What is a Sprint Car?

What is a Sprint Car? Well... they are loud, exciting, and very, very quick race cars. The fastest form of open-wheel dirt Speedway racing in the world, they are simple and low-tech by design, but don't be fooled, they'll take your breath away!

Originating in the USA Sprint Cars but have become extremely popular in other countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.


Usually broad-sliding their way around dirt speedways, they produce close, wheel-standing racing, often only inches away from a concrete wall. Many people associate Sprint Cars with the huge wing that is planted above the driver's head. The big wings produce vast amounts of downforce that push the cars to the track, while also acting as giant moving billboards and a crumple zone during an accident. A front wing is also used to try to keep the front wheels of the car on track.

Almost as popular as winged version are the more traditional Non-Wing Sprint Cars. Without the added downforce of the wings, Non-Wing cars tend to slide through the turns more and produce excellent side-by-side racing.

Powered by large fire-breathing V8 engines, Sprint Cars shake the earth, literally! The sound produced by 20 or more cars roaring at full power into the first turn of a feature event is an experience you'll never forget.

Another peculiarity of this class of speedway racing is the size of the huge treaded right-rear tires. Larger right-rear tires than on the left-rear are used to assist them through the turns on the oval-shaped Speedways, this is known stagger.

Unfortunately for the drivers and owners of the cars, Sprint Cars crash... a lot. Racing open-wheel racing cars is hazardous enough, but when you are sliding side-by-side at over 100mph crashes are inevitable. Thanks to the high safety and design standards, there are few serious injuries. Check out some wild Sprint Car crashes in our Video Vault.

There are many different configurations of Sprint Cars around the world. The most popular are 410ci (cubic inch) winged cars as raced by the World Of Outlaws Sprint Series. 360ci winged cars are also very common. In Australia 410ci engines are also the main power plants used. As already mentioned, there are classes of cars that run without wings and cars that run on asphalt as well as on dirt.

The best way to answer the question "What is a Sprint Car?" is to head to your local speedway and take a look for yourself!

› What is a Sprint Car?


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