- Associated Press - Monday, January 4, 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Three Williston children recently returned from Las Vegas, where the Winter National Quarter Midget Racing was held. Pitted against nearly 300 competitors from across the country, Cashton Evans, Jaxon Evans, and Danica Dart returned to North Dakota victorious.

Winning caught many participants by surprise as the three children were the only ones in the state to compete. Many now see them as the kids to beat in next year’s competition, according to the Evan’s family matriarch, Tycee Evans.

Nationally, Danica holds first place and Jaxon holds third in the Junior Novice class while the more advanced Senior Novice class had Cashton place fifth.

“She’s always in first,” Cashton told the Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/1R3Ixl3 ). “Jaxon is usually second. They have a lot of fun doing it, though.”

Qualifying for such an event has taken necessary amounts of time and dedication between the Evans and Dart families. Ultimately they found it has been worth it to aid in their children’s aspirations of becoming professional NASCAR drivers.

Without a large following for the sport in North Dakota, their families knew the commitment they would be undertaking when the children approached them about wanting to try it. That was nearly a year ago.

“It’s a lot of time and money, but what the kids get out of it is amazing,” said Tycee Evans.

The two families formed a relationship in which they would switch off driving the children while the other would pull the large trailer containing their race cars. A quarter of the size of a regular racecar, all three of the children’s vehicles can be transported in the trailer at one time.

Without the facilities for the sport in the state, Evans said that as soon as spring rolls around both family’s weekends will be spent alternating between Billings and Great Falls, Montana, where the kids can practice and compete.

Due to the regional climate and limited access to a race track, the kids don’t get as much “seat time” as other competitors, which surprised both families at how quickly their children were excelling.

Enchanted by what the children were trying to achieve, many area businesses have come forth to help in what little ways they can. Whether it be repairing parts of their race cars or printing the racing stickers for the side, Evans said, a lot of companies have refused payment.

Costing nearly $1,600-$5,000 per race car, Evans said, it’s expensive but the families have done their best to help support their kids’ endeavors.

Playing with their trophies, which are metal-plated slot machines with plaques of their names and place holding, the kids have a taste for winning and they are eager for next season to begin.

“We’re already set up to start next year,” Evans said.

“My dad and my grandpa got me into it,” said 8-year-old Dart. “I love it.”

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Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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