it’s because they are airplane tires!

Courtesy of Kris Thorp


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03/16/2013 04:20:44 AM                            Webmaster Note:  You are welcome to link to and use the logo to establish the link.