Info Source for Sprint cars
More Exciting Than NASCAR!
Do you have a need for speed, but stock car races just aren’t doing it for you anymore? Do you enjoy watching professional drag racing, but wished it was a little more exciting? What if I told you there was another racing league that combined the speed of drag races with the competitiveness of NASCAR?
While many race aficionados may claim that Formula One is the most fun you can have spectating. However, there’s an even more exciting option, with cars that are bigger, badder, and more powerful than even, Formula One engines.
Sprint Car Racing
Sprint cars have actually been around for a long time, having a brief stint on cable TV in the 1990s. Unfortunately, leagues like NASCAR wound up dominating the audience, and sprint car racing took a back seat. But like Formula One racing, sprint cars have gained a huge following internationally, even having large groups of fans in Austral and New Zealand, as well as South Africa.
Some of the popularity of sprint car racing is due in large part to the types of vehicles involved in the races. Unlike stock cars or even Formula One racers, sprint cars have distinct vehicle classes, much like drag racing. With their increased size and horsepower, many sprint cars resemble something that looks like one part go-kart, one part hot rod, and one part stock car.
Sprint cars are big; and as accurate as that is, it’s also an understatement. It’s common for a vehicle to weigh about 1,400 pounds, and have upwards of 1,100 horsepower. Your standard 410 sprint racer usually come stock with an American V8, making that engine purr at 9,000 RPM. While they may not be built for pure speed like NASCAR stock cars, they still clip along at a fast pace. Whereas NASCAR drivers usually top out around 200 MPH, sprint cars usually hit around 160. And while that may seem like a slower-paced race to a spectator, sprint cars are still more powerful with larger vehicles and beefier motors and engines.
Another thing that makes sprint cars exciting to watch is the sprint car tracks themselves. Unlike the perfectly smooth black top loops that NASCAR uses, sprint tracks are often made of mud and dirt. There’s no waiting for Florida to finish its afternoon sprinkle before the race starts; every driver knows that they’re about to get their hands dirty.
There are a variety of different shapes and materials used in sprint car race tracks. Some are asphalt, while others may be just simple dug out dirt. Others rely on a clay surface, which can really make a race even more exciting.
Ditch the Black Top
Unlike a solid asphalt stock car track, the softer, more organic tracks commonly found in sprint car racing actually changes with the duration of the race. Unlike NASCAR, much of the drivers rely on drift racing, which can be a bit of a challenge when you have as many as nineteen competitors on either side of you. As they cars dig into each turn, it creates a harsh, rugged racing surface which can be the biggest competitor of them all.
Clay tracks especially are designed to create an ever-shifting challenge for racers. Clay becomes malleable when wet, and unlike stock car racing, they, in fact, make the clay tracks moist before the race begins. As time goes on, the track either becomes muddier as the race continues, or it becomes dry. While that may sound ideal, the drier clay can make it harder to drift, and can even begin building up a layer of rubber from the vehicle’s tires.
When mud or clay tracks become too wet, that can be just as exciting to watch. As cars begin to bog down, the drivers have to keep the pedal down in order to avoid slipping behind even a fraction of a second. Drifting becomes increasingly perilous with each turn, as their wheels lose traction and sink ever lower. Unlike NASCAR, drivers have far more things to worry about than coming in first.
While stock car racing is said to require more concentration, due to faster speeds and more competitors, it can also be an incredibly boring race to watch. In fact, how many people joke about watching NASCAR just to see a crash? Sprint car racing, on the other hand, is a non-stop thrill ride. This, is achieved through more robust vehicles, challenging driving conditions, and even shorter loops to drive through.
Shorter Loops, Faster Driving
NASCAR tracks typically are made to be one mile in length, where you watch drivers take that same loop hundreds of times. If the driving conditions are ideal, you may very well be watching something akin to rush hour traffic; steady, aggressive driving but with no major issues or collisions.
Sprint car tracks are typically made to be one-half mile in lengths, resulting in faster turns and more loops needed to achieve the same results. In fact, the half-mile tracks are built for faster racing, with a growing mound in the turn areas to encourage vehicle drifts. Some turn banks have been known to have twenty-four degrees built in, while the straight pathways have a mere eight degrees, forcing the action to occur at the turns of the loops while giving the drivers a brief opportunity to stabilize themselves before the next turn.
Another standard track design is loops that are only one-quarter of a mile; these tracks are typically more slender. Rather than encouraging slide driving and wide turns, these tracks, more commonly referred to as “bullrings”, are built for one purpose; a dirty, no-holds-barred race where wheels are constantly clashing. What does this mean? More powerful cars are always beating on each other as the drivers vie for first place in shorter loops that turn smaller.
The Best Race For Spectators
If you’ve grown tired of how commercial stock car racing has become but Formula One just isn’t satisfying you anymore, it’s time to watch sprint car racing. Once you see your first match, you won’t want to go back to watching any other racing league than sprint cars.