Sprint Car racing – Daring Deeds on the Dirt Track
Sprint Car racing traces its auto racing history back to the impromptu races that were held on tiny unpaved tracks at early 20th century county fairs, horseracing ovals and traveling shows. Time was, sprint car racing was seen as a ticket to the Indianapolis 500 if a driver was good enough to win on a consistent basis. While that isn’t the case anymore, it’s good to know that some things haven’t changed much and Sprint Car racing is a fine example of that.
Fans accustomed to the polished, professional look of modern Formula One and Indy cars may get a shock when they first set eyes on a sprint car. They appear to be little more than four-wheeled cages with barely enough room inside for the driver and the engine. Stick a wing that resembles 2 or 3 front doors cobbled together on top, and you’ve got yourself a sprint car. Now imagine a fleet of these buzzing cages roaring around a dirt track at speeds 100 miles per hour or more… are you smiling yet?
There is not one overriding authority that sanctions sprint car racing and sets down the rules of the sport, but the World of Outlaws is at this time the most well known of several competing organizations. World of Outlaws sprint car racing is for winged cars but there are other series that feature non-winged cars. Sprint car racing hasn’t succeeded in dislodging stock car racing from the hearts of loyal southerners, but it has made itself very popular in the northeast, Midwest, and in California. The advent of televised race coverage in the 1980s has proved to be a huge boost for the sport and has also provided a lucrative source of advertising dollars. Those big wings not only look like billboards, they’re used that way!