Mia Baxter rocketed to a top-five finish in her first-race ever last Friday. The next day, she wrecked her car. In one weekend she experienced both the highs and lows of the sport in the WISSOTA mod four class at Sheridan Speedway in Wyoming.
After the accident, Baxter cried on the infield, but not because she was hurt or the crash scared her.
“I was passing a guy for third and we made contact,” Baxter, 12, of Sheridan, Wyoming, said. “That shot my car into the wall. When I got to the infield I was crying. A lot of my parents’ money went down the drain.”
Baxter grew up watching her father, E.J. Baxter, race. He steers a WISSOTA Midwest modified.
“Dad wrecked a lot of cars, and always said, ‘Rubbin’ is racin’,’” said Baxter. “Watching Dad, I saw how racing offers a chance to meet new people, make new friends, have a life experience, and have fun at the same time.”
Baxter said she was “a little banged up and bruised” after the wreck. Her main complaint was a sore foot from pressing on the brake pedal as she hit the wall. Other than that, she incurred no other injuries.
She sat in a Kirkey full-containment seat, with a RJS Racing Equipment five-point harness. Baxter wore a Zamp helmet paired with a Zamp Z-Tech head-and-neck restraint. She raced a 2012 Eagle chassis, with a 2016 update.
“She’s already thrashing away on the wrecked car, and is pulling the engine out today,” said Baxter’s father, E.J., on Monday. “She aspires to go after the national championship in her division next year.”
When E.J. saw her daughter, Mia Baxter, crash, the longtime racer became a concerned father.
“After I wrecked, my father didn’t want to go out for his feature,” Baxter said. “He’s wrecked plenty of cars, so he knows what I was going through. I told him, ‘Don’t worry about me. Get out there and race.’”
After the pep talk from his daughter, E.J. Baxter started the feature 21st and finished 11th.
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.