Mariah Ede’s best Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series of the season finished fifth at Millbridge Speedway. (Photo by Paul Arch)
If midget driver Maria Eddy had to define a landmark moment in her career, it would be her source when she was racing outlaw karts at California’s Cycleland Speedway in 2019.
Throughout the season, Eddie battled against a host of tough competitors, but came face to face with her toughest opponents yet when the Outlaw Kart Showcase kicked off in September of that year.
On one night of the show, Ede pushed her #4 card into the lead and was in tight control of the feature. Soaring in its wake, NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson was unable to make up for the young lady with clicking laps. As fate would have it, Eddie became a victim of lapping traffic late in the race, allowing Larson to slip through and win. Eddie finished fifth.
However, when the 17-year-old looks back, she realizes that her eight-mile dirt track days played a vital role in propelling her to where she is now—racing on the Midget National circuit.
Her performance at Cycleland Speedway caught the attention of Micro Sprint driver and owner Joe B. Miller, who gave Ede the opportunity to step up his mini sprint competition to 600cc in 2020.
After spending two seasons immersed in the small world of sprinting, the high school transitioned into full-size midget racing with Keith Kunz Motorsports last year.
While every progress she’s made since driving the kart Outlaw has been just as important as the next, Ede may have to update her “huge moment” after her career ended last weekend.
The #71e driver landed her first podium in the POWRi National Midget League during Illinois Speedwick at Lincoln Speedway. The car drove from 12th to 3rd in a 30-lap advantage.
In a season where Eddie’s focus was on gaining experience, the result was encouraging.
“We’re definitely looking for experience more than championships,” Eddie said. “As long as I’ve been racing, I’ve never raced for a championship in my life. It’s more about gaining experience with a variety of races.”
Along with POWRi, the California native competed in the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series and scheduled USAC midget races this year.
Its best finish in Xtreme Outlaw competition was 5th at Millbridge (NC) Speedway, while its strongest showing in USAC was 18th at Missouri’s Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex.
Although her primary goal in the season is simply to score runs, Ede can’t help but want more.
“I definitely want to win this year. That will be a great confidence booster,” said Eddie. “But in the long run, I hope to get into asphalt racing in some way. Maybe NASCAR. That’s the ultimate goal, really.”