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Street Racing

Street racing is perhaps the oldest and most established form of auto racing. Street racing started as early as the 1800’s with the invention of the automobile. Some of the first cars were capable of maintaining a speed of 14 miles per hour. Back then there were no rules or standards for street racing. It is said that the people of Chea’s pass, Wyoming were instrumental in laying standards for street racing. They came up with an agreement for operating cars on the streets and restricting racing on old fair grounds in concentric circles. This is where auto racing really started. Since 1920s, proper tracks have been constructed for street racing.

Street racing is an action packed sport that keeps viewers on the edges of their seats. Street racing can really set the adrenalin racing too, what with many a nail biting finish. Street racing also encompasses motorcycle racing and car racing.

Drag racing

Drag racing is a form of street racing that is carried out on straight tracks or drag strips. Drag racing is popular in the United States. Drag racing cars look like mini darts with large rear wheels and wings on the back to keep them on the ground. In drag racing, there are normally two cars racing each other at a time. Drag racing contestants often race head-to-head, battling each other, the winner proceeding to the next round. In drag racing, the objective is to complete a certain distance (usually ¼ mile, about 1320 ft or 400 m) in the shortest possible time. The vehicles used may range from ordinary everyday production cars to the dragster.

Wally Parks organized drag racing as a sporting event in the early 1950’s through the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), which is the largest sanctioning motor sports body in the world. The NHRA was formed to prevent people from illegal street racing.

The NEDRA (National Drag Racing Association) is an important governing body in drag racing. NEDRA is a coalition of drag racing fans, drag racing vehicle owners, drivers and individuals interested in promoting the sport of EV (electric vehicle) drag racing.

Clearly defined rules for ordinary drag racing and electric vehicle drag racing have been laid by the NEDRA and NHRA. Apart from the rules specified to EV’s, there are also General Rules and Handicap Rules all of which have to be followed by the contestants.

Some popular drag racing tracks are:

  • Northeast Dragway
  • Mid-Atlantic Motorsports Complex
  • Kinston Dragstrip
  • Costal Plains Dragway
  • Virginia Motorsports Park
  • Brewers Speedway

Dirt Track Racing

Dirt track racing is a very old form of street racing dating back to the pre-World War I era. Dirt track motorcycle racing is considered the foundation of American motorcycle racing. The overwhelming success of dirt track racing can be attributed to Clear Channel Entertainment – Motorsports and Formula USA. They supported the national level dirt track racing matches and gave it a fresh look.

Dirt track racing or motorcycle racing can be either single racing or twin racing. In the ‘90’s, twin racing was more popular than single racing. The Harley-Davidson brand of motorcycle was especially popular around that time. Even today twin dirt track racing is popular at the national level while single dirt track racing manages to flourish at the local and regional level.

The years 2000 and 2001 proved highly memorable for dirt track racing as twelve round Pro Single series were featured with no less than eight different winners, one engine formula having a significant advantage over another. In 2003, the Grand National Championship series was held for the combined Formula USA National Road Race Series and the Formula USA National Dirt Track Series. A total of eight national road race events and nine national dirt track events were conducted in 2003. In dirt track racing and motorcycle racing, electronic timing and scoring systems are used to determine each rider’s fastest lap time. Rules for dirt track racing:

· The car used for dirt track racing must preferably be an American make with wheelbase not less than 107 inches.
· Station wagons cannot be used for the purpose of racing.
· The weight of the car must be 3200 lbs, with the driver.
· Driver must be at least 16 years of age.
· Pit sign must not exceed 20 lbs in weight and 40” in height.

Some popular dirt track racing drivers:

  • Matt Wait – Lodi, CA – bike Honda 450.
  • Merle Scherb – Decatur – TX – bike Honda 450.
  • Nicholas Cummings – Mt. Morris, MI – bike Honda 450.
  • Rick Bretl – Appleton WI – bike Honda 450.
  • Jennifer Snyder – Janesville WI – bike HD

Some popular dirt track racing tracks are:

  • Dixieland Speedway
  • Mid-Atlantic Motorsports Complex


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