Baxter Records Top-Five Finishes During Back-to-Back Weekends
STOCKTON, Calif. (April 23, 2019) - Blaine Baxter scored a career-best top-five finish in the Restricted micro sprint class last Saturday night at Delta Speedway.
His impressive performance followed another notable racing achievement the previous weekend when Baxter notched a top-five finish in his first career race in the Super class at Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif.
The momentum carried between the two races as Baxter got off to a solid start last Saturday at Delta Speedway by qualifying second quickest out of 30 drivers, far exceeding his previous best qualifying effort. That set the tone for the evening as a good qualifying effort is critical to a desirable starting spot in the feature.
"I was able to hold it wide open during qualifying," he said. "I missed my marks in turns one and two on the first lap, but I was able to hit all of them after that."
Baxter started fourth in his heat race and eventually won. That lined him up fifth in the main event.
"The others raced the top of the track and I was able to run the bottom and get the lead and the win," he said of the heat race. "Unfortunately, the track became difficult to pass on and it was mainly follow the leader (in the main event). I just pretty much held my position for most of the race and finished fifth."
The previous weekend Baxter produced another notable racing moment at Dixon Speedway, where he made his debut in the Super class. It was also the first appearance of their car that has a wrap in memory of their cousin, Jennifer Topper, who died earlier this year while piloting a medical rescue and transport helicopter. The team has dedicated their season to her memory.
"That was a pretty exciting day," Baxter said. "It was exciting to run the Super for the first time and also to run the No. 14 for the first time in honor of our cousin."
Baxter quickly felt comfortable in the higher-powered racing machine. He qualified third quickest out of 14 cars and finished fourth in his heat race. Baxter then placed second in the dash, lining him up on the outside of the front row for the main event.
"I felt really confident going into the A Main," he said. "But the guy starting beside me jumped the start and they let it go. It cost me a bunch of spots. I dropped back to eighth, but I was able to work my way back toward the front and I finished fourth."
Baxter's performance was even more impressive considering the 11-year-old was by far the youngest driver in the field.
"Most of the drivers in the Super class are into adulthood," said Blaine's father, Dustin Baxter. "The track made an exception to allow him to race there. Generally, you need to be at least 12-years-old at the beginning of the season and have two years of experience racing a micro."
Blaine Baxter plans to return to action in the Super class this Saturday at Dixon Speedway.
"Blaine's always done well racing with more power so I wasn't surprised with how well he did in his first race in the Super," Dustin Baxter said. "His confidence is really high now and we're looking forward to a good season."
QUICK RESULTS -
April 13 - Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif. - Qualifying: 3; Heat race: 4 (3); Dash: 2 (1); Feature: 4 (2).
April 20 - Delta Speedway in Stockton, Calif. - Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 1 (4); Feature: 5 (5).
SEASON STATS -
6 races, 0 wins, 2 top fives, 3 top 10s, 6 top 15s, 6 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Saturday at Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif.
MEDIA LINKS -
Baxter to Honor Memory of Close Relative in 2019
Inside Line Promotions – SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2019) – Blaine Baxter Racing will be honoring a close relative with a tribute car this season following a recent tragedy.
Jennifer Topper died last Tuesday when the helicopter she was piloting crashed in Ohio during adverse weather conditions. The 34-year-old medical transport pilot was flying to pick up a patient during a snow storm when the helicopter went down, killing her and two crew members.
Topper was a first-cousin to Dustin Baxter and close to the entire Baxter Family.
“This is extremely difficult for all of us,” Dustin Baxter said. “We’re a close family. She lived here in Santa Rosa until she moved to Ohio a year and a half ago. Although she was nine years younger than me, she said she looked up to me like an older brother.
“Two other transport companies turned down the flight because of the weather. We don’t know all of the details yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Jennifer accepted the flight because she wanted to help someone because that’s who she was.
“Just like in racing, when you’re a thrill seeker there’s an inherent risk involved. It doesn’t make it easier, but I can accept the fact that she died doing what she loved.”
Blaine Baxter has fond memories of Topper and is glad the team is honoring her through his racing.
“I was really close to her and I’ll sure miss her,” the 10-year-old said. “Her smile would light up a room. She was a lot of fun and could make you laugh. It’s really hard to have her gone, but I’m glad we can do something in her memory.”
The tribute car will be raced at select events this season in the ‘A’ class, a division in which Baxter will be competing for the first time. He’ll also compete in the restricted class again this year and will race for points at Delta Speedway in Stockton, Calif. He plans to race a full schedule at other tracks as well.
“I think Blaine will do well in the ‘A’ class since it doesn’t have restrictors,” Dustin Baxter said. “He’s always done well in a class where he deals with horsepower and throttle control.”
Two divisions of micro sprints will be a fun challenge for Blaine Baxter, he noted.
“I’m looking forward to doing double duty this year,” he said. “I’m excited about racing in the ‘A’ class. It’s taken me a little while to learn momentum racing in the restricted class, but I think I’ll do well in a class that isn’t restricted.”
Baxter is also making an extra effort to prepare himself for the racing season.
“I’ve been training and working out,” he said. “I’m doing different things to make me more physically and mentally fit to race.”
The recent tragedy has altered the early season racing schedule for the team.
“We were planning to race in Salem, Ore., last weekend and probably again before the season starts around here,” Dustin Baxter said. “But we’ll be in Ohio this week for Jennifer. We’re hoping to still make it to Salem. But if not, we’ll be going strong here once March arrives.”
MEDIA LINKS –
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“Safety is always our main priority and we’re really happy to have Adidas join our team this year,” Baxter said. “They have great safety wear and it looks really cool.”
Blaine Baxter Racing would also like to thank Westside Mechanical, Les Schwab Tire Center, Dirt Co Media House, FK Shocks, Shell Shock, Dustin Davis Demolition, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Blackbeard, Arai Helmets, D1 Chassis, Wraps N Motion, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Energycoil and Adams Performance for their continued support.
Baxter Displays Speed During Mark Hagopian Memorial
Inside Line Promotions – VISALIA, Calif. (Sept. 27, 2018) – Blaine Baxter enjoyed running competitive laps and gaining experience against a stout field last weekend during the two-day Mark Hagopian Memorial at Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park.
“I thought the weekend was awesome,” the 10-year-old restricted micro sprint driver said. “We didn’t quite finish where we wanted to each night, but I had a lot of fun and a great time.”
The weekend appeared to begin well for Baxter on Friday when he drew the No. 1 pill for qualifying. Unfortunately, it proved to be one of the rare times that qualifying early wasn’t an advantage.
“The track was about the heaviest I’ve ever seen it,” said Dustin Baxter, Blaine’s father. “So that was the one time we drew a low number and it was no good. But we still timed 15th quick. The heat race was lightning quick with no passing and we finished fifth.”
What began as a solid run for Blaine Baxter in the feature resulted in a DNF.
“Blaine was rolling pretty well in the main event about five or six laps in when the car bicycled pretty hard on the right side,” Dustin Baxter said. “When it came down, the car just shut off. We discovered the next morning that it had ripped a ground wire off of the motor.”
Blaine Baxter clicked off a solid qualifying lap the following night and was fifth quickest among the talented field. He finished fourth in a heat race to earn the fifth starting spot in the night’s main event.
“He made a few mistakes running the cushion and slipped back to 14th,” Dustin Baxter said. “He had to work really hard to maintain that spot and finish there on a difficult track and against some really tough competition. I think he did really well holding his own.
“All in all, it was a good learning weekend. We’re getting the speed coming a little more each week. We’re qualifying better, which is huge. Once we qualify well consistently, then we set ourselves up for a good night.”
The team experimented the previous weekend at Delta Speedway.
“We ran a new motor and tried racing without the power steering to try to give Blaine a better feel for the race track,” Dustin Baxter said.
The driver appeared to respond well to the new feel by winning his heat race.
“It worked all right in qualifying and his heat race,” Dustin Baxter said. “But he was wore out in the main event (finishing 16th). Most of the guys who are in their late teens and early 20s run power steering for that reason. He did pretty well – just faded a bit when he got tired. So we put it back in for last weekend.”
The team will take this weekend off before competing with the King of California Micro Sprint Series on Oct. 5 at Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif., and Oct. 6 at Delta Speedway in Stockton, Calif.
Baxter Continues Improvement by Earning Top 10 at Delta Speedway
(Photo by Cameron Hageman)
Inside Line Promotions – STOCKTON, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2018) – Blaine Baxter’s improvement behind the wheel of a micro sprint was showcased by a top-10 finish at Delta Speedway Saturday night.
His sixth top 10 of the season also marked the third consecutive top-15 result for the 10-year-old restricted micro sprint driver, who qualified 13th quickest and placed third in a heat race before capping the night by gaining a position to end 10th in the A Main.
“We had a pretty good night,” he said. “We started 11th and actually made it up to eighth before finishing 10th, but it was still nice to get a top-10 finish.”
Baxter crossed the finish line 14th the previous evening at Delta Speedway, where he qualified 20th quickest and advanced from sixth to fourth place in a heat race to open the action.
“The track that night was tough,” he said. “It was a little better on Saturday.”
Baxter produced another solid night during his previous outing at Delta Speedway on Aug. 18. He qualified 13th quickest and raced from eighth to second in his heat race before maneuvering from 16th to 11th in the A Main.
“I’m definitely feeling a lot more confident,” he said. “We’re getting more consistent, but we still struggle with qualifying.”
Baxter will be back on the track this weekend with a King of California Micro Sprint Series doubleheader on Friday at Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park in Visalia, Calif., and Saturday at Lemoore Raceway in Lemoore, Calif.
Baxter Captures Top-10 Finish at Delta Speedway
Inside Line Promotions – STOCKTON, Calif. (Aug. 7, 2018) – Blaine Baxter overcame a challenging start to pick up a top-10 finish in the restricted micro sprint feature Saturday night at Delta Speedway.
The 10-year-old qualified 10th quickest in time trials and then finished second in his heat race, earning the ninth starting spot in the feature.
“He had kind of a messy start and fell back to about 14th or 15th on the initial start,” said Baxter’s father, Dustin Baxter. “But he put his head down and his elbows up and drove back up to finish 10th. He did exceptionally well since the car was way too tight. We had set up for a slick track, but they ripped the track while we were in staging and we couldn’t make any major adjustments.”
Blaine Baxter is extremely optimistic following the outing.
“I thought it was my best race so far,” he said. “I’m gaining more confidence each time and I feel we’re getting better each week.”
Baxter had another solid run going the previous weekend at Delta Speedway until he was taken out by another car. Following a poor qualifying run because of a gear issue, he finished third in his heat.
“We were running around ninth in the feature and moving forward when we got run over from behind, knocking the carburetors off the car,” Dustin Baxter said. “Blaine is getting more comfortable in the car, especially since the Clay Cup, and we’re getting the motor deal figured out. We just need to put a whole night together. We’re feeling pretty confident going into the second half of the season. We’re hoping to make a big run and go for Rookie of the Year at Delta.”
Baxter will compete in another two rounds of the King of California Micro Sprint Series this Friday at Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park in Visalia, Calif., and Saturday at Lemoore Raceway in Lemoore, Calif.
Baxter Rallies to Top-15 Finish at Clay Cup Nationals in Washington
(Photo courtesy of Blaine Baxter Racing)
Inside Line Promotions – DEMING, Wash. (July 24, 2018) – Blaine Baxter overcame misfortune to rally to a top-15 finish during the finale of the three-day Clay Cup Nationals last Saturday at Deming Speedway, which welcomed more than 40 drivers in the restricted micro sprints division.
After getting caught up in a pair of crashes during preliminary nights on Thursday and Friday, Baxter advanced from his 12th-place starting spot in Saturday’s B Main to a sixth-place finish, earning him a starting spot into the Clay Cup main event. He charged forward again in the feature, scoring a 14th-place finish after starting 24th.
“We didn’t have the best finishes, but we worked our way forward in each race,” Baxter said of his first time in competition at the event.
“We were decent Thursday night, but got wrecked in the B Main,” Baxter’s father, Dustin, said. “We were really fast on Friday night. We were ninth overall in points going into the A Main and just basically needed to finish the main to lock into Saturday night’s main.”
Unfortunately, disaster struck in Friday’s main event.
“There was a pileup coming off of turns three and four and I jumped someone’s left rear tire and flipped all the way down the front straightaway,” Blaine Baxter said. “It destroyed the car, but my dad got it fixed for Saturday night.”
The Baxter’s hustled off the track as well as on it as the youngster capped the event with a solid performance.
“We were pretty happy with the way things went overall at the Clay Cup,” Dustin Baxter said. “We had good speed there all weekend. We stopped at Willie Kahne’s on the way there and we made a few changes with shocks and the baseline setup. Unfortunately, we tore up some equipment and Dad had to work his butt off.”
Blaine Baxter also showed speed the previous weekend. He charged from 18th to seventh on July 13 at Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif., and advanced again the following night to a 14th-place finish after starting 22nd at Delta Speedway in Stockton, Calif.
“I feel more confident each time,” said Blaine, whose next race is scheduled for this Saturday at Delta Speedway. “I feel like I’m getting faster.”
Baxter Sees Speed and Progress During Four Nights of Racing
(Photo by Cameron Hageman)
Inside Line Promotions – LEMOORE, Calif. (July 9, 2018) – Blaine Baxter had a pair of promising runs halted by misfortune during a busy week of Restricted Winged Micro Sprint racing in late June.
“It was a little frustrating, but I feel like we’re making progress every race,” he said. “We have the speed. We’re just not getting the results.”
Baxter looked to be having one of his best nights of the season on June 27 at Delta Speedway in Stockton, Calif. He qualified ninth quickest out of 38 cars and finished third in his heat race.
“We were pretty good right out of the box,” the 10-year-old said. “We were running 10th early in the A Main until a rock got stuck in the linkage and stuck it wide open, ending our night.”
The other three California Speedweek rounds got off to a slow start in qualifying, which relegated him to the B Main on June 26 at Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif.; on June 28 at Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park in Visalia, Calif., and on June 30 at Lemoore Raceway.
“I went to the top of the track on the first lap and moved from eighth to third, but there was a restart,” he said of the B Main at Lemoore Raceway. “I did the same thing on the next restart and moved up again. I was passing the second-place driver and he kind of jumped the cushion and put me into the wall. I don’t think he knew I was there, but it did a lot of damage to our car and ended our night.”
Baxter finished sixth in his B Main at Dixon Speedway and ninth in the B Main at both Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park and Lemoore Raceway.
Following a weekend off, Baxter will be back in action this Friday at Dixon Speedway and Saturday at Delta Speedway.
Baxter Advances Each Night During Delta Summer Sizzler
Inside Line Promotions – STOCKTON, Calif. (June 20, 2018) – Blaine Baxter advanced through the field both nights in the Restricted Winged micro sprint features during the Delta Summer Sizzler at Delta Speedway last weekend. The 10-year-old officially moved forward a total of 15 combined positions between the two main events, but he passed a lot more cars than that.
Baxter began the weekend on Friday by qualifying 18th out of 23 cars. He finished fifth in his heat, which slotted him into the 22nd starting spot in the A Main. Baxter charged forward to 11th midway through the race.
“About halfway through the race a car flipped in front of me,” he said. “I had nowhere to go and the car landed on mine. It took my nose wing off and destroyed the hood. The top wing was hanging on by maybe one post.”
Baxter restarted at the rear and managed to salvage a 17th-place finish.
“It was a decent finish for the situation, with no nose wing and the top wing hanging upside down,” said Blaine’s father, Dustin Baxter.
Blaine Baxter began Saturday’s racing action as the quickest competitor in hot laps, but he qualified 19th out of 22 cars.
“The track did a 180 and dried out,” Dustin Baxter said. “I threw too much at the car and got it too tight.”
A seventh-place heat race finish placed Blaine Baxter in the 21st starting position for the feature. He rallied to an 11th-place result.
“Blaine really did well,” Dustin Baxter said. “He passed a lot of tough cars on a difficult track.”
The Baxters will take this weekend off from racing before California Speedweek begins next Tuesday, June 26, at Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif. The remaining Speedweek shows are June 27 at Delta Speedway in Stockton, Calif.; June 29 at Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park in Visalia, Calif.; and June 30 at Lemoore Raceway in Lemoore, Calif.
“I’m feeling pretty good about the way we’ve been racing lately,” Blaine Baxter said. “I feel we’re getting a little better each week. One of these times we’ll get a good time in qualifying and start near the front. That will make a big difference.”
Dustin Baxter agrees that qualifying is key.
“We’re racing well now,” he said. “We just need to get the car perfect for qualifying. We’re hurting ourselves in qualifying right now. When you start mid-pack or deeper, your chances of getting caught up in someone else’s mess increase. Sometimes the entire field is separated by only four to five tenths of a second in qualifying so we’re not missing it by much.”
Baxter Charges From Back of B Main to 11th-Place in A Main at Dixon Speedway
Inside Line Promotions – STOCKTON, Calif. (May 23, 2018) – Blaine Baxter showed speed while battling qualifying problems and bad luck last weekend during a King of California Micro Sprint Series doubleheader.
Baxter was running in the sixth position during his heat race at Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif., on Friday when he was unable to avoid a wreck, forcing him to start at the tail of the B Main.
“There was a flip right in front of me,” he said. “I had nowhere to go and got caught up in it, breaking my axle.”
Repairs were made to his machine in time for him to start 13th in the B Main and he responded with a sixth-place finish to transfer to the A Main. Baxter started 21st and rallied to record an 11th-place result in the main event.
“That (A Main) was probably one of the toughest races of the season,” he said. “It was one of the roughest tracks we’ve had. There were about four or five flips during the race.”
A subpar qualifying run slotted Baxter in the ninth starting spot in his heat race on Saturday at Delta Speedway. He was able to charge to a fifth-place finish, but fell one spot short of locking into the A Main.
Baxter started seventh in the B Main, but bad luck struck again while he challenged for a transfer spot. Two cars in front of him got together and collected him, forcing Baxter to restart at the back with two laps to go. He was able to pass several cars in the final laps before finishing 13th.
A similar situation occurred two weeks prior at Delta Speedway, where qualifying got the team behind the eight ball.
“We’re really struggling with our qualifying and it’s just killing us,” said Blaine’s father, Dustin Baxter. “I need to give Blaine a better car for qualifying and we need to do a better job at the start of the night so that we don’t have to fight so hard at the end. This (restricted micro sprint) class is about momentum. We just have to get our momentum game a little stronger. And the class is stacked with talent. There are a lot of holdovers from last year. I think the next youngest kid to Blaine (who is 10 years old) is 12 and it goes all the way up to 16 or 17. We have some learning to do, but we’re confident we’ll get it going.”
The next racing action for Blaine Baxter will be a King of California Micro Sprint Series doubleheader on June 8 at Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park in Visalia, Calif., and June 9 at Lemoore Raceway in Lemoore, Calif.
Baxter is Optimistic After Enduring a Rough Weekend
(Photo by Cameron Hageman)
Inside Line Promotions – LEMOORE, Calif. (May 1, 2018) – Blaine Baxter toughed out a rough weekend of racing last Friday and Saturday as both of his nights of competition with the King of California Micro Sprint Series ended with a heavily damaged race car due to circumstances beyond his control.
There was some good news for Baxter as the team appeared to have finally resolved the engine problems that have plagued their car since the beginning of his Restricted 600cc micro sprint rookie season.
“We had a really rough weekend,” he said. “But most of all I had fun and I’m fine, although our car isn’t. I’m really glad we got the motor problems fixed and I’m excited about racing at Delta next weekend. I think I’ll do much better with the car running better now.”
The team addressed its engine problems with a change in programs, which proved to be a successful move.
“I need to thank Jerrod Huckleberry and all of the guys at Worth Motorsports for their help and hospitality this weekend,” said Blaine’s father, Dustin Baxter. “I’m glad they were able to resolve our motor issues.”
Blaine Baxter’s weekend began on Friday at Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park in Visalia, Calif.
“We tried an air cleaner change at the beginning of the night and that made it run worse and we qualified poor,” Dustin Baxter said. “Then we got the motor going good. Blaine moved from seventh to fifth in his heat to qualify for the A Main. He started 13th in the A Main and was running 11th when a group of cars piled up in front of him and left him nowhere to go, wadding our car up.”
A heavily damaged race car meant an all-nighter in the shop in order to race the following night at Lemoore Raceway.
“We had another poor qualifying run at Lemoore, this time due to a freshman mistake of having the wrong gear in,” Dustin Baxter said. “That put us behind right away again. Because of that we failed to qualify for the A Main through our heat race. We had to run the B Main and had the same situation happen as the night before as we got involved in another mess and it ended our night.”
Despite having the car heavily damaged on consecutive nights, Dustin Baxter echoed his son’s optimism as they look forward to competing at Delta Speedway in Stockton, Calif., this Saturday.
“We’ve got the motor deal figured out and now we can just work on tuning the car,” he said. “I’m confident and looking forward to this weekend. We should be better out of the box so that Blaine doesn’t have to start as far behind as he did last weekend.”
Baxter Working Hard to Overcome Mechanical Problems
Inside Line Promotions – STOCKTON, Calif. (April 17, 2018) – Blaine Baxter moved forward almost every time he hit the track last weekend despite lingering engine problems throughout the King of California Micro Sprint Series doubleheader.
Baxter rallied from sub-par qualifying times on Friday night at Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif., and on Saturday at Delta Speedway to advance through the Restricted Winged Micro Sprint field each night as his team continued to chase a mechanical gremlin that has plagued them this season.
“We’re still struggling with the same motor issues that we’ve been fighting since the first race,” said Blaine’s father, Dustin. “We’re just not getting the RPMs that we should be getting from the motor and that puts us way behind from qualifying.”
Blaine Baxter qualified 22nd out of 32 cars on Friday at Dixon Speedway. He finished fifth in his heat race and qualified for the A Main thanks to a fourth-place finish in the B Main. Baxter capped the night by charging from 22nd to 12th in the main event.
“We get better as the night goes on simply because as the track goes away the RPMs aren’t as important and Blaine does really well driving on a slick track,” Dustin Baxter said.
The team made more changes to the car prior to Saturday’s competition at Delta Speedway.
“We switched carburetors and the ECU box before qualifying and still had the same issue,” Dustin Baxter said. “We’re about 1,500 RPMs from where we need to be.”
Blaine Baxter once again got the most out of his equipment after qualifying 24th quickest. On a track that was difficult to pass on, he advanced from ninth to seventh in a heat race. He then started ninth in the B Main and was up to fourth after approximately six laps before a cut tire ended his evening early.
“The track went slick in the B Main, which is really in Blaine’s wheelhouse,” Dustin Baxter said. “If it wasn’t for the flat tire, I’m sure he would have made the A Main and moved through the field in that race despite being down on power.”
Blaine Baxter said he enjoyed the weekend of racing and is looking forward to better results once the mechanical gremlins are resolved.
“I really enjoy racing on a slick track,” he said. “That’s where I’m really comfortable. I think once we get the motor problems figured out we’ll be running up front.”
Baxter will take this weekend off from racing for a family trip. He will return to action April 27 at Keller Auto Raceway in Visalia, Calif., and April 28 at Lemoore Raceway in Lemoore, Calif., for the third and fourth rounds with the King of California Micro Sprint Series.
Baxter Displays Speed During Winged Micro Sprint Debut at Dixon Speedway
(Photo by Action Captured Images)
Inside Line Promotions – DIXON, Calif. (April 3, 2018) – Blaine Baxter opened his 2018 racing season with a successful debut in the Restricted Winged Micro Sprint class last Saturday at Dixon Speedway.
“My night really went well,” the 10-year-old said regarding his first evening of competition in a micro sprint after spending several previous seasons racing karts. “I felt very comfortable in the car. I enjoy driving these cars more than the karts. The suspension helps make it more comfortable with the bumps and ruts and the power steering makes it easier to steer than a kart.”
Baxter qualified 14th quickest before he placed fifth in a heat race to kick off the action.
“We struggled a bit with the setup early in the night,” said his father, Dustin Baxter. “We qualified mid-pack. We were a little better in the heat race, but still off a bit.”
Blaine Baxter picked up steam in the A Main as he maneuvered from 17th to a 10th-place finish. He passed four cars on the final lap and was up to sixth when a red flag halted the race. The race was ruled complete and scored according to positions on the previous lap.
“We’re new at these cars and still learning,” Dustin Baxter said. “They’re a lot different than a kart or a sprint car. I got a few things figured out for the main event with the suspension tuning. We still have a little work to do on the motor and fuel system before we’re perfect. I hope to have it dialed in by the next few races.
“I was really impressed with Blaine’s performance in his first race in that car and that class. He was charging to the front.”
Baxter is scheduled to compete this Saturday at Delta Speedway in Stockton, Calif., before a King of California Micro Sprint Series doubleheader on April 13 at Dixon Speedway and April 14 at Delta Speedway.
Baxter Moves Up to Micro Sprints After Recovering From Serious Racing Injury
Inside Line Promotions - SANTA ROSA, Calif. (March 19, 2018) - Blaine Baxter is moving forward in a new direction with his racing career only one year after being critically injured in a racing accident.
The 10-year-old will move up from go-karts, which he has raced since he was 4-years-old, to compete full time in the Restricted Winged Micro Sprint division. It caps an incredible journey and recovery from a freak accident in February 2017 that saw him nearly lose his right arm.
"Blaine is an amazing kid and we are very proud of the way he has handled his injury, recovery and his continued desire to race," said his father and former racer, Dustin Baxter. "We are super blessed for his recovery from the accident and he's excited about moving forward in racing."
While Dustin Baxter did his best to insure his son's safety on the track, a minor oversight led to a fluke incident involving the youngster.
"We've always been very adamant about Blaine's safety equipment since he first started racing when he was 4-years-old," Dustin Baxter said. "We've worked closely with Jeannie Butler at ButlerBuilt from the beginning and had a custom seat built for Blaine. We provide him with the best safety equipment available.
"Blaine had gotten in and out of his kart probably a thousand times already in his career before the day of his accident. Both he and I check and double-check safety items each time. But for some reason that day we didn't notice that his right arm restraint didn't get clipped in. It eventually got caught in the running gear and basically ripped his arm off just below the elbow.
"He was air-lifted to Fresno, where they were going to amputate it. But I wouldn't let them. We went through all the hospitals in the Bay Area and eventually found a home for him at Stanford, where they would attempt to save his arm."
Blaine Baxter spent the next four weeks in intensive care while enduring a dozen surgeries.
"They took a nine-by-10 inch piece of muscle from his back and used it to rebuild his arm," Dustin Baxter said. "Following a grueling period of physical therapy, his arm is now pretty much fully functional. If you didn't know he had been injured, you wouldn't notice anything different about his arm other than the scarring."
Blaine Baxter's progression into micro sprints will follow a successful stint in karts, in which he won a number of features, a pair of Rookie of the Year Awards and a couple of top-three finishes in points despite racing against those older than him.
"He was just hitting his stride in karts when his accident occurred," Dustin Baxter said. "He was always very young compared to his competitors because we moved him up, trying to avoid some of the politics involved with racing in those age groups."
Blaine Baxter returned to the track last November, nine months to the day following his accident. Two weeks later, he made his first start in a micro sprint and won.
"Blaine quickly became comfortable with driving a micro sprint," Dustin Baxter said. "He felt that was because it was slower than the kart he had been racing. That's helped to make us optimistic in looking forward to this year."
The team has approximately 45 races scheduled for 2018 and plan to compete in the four-track, 16-round King of California Micro Sprint Series plus some USAC events as well as at local races with Delta Speedway in Stockton, Calif., and Dixon Speedway in Dixon, Calif., considered as their home tracks.
The season kicks off this Friday at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif., and Saturday at Lemoore Raceway in Lemoore, Calif., with the King of California Micro Sprint Series.
UP NEXT -
Friday at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif., and Saturday at Lemoore Raceway in Lemoore, Calif., with the King of California Micro Sprint Series
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Hospital-wide access to virtual reality alleviates pain and anxiety for pediatric patients
For release: August 24, 2017 Palo Alto, Calif. – As patients at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford undergo routine medical procedures, they are being whisked away to swim under the sea, zap flying cheeseburgers in outer space, catch basketballs using their heads and fly on paper airplanes through the sky thanks to virtual reality (VR) technology, which is being implemented throughout the hospital to help ease patients’ feelings of pain and anxiety. Packard Children’s is one of the first hospitals in the country that is beginning to implement distraction-based VR therapy within every patient unit. “Many kids associate the hospital with things they deem stressful and scary,” says pediatric anesthesiologist Sam Rodriguez, MD, co-founder of the CHARIOT program (short for Childhood Anxiety Reduction through Innovation and Technology), which is leading the VR rollout. “We are finding that the ability to distract these patients with fully immersive, fun and relaxing sensory environments can have a significant impact on the anxiety and pain that they experience during minor procedures, dressing changes and other medical treatments.” In February 2017, 9-year-old Blaine Baxter suffered a severe injury to his arm while racing a go-kart and had to undergo daily, painful dressing changes. “He would immediately start crying and scream out of fear, and had to be sedated before doctors could approach his arm,” explained Blaine’s mother, Tamara Baxter. “He was so riddled with anxiety after everything he had been, and was going through. VR was a game changer for Blaine. As soon as he put the goggles on, sedation was no longer needed and during his dressing changes we went from hearing pain-stricken screams to ‘Wow, I’m under the sea looking at sea snakes. This is so cool. You have to see this!’”
Blaine, the bulletplay The use of VR is a novel experience for many of the patients at Packard Children’s, explains Child Life specialist Veronica Tuss. The Child Life team engages patients in age-appropriate activities to help to normalize their time in the hospital. Through providing education and procedural support, they play a key role in helping to decrease patients’ stress levels prior to procedures. “VR is often so unfamiliar that it is instantly engaging and incredibly distracting,” Tuss says. “If I’m preparing a child for their very first IV, and they share with me that they don’t want to see what’s happening procedurally, I know I need a distraction that is visually engaging. With VR, an often-intimidating setting suddenly becomes this really cool thing or place that they get to explore. It can minimize the experience of getting the IV to the point that we may actually turn a negative experience into a positive one.”
Recap of Blaine's 2016 Season at Cycleland Speedway - Chico Ca and a big show of gratitude for our sponsors that help us along the way.