Ramona teen races toward driving career

Michael Tobiason, 13, races toward a win on the Santa Maria track.
Michael Tobiason, 13, races toward a win on the Santa Maria track.

Tobiason wins big in regionals, hopes for Barona win Oct. 29

Not wasting time driving to the front of the class, young Michael Tobiason of Ramona is racing toward a big driving career — and fast.

On Oct. 15 and 16, Michael competed in the California Dwarf Car Racing Association (CDCRA) Regionals. Over the two-day event, he won all races, earning the championship title.

Just two weeks earlier in Marysville at the Northern California Dwarf Car Association (NCDCA) national event, Michael finished second overall. In March of this year, he competed in Pahrump, Nev., at the Western Nationals, where he earned a third place finish.

Michael’s home track is Barona Speedway, where this year he has raced his way to victory five times and is hoping to win the final race of the season, Oct. 29.

He credits his success to “God for giving him the ability to race” and Todd and Judy Salazar, the owners of Barona Speedway, for allowing him to race when other track owners would not.

Michael began racing at the age of 10 in the mini-dwarf car division and moved up to dwarf cars at the age of 12.

At age 13, he is making a name for himself in the racing world. The past two years have been challenging because of the age restrictions at the race tracks. Because of his age, Michael is not eligible for membership into the CDCRA or the NCDCA and is only invited to race at regional or national events with special waivers.

Competing mostly against grown men, his fellow racers refer to Michael as “The Kid” and jokingly tease one another about losing to a guy who isn’t old enough to get a driver’s license. In addition to the advice and assistance he receives from veteran racers, Michael relies on his pit crew, father Mike Tobiason of Accurate Underground and Grading and Uncle Jeff Hughes of JH Construction, who are also his primary sponsors.

Michael races the #07 Triple E, black and white checkered Dwarf Car. Dwarf Cars are 5/8-scale models of 1928-’48 vintage American Stock cars, both in coupe and sedan, and even pickup style chassis.

The cars are equipped with steel roll cages and frames, along with sheet metal/aluminum bodies. The typical engine is Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda engines, with capabilities of up to the 200hp and a size range from 1,000 to 1,250 cc. Both are air- and water-cooled, depending on the manufacturer.

Also, both gasoline and alcohol are used for fuel. To ensure safety, a complete five-point racing belt system and approved helmet and fire suit are always required.

For more information about Dwarf Car Racing, visit Rossonracing.com, a Ramona race car manufacturer.

In building his fan base, Michael personally hands out black and white checkered flags with a bright green #07 on them to kids attending the race and says “it’s a kick to look at the crowd and see all these kids waving their flags and cheering for me.”

For information about race times and prices for the Oct. 19 race at Barona Speedway, go to baronaspeedway.com.

Keep up to date with Michael’s racing career by visiting Tobiasonracing.com.

   
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