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Sprint Cars: America’s Adrenaline-soaked Dirt Racers

Sprint cars are some of the most entertaining racers in the country. These small, aggressively winged warriors combine ultralight weight with a huge amount of horsepower and are set loose on challenging dirt ovals in roaring packs of wheel-to-wheel action. How did these cars come about, and how have they remained an enduring force in grassroots racing? Let’s take a look at the history of sprint racing and the cars that make it so popular.

American Original: The beginnings of sprint car racing can be traced back to before World War I, when racers hit the dirt at a flat horse track on the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The original teardrop-shaped models were more closely related to the Indy cars that would follow than to modern sprint cars, which have more aerodynamics. By the late 1940s, sprints would come to occupy a middle tier of racing in between Indy and midget cars and would find a home on half-mile dirt ovals across the country. These sleeker, traditional sprints are still being run today, albeit with a lower top speed and different mechanical setups to reflect their lack of downforce… read more >

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