If you are a racing fan, you may be familiar with dirt track racing. It is one of the oldest and most popular racing sports in the US, which started before the beginning of WWI and has become popular from the 1920s up to the present. As proof of its popularity, there are about 1,500 racetracks widely spread across the country. And this sport is also as popular in Canada and Australia.
Ironically, most dirt tracks in the US actually have clay surfaces and not dirt surfaces. Majority of the tracks are also oval in shape with less than one mile in length, the most common of which is a 3/8-mile track. There are pros and cons of having longer and shorter tracks. With longer tracks, racecars can achieve higher speeds and the distance between cars increases. As a result, chances of crashes are decreased but the damage and injury inflicted to the riders are more severe than in shorter tracks. That is why dirt tracks maintain a standard of one mile length or less.
Track surface also differs from one racetrack to another. But most surfaces are clay-based. Water is also normally sprinkled when the surface becomes too dry.
Every racetrack or sponsoring organization normally maintains a set of rules as to the class of race vehicles to be used, including their dimension, size of engine and the required and prohibited equipment. This set of rules is normally coordinated among racetracks and racing organizations so that there will be a wide range of avenues where each type of car may compete.
If you are interested in dirt track racing, there are different options for the type of vehicle that you could use. These include cars, bikes and vintage cars. For cars, they are open-wheeled cars, modified cars and full-bodied cars. Nowadays, full-bodied cars or more often called stock cars are gaining in popularity. These cars have all their wheels covered with fenders. They can vary in components, some of which have full-tube frame chasses, aluminum bodies and some newer models can have certain modifications as allowed for its class.
Dirt track bikes, on the other hand, are high-speed bikes with speeds up to 130 kilometers per hour and are not fitted with brakes. These bikes have engine displacements ranging from 250 to 500 cc although the American Grand national dirt race championship have motorcycles with a capacity of 750 cc and can reach a speed of 210 kilometers per hour. Aside from solo bike races, there are also sidecar races which are one of the most exciting track sports. In this type of race, both driver and passenger work together to attain the best grip and fastest speed.
There is also the vintage car dirt track racing. In this kind of race, obsolete racecars are restored and reconditioned to their former glory. Cars that can compete in this type of race include those from models in the late 19th century as well as historic cars from decades ago.
Dirt track racing is an interesting sport involving different kinds of vehicles. Having a basic knowledge about this sport can help you understand what is at stake if you want to be race driver.