Cassidy Brooks has racing in her blood and a telephone pole in her way. At least that's the way the 6-year-old's racing career began.

Cassidy Brooks has racing in her blood and a telephone pole in her way. At least that's the way the 6-year-old's racing career began.

The Reynoldsburg resident is in her first season of racing quarter-midget cars at Columbus Motor Speedway, but getting the feel for her vehicle during practice in a parking lot came to an abrupt halt with a collision with the creosote post.

"That set us back about two months (because of the damage to the car)," said Raymond Brooks, her grandfather who helps keep the car in racing shape. "But she didn't give up. She wanted to get back into the car."

In her first racing action June 15 at CMS, Cassidy had a similar problem, but this time she was rear-ended by another driver. But that's part of racing.

"It kind of hurt my forehead (from lunging forward from the shot)," Cassidy said. "I just wanted to get back out there."

Her father, Raymond Brooks II, quickly rebuilt a shock and changed one of the rods that adjusts the tracking on the rear axle to get it back in racing action.

"She got through the race, but we got it back in shape and ready to go again," he said. "But she got some race time under her belt and knows what to expect out there."

Her father and grandfather know about racing. The elder Brooks worked on drag racing and stock cars starting in the 1960s and had two world records in his 1967 Plymouth Belvedere Factory Super Stock Car -- an International Hot Rod Association record in the Formula 1 C Automatic division for going 127.65 mph in a quarter mile and a National Hot Rod Association mark for going 11.51 in the quarter mile in at 121.62 in the Formula 2 E Automatic class in 1974.

Her father grew up around the track, driving on dirt tracks at Muskingum Speedway near Zanesville and Midway Speedway in Crooksville as well as on the drag strip at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.

The cost steered him away from racing two years ago, but he's back working on his daughter's car.

The small white vehicle is more go-cart than car, but has some pop. It has a chassis made by Nervo/Coggin Racing and a Ziggy Honda seven-horsepower 120 engine with restrictor plates. The car can weigh no more than 250 pounds, including driver.

"It goes about 25 mph, but it would go 50 or 60 without the restrictor plates," her father said. "You have to push it to get it started. That's my job; I'm the handler."

"It's pretty fast. It's like as fast as a roller-coaster," Cassidy said. "But I'm not really scared because I'm (strapped) in pretty good."

Along with the helmet and flame-proof fire suit, Cassidy also has a neck collar for support and a five-point harness for stabilization.

"I worry about her, sure, because it's racing, but I also know that she has all of that safety gear for protection," her father said.

The races for the Junior Novice Quarter Midgets consist of 20 laps around the asphalt track at CMS.

"They get about an hour on the track and that helps a lot," said her father, who is the proprietor of ABE Trucking. "She goes down there and races on Fridays and Sundays and we hope to race north of Bellefontaine at Mac-O-Chee in West Liberty and at Kilcare in (Xenia)."

But this isn't a hobby for little girls. Her father estimated the cost of running a quarter midget car is anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 per year, and that's with help on the body from Bill Southworth of Reynoldsburg and chassis work by Tom Eitel at Brand X Chassis.

"We're looking for sponsors because every little bit helps," her father said. "It might be a little car, but it's like any competitive car."

But no matter the cost, her grandfather said Cassidy is on the right track to becoming like her idol, open-wheel racer Danica Patrick.

"The key thing about racing is starting to race when you're young," he said. "That way you learn from the ground up."