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Original Issue


'It's better than television'

Leaning on the roll-bar of his one-cylinder Continental modified-B Casa de Cadillac Special, Dickie Burdge of Panorama City, Calif., lead-footed veteran of a thousand tight corners, holder of nine track records, winner of more than 200 trophies, should by rights be receiving a victory buss from an 11-year-old Miss Quarter-midget. However, in quarter-midget racing circles this is considered sissy stuff, although Dickie's sister Lynette frequently hands out the trophies to the tired but happy winner. In fact, as in all drivers' families, Dickie's relations crowd up the act and have a wonderful time at it.

The sport of quarter-midget car racing started in California about four years ago for boys and girls from 4 to 15. Since then hundreds of parent-sponsored tracks have appeared and thousands of fathers like Jim Burdge have tasted the heady pleasure of tuning the sleek little racers and managing their offspring through Saturday competitions. Dickie's mother at first was appalled at the cars' 35-mph potential, but now that she has come to feel that they are arguably safer than bicycles she and Dickie's brother Jimmy help around track and pit when Dickie races. Dickie himself bestows the ultimate teen-age accolade: "It's better than television. You've got to be on the alert all the time."