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Auto Racing

Auto Racing

Ever since the first automobiles were invented, people have wanted to see whose car was the fastest.  Today, auto racing is a sport followed by millions of people.  The three main types of auto racing are stock car racing, open-wheeled racing, and drag racing.

The most popular form of auto racing in North America is stock car racing.  The vehicles used in stock car racing are similar to the ones you see on the street.  These special cars have been built to race at speeds of about 160 to 200 miles per hour.

Most stock car racetracks are shaped like an oval.  They are usually about two miles long.  Most stock car races are about 500 miles long.  The most famous stock car race is the Daytona 500. The most successful stock car racer of all time is Richard Petty.  In his 35 years of racing he won 200 races.  That’s nearly twice as much as the driver who is second on the list of all-time wins.

Open-wheeled racing uses cars that don’t have any covering on their tires like regular street cars do.  Open-wheeled race cars can reach speeds of over 220 miles per hour!

These races are divided into two groups.  Formula One races are often run on road courses.  These racecourses have a lot of curves which are really hard to drive on.  Sometimes the road course is part of a regular city street that has been blocked off for this special race.  The most famous Formula One race is the Monaco Grand Prix.  Grand Prix is French for “Grand Prize.”

The other type of open-wheeled racing is called IndyCar.  These are a little different than Formula One race cars.  The most famous IndyCar race is the Indianapolis 500.  It takes drivers just about 3 hours to go 500 miles on an oval track. A regular highway driver in your family who would take about 8 hours to go 500 miles.  The most successful IndyCar driver is A.J. Foyt.

Another main type of car racing is called drag racing.  This is when two cars race each other on a straight track of one-quarter mile in length.  Drag racers reach speeds of 330 miles per hour in just seconds!

Car racing can be fun to watch but should only be done by professional drivers who are trained to drive at such high speeds.

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