Nathan Byrd raced a NEMA midget at Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway on Saturday.
Nathan Byrd raced a NEMA midget at Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway on Saturday.

BYRD: Racing A NEMA Midget For The First Time

Editor’s Note: Nathan Byrd is a 21-year-old racer who is embarking upon an intense racing schedule that will see him race in more than 10 different series and multiple forms of race cars, including sprint cars, asphalt late models, formula cars and midgets. SPEED SPORT will be following his journey with a weekly driver diary for the rest of the season.

LEE, N.H. — I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at Lee USA Speedway on Saturday.

I’d never raced a winged midget before and this was going to be my first time working with Bertrand Motorsports —one of the Northeast’s top teams that competes in the Northeastern Midget Ass’n.

Luckily, it didn’t take me long to get up to speed. We were pretty fast in practice. I was fourth in the first practice and fifth in the second, which I felt like was a pretty good place to start considering my lack of experience in these cars.

The Bertrand Motorsports team was great to work with and they gave me an excellent car and helped me better understand what I was doing every time I was on track.

I started the feature fifth but I moved to fourth pretty quickly. I had defending NEMA champion Todd Bertrand following me, so it wasn’t a cake walk.

The race went by pretty quickly since it was only 25 laps, but it was intense and physical. I’d probably equate it to an endurance sprint. Overall, it was a really great race and I was happy to participate and to try something new and different.

We finished fourth out of 11 cars, which I think is great for it being my first time in a winged midget. We’re planning to do more races with Bertrand Motorsports. Hopefully, I can improve and do better in the next one.

My next race is on May 23. I’ll be at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala., where I’ll compete in the North American Formula 1000 Championship with Arrive Drive Motorsports.

This will be my second time racing in the series. I made my debut in April at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, S.C., finishing ninth and fourth in my first two races. Hopefully, this time I can compete for a win.

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