Eight of the top grassroots competitors will compete November 15 & 16 at NOLA Motorsports Park for the Mazda Road to 24 scholarship valued at $100,000. Today, we feature Michael Carter, a 16 year old Spec Miata competitor.
Michael Carter is a 16 year old straight-A high school student who has been behind the wheel of a race car for 13 of his 16 years. Michael’s first race car was a Quarter Midget, which he received when he was 3 years old on Christmas Day. Ten days later he turned 4 years old and that year began practicing in his dad’s shop parking lot. “I still remember running around the little track in the parking lot and purposely drifting off of the corners all the way up to the curb because it was so much fun. It’s very hard to believe and kind of funny to look back on it that I was testing the limits of the car at such a young age.”
At 5 years old, Carter was eligible to begin racing Quarter Midgets. After 8 years of racing Quarter Midgets and winning numerous races and two championships, Carter had grown too tall for the cars. At 13 years old, he advanced on to the Front Wheel Drive 4 Cylinder class at his local dirt track. In his second season, Carter won 11 races and the Track Championship.
During the 2014 season, he also got his first taste of road racing through ChumpCar. “After comparing my options for the 2015 season and beyond, it was clear that building a Spec Miata was the best choice for my racing career.”
In 2015, SCCA granted Carter a full competition license due to his experience. In his fourth start he won his first Spec Miata race at Roebling Road. To close out the 2015 season he finished 3rd in the ARRC at Road Atlanta. To start off 2016, Carter finished in the top 5 in his first SCCA Majors weekend (Homestead-Miami) at the age of 16. He also won all six SARRC regional races that he entered at Roebling Road and Road Atlanta. In June, as preparation for the Runoffs, Carter went to the Mid-Ohio Majors and captured his first podium on the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour.
To cap off the 2016 season, Carter finished 2nd at the 2016 SCCA Runoffs at Mid-Ohio in his first appearance. His performance both on- and off-track has earned him a spot as an at-large nominee for the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.