Robby Flock will open defense of one championship and will be starting after another tonight when Ascot Park presents a doubleheader featuring the National Midget Racing Assn. three-quarter midgets and the full-sized midget cars of the U.S. Auto Club on the quarter-mile oval of the Gardena facility.
Flock, 21, won eight NMRA events and the championship last year. He also won four full-sized midget events and finished third in the USAC regional series.
The youngster from City of Industry will drive the Bob Bogan three-quarter machine that is powered by either a 750cc Kawasaki or a Honda of the same size. Flock has driven for Bogan for three of the five seasons he has been competing.
"I fired up the TQ the other day," Flock said, "and it sounded great. Bob's got the car looking beautiful and is enthused about beind the defending champion."
In the full midget competition, Flock will be driving for his father, Linn, driving a four-bar Edmunds chassis powered by a 140-cubic inch Volkswagen engine.
"My goal is to get a double," he said, "and I want both championships."
Moreover, the 5 foot 6, 135-pounder has some even bigger aspirations.
"I have been talking to this guy this year who owns two Super Vees," Flock said. "If I hang around with him this year and watch his races, maybe I can get a shot next year ore the year after in a Super Vee.
"I need the rear-engine experience (for a possible shot at Indy-car racing). But I would also like to run the USAC national sprint car circuit in the Midwest and East.
Flock expected to compete in about 50 races (both three-quarter and full midgets) this season. His chief competition is the three-quarter cars figures to come from Terry Farrar of Ojai and Gary Schroeder of Burbank. They finished 1-2 last season in the Continental Motorsports Club championship at Ventura Speedway.
Schroeder and Farrar are expected to attend many more Ascot TQ events than last season when the NMRA and CMC schedules had many conflicting dates.
In the USAC feature, the man to beat will be the 1984 champion Tommy White of Anaheim. White, who is also campaigning a sprint car this year, says he expects to have another strong year at the wheel of the Joe Binter midget.
Things won't get any easier in the future midget races, for former two-time national USAC midget champion Ron (Sleepy) Tripp of Costa Mesa is due back in early April from another of his successful winter tours of Australia and New Zealand.